A lot of eyes will certainly be focused on Madison Square Garden this Saturday for UFC 244 and the battle for the fictitious “BMF title” this weekend. In New England, the hardcore regional fan base will be swinging from the rafters of Plymouth Memorial Hall for Cage Titans 46.
Nov. 2 | 7pm ET
The event will take place this Saturday and will air on FloCombat. With a 6:00 p.m. EST start time, there will be plenty of MMA action for you to partake in this weekend. With 18 fights on the card, it is hard to choose just three fights to wet your proverbial whistle. But let’s give it the ol’ college try as this event -- like most Cage Titans events -- will not disappoint.
Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell vs. Bruno “Jacare” Dias
It’s quite rare to see a fight featuring two gritty veterans with nearly 60 professional fights under their belts headlining any event, let alone a regional show. That’s what will happen this Saturday as Johnny Campbell takes on Bruno Dias.
After taking out two of the region’s top prospects in Jose Lugo and Kris Moutinho outside of the Cage Titans promotion, “Cupcakes” had another battle on his hands with the State of Rhode Island. Following his second round TKO win at CES 57 over Moutinho, Campbell was flagged by the state’s Gaming and Athletics Commission for a positive marijuana test. Campbell was provisionally suspended and his win was overturned, but only for a short time as he was cleared of the infraction. Now that he is able to resume his fighting career, the 30-fight veteran is making his push for the UFC. According to Cage Titans president Mike Polvere, Campbell had an opponent in mind to make help make his case for the big show.
“Bruno Jacare is a guy that very few people in New England wanted to fight,” Polvere told FloCombat. “After Johnny was cleared, Johnny said, ‘I’m tired of this guy saying he can’t find fights. I’ll fight him!’ That’s the kind of fighter Johnny Campbell is. He’s already taken out two of the best up and coming guys in New England and this fight gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.”
Standing across from him will be Dias who steps in the cage for the 30th time in his professional career. “Jacare” returns to MMA competition for the first time in over two years after crossing over to the world of boxing earlier this year. The 32-year-old Dias is ready to make a statement of his own for those in New England that may have forgotten about him.
“Bruno is ready to go,” Polvere said. “This is a guy with a ton of experience: he was on the Ultimate Fighter Brazil, 19-10 in his career, and has fought all over the world. It’s been tough finding him a fight because he’s been a black belt in jiu-jitsu for a long time. This is one of those dream matchups between two tough, gritty veterans with a lot of experience. New England -- get ready for this one.”
Mitch Raposo vs. Zachary Burhans
Much like Randy Costa was early on in his career before getting the call to the UFC, Mitch Raposo is being looked at as one of, if not the best prospect in New England. Raposo returns to action on Saturday to face Zachary Burhans at Cage Titans 46.
After a 6-0 amateur career, Raposo made the leap to the professional level and has made his minutes count -- less than four minutes in his two pro wins over Rob Fuller and 19-fight veteran Raymond Yanez. The just turned 21-year-old Raposo will look to make it 3-0 and build upon that momentum this Saturday.
“Mitch Raposo has an extremely bright future in this sport right now,” Polvere said. “When Mitch turned pro, he had a lot of naysayers saying things like, ‘all he does is go to decisions. When is he going to start finishing people?’ Well, he’s done that in his last two fights. Mitch has never lost a round as a fighter. He was on that ‘Mighty Mouse’ track when he may not have been finishing guys, but he was dominating them. Now he’s finishing guys.”
Raposo will face Burhans, a veteran of six professional fights this Saturday. Don’t let the recent three-fight skid of the 31-year-old Burhans fool you as he has faced some of New England’s best in his last couple of fights in John Douma and Lauzon MMA staple Andy Aiello. Polvere truly believes Burhans will be a quazi litmus test for Raposo this Saturday in Plymouth, Mass.
“Zach is going to be a big test for Mitch,” Polvere explained. “This is a guy who went to a decision with Andy Aiello in his last fight who has been with Joe Lauzon since day one. Zach has been off for almost a year, but he hasn’t been sitting around doing nothing. He’s been grinding, he’s been getting better. I’ve approached him about fights since then and he told me he wasn’t quite ready yet. He’s never felt better and he can not wait to upset the upstart in Mitch Raposo.”
Sean Lally vs. Rob Gidron
It’s “The Unpredictable One” taking on the “Silverback” as Sean Lally meets on Rob Gidron in a 177-pound catchweight bout.
After a five-fight winning streak, including four finishes, Lally got his opportunity to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series in June 2018, taking on Chris Curtis. Lally fought hard but would be finished by Curtis in the third round. The 28-year-old Lally would drop his next fight against Cameron Lochinov at Bellator 207 last October and returned to Cage Titans in April to take on Shedrick Goodridge. Lally would separate his shoulder and, despite his willingness to continue on, the fight was stopped on recommendation of the cage side doctor. Lally has incredible power and has the ability to finish a fight at a moment’s notice.
Gidron will also look to get back in the win column as he makes his Cage Titans debut. The Grand Rapids, Mich. native will look to play spoiler and snap a two-fight losing streak in the process. A veteran of promotions such as LFA, Gidron has the ability to match Lally in athleticism and explosiveness -- ingredients that make an exciting fight. In his most recent bout, the 27-year-old Gidron lost a unanimous decision to Travis Davis at Ohio Combat League 2 in August.
Cage Titans 46 will be the first of two events taking place in the month of November and the action will be a plenty. Catch all the action on FloCombat beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST.