Straight from the Liberty Dome in New York, Freedom Fighting Alliance is delivering an other ten fight card with FFA 31: Relentless. And relentless it will be, when FFA's featherweight elite has a go at it in tonight's main event and co-main event. With the 145 championship being on the line in the headliner. It is a night of fights highly anticipated. Let's have a look at the highlights of the card.
Chester "Hollywood" Jones (10-1; 1-0 in FFA) vs Aron Karlsson (7-0; 6-0 in FFA)
For the FFA Featherweight Championship of the World
Chester “Hollywood” Jones splashed straight into the title picture. Only one fight under FCA's banner was enough for the powers that be, to grant him a stab at the featherweight title. After handing Zhuy Hong his first submission loss and rocking a 10-1 record, the 21 year young Jones was deemed to be the worthy next challenger. Having been a former bantamweight champion for the somewhat short-lived RXC, Jones is no stranger to the pressures of championship fights. He did make the shift to featherweight just recently though, entering this weight class just as he started fighting for the FFA. Winning a title in an other promotion and in an other weight class at the same time, would definitely raise some eyebrows. Especially if it would be done by such a young prospect. But in his way is an equally talented and equally young fighter, who has what he wants. Aron Karlson is unbeaten in his young career. He is FFA's second ever featherweight champion. Should he defend his title once more tonight, then he would be tied with the first ever FFA featherweight champion, Hiroshi Ekaku, for three straight defenses.
Both fighters are BJJ brown belts and excel in finding submissions, for Chester Jones has finished all of his 10 victories by way of submission and Aron Karlson has won all but one of his bouts by submitting his man. These two opponents match up so well that it is hard to make a confident case for either fighter. An extremely volatile fight and possibly the sternest test for both combatants involved.
Vigorio Gonzalez (8-2; 4-1 in FFA) vs Hiroshi "Gakusei" Ekaku (8-1; 6-1 in FFA)
The aforementioned first and only other FFA featherweight champion, Hiroshi Ekaku, will be in for a fight in the co-main event. And should he win this one, he would likely get into just the right spot to have another go at the title that he once held. Especially if Karlson should defend his strap. Such a match-up would put the only two ever FFA featherweight champions against each other. Both tied with three defenses. But for this to happen, not only does Karlson have to defend the title, Ekaku also has to beat a very dangerous opponent in Vigorio Gonzalez.
Gonzales has been with the FFA nearly from the start and won four of his five fights for the promotion. Indeed, his single loss within the FFA came at the hands of now champion, Aron Karlson. Something that he has in common with his opponent tonight. Also Gonzales has bested Rudy Gay in his last outing. Rudy Gay, a man who fought for the title in question himself already and who will make an appearance as well on this very fight card. So Vigorio Gonzales, who has won his last two, can make a strong case for being a viable challenger already. And a win over former champion would seem to make him an undeniable challenger. So in many ways this co-main event is the eliminator to find the next challenger for the featherweight title.
Also on the card
Daniel "Double D" Dimitrov (5-2; 1-0 in FFA) vs Borislav "Krusher" Trusov (4-1; 1-1 in FFA)
“Double D”, standing over two meters tall, towers over many of his adversaries. And whenever he fought, the outcome was that somebody ended up being knocked out. Two times it was him, five times his opponent. Now he seeks to give Borislav Trusov a run for his money. A man, who has yet to be knocked out (or submitted for that matter). Both guys are-clear cut stand-up fighters. With Borislav nearly exclusively relying on his hands, whereas Dimitrov is a bit more versatile, using all of his limbs. This one could get wild!
Rudy Gay (5-3; 2-3 in FFA) vs Jeremy "Lil" Heathen (8-4; 1-1 in FFA)
After finding mixed success at featherweight, Rudy Gay climbed a weight class. He will now compete at lightweight. A weight class, for which he just has to cut very little weight. Blaming his losses to suspect conditioning due to weight cutting, we will see how he will do at 155. But now Rudy Gay will have to prove himself anew and come from behind ……
Anyway, his opponent will be Jeremy Heathen, who fought nearly all of his fights at 155 and even had two stints at 170. Yet he is of the same size as Gay. Which shows that Gay was indeed a big boy for his weight class. A massive sweaty stud, who'll put his submission prowess (80%) vs. Heathen's KO ratio (87.50%).