Two world class lightweights met each other for the first time in their careers. Before entering the match, both fighters were on a dominant win streak, Springs with 5 and Malenko with 6. This was a well earned title shot for the challenger Malenko, who when reunited his former manager Bobby Heyman rose the ranks in GAMMA Contenders and a 3 fight win streak in GAMMA before facing the defending champ Randy Springs.
The match was dominated by the champion. All throughout the 5 rounds, Springs was his usual self. Efficient striking, excellent defense and overall technique. Malenko did his best to bring it to the ground where he had a better chance but Springs knew that and prevented it from happening. Near the end of the 5th round, Malenko desperately tried to end it with a submission but still no good. Springs gets away with the scorecards.
Springs has been unstoppable since being acquired by manager David Brent. His only losses were only to Matthew Ridgeway who he then defeated in GAMMA#696 to reclaim the throne. His current run stands at 13-2 since January 2017 and currently ranked 1 in lightweights and 6 P4P.
Winner: Randy Springs retains Lightweight Title via Unanimous Decision
Gareth Keenan vs Karol Mirowski
In the third outing of this new found rivalry between Keenan and Mirowski, each fighter sought out to get the win over the other as they have each scored a match in their last 2 encounters. Both entering the match as top 5 featherweights, a good match was expected indeed.
This time, the story was different. Keenan was more aggressive while Mirowski was more of the defensive. Mirowski patiently waited for a big opening but Keenan took advantage of that gameplan. Keenan landed around 150 strikes while Mirowski had only around 20. He was very accurate with his striking making sure that he keeps control of the standup game. The strategy paid off as he circled Mirowski with various strikes to get the judge’s nod all 5 rounds.
This win keeps Keenan atop the featherweight rankings and back into the top 10 P4P while Mirowski slides out of the top 100. Losing 4 of his past 7 matches, Mirowski will need to get back in rhythm if he wants to get a shot again.
Winner: Gareth Keenan retains Featherweight Title via Unanimous Decision
Super Heavyweight bout
Hennan Hoyce vs Callum Pagnozzi
Entering the match as an underdog, Pagnozzi defeated the odds. Hoyce, ranked 30 P4P was en route to another KO win with his 100% KO win record. Pagnozzi displayed great accuracy and defense partnered with his granite chin brought him into a favorable position, knocking the chin out of the older and former champ Hennan Hoyce. The big knockdown in the early minutes shook Hoyce’s composure and with 5 seconds left in the round, he just did not make the bell.
Pagnozzi gets a significant boost in rankings and few steps closer to the belt. He’ll probably be in the title scene sooner or later. Hoyce is now 2-3 in his last 5 matches and needs to pick it up to get another shot soon.
Winner: Callum Pagnozzi via 1st round TKO
Randy Springs vs Jeff Gower
In just 2 weeks after successfully defending his title against Malenko, Springs steps up to once again defend his title for the third time. This time, he faces a former champ in Jeff Gower. Jeff Gower is no stranger in the championship scene given his success in Ascension and his long career in UGD. After losing the belt to Fook Man, he took his talents to GAMMA and gets a title shot in his GAMMA debut.
With no surprise, it was a hell of a good match. At first glance you would’ve expected Springs to dominate in the match with his advantage in all disciplines but Gower surprised him. The match proceeded to be mainly a clinch showdown between both fighters. With more than 100 strikes thrown in the clinch, no fighter was backing down. In the end, it was a very close call to make and Gower went away with the W.
Winner: Jeff Gower wins Lightweight Title via Split Decision
Saul Goodman vs Hector Verama
The streaking Goodman with 8 straight wins faced the challenger Hector Verama with 4 straight wins, earning his spot at the title scene again. Verama’s fallen to Defoe twice in the 205 division and now moved down to 185 to eventually face the champ Goodman.
Almost evenly matched in standup skills, it was indeed a great match and worthy of a main event. Both fighters traded blows with almost equivalent numbers and you wouldn’t who would win until the end of the bell. Nearing the end of the bell, Verama was on the verge of winning after scoring a big takedown. With his superior BJJ he could’ve submitted Goodman but the champ kept his guard and defended the subs successfully. After 5 great rounds, 3 judges had varying opinions with 47-48 48-48 and 48-47 giving the match a draw. Great match for both fighters. We can expect a rematch soon.