A very special moment Highland History, we are moving to a newer and bigger stage over at Hayashis Lounge with 2,000 guests expected to be in attendance...LETS GO! Ladies and Gentlemen we have an exciting night of fights that Callum McGregor is bringing to the table as both the heavyweight championship and middleweight championship are on the line! Highland 35 will see shake ups across the divisions and new contenders rise! Fight fans will be excited to know that we should expect multiple knockouts. A few fighters are looking to keep their win streak alive and on the undercard a couple of fighters are looking to get their first win in their professional career. My name is Tycoon Hec and I am stoked to write this preview for Highland 35 and wish all the fighters the absolute best! Lets get into the show.
Needle Dick vs Koto Show
When undefeated fighters headline a main event fight fans line up to see someones o go! When undefeated heavyweights fight for the championship fight fans break down the doors to witness the action. This fight deserved more space and so Callum Mcgregor got more space. Over 2,000 people will be in attendance on the Island to see these future heavyweight stars of mixed martial arts go at it for the Highland Title. Needle Dick (5-0) takes on undoubtedly the most serious threat to his title when he faces Koto Show (4-0). These two fighters are literally the definition of what a knockout king is. Koto has allowed one of his four opponents to escape past the first round and then proceeded to catch him with a shot from hell within the first thirty seconds of the second round. Dick on the other hand has a tendency to dominate wherever the fight goes on the feet, whether it was in the clinch against Kapur and Chaos or at striking distance with his other three opponents. Fighters just can not withstand the violence that Dick brings. Going into this heavyweight matchup this sunday night Dick has been sponsored by Church of Zoidberg and Beachside supplements providing him additional funds for the top quality training he receives at Hardcore Island MMA. Show, who holds no sponsors, is expecting to prove why Smash MMA is the best gym in all the island when he outlands Dick on the feet. Fight fans already know what the two have planned going into this match up, it won't be a grappling match and it won't even involve much kicking, it will be a complete blood bath of boxing and someone will go to sleep. Show, who has an impressive resume of knockouts, has a tendency to unload with beautiful precision on his opponents heads. Rarely do we see Show go to the body on any of his opponents unless they are in the clinch with him. Where Show appears to have a 70-30 ratio on strikes to the head, Dick has a 70-30 ratio to the body and this rings especially true in the clinch. In his most recent match up he landed over a hundred strikes to the body against his opponent. Surprisingly, between the two martial artists only lays one knockout of the night award but i am confident we will see one given at the end of this match. With such a high agility rating for Show one has to wonder where he is lacking and my guess is it is his cardio. Fight fans have only seen Show implement an aggressive game from the opening of each bell and It is probably due to the fact that he has a lower cardio rating than desired. Dick on the other hand arguably has a lower agility to Show and will really need to capitalize on the moments he has to land.
Prediction: This fight ends up in the clinch where Dick pummels the body of Show revealing his level of Cardio and ultimately scoring a TKO in the fourth round.
Cathair McKay vs Enzo Williams
When the Irish Welsh rivalry is thought of, it is usually in terms of rugby. “Irish” Cathair McKay (5-0), everyone's favorite Irish Middleweight Champion, looks to get another win for the Irish when he takes on the more experienced martial artist Enzo “The Dragon” Williams (7-1). These two warriors have such a love for their own country it's part of their nickname. Enzo, who is a submission specialist, believes he will be able to get this fight to the ground, force McKay to tap, and take the title back to the Welsh. Welsh who has an iron jaw, seen from when he took that nasty head kick from Harris, constantly looks for the takedown and improves his position relentlessly until he can get a hold of an arm. As fight fans are concerned we have yet to see anyone attempt a takedown on McKay so we really do not know how good his grappling is. These two gym partners know the ins and outs of each other's training so well and believe that they have the edge over the other. Reports are that the gym has started to take sides over the two and sparring sessions have become a lot more aggressive as of late. Enzo has a tendency to be almost over aggressive on the mat with his opponents and this could see him get in much trouble potentially countered. Now, despite Enzo taking that hellacious kick to the dome against Harris a while back, he was also knocked unconscious from his previous matchup with Watt who only landed three punches before he won the fight. It is safe to say that where Watt is in punching power compared to McKay is almost miles apart and should McKay land cleanly he will be celebrating another knockout victory over Enzo.
Prediction: McKay puts on another knockout victory after almost being submitted twice by Williams.
Jobber Joe vs Valerio Falto
Since his submission loss to Noel Diaz on April 4th, “The Bum” Jobber Joe (4-1) has been relentless on getting a revenge match with the current champion. He had taken on a fighter and put his lights out in the first. Boosting his morale, Joe is now looking to take on another unbeaten submission fighter in Valerio “Siciliano” Falto (3-0). Falto holds two victories by way of guillotine, the same way Joe received his only loss. Will there be some moments of concern for Joe as he steps in with a decorated BJJ fighter or will he become more aggressive and look for a finish quickly? Valerio has finished all three of his opponents in the first round. He pushes for the takedowns until he gets them, usually within the first attempt, and his transitions are graceful. He looks to advance until he feels comfortable to attempt a lock or a choke on his opponent. Velerio, a purple belt in BJJ looks to obtain a fourth win in submission fashion against a top contender and to do that quicker than Diaz to make a statement. Falto will be looking at Joes matchup with Diaz and pouring his mindset into an attack strategy that dominates getting the fight to the ground in probably the same way Diaz did, from the clinch. We have to assume that Joe found his own weaknesses and looked to correct them and has a stronger takedown defense and balance than ever before. The question Joes fans will have is that of accuracy. Has Joe been working on his offensive ability more than his defensive abilities, and if so, is it enough to land on Falto and bringing him out? There are a lot of variables in this matchup from who will come out aggressive and who will look to counter and can Falto actually take a shot from Jobber or has Jobber worked on his defense to not be submitted by someone again. This is my pick for submission of the night.
Prediction: Falto takes this fight to the ground and wraps Joe up in a guillotine early in the first.
Keke Kivi vs Jose Galvao
A brown belt in BJJ takes on a ground and pound fighter. Keke Kivi (2-0) is relatively new to the island but since making his appearance on QFC than in CoMMA his work has been noticed by the entire middleweight division. This wrestler with a tendency to take his opponents down and smother them with strikes looks to advance his career by showing the rest of the weight class that their belt means nothing to him. Despite being a white belt in bjj, his coaches at Big Island Fitness claim his defensive grappling is too good to underestimate and we will get a witness to that when he defends against submissions from Jose “The Arm Snatcher” Galvao (2-1). Galvao has two top submission wins against opponents that were on the track to becoming superstars on Highland. Galvao did suffer a knockout loss quite recently and fight fans are worried that if he should sustain any damage from Kivi he will undoubtedly not be able to recover. The 23 year old Kivi has been an absolute machine in training camp per his coaches, claiming that he has pushed everyone to recognize the young lion and welcome him as a legitimate contender for the middleweight belt down the line. We had a chance to reach out to Jose’s training partners and they have shared with us that his ground game has been nothing short of impeccable and should Kivi truly desire to go to the ground he will be waking up from being choked out only to find himself in an unending career dwindling nightmare.
Prediction: Keke Kivi will prove to be too quick in his ground strikes and land a knockout blow early in the first.
Murtaz Vatsdze vs Rustam Tsubekov
Light Heavyweight Matchup
Murtaz Vatsdze (3-1) vs Rustam Tsubekov (2-2-1) is one of those matchups that has fight fans drooling for non stop action. Tsubekov is a purple belt in BJJ and beloved by Russian fans for his dazzling finishes over Little Lucky and Sterling Turner in QFC. The dangerous submission sensation is eager to get his hands on a fighter who was just recently in title contention thus proving he too deserves to be at the top. Murtaz is no easy walk in the park for any fighter. The knockout artist from Telavi has two first round knockout victories and an additional knockout victory in the second round. He went and challenged for the title against the dangerous Finlayson in what proved to be too dangerous of a matchup for him. Reports circulated that Vatsdze had originally planned to take a short break from the cage but when he saw the disappointment on his own face in the mirror he desired to enact revenge and wreck the current champion. This Light Heavyweight Match up sees two men equal in physicality but far different in skill level. Rustam holds a high pedigree in grappling and will desire to get this fight to the ground as soon as possible but in doing so against Murtaz may prove to be too costly. That being said, we have rarely if ever seen Rustam punched or kicked from an opponent outside of the clinch and that is not because he only grapples it is because he safely evaded the attacks of his opponents. Murtaz who has a high level of takedown defense himself will push to keep the fight standing and counter each and every takedown attempt from Rustam at each point being the first guy to knock out Rustam.
Prediction: Murtaz Vatsdze will press Rustam against the cage and work inside shots folding Rustam over and knocking him unconscious.