Once again we're gearing up for another rip roaring mixed martial arts event on Saturday, as Pinnacle FC 11 will be coming to you live from the Iceoplex in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
The lineup features some of the fastest rising fighters in the area, and as per usual
it will all be available to be streamed on GFL.tv it will be available "on the internet".
I will once again be on commentary, and joining me will be Rick Borowski for a fun night of puns, witticisms, and general tomfoolery.
Aside from cycling through some special guests as the third man in our commentary booth, there are some special things planned that will go down in addition to the action inside the cage.
Check out the top five reasons below why you should check out hte Pinnacle FC 11 stream on GFL this Saturday:
5 – The Incredible's Pinnacle Debut
There’s a lot of hype for the MMA career of Kyle Holt (2-1), and that hype is rightfully deserved considering how successful his older brother Joey has been. He’s another one in that long line of studs that have been produced out of East Liverpool, Ohio, and getting to train with guys like his brother and Josh Stansbury on a daily basis has got to be helping forge the skeleton of what should be a scary dude for a long time.
He’s facing the unorthodox Vladimir Jean-Philippe (2-3), who has been a tough test for everyone he’s faced in the Pinnacle FC cage thus far. Holt is still just 23 and already has two impressive wins under his belt, so he’ll be looking to make it three on Saturday night.
4 – Dave. Gabig. Returns.
Dave Gabig (6-3) has been through a lot of shit since we last saw him competing nearly four years ago. A busted neck, drug addiction, and awesome photo shoot with Chris Nolan later, he’s back and ready to steal more souls for the collection that he has on his mantle. Not only is he back, but he gets to compete in his hometown for the first time and will surely have one of the loudest ovations of the night.
Looking to spoil his return is Sean Felton (4-2), a brash New Yorker who comes in with the type of confidence that it takes to step across from a rugged dude like Gabig. This is one that I already have circled on my bout sheet. I just hope that they don’t get any blood on my pretty artwork.
3 – Two future stars debut
Chris Mitchell (0-0) and Tobiaus Taylor (0-0) have been two of the better amateurs in the area for a good bit now, and they will get to square off in their respective pro debuts in what could turn into a real-life version of Rock’em Sock’em Robots. The stakes are even higher here because one of these two very solid prospects will start of his career 0-1 and that’s a tough blemish to overcome so early in your vocation.
2 – Nick Browne
I could probably make Nick Browne (4-0) be all five reasons if I wanted to. You can just tell when you’re seeing a future star compete, and that’s exactly the feeling I get when he steps in across from whatever opponent is lucky enough to draw the short straw to face him.
The guy has been incredibly underrated since his amateur days, because he doesn’t talk trash and he just goes out and does his job, which is crushing the hopes and dreams of other humans. He’s only ever dropped one bout, and that was almost three years ago already. The list of names that he took out before he even turned pro is impressive, and he has gone into another gear as a pro, doing grown man things like choking out respected grappler Jeff Denz in a minute and producing the fastest knockout in World Series of Fighting history.
1 – The headliner
I was literally giddy about the performance of Dominic Mazzotta (7-1) in his Pinnacle FC debut in May. It was at least part of the catalyst that prompted Pinnacle FC/STU general Matt Leyshock to pen the incredibly accurate following sentence:
Mazzotta is talented enough in all areas to shut his opponents down wherever they decide to take the fight and ultimately that is the reason why he shouldn’t be fighting on a regional level for much longer.
Here we are a little over three months later and Mazzotta is back, looking to take aim at the Pinnacle FC bantamweight belt and across from him is yet another formidable foe. In a semi-ironic twist, his foil for this one is one of his last opponent Tim Goodwin’s teammates, and one has to think that at least a little bit of Varon Webb (7-2) is going to be repeating that famous Inigo Montoya line from The Princess Bride about killing his father and preparing to die, only replacing father with brother.
It’s almost time to throw down, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss this one, reserve your seats to get out to the Iceoplex on Saturday if you haven’t already.
One of the more intriguing bouts slated for this Saturday is an amateur welterweight contest featuring veterans Dave Gabig (6-3) and Sean "Superfly" Felton (4-2). The 170-pound bout takes place at Pinnacle FC 11 at the Iceoplex in Canonsburg, PA.
Gabig returns from a long layoff and gets to compete for the first time in his hometown, while Felton comes in from New York looking to play spoiler.
Check out the top 5 reasons why you should care about this fight below:
5 – Dave. Gabig. Returns.
The last time Dave Gabig was inside of a MMA cage, the Occupy Wall Street movement was going on and there was a global financial crisis (I guess some things never change). If that seems like a long time ago, that’s because it was. Nearly four years to be exact.
At that time very few amateur fighters competed in Pennsylvania because of the horrible rules system, and many of them traveled to Ohio. That’s exactly what Gabig did, compiling his very solid 6-3 record against some of the stiffest competition in the Buckeye State. Now, he’ll get to fight for the first time in his hometown and in front of his hometown fans. They may even cheer a little bit.
4 – Felton can talk some smack
— Sean M. Felton Jr. (@Sean_SuperFly_F) August 22, 2015
I mean, how can you not be intrigued and entertained when a guy will go ahead and tell you what he’s going to do to another man, and in his hometown no less? Gabig hasn’t really responded in any way leading up to this fight, but I’m betting that may be some bulletin board material once he catches wind of it.
Felton is also an entertainer as well as a fighter, as the last time I saw him fight he came out a live rap song. If that’s your thing, then you’ll be a fan of “Superfly.”
3 – Title implications
Everyone likes a nice belt. They’re shiny and help you get women and you can even wear them during sex like Tim Sylvia did when he was the UFC heavyweight champ. Chris Brooks currently holds the Pinnacle FC welterweight title, and the winner of this would likely be option A to get a crack at that belt in the very near future.
2 – Gabig has a great comeback story
Prior to his fight in May, I read some stuff on Facebook about Gabig losing his job in order to fight, and being hungry and whatnot so naturally I was inclined to reach out to him to see what the story was there. Turns out he basically quit his job in order to fight because he has passion for this sport and wanted to get back in there. He told me that obviously without a job it’s difficult to eat, but that it made cutting weight for the fight a little bit easier at least.
He also told me about how he injured his neck pretty badly after losing to Todd Bevan in 2011 and that’s why he was out of action for an extended period. Looking to replicate that adrenaline rush in any way he could, he ultimately turned to drugs and partying. He spent the next three years hating himself but not doing anything to change it because he was messed up 50% of the time. Finally he got clean and returned to Fight Club Pittsburgh late last year and this fight will be the culmination of his comeback story. Sounds like a freaking movie, man.
1 – The breakdown
Gabig himself described his former fighting style as “more heart and balls than technique,” and quite honestly I couldn’t agree more. That’s what always made me a fan of his as a fighter, but recently his game has changed in so many ways thanks to guys like Anthony Durnell and Bob Meese fine-tuning his striking and Lou Armezzani pumping up his ground game. I’ve always heard that you get some sort of (potentially mythical) old man strength once you hit 30, and since Gabig has recently crossed that threshold that’s also something to add to the list of things to watch for. Gabig’s ground and pound has always been something to marvel at, and with these new wrinkles added to his game I’m excite to see what he has in store for us on Saturday.
Felton has a bit of an unorthodox style for MMA, having come from a Muay Thai background and competing in that sport before making the transition. He is a guy who will try to stay on the outside a little more, using his length and head movement to pick his shots. When he was getting cracked a little bit by Mike Seibert in his last fight, he also showed that he has the ability to use his wrestling and take the fight to the ground and win that way. Two of his wins are via TKO and I’m assuming that he’s hoping for the same outcome against Gabig on Saturday.
Tickets are going fast for this event, but you can go ahead and reserve yours here ahead of the rush on Saturday.
If you're having trouble sleeping, don't worry: you're about to get a healthy dose of Nyquil.
Yeah, I went there.
Anyway, after going through pretty much every lightweight on the East Coast looking for a suitable opponent for Nick Browne (4-0), finally Pinnacle FC matchmakers have found someone willing to step up, and on short notice no less.
In steps 28-year-old Virginia product Caleb McAllister (3-1) in what will be the new co-main event at Pinnacle FC 11. While our research team is currently investigating whether he is any relation to the kid from Home Alone, those of us with day jobs instead took a look at his record and the available tape and determined that, yeah, he's pretty fricking good.
In a lot of ways he actually reminds me of Browne. He's a tall, lanky lightweight who is solid pretty much everywhere. He'll also consistently move forward, and he's currently riding a three-fight winning streak with all three wins coming via submission.
Browne is currently in the process of becoming perhaps the best prospect in Western Pennsylvania, as he'll make his second appearance as a pro under the Pinnacle FC banner.
What has he been up to since we last saw him in action submitting Jeff Denz in his pro debut at Pinnacle FC 7 last year, you ask? Well, he's turned into kind of a big deal. First, he produced the fastest knockout in World Series of Fighting history, then he followed that up with another impressive submission and he recently moved to 4-0 with a one sided decision victory in July.
You probably won't have many more opportunities to see Browne fight on local stage, so it might be a good idea to go ahead and reserve your tickets now before it becomes too late.
If you need a refresher about which fights are slated for the Iceoplex this weekend, you can click here. Or, better yet, just check out the list below:
- Dominic Mazzotta vs Varon Webb
- Nick Browne vs Caleb McAllister
- Chris Humes-Mitchell vs Tobiaus Taylor
- Andrew Cseh vs Jarred Brooks
Here we have another great fight between a pair of roughnecks making their professional debuts. After coming up through the amateur ranks, Fight Club Pittsburgh's "Philly" Chris Mitchell (0-0, 4-2 am) will face Rising Dragon's Tobiaus "Freight Train" Taylor (0-0, 6-1 am) in a fight that many have circled on this card as one to watch.
The featherweight fight goes down on the professional portion of Pinnacle FC 11, which takes place August 29 at the Iceoplex in Canonsburg, PA.
If you need a reason to get invested in this one, check out the top 5 reasons why you should care about this fight below:
5 – Both of these guys have been champions
There are amateur titles, and then there are AMATEUR TITLES. While they may seem like the exact same two words, they indeed are not. It's all about the italics my friends. Local MMA is on kind of a tiered system much similar to minor league baseball. You have your A level organizations, and then you have your AA and AAA level organizations where amateur and professional fighters are more often than not the cream of the crop.
Mitchell and Taylor have almost exclusively competed in AAA level organizations, and both even won titles over pretty notable foes to close out their amateur careers. It’s almost a little sad that one of these guys will have to start off 0-1 and make the mountain that much steeper to climb.
4 – Mitchell says alot without saying much at all
From the outside Mitchell may comes across as a quiet and reserved guy who keeps most things to himself. Upon re-watching Mitchell’s pretty dominant win over Treg Wells from May, I forgot about his post-fight interview, which was one of the best parts of the night. In the interview, Mitchell told Dave Klick that not only was he the best fighter on a card, which included guys like Dom Mazzotta and Mark Cherico, but he said he was also the best guy in the area. Well, now he’ll get a chance to prove exactly that over the next few years as he navigates the treacherous shark-infested water that surrounds the area (editor’s note: we don’t think there are actually any sharks in the three Rivers, at least not that we know of. These are metaphorical sharks).
Anyway, I’ve always been high on Mitchell ever since his amateur debut, and it seemed like he was able to put it all together in his last fight in a way that he hadn’t really completely done before. He may be just hitting his stride, and that’s a perfect place to be standing heading into his pro debut.
3 – Mitchell’s debut at 145
Even though he started his amateur career in the 170-pound welterweight division, it always seemed like 145 pounds would be the eventual landing spot for Philly Chris. He’s very similar in many ways to his teammate Justin Steave, and now with the benefit of day before weigh-ins as a pro he can join The Hawk in the featherweight class.
Taylor, meanwhile, has spent pretty much his entire career at 145. He has learned how to make the cut to the weight class and still have to fight on the same day, so seeing him with that extra day to recuperate could produce a different fighter than we’ve seen before.
2 – Taylor has some serious bloodlines
Whether we’re talking about prize fighters or race horses, bloodlines are an important part of determining a fighter’s worth and potential in the sport. If you’ve followed the local MMA scene around the area for any length of time, then you’re probably familiar with the work of Taylor’s older brothers Torrance Taylor and Tiawan Howard. They’ve survived and even thrived as strike-first fighters in a wrestling heavy state like Ohio and have even adapted their games to include some pretty solid grappling skills of their own.
And all the while the younger Tobiaus has been in their entourage like an athletic version of Vince, soaking up all of the MMA knowledge that he could. He made his MMA debut when he was just 20 and immediately proceeded to be one of the top amateurs in the area. His only loss was to a much more experienced and surging RJ Buck in 2013, and he has improved in leaps and bounds since then. He closed out his amateur career last October by knocking a very tough Adli Edwards out cold to claim a national amateur title.
1 – They are both aggressive
I’m not gonna lie…I kind of hope/expect this fight to turn into a game of Rock’em Sock’em Robots.
Mitchell has shown throughout his career that he’s not afraid to stand in the pocket and trade, and as a Southpaw, that’s a perfect/dangerous spot to be. It’s perfect because in theory, his straight left hand down the pipe should be open. It’s dangerous because the exact opposite is true for his opponent. My favorite part about his last fight against Treg Wells was that the third round was his best round, as he stayed aggressive and took chances trying to finish the fight, even though he was coming off of a layoff of nearly two years.
Taylor is pretty polished for a guy at his level. I really like how he pops off his jab, and uses a wide mix of counters and doesn’t just rely on one thing and isn’t predictable. Like Mitchell, he’ll throw a lot of kicks and he always has that right hand cocked and ready to throw straight down the pipe. Like his older brother Torrance, he has strong wrestling and looked pretty good on the ground with great submission defense against a solid jiu-jitsu guy in Cody Karlheim. I like to call guys like Taylor “lullaby fighters.” He’ll lull you to sleep by getting in a nice rhythm, using his striking and piecing together nice combinations, and then he’ll throw that big bomb where you wake up looking at the lights.
On another note, I got the feeling in watching tape that both of these guys were limited as amateurs. Mitchell is a guy who may want to mix in head kicks and elbows, and Taylor is the type of fighter who will benefit from having more time to work with the move to five minute rounds from three. This match up is one of the more dynamic bouts for the region at featherweight and will help backfill the weight class when some of the top guys move up or move on.
Time is running out to get tickets for Pinnacle FC 11, but you can reserve yours here now.
Rising UFC prospect and internet sensation Cody "No Love" Garbrandt (7-0) will be on hand at Pinnacle FC 11 to meet fans and award the winner of our main event - a bantamweight title scrap between Dom Mazzotta and Varon Webb - the belt he previously held before being called up to the UFC. Mazzotta is one of the most talented and dynamic athletes in northeast region and his showdown with "No Love" still ranks as one of those moments I will remember for the rest of my probably short, mostly un-eventful life. Garbrandt is one of the highly regarded additions to the UFC bantamweight category and has already put together 2 huge wins.
But you already knew that.
Anyway if you want a chance to meet one of the most down to earth and talented killers walking around the planet right now, come check us out next weekend at the Iceoplex arena in Canonsburg, Pa.
Editor Note: I have yet to see any actual canons there.
Here are a few of No Love's Pinnacle FC wins to reminisce over.