The fighters came out to fight last night at Art of War 8. As nearly half the bouts went the distance and only 2 of the 11 fights that took place ended in the first round. We witnessed the crowning of two new champions, Mike Nave and Blayne Hodges.
Then in the main event Lloyd Thornton defeated Cy Norris with a quick first round submission to retain his bantamweight title. It was in the post-fight interview that really made news as Thornton announced that this was his last amateur bout. He was going to be turning pro with his tenth amateur victory and successful title defense.
We have the rest of the results as well as the customary “of the Night” awards brought to you by Bangtown Fightwear.
Submission of the Night: Blayne Hodges
Knockout of the night: Justen Dowsett
Fight of the Night: Mike Nave and Steven Marbley-El
For Lloyd Thornton one door closes another one opens
Lloyd Thornton just competed two weeks ago to the day going the distance against Andrew Ferguson at Colosseum Combat XXVI. It was a back and fourth battle between the two. To see Thornton back in the cage so quickly with the performance that he had was very telling of his athleticism. With a total of thirteen amateur bouts under his belt it is only fitting that he does become a professional.
Make no doubt about it that last night’s fight against Norris was not an easy one. Even though Thornton appeared to make it look like it was. He has been training very hard at the Indianapolis based Top Team affiliate for some time now which has helped him elevate his game to the level it is now. What lies ahead for Thornton is uncertain but with his recent cage displays it can only be good for the young fighter.
Blayne Hodges survives the beating to earn the gold
It was the return match for the Vision MMA fighter as he was out for nearly 18 months. He suffered multiple injuries during the time period keeping him out of the cage. Finally last night he was able to return. Originally Hodges was to face James Mottershead but for reasons unknown Mottershead did not fight. The news came to light on Friday just one day before the two were too fight. Luckily for Hodges a replacement was found.
On less than 24 hours notice, Renaldo Weekley of Bronx Hill MMA, stepped up to the plate and accepted the challenge. Much respect to him and his gym for doing so. It is an unfortunate event in our sport to see fighters back out last minute leaving the opponent without a fight. Very rare do you have someone step in at the last minute to fill the spot.
Once the bell sounded you would have thought Weekley had been preparing for this fight for weeks. He came in charging Hodges closing the gap, unloading a flurry of powerful strikes. The devastating punches knocked Hodges down to the ground on several occasions. While on his back Hodges resorted to his jiu-jitsu where he is at his best. Hodges was able to get Weekley into his guard where he was able to work for the leg triangle submission.
Hodges had the submission on but it was not locked on correctly, Weekley was doing a good job at defending it at first. Not letting the opportunity slip by Hodges kept working to properly secure the submission while taking punishment from Weekley who was trying to punch his way out. Finally Hodges withstood the strikes got the submission in tight, moved his hips up to put additional pressure on Weekley who tapped out moments later.
With the victory the Hodges improves his record to 8-1 overall as an amateur and claims his third title. It is not known at this time what lies next for either fighter but it can be assured only good things lay ahead for these two.