I probably shouldn’t need to tell you why you should care about the main event lightweight title fight at Pinnacle FC 17, but this is fight promoting and that’s kind of what we do here.
Both guys have their sights set on bigger things with just one loss apiece in their careers, and a win here would certainly raise some eyebrows on the bigger stage for either guy.
5 – The camps
Browne hails from nearby Uniontown and represents Bill Bosley’s Uniontown Fight Club. It’s always been one of the more underrated gyms in the area that consistently produces hard-nosed winners. Browne has been a handful to deal with since his amateur days and the blue collar-type training he gets at Uniontown has certainly had something to do with that.
Pelton comes in from Cleveland representing Strong Style Fight Team. You probably don’t need to be told just how stacked of a team Marcus Marinelli has up there, but it includes Stipe Miocic, Jessica Eye, Jeff Hughes, Cody Stevens, John Gunther, and even more recently, Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, who is helping Stipe prepare to face Daniel Cormier this summer.
4 – Pelton’s wrestling credentials
To put it mildly, Pelton is one of the best wrestlers to come out of wrestling-rich Ohio in quite some time. In a state filled with great wrestlers, he was a legend at Bellevue High School before going on to win a NAIA national championship at Notre Dame College with a 24-0 record in 2010. Since transitioning to MMA, he’s become known for using is wresting in ‘reverse,’ that is, preferring to stand and trade with opponents rather than wrestle them to death. He’ll still use his grappling if he needs, but he’s an exciting striker as well.
3 – Browne’s first title defense
Browne has been the Pinnacle FC lightweight champ for quite awhile without ever defending the title, and they say that’s what makes you a true champion. In fact, he’s competed just twice since topping Rmandel Cameron to win the belt in late 2015. He’s coming in off the first loss of his pro career as well, so it remains to be seen how he responds to coming up on the short end of a fight.
2 – Duh, it’s the main event
There haven’t been too many Pinnacle cards not headlined by either Mark Cherico or Dom Mazzotta, but this is a big-time fight that deserves the top billing on the card. With a combined 12-2 record, one or both of these fighters could be on the national stage sooner rather than later.
1 – The matchup
This is a matchup of two grapplers, which means that it will probably be decided by kickboxing.
Browne has always had underrated boxing, and it’s a little-known fact that he actually competed in the National Collegiate Boxing Association in college, even placing third in the country in 2010. One of the things I’ve always loved about his striking is that he doesn’t make mistakes. Everything he throws is technical and in tight, much like you’d expect from a boxer. He doesn’t get cocky and can use his jab. In the grappling, he’ll have a slight height advantage against Browne, and we’ve seen him in the past like to use Greco style wrestling to bully opponents against the cage and beat them up there.
In many ways, Pelton and Browne are very similar fighters. Pelton may throw his shots with a little more power, which is the hallmark of a former top-level wrestler. The fact that his teammate John Gunther holds the only victory over Browne is something I’m sure he’s taken advantage of as well. While Gunther has more of a pressing style, he showed some things that Pelton may be able to implement in this fight.