Friday's "Cage Time" mixed martial arts event in Pikesville will only be my second live MMA event. So while I would love to provide an in-depth preview of the card, I would probably do a disservice by attempting to do so.
Fortunately a few of the fighters competing at Friday's event were a part of the first MMA event in Maryland I went to, Shogun Fights II, so I will provide my own analysis of their fight at "Cage Time" using what I learned from seeing them for the first time.
Brian VanHoven vs. Mike A. Santiago
In my previous post I mentioned that VanHoven, a lightweight, was in a three-round war at Shogun Fights II with Cole Pressley, whom VanHoven defeated by unanimous decision. VanHoven brings a 5-0 professional record into his fight with Santiago and used a healthy mix of strikes and takedowns to secure victory at Shogun Fights II. Hopefully Santiago is aware of that, as he will seemingly need to prepare for both a stand-up game and ground game from VanHoven.
I just realized that Joe Stripling, who competed at heavyweight at Shogun Fights II will also be fighting on Friday against Adrian Belcarris. Stripling (2-3) lost an unanimous decision to Johnny Curtis at Shogun Fights II despite giving it his all, including several submission attempts. I'm sure Stripling will be eager to redeem himself from his tough loss.
Elijah Harshbarger vs. Kevin King
Harshbarger also come out on the short end of the stick at Shogun Fights II and also lost an unanimous decision in a welterweight bout against Chris Conner. While Harshbarger had awesome entrance music with "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake (which I sincerely hope I hear again on Friday), his defense against Conner's ground game at Shogun Fights was not so awesome. He seemed to be at a loss to defend against the ground game and should have worked on that in preparation of this fight.
Jacob Kirwan vs. Eric Cipriani
Unanimous decisions were a common theme at Shogun Fights, but unlike Harshbarger and Stripling, Kirwan was on the positive end of the decision in his featherweight fight against Steve DeAngelis. Kirwan's was mostly one-sided as he dominated the majority of the contest with punches, kicks and takedowns.
If you want to learn more about Shogun Fights II, check out my review of it here.