Damir Ferhatbegovic | photo courtesy Valor Fights/Tammy Cash
Valor Fights 38 marks the promotion’s debut in Nashville this weekend, as the Music City will host a deep event that currently features six pro MMA bouts, as well as one pro Muay Thai bout.
The event will be streamed live on FloCombat from the Nashville Fairgrounds Arena, a venue famous for hosting some of the biggest pro wrestling shows in the Volunteer State.
Without further ado, check out the top reasons why you should clear your schedule this weekend to watch Valor Fights 38.
1. Young fighters headline the bill
Damir Ferhatbegovic (2-0) and Charlie Alexander (0-0) weren’t supposed to be featured in the main event, but with a late injury to Zack Hicks and Nick Gehrts subsequently pulled from the card, they’ve been bumped to the top of the marquee. The two young strikers definitely deserve the spot – both were amateur lightweight champions for Valor before making the jump to the pro ranks.
Ferhatbegovic is a self-described “nice guy,” but you wouldn’t be able to tell that when he steps into a cage. “When people hear I fight for a living, they’re usually taken back a bit,” he told Pro MMA Now.
A lifelong martial artist who moved to the U.S. from Bosnia when he was 7, Ferhatbegovic is currently working toward his accounting degree from the University of Tennessee, but for now he considers himself a full-time fighter. He’s also stated that he predicts a first or second round knockout in the fight.
Alexander is a jiu-jitsu black belt who finished up his amateur career in February by winning the Valor amateur lightweight title that Ferhatbegovic had vacated. He also won the V3 Fights lightweight title, and he talked about breaking both of his hands in his last amateur fight in an interview with Jason Floyd on The MMA Report podcast.
“I think it’s a good matchup,” Alexander told Floyd. “As far as him as an opponent, he’ll be tough. I think he’ll be a durable opponent. He looks like a decent striker, pretty average at everything else. I’m not too worried about too many things he has to offer, but I think he’ll be a good opponent.”
He has two wins via TKO, and has been competing since 2009.
2. That pro wrestling guy
Pro wrestling crossovers into MMA have been a hot topic in 2016, namely because CM Punk made his UFC debut and Brock Lesnar made a return to the Octagon after a hiatus of more than four years.
The latest pro wrestling crossover is David Cash, aka Kid Kash, who wrestled in TNA and ECW and is a former WWE Crusierweight champion. He had an unsanctioned pro bout back in 2008 as well as a few amateur bouts, but said he didn’t take the sport as seriously back then. Now, he’s trained for five months for his Valor debut after retiring from wrestling last year.
Unlike Punk, he’s a legit crossover prospect with a black belt in aikido, and a lifetime of boxing and amateur wrestling experience. He is set to take on fellow pro debutante Lindsey Jones in a welterweight bout, and the 47 year old hasn’t shied away from saying that he’d also love to fight fellow welterweight Punk in the future if that bout is offered.
“I would be there with bells on it,” Cash told MMA Fighting. “I would love to fight that f*cker, I really would. … He would be in for a very rude awakening. That f*cker couldn’t beat my meat; he couldn’t.”
3. Not just MMA
One of the fun things about Valor cards is that they typically offer up more than just MMA. If you’re a fan of striking, then there are also four Muay Thai fights on the bill, including one in the pro ranks.
Nick Martino and DJ Miller will square off in the pro bout, and pure MMA fans may be familiar with Martino from his time in MMA where he posted a 4-4 amateur record and 0-2 pro record. Martino also talked about getting back to the basics and seeing a sports psychologist heading into this bout in an interview with The MMA Report.
4. Six pro fights
Aside from the two pro fights we’ve already mentioned, four others are also on tap at the event, including some of the best rising stars in the Valor ranks. Sawyer Rich (1-0) will look to extend his perfect record when he takes on XFC veteran Cromwell Stewart (1-1-1).
Rich has talked about his evolution as a fighter now that he’s made the jump to the pro ranks, including improving his wrestling game.
“He’s a much better wrestler than my last opponent,” Rich told The MMA Report. “I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have to use my wrestling game a lot better and a lot more than I have in my previous fights.”
“I feel like his game hasn’t evolved that much,” he continued. “He’s going to go in there and try to shoot under my punches, he’s going to try to take me down, gonna try to lay on me, maybe land some ground and pound. I don’t feel like this is the type of fighter that I should be afraid of, he’s a straight up wrestler.”
Other pro bouts feature bantamweights Ace Samples (2-1) vs. Edward Massey (2-0), Nathan Lindsay (0-0) vs. Dre Miley (1-0) at a catchweight of 130 pounds, and bantamweights Cole Ferrell (0-0) vs. Donald Hockenberry (0-2).
5. Four titles on the line
Along with the six pro bouts, Valor Fights 38 also features four amateur titles that will be up for grabs. At middleweight, Byron Morgan (3-0) takes on Lance Whyte (1-1), and Bret Adams (7-0) defends his Valor bantamweight title against Chris Ocon (3-0).
In a bit of a unique twist, two featherweight titles will be up for grabs, as featherweights Tyler Edwards (3-0) and Thomas Wooley (3-1) will square off for the Valor Fights title, and Amun Cosme (2-0) and Ahva Mayi (1-0) square off for the Apex Fights title.
You can check out the entire lineup for Valor Fights 38 here.
The post 5 reasons to watch Valor Fights 38, including a wrestling crossover and four title fights appeared first on BluegrassMMA by David McKinney.