Dom Steele vs. Nick Duell
Many expected the co-main event at NAAFS: Caged Vengeance 16 to be a slugfest, but Dom Steele (12-5) had other plans.
Instead of standing toe-to-toe with one of the most powerful strikers in the welterweight division, the Cincinnati native instead returned to his wrestling roots to pound out a victory over former NAAFS champion Nick Duell (11-5) on Saturday night at the Canton Civic Center.
Steele was impressive and ruthlessly aggressive throughout the 15-minute fight, continuously putting Duell on his back despite multiple questionable standups by a referee who clearly was more of a fan of the standup game. Steele used elbows and position changes to keep Duell at bay, minimizing any offense from his opponent.
“I just went for it,” Steele said in his post-fight interview. “Basically I knew he had a better standup game than I did. I told him let’s fight to the death, he was upset I didn’t keep it standing, but I was trying to kill him on the ground.”
Duell briefly went for an arm bar in the second round and landed a few shots on the feet early in the third round, but other than those couple of flurries, it was all Steele, who is now 6-1 in his last seven fights.
Steele has also relished playing spoiler, as he earned an upset victory over Dan Hornbuckle in his last trip to the Canton Civic Center a little over a year ago. It’s never easy for a fighter going into an opponent’s backyard, and Duell is one of the most popular fighters in Northeast Ohio, and specifically Canton.
He’s played a similar role to another spoiler-type fighter in Hector Urbina, who won both the NAAFS middleweight and welterweight titles before making his way to the UFC.
It was a great start to the 2015 campaign for “Non-Stop Action Packed” Dom T. Steele.