KJ Notebook: Cinco De Mayhem postmortem
The Wolfman howled Friday night.
Javon ‘Wolfman’ Wright’s KO of Ramon Barber in the third round was a fitting cherry on top of a smashing performance at Rumble Time Promotions Cinco de Mayhem.
Wright improved to 4-2 and in doing so snapped a five-fight win streak for the Kansas-based Barber.
Wright, out of Modern Combat Systems, dictated the action for the first two rounds and when he saw an opening in the third, sealed the deal with a short right hand.
“We feel like his performance was good, quite possibly the best of his pro career. Modern Combat Systems’ coach Jared Daniels-Block said. “His stand up was crisp as it’s ever been, his wrestling and jitz looked very sharp, it was a very satisfying watching him put the hours in the gym to the test. He followed the game plan as best he could and it paid off.”
Wright scored two takedowns in the first round. He smothered the more-muscular Barber for most of the second before going for a decent submission attempt later in the round.
“We knew Barber was very strong and top heavy, we had some recon on him from (Josh) Epps and (Jason) Alicea being members of his old team,” Daniels-Block said. “We knew if we kept Barber on his back we could tire him out for some stand up in the third. Javon is deceptively strong and has really good technique so I'm thinking it made the difference in this fight. A lot of people don't know he went to college on a wrestling scholarship.”
Has Wright been flying under the radar? He was coming off a loss to Chase Bebe (24-9) in the November Fight Hard show. His only other loss was to undefeated Alex White. There is no shame in either of those loses.
“I do believe that he is underrated in the local scene and posses the qualities a top tier professional require, never calls off, never quits and motivates his team to the best of his ability,” Daniels-Block said.
What else did we learn on Friday night?
That Jake Collier can choke out Cortus Stitt with one hand. Collier suffered a break in an early exchange with the former Illinois prep football star, yet still managed to power his way through for the win in just a little over 90 seconds. Collier (Missouri’s No. 1 middleweight?) improved to 9-1. Though not that apparent at the weigh-ins, Collier loomed over Stitt once inside the cage. Stitt had fought in the past at welterweight and may consider a return there after just a few seconds with Collier.
At Argenta-Oreana in Decatur, Ill., Stitt ran for 2,304 yards as a junior in., then a record 2,849 yards as a senior, including three 300+ games. That would be sixth all-time in the IHSA. He ran for 356 yards against Central A & M and 345 yards against Clinton. Stitt also qualified for state as a wrestler in high school.
Jason Slattery had a few more tools in his belt than Harlan Feutral. Both fighters were making their pro debuts and Slattery looked the stronger throughout. Slattery, from St. Charles MMA won a 30-29, 29-28, 29-28 unanimous decision. Both fighters suffered through two stops in the fight due to a board that kept bubbling up underneath the south portion of the cage. Slattery has nice boxing but in the second and third rounds incorporated solid jiu-jitsu to dictate the bulk of the action. Feutral showed that his impressive amateur career was no fluke. Though he never seemed to get into the rhythm that he wanted, the rangy fighter from Union was in good shape for his pro debut and went down battling to the end.
Christian Camp threw his hat in the ring when it comes to making the short-list of the state’s best amateur featherweights. Camp’s win over St. Charles MMA’s Travis Draper improved him to 11-2. Draper came out his usual aggressive self, even opening up Camp over the left eye. But Camp then capitalized on a possible adrenalin dump from Draper and nearly finished the fight in the first. Camp showed nice resolve in both the second and third rounds. Draper landed a big right toward the end of the second and sank in a tight arm bar in the third.
Camp talked with KJ’s Debo after the fight.
“He has a reputation of being a tough fighter,” Camp said. “My goal is to climb my way up the ladder and take people out.”