My immediate reactions are that:
A) West Virginia has been craving a professional MMA event. The Morgantown Event Center was sold-out and packed in, and the crowd was roaring and into the fights from start to finish.
B) Mixed Martial Arts is approximately 1934859.58 times better in person than on TV. I haven’t missed a UFC event on pay-per view since I first started watching at UFC 66 and I can safely say the electricity of the moment and the speed of the fighters is an entirely different animal in person. Seeing somebody get knocked out on TV is cool, but seeing somebody get caught with a perfect head kick in person is unreal. If you are a fan of MMA and have never been to a live event, you owe it to yourself to go.
Another aspect of Caged Fury 16 that deserves attention is the fact that it hosted the first women’s MMA matchup in the state’s history. The two women involved, Ashley “Smashley” Cummins and Stephanie “Macaquinha” Frausto, put on a great show for the crowd in a bout which saw Cummins take the unanimous decision victory.
For me, it was cool to see how into the women fighters everyone in attendance was. I was a bit worried the women wouldn’t live up to the hype because, being only 115 pounds, they don’t have the kind of stopping power some of the men have, but they put on a hugely entertaining ground battle which saw several close submission attempts and reversals of position.
For the future of women’s MMA, one couldn’t ask for a better debut–both women stayed safe, nobody got injured and it was an entertaining match-up from start to finish. I’m expecting more women’s fights in the future, and Cummins vs. Frausto is a huge reason for this.
McCorkle told me before the fight he was going to get a quick submission win via arm triangle, and that is exactly what he did. While it is insanely impressive to call your shot in an unpredictable sport like MMA, I think McCorkle needed a more seasoned and game opponent. The crowd definitely wasn’t loving the quick victory, but McCorkle took care of business and continued his recent streak of dominance.
For W. Va. MMA fans, the future looks blindingly bright. Word circled the sold out Event Center that the NAAFS would be returning in April, and with the success of Caged Fury 16, I think it is safe to expect a heavy dose of Mountain State MMA in the future.
I’ll be posting some pictures, videos and more in-depth look at the fighters soon, so stay tuned for more coverage of Caged Fury 16 courtesy the CoalFist!