Four men enter, one man leaves….a champion!
On March 13th, in a one night tournament set to crown the MCC Amateur Lightweight Champion, four men are going to enter the MCC cage in hopes of leaving a belt holder. Unfortunately, only one of them will do so. The matchup’s have been set, and with only three weeks until show time, all four men are dialed in and ready to entertain while en route to capturing the first ever lightweight title. In the first bout of the evening David Steineke takes on Johnny Wentland, while Levi Thompson takes on Devon Kane in the second. The winners of these two bouts will meet later on in the evening for a shot at the MCC Amateur Lightweight title.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the competitors: (more…)
MCC 58’ s John Poppie has his sights set on two things: the belt and the Octagon!
At MCC 58: Moreno vs. Stitt, The Ultimate Fighter Season 19 competitor, John Poppie will make his MCC debut opposite of recent title challenger, Rakim Cleveland in a five round bout set to crown the Middleweight Champion. With a professional record of 5-1; the lone loss coming to UFC vet Eric Schafer, Poppie looks to not only capture the vacant title but solidify his place as best middleweight outside of the UFC.
Following the footsteps of many before him, Poppie’s mixed martial arts career spawned at a young age within the confines of his local wrestling room. Never one to shy away from a challenge Poppie’s career was set into motion at the insistence of a close friend.
MCC 58’s Victor “Superman” Moreno; same game, improved fighter!
In the main event at MCC 58, fans get to witness MCC’s inaugural and current welterweight champion, Victor “Superman” Moreno defend his title against a very well rounded fighter in Quartus Stitt. Moreno’s last appearance garnered a knockout win in just 19 seconds of the very first round. On March 13, Moreno will look for a repeat performance if he has it his way.
When asked what it means to have the title belt back around his waist Moreno said, “Having that belt is cool. But I’ve been fighting for a long time. I’m past the belts, and the wins and losses. All of that is just extra pressure being put on myself, if I allow it. None of that matters anymore. I just do what have to in the gym to make sure come fight night I’m prepared.”
A veteran of well over 50 fights, and a career that has spanned more than thirteen years which began at the legendary Toad Holler Fight Club, Moreno believes all the ups and downs culminate on March 13th.
“I’ve been preparing for this moment for thirteen years. All of these fights, and all the training I’ve done and will continue to do; it has brought me to this moment. March 13 is my coming out party. Be ready to see the best Superman Moreno yet!”
MCC 58’s Rakim Cleveland second attempt for gold will be in his own weight class!
In his last appearance at MCC 56, middleweight title contender, Rakim Cleveland met light heavyweight champion, Rob Morrow in the middle of the cage and took part in a non-stop five round war that ended in a close draw. This was quite a feat for a fighter who normally fights one weight class down.
After re-evaluating his preferred weight class to compete in, Cleveland looks to continue on his journey for MCC gold, meeting 5-1 TUF veteran, John Poppie in a bout set to crown MCC’s next middleweight champion.
MCC’s matchmaker, John Halverson said, “Rakim stepped up big his last time out. He took on a huge light heavyweight, and obviously put on a great performance to have it end in such a razor close draw. Since we know how well he can perform, and given the fact that our middleweight title has sat empty for some time now, giving him this opportunity made perfect sense to everyone.”
Now, months removed from his first crack at an MCC title, Cleveland stated, “I learned a lot from the Morrow fight. I showed everyone that I have the heart to get back up after eating solid shots and not just fight, but fight harder.”
Training with the likes of MCC’s long-time former middleweight champion, Elvis “The King” Mutapcic and current welterweight champion Victor “Superman” Moreno, who will headline MCC 58, Cleveland is looking to fix any issues that he believes left him walking away from his fight with Morrow without the belt around his waist.
“I had some holes in my game and the fight with Rob showed that. I’ve been working my butt off to patch those holes and come back improved, Cleveland noted.”
After such an entertaining back and forth battle, a rematch is something many fans would have liked to see, but without hesitation Cleveland responded to comments regarding such a rematch by simply stating, “ I’ll fight anyone. I’m sure a rematch is something many people want to see but it’d have to be at 185. I’m a natural middleweight and I plan on staying there and cleaning house. I stepped up and took a fight nobody else wanted. For that fight to take place again it’d have to be at 185lbs.”
A naturally driven athlete, Cleveland’s will to win and talent to go along with it leaves him with the ability to become one of the best fighters to come out of Iowa. And on March 13 that’s exactly what he is prepared to prove.
Bail Bond Pro’s and Kamodo Klub present, MCC 58 “MORENO vs STITT”, Friday, March 13th at Hy Vee Hall, downtown Des Moines, Iowa.
Tickets are available on-line at www.MidwestCageChampionship.com, at the Wells Fargo Arena box office, and all Dahl’s Food Store ticket outlets.