Before we begin on the CFFC 81 preview, one note regarding the Professional Fighters League:
In February and March, the PFL will be holding its first-ever international qualifiers, four-contender tournaments in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates. Winners of these tournaments are guaranteed spots in the upcoming PFL regular season.
For the first time in a long time, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will not hold an event the night before the Super Bowl.
That’s no problem for MMA fans, as Cage Fury Fighting Championships will fill the void this Saturday night on Facebook Live and UFC Fight Pass with CFFC 81 from Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.
Action begins on Facebook Live at 6 p.m. EST, 3 p.m. PST on Saturday evening, before going to UFC Fight Pass at 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST.
In total, CFFC 81 will feature 14 mixed martial arts fights, headlined by three championship fights to close the show.
First up in the title fight trifecta is the CFFC Bantamweight championship between incumbent titleholder Alexander Keshtov (9-0) and Herbeth Sousa (14-1).
In the co-main event of the evening on Saturday night, the CFFC Middleweight championship is at stake when champion Kyle Daukaus (8-0) will meet challenger Nolan Norwood (12-5).
Finally, the main event of CFFC 81 will see the Featherweight championship at stake between titleholder Pat Sabatini (11-2) and Bantamweight contender James Gonzalez (5-3). Gonzalez takes this main event fight on four days’ notice following the withdrawal of Mauro Chaulet (14-6).
CFFC president Rob Haydak has promised Gonzalez the option of a Bantamweight title shot if he wins the Featherweight belt on Saturday.
All three title fights will be four rounds at five minutes per round—with a fifth round to settle the fights in the event of a draw on the judges’ scorecards should it be needed.
CFFC Bantamweight Championship: Alexander Keshtov vs, Herbeth Souza
Heading into the first title fight on Saturday, champion Keshtov is the taller man, standing 5-foot-8, two inches taller than Herbeth Souza at 5-foot-6.
Keshtov has yet to lose in his professional MMA career, most recently scoring a unanimous decision against Andre Bernardo in CFFC 71 on Dec. 14, 2018.
In the other corner, challenger Souza has posted a 4-1 record in his last five fights and enters this fight on a four-match winning streak. Last time out, he stopped Taigro Costa (first-round submission- guillotine choke) in Future FC 7 back in July of 2019.
Ordinarily, at this point, we’d mention who has the advantage on the tale of the tape as per Tapology, but no such information is available for this particular pairing.
Prediction: Keshtov by unanimous decision.
Co-Main Event: CFFC Middleweight Championship: Kyle Daukaus vs. Nolan Norwood
Heading into Saturday night’s co-main event, champion Kyle Daukaus is the taller contestant at 6-foot-1, an inch taller than challenger Norwood at six feet even.
Daukaus has yet to lose in his professional MMA career, most recently scoring a second-round submission (D’arce choke) vs. Stephen Regman during CFFC 78 back in September on Fight Pass.
In the other corner, Norwood has posted a record of 3-2 in his last five contests and enters Saturday night’s co-main event on a two-fight win streak.
Last time out, he stopped Christopher Anthony back in May of 2019 (second-round knockout) during Friction FC 4.
The Tale of the Tape
Champion Daukaus has a 76-inch reach, with no such information for challenger Norwood on Tapology.
Prediction: Kyle Daukaus by first-round knockout.
Main Event: CFFC Featherweight Championship: Pat Sabatini vs. James Gonzalez
Heading into the main attraction on Saturday night, both fighters stand level at 5-foot-9.
Champion Sabatini has posted a 4-1 record in his last five contests, entering on a four-fight win streak. Most recently, he scored a second-round submission (rear-naked choke) against Fabricio Oliveira last May in CFFC 74.
In the other corner, challenger Gonzalez has posted a mark of 3-2 in his last five appearances, losing two of his last three. Last time out, he scored a first-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage- cut) vs. Giorgi Kudukhashvili in CFFC 77 in August.
Again, we’d ordinarily mention who has the edge on the tale of the tape as per Tapology at this stage, but there’s no such information for this pairing.
Prediction: Pat Sabatini by unanimous decision.
For a complete glance at the CFFC 81 card, take a look
CFFC 81 at a Glance
Undercard: 6 p.m. EST, 3 p.m. PST, Facebook Live
Main Card: 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST, UFC Fight Pass
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