Cody Anderson of Team Triumph makes pro debut in Combat Zone 43 on March 1 at Rockingham Park
SALEM, NH– Cody Anderson, who was the Notheast’s top-ranked amateur in the MMA welterweight division with an undefeated 5-0-0 record, takes a big step forward in his career when he battles the veteran and always tough Ryan “F2 Darkness” Hodge in the main event of Combat Zone’s “March Madness” at Rockingham Park on Friday, March 1.
Hodge (4-7-0), who hails from Gainesville, Florida, is coming off three consecutive losses, two of which went the distance in the cage before being decided by unanimous decision. He will be fired up as he invades the Northeast while looking to get back on the winning track. The less seasoned Anderson, who fights for Team Triumph in Nashua, NH and has been training with manager John Fain since he was 14 and won his first amateur fight by TKO at 18, will take on Hodge at 185 pounds as a middleweight.
The match-up is one of six highly competitive pro fights along with seven evenly-matched amateur bouts on the Combat Zone 43 card.
In another intriguing battle in the pro ranks, Rodrigo “The Young Lion” Almeida (9-2-0) out of Lawrence, MA and representing Team Intenze in that city and Wai Kru in Boston, comes back from a long layoff due to a knee injury and hopes to resume his winning streak in a lightweight match-up against Josh Parker (4-5-0) from Oakland, ME. Almeida, a winner of the World Fight League lightweight belt who was ranked sixth by Notheast MMA, has been rehabbing and training to get back into the cage for 18 months.
Almeida, who was beaten by the highly regarded Calvin Kattar in one of his only two defeats, had racked up three impressive victories before being sidelined on September 16, 2011. Despite the period of inaction, he can’t afford to show any ring rust when he takes on Parker, who is coming off a big win in Maine last time out when he overcame his opponent’s strong ground-and-pound game to turn the fight around and win by a guillotine choke hold.
Doors will open and 6:30 PM and the first fight on the March Madness card begins at 8:00 PM. Tickets are on sale now for $120, $90, $75, $50 and $40 and can be purchased through www.czmma.com or by calling promoter Dave George at 978-360-3846. Parking at Rockingham Park is free.
The weigh-in will be held in the Sports Club at the racetrack at 5 PM on Thursday, February 28 and the event is free and open to the public. The fighters will be available to meet with their fans and sign autographs.
The entire card for March Madness, which is subject to change is:
Cody Lightfoot 6-4 (The Shop) vs Dirlei Broenstrup 5-3 (Team Link)
Cody Anderson 0-0 (Team Triumph) vs Ryan Hodge 4-7 (F2 Arena)
Rodrigo Almeida 9-2 (IntenZe) vs Josh Parker 4-5 (Independent)
Walter Smith Cotito 1-1 (Team Triumph) vs Ray Wood 1-0 (Young’s)
John Santos 0-0 (Team Fury) vs Joey Gomez 0-0 (Team Triumph)
Ernesto Ornelas 0-2 (Choi’s Institute) vs Jimmy Alexander 0-3 (F2 Arena)
Cody Sargent 1-2 (Balanced Ground MMA) vs Jordan Pope 1-1 (GracieFighter NH)
CJ Ziogas 0-0 (Bill Jones’ Shop) vs Steven Bang 1-1 (CMBJJ)
Dominic Cofone 0-0 (Balanced Ground MMA) vs Matt Denning 0-0 (CMBJJ)
Dan Dinan 0-0 (Team Pitbull/BTT) vs Josh Batchelder 0-0 (USA Karate)
JT Harold 1-1 (Team Pitbull/BTT) vs Tollison Lewis 2-4 (Balanced Ground MMA)
Cheyenne Vazquez 1-1 (IntenZe) vs Jacob Cameron 0-0 (Independent)
Crowsneck Boutin 2-2 (Independent) vs Branden Gibbs 1-0 (CMBJJ)