(PRESS RELEASE) PITTSBURGH – Thousands of fans packed inside the Greentree Sportsplex in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday night, producing yet another sold-out crowd for the Steel City’s premiere mixed martial arts organization. In the main event, Mark “The Pride of Bloomfield” Cherico (6-0) kept his perfect record intact by defeating veteran Brady “The Alpha Male” Hovermale(9-4) via unanimous decision.
After being unbeaten in 14 fights with all 14 coming via stoppage, that latter streak was finally snapped for Cherico on the night, although it was snapped in his most complete performance as a fighter. Already perhaps the best featherweight prospect in the nation, Cherico continued to showcase his improved striking put together with his already impressive wrestling prowess. After an even first round, Cherico took control in the second frame and never looked back. Hovermale stayed on the defensive for much of the rest of the fight, but he was successful in fending off submission attempts from Cherico. In the end, however, it was Cherico who took home the victory, earning scores of 29-28, 30-27, and 29-28.
The night’s co-main event fight of the night left the fans in attendance in awe, as Rob Hanna (4-0) survived an early onslaught from Joey “The Hitman” Holt (3-2) to turn the tide and eventually product the biggest comeback in PinnacleFC history. Holt was aggressive early in the fight, dropping Hanna with a thunderous right hand and then following up with a left hand that wobbled the Dayton product. To his credit, Hanna walked through the punches and turned the momentum his way in the second half of the first round. The next two rounds were all Hanna, as he found his groove by following his strikes in to a clinch position and landing takedowns. Both fighters earned the respect of the fans after a grinding fight, as fans began chanting the names of both prior to the final bell. All three judges gave Hanna a score of 29-28 for a unanimous decision victory.
In the second co-headliner, Khama “The Death Star” Worthy (5-2) extended his winning streak to four in a row, as he flattened Jacob “The Blasian Persuasion” Butler (2-2) with a right hand just 26 seconds into the fight to earn perhaps the most impressive knockout of the night. The pro card was rounded out with an entertaining featherweight battle, as a new and improved Francis “Mad Dog” Healy (3-1) earned a decision victory over Ohio’s Chris “Kid Dynamite” Dunn (7-4) in a back-and-forth affair.
The amateur card showcased some of the best talent in the Ohio Valley region, as three titles were decided on the night. Jerrell “Thunderkat” Hodge (11-1) capped off an impressive amateur career with yet another title, as he wrangled the PinnacleFC featherweight title from Rich “The Baby Face Bull” Cantolina (10-7) with a solid three-round performance.
Eric “Sizzle” Bledose (5-0) was the only fighter to successfully defend his title on the card, as he followed up his impressive knockout over Matt Conahan with a masterful wrestling and grappling performance in a victory over “Prince” Fadi Shuman (4-2) at lightweight. After the fight, Bledsoe revealed his intentions to jump to the pro ranks.
And finally, Darnell “Achilles” Pettis (8-3) closed out his amateur career with yet another title, as the Ohio native earned the bantamweight title with an emphatic knockout over former champion“Dangerous” Dave Crockett (6-2) in the third round. After both fighters landed big shots throughout the fight, it was Pettis who hit the home run, flattening Crockett with a right hand on the chin in the third frame.
A pair of fighters threw their names into the ring for shots at what will now be vacant titles, as Jake Schilling (5-1) became the No. 1 contender at 145 pounds, while Devonte Smith (4-2) is now a top contender at 155 pounds.
PinnacleFC 7 will go down at the Greentree Sportsplex on May 24, as Cody “No Love” Garbrandt (3-0) will take on James Porter (7-2) for the first-ever PinnacleFC professional bantamweight title in the main event.
Mike Baker (1-0) def. Roger Williams (0-1) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alec Hohman (2-0) def. Daniel Coffman (2-3) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Devonte Smith (4-2) def. Zack Grossman (3-3) via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:40
Jake Schilling (5-1) def. Russ Brletrick (8-6) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Darnell Pettis (8-3) def. Dave Crockett (6-2) via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 0:55) – for bantamweight title
Eric Bledsoe (5-0) def. Fadi Shuman (4-2) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – for lightweight title
Jerrell Hodge (11-1) def. Rich Cantolina (10-7) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – for featherweight title
Francis Healy (3-1) def. Chris Dunn (7-4) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Khama Worthy (5-2) def. Jacob Butler (2-2) via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:26
Rob Hanna (4-0) def. Joey Holt (3-2) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mark Cherico (6-0) def. Brady Hovermale (9-4) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Photo credit: Christopher Nolan/Metcon Photos