Tonight, Luna Park’s Big Top Stadium in Sydney, Australia plays host to the inaugural event of the 2011 season for the nation’s longest running MMA promotion, Cage Fighting Championships (CFC). Headlining CFC 16: Lombard vs. Doerksen is reigning concurrent CFC and Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (25-2) putting not only his belt on the line for a sixth time, but also his four-year long win streak that saw him capture two titles and left a trail of knocked out opponents in his wake when he faces UFC veteran and hard nosed submission specialist “El Dirte” Joe Doerksen (44-14). Doerksen is looking to put an end to his two-fight skid, and taking out a powerhouse and top ten middleweight in Lombard will surely sweeten the win and make an impressive addition to his resume. The co-main event pits Sydney’s own “Chalate” Manuel Rodriguez (7-1) against New Zealand native “Hot Rod” Rod MacSwain (12-2) in a high stakes No. 1 contender bout for the promotion’s welterweight title currently held by American fighter Jesse Juarez (13-4). Also backing the two action packed bouts is a night full of Australian fight veterans and young guns looking to stake claims in Aussie’s premier MMA promotion, Cage Fighting Championships.
Hector Lombard vs. Joe Doerksen: Lombard has been called the most dominant champion in the middleweight division, even referred to by some as “the Mike Tyson of MMA” because of his powerful striking and brutal knockouts. The former Olympian is a fourth degree Judo black belt but his talent for the sweet science of boxing has become his main arsenal. Doerksen is a seasoned veteran that has in excess of 60 pro fights and is arguably one of the top Jiu-Jitsu experts in the game. At the end of 2010 “El Dirte” was released from the UFC after consecutive losses to “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (11-3) and Dan Miller (13-5). With his long term goal being back in the good graces of the UFC, his more immediate prerogative is pulling off an upset win over Lombard in tonight’s main event. Lombard is returning to business for the first time since his first title defense in October over ”The Storm” Alexander Shelmenko (29-4). Slated to face UFC, Strikeforce, and SuperBrawl veteran “Niko” Falaniko Vitale (27-8) in a non-title fight at Bellator 44 in just under two months, “Shango” apparently wanted a snack before his return to the Bellator cage and retreated to his adopted home of Australia to fight for his long time fans. Lombard’s game plan is not a guessing game – he will come in with his hands up and ready to throw bombs and knock out whoever is in front of him. Doerksen’s strategy, however, is to get the fight to the mat where he would have a slight advantage in the submission department, but taking this particular battle to the ground may prove difficult even for the veteran “El Dirte”. The fight always starts standing and Lombard has the excellent takedown defense, Judo background, and Samson-like strength that poses a dangerous threat in the clinch. Doerksen has a world class of experience backing him in this fight against the man called “Shango” but Lombard’s hunger for tougher opponents keeps him in top form. Expect Lombard to make quick work of Doerksen and leave plenty of time to greet his Aussie fans. Lombard via KO, Round 1.
Manuel Rodriguez vs. Rod MacSwain: When a title shot is on the line, generally fans can expect one of two things: a snooze fest where neither competitor is willing to go astray from the safety of his forte at risk of losing, or a slug fest where the challengers are willing to lay it all on the line for the chance of becoming a world champion. With Rodriguez and MacSwain, two young men coming into their prime, expect a war until only one is left standing. MacSwain is the more experienced fighter who has won by finishes and decisions and himself has never been finished in a professional bout. Rodriguez has submitted all but one of his opponents within the first round and has allowed just a single bout to go to the judges’ score cards. The ground game advantage will likely belong to Rodriguez, whereas the striking department will swing in MacSwain’s favor. However “Chalate” has been submitted himself; MacSwain could use his striking and experience to frustrate the younger Rodriguez into making a mistake and lock in the fight ending submission or finish the fight after a well placed punch. With a shot at the CFC Middleweight Championship within each man’s grasp both “Chalate” and “Hot Rod” will undoubtedly come out ready for a hard fought war, but it likely will be the more experienced striker MacSwain whose hand will be raised at the end of the night after he punishes his opponent with strikes for the better part of 15 minutes. MacSwain via Unanimous Decision.
The full CFC 16: Lombard vs. Doerksen fight card:
CFC Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard vs. Joe Doerkson (title fight, rumored to take place at a 190lbs. catchweight)
Manuel Rodriguez vs. Rod MacSwain (No.1 welterweight title contendership)
Jason Harris (3-4) vs. “Major” Josh Payne (6-5)
Nick Honstein (6-3) vs. Matt Wilkin (3-1)
Chris Woranjanouski (0-0) vs. Alex Li (2-0)
Charlie Sukkar (1-0) vs. TBA
Zein Saliba (0-0) vs. Chris Carter (0-2)
Marcelo Altieri (0-0) vs. Phil Bell (0-0)