Albrights are alright, brothers victorious at XFE 25
Brett Martinez made quick work of Dean Lavin in the headlining bout of XFE 25 (Xtreme Fight Events) at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pa., Aug. 17.
Martinez, a Bellator and Cage Fury Fighting Championship veteran earned his sixth career win and righted his ship after a loss to Scott “the Animal” Heckman in February. Martinez submitted Lavin with a standing guillotine choke in the first round.
Although Martinez headlined the event, the night’s true success story came in the form of brothers who had both their hands raised in victory, both catching the eye of scouts and matchmakers in attendance.
Eric Albright earns USCS Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night
In the co-main event Eric Albright put on a clinic in every sense and form of the word while doing battle with Paul Sweda.
Albright’s new bride sat cageside along with an entire army of friends and family all wearing yellow shirts supporting him and younger brother, Chris. Mrs. Albright refused to watch, covering her face and tearing up at times, although there was no real reason for her to worry.
Albright earned the USCS Submission of the Night and also Fight of the Night with his scarfhold shoulder lock win at 2:31 in the first round. The elder Albright had Sweda locked up almost in a crucifix position, trapping his arm with his legs and somehow managing to twist it backwards like a kimura.
As spectacular as the submission was, that was not the only jaw dropping moment during this short, yet fast-paced fight. At one point Albright dropped Sweda with a right hand and it appeared as if the fight was over. Somehow Sweda managed to stay in the fight and just seconds later Albright tossed his opponent with a judo toss that would have Ronda Rousey or Karo Parisyan taking notes.
Pat “the Punisher” Russo made headlines earlier in the week as the Pennsylvania State Trooper announced that he would donate his entire fight purse (earnings) to help fight animal abuse. Russo, who trains at Hammer Training and Fitness in Allentown, heads the area’s animal abuse cases and has started a non-profit called Hammer Out Animal Cruelty.
Unfortunately things did not turn out the way Russo had hoped, as goes the sport of MMA where anything can happen, and the light heavyweight fighter suffered a loss at the hands of Darnell Hayes who recorded his first professional victory in five attempts. With the submission due to strikes Hayes also earned the USCS Knockout of the Night.
After the fight Russo announced his retirement from the sport, however, fans are hopeful that he will rethink the decision and continue fighting the good fight.
If there were a category for USCS Round of the Night it would surely go to the first round of a heated fight between the “Bethlehem Brawler,” Mike Liberto and Doug Haupt. Some of Liberto’s fans were egging Haupt on which began to build on and frustrate Haupt.
Liberto lit Haupt up with heavy hands for the better part of two minutes and it was a miracle he did not go down. Fortunately for Haupt his mouthpiece came out and the referee paused the action, possibly saving him from further damage in the round.
Once the fight continued, Haupt was again heckled and now the two fighters started trading words which led to a few shots thrown at each other even after the bell rang signifying the end of the first round. Although there was a moment of bad sportsmanship displayed by the two warriors, the crowd was loving the action.
Unfortunately for the fans most of the action that ensued in the first round stalled in the second and third and Liberto was awarded a unanimous decision victory. Again, the two fighters continued to throw verbal blows at each other hopefully leading matchmakers to schedule rounds four, five and six at a future XFE card.
The opening rounds of the 145 and 155 pound tournaments concluded at XFE 25 with fighters moving on toward the next step in claiming gold.
Tristate MMA’s Anthony McGlynn of East Stroudsburg made short work of Tyler Vajda with an anaconda chokes submission at 1:41 of the first round.
McGlynn squared off for photo opportunities opposite Timothy Kunkel who was also victorious earlier in the night. Kunkel also ended his bout in the first round and in spectacular fashion as he left Jules Knighton with a large knot over his left eye and then forced the referee to call an end to the fight after he applied a guillotine choke submission. The fight lasted just 19 seconds.
Kunkel vs. McGlynn should be an exciting bout for the fans.
Chris Albright earned a unanimous decision win over heavy handed Justin Flaharty in the first fight of the night. The two fighters threw bombs at each other for the better part of three rounds but it was Chris is dominated Flaharty and scored a huge slam that eventually sealed the deal. As the decision was read Flaharty shook his head in agreement with the judges’ scorecards knowing he would have had to do more to earn their nod.
Not that Eddie Alvarez
When 125 pound Eddie Alvarez was called to the cage many fight fans looked back and forth at each other wondering if the pride of Philadelphia’s Fight Factory and former Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez was on the card. No, the two are not one in the same, however, this young fighter still put on an exciting bout.
Alvarez was warned early in the round for grabbing the fence and just moments later the fight had paused after Ricci Bass provided Alvarez with a cup check shot to the groin. After regaining composure the two men traded jabs again until Alvarez returned the favor and landed a knee to Ricci’s groin area.
Alvarez held onto a standing guillotine and punched a good portion of the second round sneaking in punches and knees. In between the second and third rounds Bass’ corner called it quits and Alvarez was declared the winner.
Carmelo Marrero – XFE 28
UFC, Bellator, and IFL veteran Carmelo Marrero was in the corner of several fighters throughout the night and and was also originally scheduled to be on the card. A fan shouted to Marrera “I thought you were supposed to be fighting?” to which Marrera replied “October 25”
Theatrics inside the Cage
New Jersey based fighter and wrestler Adam Atiyeh did not have his chance to shine at XFE 25 due to his opponent not showing up, something the AMA Fight Club trained fighter made note of while addressing the audience. Atiyeh, who is a flamboyant character who wears leopard print trunks when he fights and has the same design cut into his hair, did a little matchmaking of his own after the event concluded. Atiyeh called out Mike Liberto in a somewhat disrespectful fashion.
Liberto did not want to give Atiyeh the last word so he too jumped on the mic and turned down the offer stating “You had your shot in high school. I beat you in wrestling. I am not fighting you. I’m dropping to 170. You are 2-0 against me.” What Liberto really meant to say was that Atiyeh was 0-2, having one loss in wrestling followed by an MMA fight the two had at XFE 24 in June.
XFE puts on aonther fight card this coming weekend with XFE 26 in Philadelphia. For more information visit xfemma.com
Full XFE 25 Results:
145 lbs - Brett Martinez defeated Dean Lavin – 1st Round – Guillotine – Time not recorded
145 lbs – Eric Albright defeated Paul Sweda – 1st Round – 2:31 – Shoulder lock submission
205 lbs – Darnell Hayes defeated Pat Russo – 1st Round – 1:00 – Submission due to strikes
185 lbs – Mike Liberto defeated Doug Haupt – Unanimous Decision
155 lbs – Anthony McGlynn defeated Tyler Vajda – 1st Round – 1:41 – Submission from anaconda choke
125 lbs – Eddie Alvarez defeated Ricci Bass – Bass could not continue for third round – TKO stoppage in between rounds
125 lbs – Desmond Moore defeated Rick Foley – Unanimous Decision
155 lbs – Leo DaSilva defeated Dom Territo – Territo could not continue for third round – TKO stoppage in between round
155 lbs – Tim Kunkel defeated Jules Knighton – 1st Round – 0:19 – Technical Submission – Ref stopped fight after Kunkel applied a guillotine choke
145 lbs – Chris Albright defeated Justin Flaharty – Unanimous Decision
Video of Tim Kunkel vs. Jules Knighton below
Photos by Francis Zaccarro
Photos by Francis Zaccarro