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Premier Fighting Championship 24
Three new amateur champions crowned

Fighters Malek Mahmoud and Miguel Cuevas
Malek Mahmoud strikes Miguel Cuevas during Premier Fighting Championship 24 on November 11.
Photo by John Fulcher  
By Brian Woodman Jr.

(Nov. 11-Agawam, MA) Pat Casey (7-2) of Team Link was clearly the local favorite Saturday evening at the Chez Josef restaurant, which hosted Premiere FC 24. But even the vocal support of the crowd did not prevent Jesse Kosakowski (5-0) from using his grappling skills to submit Casey with a rear naked choke with 22 second remaining in the final round of an amateur welterweight title fight. 
   Casey, who won both the welterweight and middleweight titles for the Premier Fighting Championship organization earlier this year, appeared dominant during the first four rounds of the evening‘s ninth bout. Casey brought Kosakowski to the ground early in the first round, later catching one of his kicks and tossing him. Kosakowski, who fought in southpaw stance, showed a little skill on the ground -- during the second round he executed a Judo-style body throw in mid-tumble while laying on his back. But Casey appeared confident during the clinching and stand-up, bringing Kosakowski to the ground with a double-leg takedown in the second round and throwing him in the third after the challenger stuffed a single-leg takedown attempt. Casey appeared to do damage with single, powerful shots during the punching exchanges in the fourth round following a referee stoppage -- he attempted a single-leg takedown as the round ended. But after the fight went to the ground during the fifth round Kosakowski took Casey’s back and controlled the round up until the submission,
   The fourth and fifth bouts were also amateur title fights. Both were first-round TKO victories. 
Nick Giulletti (4-1) of Ultimate MMA secured the155-pound amateur belt after defeating Antoine Caparotta (4-3) of South Shore Fighting. Giulletti tackled Caparotta and brought him to he ground with a double-leg takedown, eventually securing a bully mount and dropping bombs. The referee waved the fight off with seven seconds left in the round.
   Malek Mahmud (4-0) of Hettes MMA unloaded on Miguel Cuevas (3-1) of BattleCrew with a flurry of punches early in the 145-pound fight that followed. Although Cuevas appeared dazed in the middle of it, he was still on his fight and appeared angry when the referee waved the fight off with an estimated 20 seconds left in the round.
   The rest of the evening’s eleven fights were all three-round bouts. Five of them were professional fights.
The event opened with a 165-pound amateur fight between Jason Showers (1-6) of Team Extreme Ambition and Chris Almestica (1-1) of Team Link. Almestica finished the fight with ground-and-pound as the referee waved the fight off at 1:36 in the first round, winning by TKO due to unanswered strikes.

Nick Giulietti, top, and Antoine Caparotta
Nick Giulietti, top, and Antoine Caparotta grapple
during Premier Fighting Championship 24 on November 11.                            Photo by John Fulcher  
   The next fight was a 145-pound amateur bout between Christian Robinson (1-2) of the team Cerroe and Randy Francis (1-4) of Daryl’s Camp. Robinson secured a bully mount and launched a ground-and-pound attack early in the first round, eventually taking Francis’s back and attempting a rear naked choke. But Francis slipped out of it and they resumed a striking exchange as the round ended. 
   Francis pinned Robinson against the fence during the second round, but they wound up on the ground again with the latter on top as it ended. The two exchanged strikes during the third round, ending up on the ground as the fight ended.
   Francis won the fight by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring it 29-28.
   Yu Ji (1-0) of Team Radical generally dominated Josh Jones (2-2) of First MMA in the 185-pound amateur fight that followed. 
   The sixth bout marked the first professional fight -- a 205-pound bout between Jahnell Parkinson (1-0) of Gracie Secor and Victor Irwin (0-1). It ended with Parkinson, who favored southpaw stance, winning a split decision with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28.
   Irwin attempted a sideways choke hold during the first round as they went to the ground, but Parkinson reversed the positions and tried for a rear naked choke. Parkinson attempted a single-leg takedown but the round ended in a punching exchange.

   Irwin unloaded strikes on Parkinson in the second round following some clinching, appearing visibly fatigued as the round progressed. Irwin chased Parkinson during part of the third round, which ended with cautious stand-up.
   Reginaldo Felix (2-2) of Team Link secured a first round TKO by leg strikes at 2:49, defeating Mine Hansen (1-4) of Team Berkshires in a 185-pound fight.
   Geoffrey Then (1-1) of American Top Team secured a submission win by triangle choke in the second round of a 135-pound fight. His opponent, Magdiel Matias (0-1) of Team Will Izzary, got his legs around Then’s neck early in the first round after being slammed, and caught one of his kicks before throwing him in the second. But Then generally dominated the fight.
   The tenth bout, a 160-pound fight between Kastriot Xhema (1-1) of American Top Team and Keenan Raymond (3-4) of Team Calvicante ended in a no-contest following a doctor’s stoppage. Raymond sustained an eye poke and a visibly concerned Xhema left the cage without replying to a commentator’s questions.
   Keenan Locinov (6-4) of Team Link defeated fellow welterweight Gil Pinheiro (2-4) of Thornton MMA by split decision in the evening’ final bout. The two came out swinging and went to the ground in the first round, with Locinov in Pinheiro‘s half guard. . Locinov used ground-and-pound attacks to generally dominated the second round, which was marked by a referee stoppage. 
   Although both me were visibly fatigued by the third round, Locinov scored a double-leg takedown and attempted ground-and-pound. Pinheiro attempted in guillotine choke in the middle of the round.
Jahnell Parkinson, left, versus Victor Irwin
Jahnell Parkinson, left, versus Victor Irwin at Chez Josef on November 11.
Photo by John Fulcher