If you missed EFP Cage Madness 38, you missed a good one.  If you were there, you understand why it is not just one of the longest running MMA events in Northeast Ohio, but why it is also one of the most popular MMA events among fans and fighters throughout much of the Midwest Region.  One of the things that MMA fans have learned about EFP Cage Madness events is that even if they have never heard of some of the fighters on the fight card, it is still well worth going.  Promoter Dannon Svab and match maker Scott Corbin know that there are several Topnotch MMA training centers throughout the Midwest Region with all kinds of exciting MMA fighters.  They also know that these centers always have fighters who are chomping at the bits for chance to step into the cage.

Even when EFP Cage Madness features amateur fighters who are making their MMA debut against opponents who have never lost a fight, and pro fighters who have lost more fights than they have won, fans still get to see the type of MMA fights that makes it virtually impossible to figure out who is going to win.  Part of reason is because the EFP promoter and match maker have built a reputation for reaching out to many of the Top MMA training centers around the region and stacking the fight card with fighters, especially amateur fighters, with strong fighting backgrounds in wrestling, boxing, jujitsu/grappling, judo, etc.  And Cage Madness 38 fight card was no exception.

Within an hour or so after Cage Madness 38 got underway this past Saturday evening, it would have been almost impossible to just walk in and find even a place to stand where you could see what was causing hundreds of fans to keep making so much noise.  That’s because not only was the fight card stacked with fighters who were well trained and prepared for this fight, but with fighters who also knew that if there was ever a good time to win a match, it would be in front of this huge Cage Madness crowd.


Bout-15:   Dusting Kempf -defeats- Michael Shields  – (Main Event)

By the time Dustin Kempf (7-8), the hometown favorite from Carrolton, Oh and Michael Shields (2-7) from Spencer, Indiana stepped into the cage for the main event, the huge crowd had already seen lots of big wins and losses and a few explosive comebacks. Now they were waiting to see if the last hometown favorite could end the night by pulling off a victory and end his four fight losing streak.  ¢ Michael Shields was coming in fresh off of two fights earlier this year. He won the first one, lost the last one, and was looking to finally get his third win as a pro.  ¢ Dustin Kempf had lost his last 4 fights in a row and this was also the first time he had been in the cage in almost a year.  But many in the huge crowd knew that his last 4 losses came as a results of going up against some of the toughest MMA fighters in the region, fighters like Frank Caraballo, Isaiah Chapman, Kyle Rozewski and Mathew Egner. At the outset of the match Shields came right out firing off a combination of very strong punches followed by a few powerful leg kicks.  About a minute and a half into the round Shields landed a powerful leg kick that knocked Kempf off balance and down onto the mat after.   But Kempf was able to get back to his feet before Shields could pin him down.  Shortly after they got back on their feet, Kempf fired off a combination of powerful punches and leg kicks of his own forcing Shields to cover up, clinch and forcing the fight to the ground.  It was there that Kempf used his strong grappling background to stop Shields at 2 min. 1 sec of the 1st round with a Guillotine Choke.

Bout 14:   Marc McDonald -defeats- Josh Rohler – (Co-Main Event)

When Marc McDonald (1-0) from Cincinnati, Oh (representing G-Force MMA), and Josh Rohler (0-1) from Akron, Oh (representing Evolve MMA) stepped into the cage for their professional MMA debut against each other, you could tell by the noise from the crowd that this was the most anticipated match of the night.  There were at least 300 fans in the huge crowd who had come specifically to see this match and to cheer for Josh Rohler and at least half that many more who made the three and half hour trip up from Cincinnati, Oh to cheer for their favorite, Marc McDonald.  There were a few things about this match-up that definitely ranked it about as high as any MMA debut that has ever been held anywhere in the Midwest Region.  ¢ When Josh Rohler made his amateur MMA debut just over a year ago, he already had an outstanding wrestling background that started when he was still a young kid and continued all the way through four years of college.  By the time he stepped into the cage for the first time he had also developed the ability to grapple and use kicks and punches extremely well.  Within just 9 months after his amateur debut (Feb, 8 – Nov. 26 of 2014) he fought 6 times, won 5, lost only 1.  Only 2 of his fights went past the first round, once when he won by unanimous decision, and once when he lost by unanimous decision. ¢ Marc McDonald was just barely old enough to legally step into the cage and fight when he made his MMA debut back in February of 2013.  When he decided to become involved in MMA, he joined and began his MMA training at one of the best MMA training camps in the Midwest Region.  By November of 2013, he had already fought 8 times and lost only once. Between January and June of 2014, he had fought 5 more times, won 3, and lost 2. His amateur MMA career included fighting 7 times in title matches, either for a new title, or to defend one of his titles. His amateur career wins included everything from a first round KO to a couple of unanimous decisions.  With a MMA record like McDonald already has at the age of 22, it was no wonder so many MMA fans wanted to be there to see if he was going to be able to pull off a victory over 27 Josh Rohler who was coming in after winning 5 out of his last 6 fights within the past year.  Four of those wins came in the first rounds – the first two by submissions, the third by KO, and the last by TKO.  There were no KO’s, TKO’s, or Submissions in the McDonald vs Rohler fight, just an epic MMA battle with lots of hard kicks, punches, great takedowns, pins, incredible escapes, and many close calls that left both fighter with bloody faces and bruises, and no one knowing who won until the ring announcer announced that the judges had declared it a Unanimous Decisions for Marc McDonald.

BOUT 13:  Devonte Smith  -defeats-   Josh Mosley

Devonte Smith (1-0) from Cleveland, Oh (representing Evolve MMA) was making his pro MMA debut against Josh Mosley (1-2) from Baltimore, Md (representing Raww Dogg MMA).  ¢ Josh Mosley, a very tough fighter, was looking to do whatever he needed to stop Smith and improve his pro record to 2 and 1.  But it didn’t take long for him to realize that facing Devonte Smith also meant that he was facing one of the toughest up and coming MMA fighters in the region.  ¢ Devonte Smith was stepping into the cage with 4 wins and 1 draw which he had established just before his last amateur match 4 months ago.  His last 4 wins in 2014 include 2 by Submissions, 2 by TKO, and 1 by Decision.  And this time he was the hometown favorite and the place was packed to gill with cheering fans for all of the hometown favorites.  His powerful striking techniques and the adrenalin rush that he got as a result of hundreds of screaming fans was enough to help him to stop Mosley via KO at 4:29 of the 1st round and start his professional MMA career off with a huge win.


It’s not too often that the venue where a MMA event is being held is filled almost to capacity even before the opening bell of the first round, especially when the first 12 matches are all amateur bouts. But that is exactly what happened this past Saturday at EFP Cage Madness 38 in Akron, Oh. It was because there was something about several of the amateur fighters on this fight card that no one in the huge crowd wanted to miss. There were fighters like Nick Brashear who came looking to extend his win streak to 5-0, but first he needed to defeat his opponent fair and square this time, because the last time they fought, the match ended in a No Contest.  There was also Myles Robinson who was looking to make this his 3rd win in a row since his amateur debut just 5 months ago.  Some in the crowd remember watching J’Mar Moore score a KO over his opponent in 1:12 of the 1st round in his debut match. They wanted to see if he could do it again.  Nikolai Gionti was coming in with a record of 3 wins and no losses. This was his third Cage Madness appearance in a row since last November and he came looking to make this his 4th win in a row.  Just about everyone who knew Logan Urban, who won both of his matches since his amateur debut just over a year ago, were about 99% sure that he was going to win, but they did not want to miss being there in person to see how he was going to do it.  Kayla Potts knew that the thing about a MMA debut in front of a huge crowd of MMA fans like this one, is that the result as far as her MMA career goes could as the saying goes, “make or break her.” But all she wanted was a chance to prove that she was ready.  20 year old AJ Wilkins who took his opponent out in just 0.54  of the 1st round via TKO in his debut match this past May at Cage Madness 36 was back to prove that he was ready to put his second win in a row in record books.


Professional Bouts

13th BOUT: Pro 155 – Devonte Smith (1-0) representing Evolve MMA from Cleveland, Oh -DEFEATS- Josh Mosley (1-2) representing Team Raww Dogg from Baltimore, Md   Method of Defeat: KO 4:29 in the 1st round.


14th BOUT: Pro 145 lbs – Marc McDonald (1-0) representing Team G-Force from Cincinnati, Oh -DEFEATS- Josh Rohler (0-1) representing Evolve MMA from Akron, Oh   Method of Defeat: Unanimous Decision.


15th BOUT: 145 lb – Dustin Kempf (7-8) representing Victory MMA from Carolton, OH -DEFEATS- Michael Shields (2-7) representing Turdleback MMA and Kickboxing from Blumington, IN   Method of Defeat: Guillotine Choke 2:01 in the 1st round.

Amateur Bouts

1st BOUT: Super Heavyweight – James Neff (2-2) representing Team Chaos from Navarre, OH  -DEFEATS-  Chris Harvey (0-2) an independent fighter from Akron, Oh   Method of Defeat: TKO 52 seconds in the 1st round.

2nd  BOUT: 155 lb – Josh Faison (3-7) representing MTZ Hornets from Warren, OH  -DEFEATS-  Daniel Kimble (1-3) representing Team Chaos from Dover, Oh   Method of Defeat: TKO 2:53 in the 2nd round.

3rd BOUT: 185 lb – Joe Wheeler (2-1) an independent fighter from Akron, OH  -DEFEATS-  Tim Hayes (0-1) representing Wrestling Factory from Cleveland, Oh   Method of Defeat: TKO 15 seconds in the 1st round.

4th BOUT: 155 lb – Myles Robinson (3-0) representing Westside MMA from Columbus, OH  -DEFEATS-  Chris Roe (1-1) an independent fighter from Big Prairie, Oh   Method of Defeat: TKO 2:59 in the 1st round.

5th BOUT: 145 lb – J’Mar Moore (2-0) representing Rockhard MMA from Akron, OH  -DEFEATS-  Dustin Bates (1-1) representing Freedom Fighters MMA from Dover, Oh   Method of Defeat: Guillotine Choke 37 seconds in the 1st rounds.

6th BOUT: 125 lb – AJ Wilkins (2-0) representing Stout Training from Pittsburgh, PA  -DEFEATS-  Jeffrey Offak (1-2) representing GriffinRawl MMA from Euclid, Oh   Method of Defeat: Unanimous Decision.

7th BOUT: 145 lb – KO Butler (3-1) representing Hardrock MMA from Canton, OH  -DEFEATS-  Joshua Barbee (4-6) representing Team Choas from New Philadelphia, Oh   Method of Defeat: TKO 2:18 in the 3rd round.

8th BOUT: 145 lb – Ahmad Douglas (4-2) representing GriffinRawl MMA from Pittsburgh, PA  -DEFEATS-  Cody Hier (3-2) representing Renzo Gracie from Pittsburgh, PA    Method of Defeat: KO 9 seconds in the 1st round.

9th BOUT: 110 lb – Kayla Potts (1-0) representing Team Kaos from New Philadelphia, OH  -DEFEATS-  Leigh-Ann Baskey (0-1) representing Team Bundy from Youngstown, OH    Method of Defeat: Guillotine Choke 2:05 in the 3rd round.

10th BOUT: 170 lb – Logan Urban (3-0) representing GriffinRawl MMA from Mentor, OH  -DEFEATS-  Robert Johnston (1-2) an independent fighter from Conneaut, OH     Method of Defeat: TKO 16 seconds in the 1st round.

11th BOUT: 125 lb – Nikolai Gionti (4-0) representing GriffinRawl MMA from Mentor, PA  -DEFEATS-  Dante Pennacho (5-3) representing Next Level MMA from Warren, OH    Method of Defeat: Guillotine Choke 4:37 in the 2nd round.

12th BOUT: Super Heavyweight – Nick Brashear (5-0) representing Kim’s Martial Arts from Cleveland, OH -DEFEATS- Eddy Faision (5-6) representing MTZ Hornets from Warren, OH.  Method of Defeat:  Unanimous Decision

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