The holiday season is in full effect. With the final shopping days before Christmas ticking down, just about everybody is in search of a great gift.
On Friday night, one MMA promotion is offering two presents that wouldn’t ever be found in Santa’s workshop. Atlantic City-based Cage Fury Fighting Championships is giving out belts at the top of CFFC 128 with a championship doubleheader.
As is now customary, live coverage of CFFC 128 kicks off Friday at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT on the promotion’s OnlyFans feed before switching over to UFC Fight Pass at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT with the main card from Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in its home city. Barring any late postponements over the rest of this week, the final version of CFFC 128 features 12 bouts.
Lightweight Supremacy Focus of CFFC 128 Main Event
After the promotion’s light heavyweight championship is awarded for the first time in over four years during the co-main event, the headlining affair sees the 155-lb. strap at stake. Incumbent champion Robert Watley (13-3 MMA, 3-0 CFFC) defends his strap for the first time when he takes on challenger Armando Gjetja (8-3 MMA, CFFC promotional debut.)
Like all title bouts in CFFC, the CFFC 128 main event is an advertised maximum of four rounds at five minutes per round to close the show. If the scorecards produce a draw after four rounds, a fifth round will be held to break the deadlock.
🎟️ 𝑳𝒊𝒎𝒊𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒆’𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒔𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒕: pic.twitter.com/hWKvWiWdTi
— Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) (@CFFCMMA) December 11, 2023
CFFC 128 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the CFFC 128 main event on Friday night, challenger Armando Gjetja stands as the taller man at 5-foot-11, compared to the 5-foot-9 frame of champion Robert Watley. Watley owns a 75-inch reach, with no such information available for Armando Gjetja at press time.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the oddsmakers had yet to release money lines for Friday’s CFFC 128. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Robert Watley Ready for Most Important Fight of His Career
Champion Robert Watley enters the CFFC 128 main event on Friday night having posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights. A veteran of both the PFL and the LFA, Watley is currently on a two-fight winning streak.
Most recently, he scored a majority decision against Cedric Gunnison (7-2 MMA, 3-2 CFFC) during CFFC 122’s main event to take the title. Now, as he stares the first defense of the belt in the face, he mentioned in an interview with CFFC.tv that the CFFC 128 main event is a critical one.
“I think leading into this next fight, where it’s the last fight on my contract, I’m 34 years old,” Watley pondered. “I’m an old man. Basically, this is it. All the marbles are in this one. I was talking to someone. I said, ‘If I come out and fight a disappointing or lackluster [bout], even if I get a victory, it’s just as bad as a loss in my position.’ So, yeah. So I have to come out, I have to be impressive. I have to be devastating.”
These are confident words from the champion, but can he deliver when the time comes on Friday night? Tune into the CFFC 128 main event and find out.
Armando Gjetja Joins CFFC After Successful Stint in Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat
In the other corner, challenger Armando Gjetja boasts a perfect 5-0 record in his last five contests. All told, he’s on a six-fight winning streak. This is his first appearance under the CFFC promotional banner after spending the last two years in the Ring of Combat active roster.
Back in September, he bested Jacob Bohn (13-11 MMA) by unanimous decision in Ring of Combat 81, but he’s still hoping to one day get a telephone call from a major MMA promotion. He told CFFC.tv that this fight can be a stepping stone to that goal.
“I’m at this point in my career that I’m just trying to knock hard at the doors of bigger promotions,” Gjetja explained. “In the past couple of fights, it didn’t work. I’m going to keep knocking on the doors harder.”
A win in the CFFC 128 main event would make seven consecutive victories for the challenger. Add to that winning streak a championship belt, and Armando Gjetja has an impressive resume that would be next to impossible for any major promotion to ignore.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Friday’s CFFC 128 main event is a classic strength versus strength affair. Both champion and challenger can bring the heat inside the cage.
Robert Watley Has a Brilliant Ground Game
Champion Robert Watley is known for being brutal on the cage mat. Round three of his LFA fight versus Daryl Wilson from 2017 is proof of that.
A few seconds after the round began, Watley dumped Wilson and pinned him to the ground. From there, he searched for an opening to land some ground and pound shots, letting loose with punches as the final 90 seconds of the round approached.
One-way traffic ensued until the referee pulled Watley away from Wilson and called off the fight for a successful defense of the LFA Lightweight Championship. If Watley takes Gjetja to the mat even once, he can find a lane to score with ground and pound.
Don’t Discount Gjetja’s Ability to Score the Knockout
In the other corner, Armando Gjetja can also land the big finish. He had the power in his amateur days, especially in his fight against Nataniel Desir in 2019.
Desir’s corner could have thrown in the towel between rounds, but he went back out there for a third round. It wouldn’t matter.
Gjetja absorbed a leg kick before returning fire with a high kick. At this point, he bided his time, waiting to land the knockout blow. With 30 seconds left in the fight, Gjetja executed a high left kick, knocking Desir out on contact.
One blow from Gjetja can end this fight. It’s happened before.
The CFFC 128 main event is another one of those contests where the fighters are at a crossroads. At the same time, the victor will have a career-defining win on his resume.
Prediction: Armando Gjetja by First-Round Knockout.
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) December 11, 2023