CFA 10 Recap: Four Advance In Women's Featherweight TournamentDespite a number of lineup changes, Championship Fighting Alliance began its inaugural women’s featherweight title tournament tonight at CFA 10: “McSweeney vs Staring” in Coral Gables, Florida. In tonight’s co-feature, Allanna “Hands of Stone” Jones narrowly defeated Kelsey De Santis.

Highly-touted prospect Peggy “The Daywalker” Morgan advanced on to the semi-finals with a big win over Revelina “Nana” Berto. In other tournament action, Ashlee Evans-Smith avenged a 2011 loss by defeating Tori Adams, and Fallon “The Queen of Swords” Fox stopped Ericka “Pitbull” Newsome.


In the fourth and final tournament quarterfinal tonight, Jones (2-1-0) eked out a razor-thin Split Decision victory over the previously unbeaten De Santis (0-1-0), who was making her pro debut after a successful amateur career. The bout was contested almost entirely on the feet and Jones countered kicks and knees from the taller De Santis with looping punches in round one. De Santis scored a takedown late in the round and kept Jones pinned against the cage until just before the bell.

Round two was very close and Jones once again countered knees from De Santis with punches from a distance. Jones was able to evade many of De Santis’s strikes while landing counter hooks in return. Both fighters began to target the body with punches and kicks and De Santis landed stiff jabs late in the round.

With the fight still up for grabs heading into round three, it was Jones who landed a hard right hook and a standing elbow early on. She mixed up her strikes with kicks and punches and backed De Santis up with a hard right hand. De Santis landed right hands and a body kick in the late stages of the round and Jones replied with a one-two.

The close nature of the fight was reflected on the scorecards. One judge saw the fight 29-28 for De Santis, while the remaining two each scored it 29-28 for Jones, who took the Split Decision win and moves on in the tournament.


The third quarterfinal fight saw Morgan (2-0-0) take a well-deserved Unanimous Decision victory over the returning Berto (3-1-0) in a battle between two of the tournament favourites. Morgan scored takedowns in each of the first two rounds and controlled the action with short punches and elbows from the top. Berto attempted an armbar with one minute remaining in the second round, but she could not get it and Morgan was comfortably ahead on the scorecards after ten minutes.

Sensing that she was behind, Berto picked up the pace in the final round and she landed a knee and an uppercut in the clinch. Berto backed Morgan up with punches, but Morgan clinched again and tried to take Berto down to the mat. Berto fought off Morgan’s takedown attempts for more than two minutes and landed more knees late in the round.

Berto’s third-round rally was not enough to steal back the fight on the scorecards. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Morgan, who earned her biggest win to date and is now seen by many as the frontrunner to win the tournament.


Tonight’s second quarterfinal bout, a rematch from February 2011, ended with Evans-Smith (1-0-0) making a successful pro debut by edging out Adams (1-1-0) via a close Unanimous Decision. After an early exchange of punches, Adams took Evans-Smith’s back, but Evans-Smith broke free with a back elbow. Adams landed a flurry that forced Evans-Smith to backpedal, but Evans-Smith landed knees and stuffed a takedown. Adams bloodied the nose of Evans-Smith as the fighters exchanged punches late in the round.

The middle stanza was all Evans-Smith. She landed a combination and a knee, then reversed a takedown and struck with elbows from Adams’s half-guard. Evans-Smith worked for a straight armbar and Adams looked to counter with a heel hook from the bottom. Evans-Smith punched her way free with hard right hands and took Adams’s back. Adams got back to her feet, but Evans-Smith remained the aggressor with punches and body kicks.

In the final round, Adams countered a body kick with a series of punches that backed Evans-Smith up against the cage. Evans-Smith regained her footing and landed a combination that culminated with a standing elbow. Both fighters landed right hooks and Evans-Smith attempted a spinning backfist. Adams landed a Superman Punch and followed with more punches. The round ended with both fighters landing punches and knees.

After three competitive rounds, the judges were united in their verdict and all three scored the fight 29-28 for Evans-Smith, who avenged an amateur loss and now moves on to the semi-final round.


The first quarterfinal matchup ended in quick and violent fashion, as Fox (2-0-0) made short work of Newsome (0-2-0), who entered the tournament on just four days’ notice. It was Newsome who came running forward with punches right away. The fighters clinched and briefly fell down to the mat before scrambling back to their feet.

Fox landed one knee from a Thai clinch and Newsome tried to break free with punches. A second knee dropped Newsome face-first to the canvas and the bout was immediately waved off. The official time of Fox’s knockout win was just 39 seconds into round one.

The semi-final round of the CFA women’s featherweight title tournament will take place at CFA 11, which is targeted for April 20th. In one semi-final, Jones faces Fox, while the other semi-final pits Morgan against Evans-Smith.


Much like the bout between Fox and Newsome, the CFA 10 main event also ended quickly. UFC veteran James “The Hammer” McSweeney dropped one-time Strikeforce competitor Dion “The Soldier” Staring with a head kick mere seconds into the fight. He mauled Staring with punches on the ground until referee Jorge Alonso mercifully stopped the fight at the 38-second mark of round one.

Rounding out the card, Oscar “Diamond Boy” Delgado knocked out Byron Byrd with a devastating right hook at the 2:12 mark of round one. Jake Gombocz submitted Lucas Jackson with a rear-naked choke at 1:44 of round three, and Jacob “The Caveman” Brunelle defeated Guillermo Marin by Unanimous Decision with scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.


CFA 10: “McSweeney vs Staring” Results:

– James McSweeney defeated Dion Staring by TKO (Head Kick & Punches) at 0:38 of round one.
– Allanna Jones defeated Kelsey De Santis by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).*
– Peggy Morgan defeated Revelina Berto by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).*
– Oscar Delgado defeated Byron Byrd by KO (Punch) at 2:12 of round one.
– Ashlee Evans-Smith defeated Tori Adams by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).*
– Fallon Fox defeated Ericka Newsome by KO (Knee) at 0:39 of round one.*
– Jake Gombocz defeated Lucas Jackson by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:44 of round three.
– Jacob Brunelle defeated Guillermo Marin by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

*Women’s Featherweight Title Tournament Quarterfinal Bouts