Lightweight prospect Kevin Forant dominates at Coveted Fighting Championships II in North Carolina
September 17, 2012
By Ryan Gibson
Hidden away in a community recreation center far away from the big arenas, national TV cameras, and multi-million dollar promotions is an upstart Carolina promotion known as The Coveted Fighting Championships. This grassroots MMA promo tucked away in small North Carolina town of Shelby showcased a card of talent that could certainly rival the larger, more established promotions. The card featured six amateur fights and two pro fights with the main event posing XFC star Kevin Forant (4-0) against Nick Blesser (3-9).
Forant fresh off a decision win at XFC 19, where he won in front of a national TV audience, was just as determined and focused to fight in the smaller venue. Although it wasn't the barnburner Forant or the crowd hoped for, the Carolina fighter dominated the bout from the outset. Forant ended Blesser's night early in the first with a text book rear naked choke just 2:04 after the opening bell.
Curtis Cloward (3-4) took on Scott Farhart (6-7) in an exciting fight that was a perfect example of why you give your all for the entire fight. Cloward demonstrated high level striking and BJJ, while Farhart showed his determination and heart. In the first round Farhart had a slight advantage but took significant damage from Cloward's menacing elbows. Cloward's superior striking cut Farhart above his left eye.
After multiple submission attempts by Cloward in the second and third rounds Farhart remained bloodied yet standing. The judges decided Cloward the victor by a close split decision.
In the amateur main event hometown favorite Keith Baldwin (3-0 AM) took on William Baptiste (3-4 AM). During the bout you could feel the crowd come to life to support their hometown fighter, Baldwin. Despite having a fractured ankle and against doctors' orders Baldwin limped out of the cage with a gritty split decision victory.
The most entertaining bout of the night was a woman's MMA bout featuring up and coming strawweight prospect Hannah Cifers (2-0 AM) and Andy Nyguen (3-5 AM). The bout ended on a savage knockout by Cifers in the first round. The extremely quiet Cifers has already posted two first round KO's in her young career and the 20 year old is on track to become a force in WMMA when she turns pro.
Derek Hyatt (1-6 AM) completely dismantled Taylor Hayes (0-1 AM). Hyatt showed massive power and composure making Hayes tap out to vicious body blows early in the second round.
Another up and comer is middleweight William Brown (4-2 AM) who took on Stephen Cook (2-1 AM). Brown, an Active Duty US Army Soldier, came out with a barrage of haymakers and elite ground skills. Brown eventually caught an exhausted Cook in the third round with a deep rear naked choke to wrap his fourth amateur win.
Five-time North Carolina Tuff Man Champion, Kelly Wilkins (5-10-1 AM) brawled through three grinding rounds with Active Duty US Army Soldier Kevin Kenna (3-2 AM). Over the three hard fought rounds Wilkins brought the fight to the floor and mainly fought out of Kenna's guard. Kenna kept Wilkins at bay with his superior ground skills and was the victor by unanimous decision.
In the opening bout of the night Jacob Eldridge (0-1 AM) made his debut against fellow rookie Albert Revels (1-0 AM). Revels ended the fight in the second round with a devastating knockout.
After an eight fight card the up and coming promotion operating out of a small recreation center in the little town of Shelby proved that Grassroots MMA is alive and well in North Carolina.
Coveted Fighting Championships II results
*Kevin Forant def. Nick Blesser by Submission Rear Naked Choke2:08 R1
Curtis Cloward def. Scott Farhart by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Albert Revels def. Jacob Eldridge by KO 0:21 R2
Derek Hyatt def. Taylor Hayes by Submission Strikes 1:18 R2
*William Brown def Stephen Cook by Submission Rear Naked Choke2 1:17 R3
Kevin Kenna def. Kelly Wilkins by Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
*Hannah Cifers def. Andy Nyguen by KO 1:11 R1
Keith Baldwin def. William Baptiste by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
*Prospect to watch