Whether it was holding a series of two-night doubleheaders of MMA and kickboxing events, or holding its first all-professional event, Valor Fights continued to make strides in 2014. In this week's Valor Spotlight, MMA-Insider.com owner/editor John Moorehouse and assistant editor Randy Stamey select their favorite pro fights of the year.
Sam Burns vs. Dustin Dyer, Valor 16
This was the second time these two met, but was the first time as professionals. In the first meeting Dyer was able to pull out the victory, but Burns had some great moments in that fight where he had Dyer hurt, but Dyer battled through it. This fight was just as exciting, with a different outcome. Dyer had Burns rocked a couple of times, but this time it was Burns who battled back and was able to get the knockout in the second round.
Justin Fisher vs. Daniel Crockett, 3FC 21
Next on my list was the main event at 3FC 21 where both men put it on the line in a three round war that left both men bloody. Crockett was able to get the fight to the ground a couple of time, but Fisher did a great job with his submission defense. Fisher was able to use his stand up to do damage to Crockett and hand him his first loss as a professional.
Adam Townsend vs. Nate Landwehr, 3FC 20
Last on my list would have to be the big mathup between Adam Townsend and Nate Landwehr at 3FC 20. These two had bad blood coming into the fight and it made for a great fight. This title fight was close all the way to the end, with Townsend getting takedown after takedown, but Landwehr landing some big shots on the feet to score points. The bad blood led to Landwehr at one point flipping Townsend off in the middle of the fight. Both of these men went the full five rounds, but Landwehr was able to get the decision victory and the first ever professional title under the Valor name.
I'll echo Randy by picking the Townsend-Landwehr fight. It'd be my choice for pro fight of the year (although that will be decided by our fans). It wasn't just the best fight I saw this year, it's the best I've ever seen in person.
Which leaves me with two picks to make...
Josh Carter vs. Zack Hicks, 3FC 21
I was on commentary for this matchup and thought it was a fantastic fight. Hicks was more effective against Carter than any other opponent of his that I've seen in person, using his wrestling to control the first two rounds and I actually felt he was up on the scorecards entering the final round. That's where Carter took over, ultimately submitting Hicks to stay undefeated as a pro,
Caleb Trumbull vs. Billy Poe, Valor 16
Valor 16 was a landmark as it was the first regional all-pro MMA event in East Tennessee but two non-locals, Kentucky's Poe and Michiganite Trumbull, combined for the most entertaining fight on the card. Poe ate some big shots on the feet from Trumbull, who has heavy hands and a very effective left, but he was the superior competitor on the ground and submitted Trumbull in the third round after a prolonged battle to sink the RNC.
We'll be announcing the official nominees for our MMA-Insider.com year end awards soon!
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