Portland, OR – The Full Contact Fighting Federation (FCFF) has released this year's Best of 2018 list. This list recognizes the top fighters within the organization in thirteen categories and will become part of the annual Fighter Hall of Fame which has been recorded since 2009. The FCFF's Best of 2018 list features categories ranging from Male and Female Fighter of the Year, Fastest Finish(es), Most Hyped Fight, Best New Gym Showing, to the 2019 Fighter to Watch. A number of these award winners are on the fight card for the FCFF's Rumble at The Roseland 101 event scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2019. This event features four FCFF Championship Fights, one Superfights, and a loaded undercard.
The FCFF's Best of 2018 official list is comprised of athletes who fought in the 2018 calendar year in the FCFF's Rumble at The Roseland event.
Male Fighter of the Year: Max Garrison
Max Garrison of Straight Blast Gym - Portland, Oregon has been an unassuming tornado in the local MMA scene since his debut in September 2017 at #RUMBLE94 with a third round submission over Micah Mitchell. That fight and his unique personality caught the attention of many, earning him the 2018 FCFF Fighter to Watch award... And what a display he has put on for the fight fans in the FCFF SLAMMER!
Garrison kicked off 2018 with a unanimous decision victory against Khelsey Lyday at #RUMBLE96 and then stepped into the cage for #RUMBLE97 vs (now pro) Braydon Akeo for a Superfight belt. He would fall short, losing by the judges decision but it didn’t deter him for long. He would continue his pre-show press conference statements with an unapologetic confidence, remaining stoic until victory was his again.
For his 3rd appearance in our cage last year, he faced veteran MMA fighter Ivo Wallace, finishing him in the second round by TKO. With the FCFF Featherweight Champion Yan Kuvaldin unable to compete, Garrison stepped up for an interim division title vs another known prospect, Eduardo Torres at #RUMBLE99. Not only was Torres a former member at Garrison’s gym, but he was also undefeated currently at 3-0. With only 11 seconds left in the second round, Garrison delivered a multitude of blows to Torres…the first one sitting Torres straight down, and the flurry that followed would earn him the Interim Featherweight Title!
Yan Kuvaldin has since vacated the title to join the pro ranks, and as a result Garrison is now the FCFF Featherweight Champion. We are excited to see what he brings to our cage for 2019!
Female Fighter of the Year: Hannah Summers
In 2018 many incredible female MMA fighters stepped into our SLAMMER and duked it out with the best of ‘em…but no one can disagree that for Hannah Summers it was an amazing year start to finish!
Summers kicked off 2018 by going to a 3 round DRAW vs Patty Elliott at #RUMBLE96…a battle that would earn her another spot in the 2018 FCFF Hall of Fame for Best Women’s Fight of the Year. She would go on to defeat three Gracie Barra fighters, two with decision victories, ending the year at #RUMBLE100 against Caysea McBride with a stunning KO that would earn her the FCFF Flyweight Title.
Throughout her fast success of 2018, Summers is seen smiling in and out of combat and remains a very likable fighter in the community choosing to push the pace and let her skillset in the cage do the talking. She has found a home with Naga Muay Thai headed by former FCFF Champion Robin Valli Woods and local talented pro fighter Alex Branom…and it's clear that steel does in fact sharpen steel.
Male Fight of the Year: Raymond Hill vs Alex Aguilar
Occasionally there is a fight that invokes so much emotion out of the fight fans, that in the event of a split decision result, there can be heard both cheering and booing. Such was the case at Rumble at the Roseland 97, when Raymond Leonard Hill of Art of War took on the current FCFF Welterweight Champion Alex Aguilar of Portland Thai Boxing.
This fight came immediately following Hill’s shocking victory over Johnny James at #RUMBLE96 that ended in traumatic injury for James within the first round, awarding Hill the Superfight Belt. For Aguilar it would be his first title defense after having won the official title in a 5 round battle to a unanimous decision over Hill’s teammate, Stefan Habib. On April 14th, both Hill and Aguilar would enter the FCFF SLAMMER at the height of their amateur careers on the verge of going pro.
What would play out was a rewarding back and forth war full of fists flying, damage control between rounds, and good sportsmanship with bloody smiles. An exhausting five rounds with two of Oregon’s most prominent gyms going head to head. But it would come down to a split decision…and after 5 rounds, the audience had clearly chosen their sides and who they felt should win. With that, ‘The Man in the Hat’ read the scorecards and Raymond Hill would be named the NEW FCFF Welterweight Champion!
(Hill has since vacated the title and joined the pro ranks)
Female Fight of the Year: Patty Elliott vs Hannah Summers
It was the debut fight for one, and the second fight for the other…but if you weren’t aware of their records, you would have thought Hannah Summers and Patty Elliott were fighting for a title belt at the height of their amateur careers.
The fans couldn’t get enough, watching Summers and Elliott exchange blow after blow! Blood was flying, fists were swinging, knees and legs constantly moving with bad intentions. It was a non-stop, action packed fight that not only went all 3 rounds…but it also ended as a DRAW! The crowd was on their feet as the referee raised both their hands in the air as the decision was announced…Summers and Elliott leaving the cage smiling and exhausted.
This fight was held in April of 2018 at Rumble at the Roseland 97 and it still stood out months later as one we could only hope to replay again in the FCFF SLAMMER!
(Summers would go on to become the FCFF Female Flyweight Champion at #RUMBLE100 in December 2018)
Most Improved Fighter: Ross Johnsrud
While there were many fighters in the FCFF this last year that showed great improvement, one name stood out as MOST IMPROVED FIGHTER for 2018… Ross Johnsrud.
In 2017, Johnsrud made his debut and would end the year with a record of 1-2. Arguably one of the most eager fighters to compete for us this year, Johnsrud was relentless in asking for fights at every show we put on in 2018. He fought 3 times, two of those to a split decision….and managed to go undefeated, ending 2018 with a record of 4-2.
2019 Fighter to Watch: Tobias Baker
Tobias Baker of Art of War has only made two appearances in the FCFF SLAMMER but we’re loving every second!
He was first matched against ‘the Rocker’ Nick Aydelotte (see 2018 FCFF Best Cage Entrance) at #RUMBLE98 and not only was Baker unimpressed by Aydelotte’s head banging, he further decided to stop the show at only 17 seconds of the first round by KO!!
We next heard Baker on the mics at the #RUMBLE100 pre-fight press conference not only challenging his opponent’s grappling capabilities, but also calling out the entire welterweight division noting that the title was currently vacant. Come showtime, Baker finished opponent Thad Coffey-Shelton by TKO just past a minute into the first round! The Viking fighter again called out the division seeking a title shot…AND even went so far as to call out former FCFF Welterweight Champion Alex Aguilar at the post show press conference!
Its safe to say the welterweight division has officially been put on notice…Tobias Baker is hungry, he’s ready, and he wants the title…who’s standing in his way?
Most Hyped Fight: Sage Farnworth vs Keaneo Moyer
Sage Farnworth was on a 5 fight win streak, having just won the FCFF Bantamweight Title in January of 2018 at Rumble at the Roseland 96…his only loss on his record was as a teenager to Keaneo Moyer in 2013. Moyer himself was on a 4 fight win streak, the current FCFF Flyweight Champion, and his only loss was in a rematch with Farnworth in 2014.
As adults and now both FCFF Champions, a call out was made immediately in the SLAMMER by Moyer to the newly belted Farnworth. Moyer long dreamt of becoming an FCFF “Champ-Champ”, being one of the few to hold two division titles in the promotion. But Farnworth stood in his way.
The fight was accepted and with it came a press conference which could have been held exclusively for these two fighters. The mics remained primarily in their control as accusations of spying flew and predictions ran confidently out their mouths. On April 14th at Rumble at the Roseland 97, it was time to see how it all played out.
In a little over one minute into the first round, Farnworth was able to successfully defend his title vs Moyer with a win by submission. The two proceeded to hug it out and even say nice things on the mic in the cage…the long-standing beef was finally over and put to rest. Or was it????
Best Submission: Chance Marsteiner over Angel Espino
At Rumble at the Roseland 95, Chance Marsteiner became the FCFF Lightweight Champion and two shows later, he would have his first title defense against Angel Espino. Both Marsteiner and Espino were at the top of the division in the Pacific NW, and anything can happen when the cage door shuts on such talent.
Any hopes of a 5 round battle was shut down in the first round when Marsteiner secured an anaconda choke on Espino shortly after one minute in. Everyone watched close as Marsteiner calmly locked it in while Espino did what he could to escape it. Eventually Espino went out and the ref jumped in…Marsteiner remained champion!
Best KO: Tunde Arigbon over Matt Russo
If we’re going to give out an award for Best KO of 2018 in the FCFF, it had to go to the most dramatic as well as historic…and that honor belongs to Tunde Arigbon. As mentioned before in our Fastest Finish(es) award, Loren Sims and Tunde Arigbon served the FCFF fight fans back-to-back historic KO’s with both opponents falling to the canvas in 3 seconds!
Arigbon, a rising star of Portland Thai Boxing and the 2017 FCFF Fighter to Watch, stunned his opponent Matt Russo and the audience right out the gate at #RUMBLE98! We look forward to seeing what Arigbon brings to the SLAMMER in 2019!!
Best New Gym Showing: Left Coast MMA
We are excited to give the 2018 BEST NEW GYM SHOWING award to Left Coast MMA at Fitness 1440 after an impressive overall record was accrued in our cage. Newly formed and headed by Aaron Wolfe as well as former FCFF champion Alex Corrales, victories were had for Edwin Mantilla, Tim De Vore, Kenny Dailey and Sage Farnworth against some tough opponents.
Their total team record within our promotion for 2018 was 5-1 including a Bantamweight Title held and defended by Farnworth. We look forward to welcoming them back in 2019, a team to certainly keep your focus on as tough competitors!
Fastest Finish(es) of 2018: Tunde Arigbon over Matt Russo AND Loren Sims over Alicia Gomness
If you were at #RUMBLE98 and honestly even if you weren't, you likely heard about these historic back-to-back knockouts delivered by Loren Sims of Impact Jiu Jitsu and Tunde Arigbon of Portland Thai Boxing.
Sims shocked the Roseland Theater putting fans on their feet as she made quick work of her opponent Alicia Gomness in a historic 3 SECONDS! But not to be outdone, Arigbon kept fans' mouths dropped when he immediately did it also vs Matt Russo...barely edging out Sims in milliseconds to hold the record in Oregon. These two clearly both deserved recognition in our 2018 FCFF Hall of Fame!
Best Cage Entrance: Nick Aydelotte
It was very late 2017 when Nick Aydelotte burst into the MMA scene representing Walker's Martial Arts Academy with long hair flying and music blaring. After achieving his first victory, Aydelotte came back to the FCFF SLAMMER for two more appearances in 2018 as well as attending press conferences.
But it wasn’t his words, nor even his fighting, that caught the attention of the fans…it was his cage entrances that would dub him ‘the Rocker’. Heavy metal music was a must for Aydelotte to be in the zone, and the headbanging as well as air guitaring that ensued in his corner seemed to not let up until his gloves touched his opponent’s!
Best Press Conference Presence: Keaneo Moyer
If you talked about the FCFF in 2018, the name Keaneo Moyer was likely not far from topic. Love him or hate him, his presence was certainly impactful, and his voice was heard on our mics at pre-show and post-show press conferences throughout the year.
You saw him make bold predictions, face off with opponents (and others’ opponents), match his own future fights, and you also saw a humble Moyer at times as well. One thing that could be echoed throughout the community is that whether you were at the table or not, if the mic was in Moyer’s hand, very few were safe from his attention. Even though he was not at the table for #RUMBLE100, Moyer still managed to get his hands on the mic as he shot questions from the audience at Bridge City Fight Shop to those on the fight card!
Self dubbed ‘Young Gunz’, ‘The King’, as well as ‘The Best 125er in the Pacific NW’…Moyer spent plenty of time at the press conferences reinforcing those names long before his fights in the FCFF SLAMMER. Moyer would end 2018 vacating his FCFF Flyweight Title with the promise of going pro in 2019…Surely we’ll hear from him again this year!