It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new promotion for us to talk about here at Armchair.
With major mixed martial arts promotions off for the next couple of weeks, the first MMA show of 2020 finds the sport in Columbus, OH for Saturday night’s Ohio Combat League show, OCL 5.
Ohio is no stranger to calling MMA champions home. Lance Palmer, who wrestled at The Ohio State University in Columbus, successfully defended his Professional Fighters’ League Featherweight title vs. Alex Gilpin on New Year’s Eve.
That same evening, Kayla Harrison, a Middletown, OH native defeated Larissa Pacheco by unanimous decision to become the first Women’s Lightweight champion in MMA history.
Stipe Miocic from Independence, OH, is the longest-tenured UFC Heavyweight champion in promotion history, having held the belt from May of 2016 to July of 2018, counting for three defenses in that span.
Currently, Miocic is the incumbent Heavyweight titleholder, having defeated Daniel Cormier last August in a rematch of the July 7, 2018 main event of UFC 226 won by the latter.
The Ohio Combat League is one of the world’s newest combat sports promotions, having just launched last May with OCL 1. Since then, the promotion has held three subsequent cards and has a sixth show scheduled for Mar. 6, coinciding with the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival in Ohio’s capital city.
OCL 5 is held at the OCL’s home arena of Express Live! in Columbus on Saturday night. For those attending the card, note that doors to the venue will open at 6:30 p.m. EST, with the opening fight beginning after 7:30 p.m. EST,
In total, 11 MMA fights will be held in the professional and amateur ranks. Highlighting OCL 5, streaming on combatsportsnow.com is the first championship fight in MMA this year between Travis Davis (8-3) and John Poppie (9-5). This fight is a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
At stake: The OCL Middleweight championship. John Poppie moves down from the Light Heavyweight ranks for this title bout.
Heading into the first title fight of the year, both contestants in this bout stand at six feet even.’
Travis Davis has gone 3-2 in his last five fights and enters Saturday evening’s main attraction on a two-fight winning streak. Most recently, he scored a unanimous decision victory against Robert Gidron during the Aug. 3 OCL 2: Labor Night event in the headliner.
In the other corner, John Poppie has gone 2-3 in his last five MMA appearances, most recently stopping Chad Vance (first-round knockout) in Elite Fight League 5 on May 4 during the main event in Waterloo, IA.
The Tale of the Tape
As per Tapology, John Poppie has a three-inch reach advantage (77 inches to 74 inches) over Travis Davis heading into the main attraction on Saturday night.
Prediction: Travis Davis by decision.
Other professional fights on Saturday night’s card include
Alfred Leisure (6-1) vs. Corey Dulaney (1-1) [Featherweight, co-main event]
Matthew Comer (2-4) vs. Derrick Weaver (4-4) [Heavyweight]
Justin Richwine (1-3) vs. Brad Orsbone (first professional appearance) [Heavyweight]
Andre Small (1-0) vs. Javier Coronado (1-0) [Bantamweight]
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🚨FIGHT NEWS🚨 Our first fight announcement for #OCL5 is the MAIN EVENT of the evening. This bout will take place in the professional middleweight division. Introducing first, John Poppie (9-5) is entering this contest coming off of a first round finish via tko stoppage against Chad Vance (8-6). This 29 year old Wisconsin native is looking for a similar result as he travels to Columbus, OH to face Travis Davis for the Ohio Combat League Professional Middleweight Title. Travis “Bam Bam” Davis (8-3) hailing out of Columbus, OH representing Ronin Training Center and he is determined to capture his first professional title. Coming off of back to back wins, “Bam Bam” looks to keep his momentum going. Wherever this fight takes place, you can expect guaranteed fireworks from this versatile middleweight. Will John Poppie and his heavy hands lead him to be OCL’s first Professional champion? Or will the constant pressure and fire power from Travis Davis be to much for Poppie to handle? Who will walk away with the title around their waist?
OCL 5 at a Glance
Card: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST, 4:30 p.m. PST, online PPV on combatsportsnow.com
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