Friday Night Fights returned to the Broad Street Ballroom this past Friday, March 2, 2017.
It was the promotion’s live debut on UFC Fight Pass and it featured a main event between Travis Clay and Ognjen Topic.
Topic was making a return to his old stomping grounds, he frequently fought for Friday Night Fights when he was an amateur and early on in his professional career. Recognized by many as one of the best fighters competing out of the United States right now it was clear that a win for Clay against him would be huge.
Both men were very technical and early on it seemed Clay was getting the better of the exchanges as well as being more active. Going into the third round Clay was likely up two rounds to none. Apparently Topic was just feeling things out the first two rounds because in the third round he turned it on. He became more aggressive and started firing off heavy kicks. Clay was more than willing fire back strikes of his own, but it was clear that Topic had more behind his strikes. The fourth and fifth round continued to see Topic on the attack, with Clay trying to answer back, but just not being able to match Topic’s output. Near the end of the fifth Topic seemed to connect with a knee to the midsection that hurt Clay, but he hung in tough and continued to grind it out until the final bell. It was a great performance by both men, but it was Topic who walked away the winner after being awarded a unanimous decision.
In the co-main event, Troy Sheridan returned to the ring for the first time in nearly five years to take on Pawel Zawistowski in a Kickboxing bout. Despite the long layoff, it seemed Sheridan had never gone on hiatus. He used his jab well and followed with low kicks from the opening bell. Despite Zawistowski efforts, Sheridan was just a step ahead throughout the entire fight. In the end, it was a successful return to the ring for Sheridan as he took home a unanimous decision.
In the night’s first pro fight Ariel Abreu welcomed back Alex Berrios to the ring after a two-year layoff. This was a fight of power vs. technique. Berrios has been known for being a technical fighter his whole career, and it was on display in this fight as he used a strong teep and kicks throughout the fight, but the difference maker was Abreu’s power. He scored a questionable knockdown in the first round while Berrios was throwing a kick, Berrios tried to argue he was simply off balance was having none of it. Berrios seemed to take control again in the second and third rounds, but in the fourth, the beast within Abreu awoke. He caught a Berrios kick and launched two punches that once again resulted in a controversial knockdown. Berrios did not seem to be hurt and simply laughed as the referee started his count. Near the end of the fourth round, Abreu landed a hard right to the body as Berrios was backing into the corner and then he followed it with a heavy right hand upstairs that forced Berrios to take a knee. After that, it seemed Berrios was in survival mode the rest of the fight as Abreu pressed the action. When it was over Abreu improved his record to 4-0 after being awarded a majority decision.
Friday Night Fights: Clay vs. Topic Results:
Ognjen Topic def. Travis Clay via Unanimous Decision
Troy Sheridan def. Pawel Zawistowski via Unanimous Decision
Ariel Abreu def. Alex Berrios via Majoirty Decision