By: Albert Cameron – Last week, we talked about five of the coolest things that King of the Cage (KOTC) had done during the mid-2000’s; compounding that information is the announcement that “The Pride of Bloomfield” Mark Cherico is not only coming out of retirement, but is making that comeback for King of the Cage. It’s a Mark Cherico weekend here at Cage Nation TV, and to celebrate, we’re counting down the five fastest finishes of Mark Cherico.
Note: These are the five fastest finishes of Mark Cherico’s professional career; his amateur career was not considered for this week’s Friday 5ive.
No. 5: Donny Walker; 1:04 of Round 2 – TKO (Pinnacle FC: Pittsburgh Challenge Series 3)
Kicking off the countdown is Mark Cherico’s title fight against Donny Walker at Pinnacle FC: Pittsburgh Challenge Series 3. The first round saw Cherico being Cherico: applying pressure, improving positions, and really opening up a nasty cut on Donny Walker’s face. Throughout the first round, it was apparent that the cut ccould have stopped the bout at any time. Into the second round, Cherico continued with the pressure; inside of one minute and four seconds, referee Bill Bookwalter called a stop to the fight, awarding Mark Cherico the win and the featherweight championship by Technical Knock Out
.No. 4: Billy Vaughn; 4:36 of Round 1 – Arm bar Submission (Pinnacle FC: Pittsburgh Challenge Series 2)
During the solitary round of the fight, Cherico made extremely effective use of inside leg kicks. Now, being that I was not privy to the training camp or strategy meeting, I can’t confirm anything; the implied theory of Cherico’s leg kicks is obvious: if you know your lead leg is going to be attacked, then how can you be confident in said leg’s ability to support the rest of the strike mechanics? Billy Vaughn, clearly not getting the upper hand in the stand up, did have Cherico in trouble with a guillotine choke mid-round. Having the grappling acumen as well as striking acumen, Cherico was able to position himself to secure the arm bar submission victory in four minutes and thirty-six seconds of round number 1.
No. 3: Chris Dunn; 2:54 of Round 1 – Rear Naked Choke (Pinnacle FC: Pittsburgh Challenge Series 1)
In his bout with Mark Cherico, Chris Dunn looked as sharp as they come. Dunn’s footwork was slick, his head movement was graceful and he was able to time his shots for the perfect opportunity. More than a few times, as Cherico was advancing, there would be a right or a left to greet the Pride of Bloomfield. Leading into the mid-way point of the bout, Dunn was able to take Cherico to the mat and impose pressure. As Cherico had escaped, he had to be cautious of the leg kicks that Dunn was throwing. When Mark Cherico was able to return to his feet, he shot for a take down. Against the cage, there was a struggle and the end became evident. Mark Cherico got the hooks in and began working for the rear naked choke that ended the fight in two minutes and fifty-four seconds of round one.
No. 2: Mark Wilson; 1:21 of Round 1 – Rear Naked Choke (Caged Power 3)
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Unfortunately, I don’t have the information that I’d like to on this fight. This fight occurred early in the career of both Cherico and Wilson. Cherico went on to become one of the biggest names in Pittsburgh MMA; Wilson’s career took a little bit of a different turn. Mark Wilson would go on to fight one more fight before walking away from MMA. It needs to be said that anyone who gets their hands taped, puts the gloves on, and steps in the cage deserves immense respect. For that reason alone, being that we couldn’t give the fight it’s proper due, we tip our hats to you Mark Wilson.
No. 1: Donte “The Pirhana” Adams; :54 of Round 1 – Rear Naked Choke (NAAFS: Caged Fury 17)
Don’t let the time of the finish of this fight fool you; there is a lot more that went into this fight than just fifty-four seconds. Donte “The Pirhana” Adams was the first fight that Mark Cherico had ever drawn as a professional prize fighter. Adams, extremely tough and with more experience than Cherico (as a professional). To carry a name like “the Pride of Bloomfield,” one carries a lot of expectation or pressure on their shoulders. Adams, known (to me anyways) as breaking his foot off of a fighters head and kept kicking, had a lot to prove as well. It could have been the adrenaline, it could have been the nerves; when the bell rung, Cherico imposed his will and secured the rear naked choke, thus beginning his rise to the top of the Pittsburgh fight circuit.
Make sure you listen for the Prizefight Podcast this week, where Mark Cherico will be a guest. We’re going to talk about his return to professional MMA, for the King of the Cage promotion. You won’t want to miss what the Pride of Bloomfield has to say.
Until next time: Fights, Cameron, Action!