Pinnacle FC 9 set for November 26 with Cherico vs. Kelleher, airs via iPPV on GFL.tv
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Pinnacle Fighting Championships will return for its ninth installment and second annual Thanksgiving Eve event, as Pinnacle FC 9: Pittsburgh Challenge Series goes down on November 26 at the Iceoplex in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania just south of the Steel City. The event will be headlined by a top-notch bantamweight matchup, as undefeated star Mark “The Pride of Bloomfield” Cherico drops a weight class to take on Brian “Boom” Kelleher at 135 pounds. The card will be streamed in its entirety via iPPV on GFL.tv for a price of $14.99.
“Our goal at Pinnacle FC is to always provide the toughest and most evenly matched fights that we possibly can,” stated Pinnacle FC president Matt Leyshock. “We’re bringing in strong guys from all over the country in an effort to produce great fights and a proving ground to see which fighters belong on the next level. November 26th will be no different – fans will be in for a treat at the Iceoplex the night before Thanksgiving.”
Looking to keep his perfect record intact en route to the UFC, Cherico (7-0 / fighting out of Pittsburgh, PA) will drop a weight class to bantamweight, where he feels he will compete moving forward in his career. He’ll face Kelleher (10-7 / fighting out of Ithica, NY), a two-time Bellator veteran who trains with the well-respected Team Bombsquad that has also produced the likes of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and rising bantamweight superstar Aljamain Sterling.
Cherico has been perfect inside the cage, amassing a 16-0 overall record including 14 finishes. The 28-year-old Fight Club Pittsburgh captain has earned stoppages over Strikeforce veteran Billy Vaughan and UFC veteran Donny Walker, and he claimed the Pinnacle FC featherweight title with a decision victory over Luis Guerra in July. His record is littered with finishes, including four submissions and one knockout as a professional. “The Pride” has ventured to Florida’s American Top Team campus to train in the past, and he also took a trip to California to train with Team Alpha Male over the summer.
“It’s an honor to main event my sixth Pinnacle FC event in front of all my fans against such a tough opponent,” Cherico said. “I look forward to the challenge and to continue my winning ways and get one step closer to my dream!”
Kelleher has competed at both 135 and 145 pounds in his career, which started with a 9-3 record. He’s just 1-4 over his last 5 contests, but the combined record of his opponents over that stretch has been an incredible 63-18-1. “Boom” is a finisher by trade, with five knockouts and four submissions on his record. He has posted notable victories over Bill Jones and Lester Caslow, and has also faced top prospects Jimmie Rivera, Scott Heckman, Jeff Smith, and Andy Main, so dealing with the hype surrounding Cherico should be nothing new to him.
“I’m excited about the challenge,” Kelleher said. “My home is 135 pounds going forward and Cherico is a perfect test. I appreciate the Pinnacle show for putting this fight together, and the fans are in for a treat. I’m coming to show my best fight so far.”
In the co-main event, a pair of surging featherweights will square off, as Fight Club Pittsburgh’s Khama “The Death Star” Worthy (6-2 / fighting out of Pittsburgh, PA) takes on Matt “The Cat” DiMarcantonio (6-4 / fighting out of Welland, ON). Worthy is 5-1 in Pinnacle FC competition, including five straight wins and back-to-back knockouts over Jacob Butler and Anthony Morgan earlier this year. Overall, Worthy has produced four of his six career victories via knockout. DiMarcantonio represents the always upset-minded Team Modern Vision MMA from Canada, and he looks to move his winning streak to three following a knockout win over Reggie Merriweather and an upset victory over Wes Hanson earlier this month. A grinder by nature, “The Cat” has produced two submission victories and one knockout in his career.
A third professional bout features a pair of fast-rising prospects, as Eric “Sizzle” Bledsoe (2-0 / fighting out of Wheeling, WV) welcomes James “Bad Touch” Mogollon (2-1 / fighting out of Fortville, IN) to the Pinnacle FC cage for the first time. Bullpen Fight Club’s Bledsoe has been a breakout star for Pinnacle FC, first claiming the amateur lightweight title with a devastating knockout over Matt Conahan last year before turning pro in 2014 and picking up two impressive submission wins. Mogollon, a US Marine, racked up an impressive 5-0 amateur record before turning pro earlier this year. He has since earned a pair of submission wins as well to post a 2-1 record. Training with American Top Team and Iron Horse Martial Arts, Mogollon will be the biggest test of Bledsoe’s young career.
In a feature cross over bout, professional boxing standout Bill Hutchinson (0-0, 8-1-4 boxing / fighting out of Pittsburgh, PA) will take on well-traveled veteranCharlie Gathers (7-6 / fighting out of Altoona, PA) in what is one of the most anticipated bouts on the card. Hutchinson is currently training at the notorious Fight Club Pittsburgh with some of the top Steel City fighters and also holds an amateur MMA record of 2-1 dating back to 2008. Gathers comes in riding a two-fight winning streak, including a pair of submission wins over the past month. He made his Pinnacle FC debut in July with a second round submission victory over Jason Willett.
The full lineup for Pinnacle FC 9, including multiple amateur title bouts, is listed below.
- Mark Cherico vs Brian Kelleher
- Khama Worthy vs Matt DiMarcantonio
- Eric Bledsoe vs James Mogollon
- Bill Hutchinson vs Charlie Gathers
- Alec Hohman vs Victor Guarriello – for flyweight title
- Matt Hester vs Nick Adkins – for welterweight title
- Chris Deep vs Bob Bianchini
- Marquis Johnson vs Zach Forrester
- Brandon Lauderback vs Vladimir Jean-Philippe
- David Sholtes vs Dominic Jones
- Malik Epperson vs Kyle Holt
Tickets for Pinnacle FC 9 are priced at $85 / $70 / $40 and are available at www.cagetix.com/pinnacle.
For more information, visit www.PinnacleFightingChampionships.com.