Interim lightweight gold on the line in the new CFFC 131 main event


College basketball is over until November. While UConn's men's program knocked down the nets late Monday night in Glendale, AZ, the shining moments in sports only continue from there. There are brilliant moments in MMA all year round, and the same continues again this weekend.

It's a jam-packed week of competitive violence that begins on Friday evening. On the eve of UFC 300 in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena, the eyes of the fight world will be on Atlantic City. The Hard Rock Hotel is hosting CFFC 131 of the Cage Fury Fighting Championships. The action begins Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT on OnlyFans with prelims before heading to UFC Fight Pass with the main card at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

As we mentioned earlier this week, changes were made to the battle order ahead of the show. What was originally billed as a night of four title fights has now been reduced to two such bouts at the top of the bill. The light heavyweight title fight between Luke Fernandez and Will Dicke was originally supposed to be the focus.

Much like the interim featherweight championship between Anthony DiLemme and Frank Wells, this fight is now postponed due to

The interim lightweight championship is on the program on Friday

Their new CFFC 131 main event on Friday night takes place at 155 pounds. This weekend's interim title clash between two fighters with a combined record of 9-0 in professional MMA. Robert Varricchio (5-0 MMA, 3-0 CFFC) meets Morquez Forest (4-0 MMA, 4-0 CFFC).

At the end of the show, the main event of CFFC 131 consists of a maximum of four rounds with five minutes per round. However, if the fight results in a tie on the scorecards after 20 minutes, it goes to the fifth round as a tiebreaker.

CFFC 131 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Before the main event of CFFC 131 on Friday evening, both men stand at eye level with a height of 1.75 meters. At press time, there was no reach benefit available online.

Varricchio is eager to add another knockout to his resume in the CFFC 131 main event

Robert Varricchio has yet to lose as an MMA fighter. He has an 8-0 record in amateur competition.

Even more impressive are these statistics: Six of Varricchio's eight MMA victories to date have come within the distance, with four of his five professional victories coming before the bell at the end of the first round of fighting. Last time out, he scored a first-round knockout over Sean Felton (5-5-1 MMA, 0-1 CFFC) just before Christmas on Dec. 15 at CFFC 128.

He recently spoke to CFFC about a chance at the title, but it wasn't against who he expected.

“I immediately thought, 'Yes,'” Varricchio began. “They didn’t even tell me who I was fighting. I assumed I was fighting Watley (permanent lightweight champion Robert), but I also felt like he was waiting for the UFC to call, and when they gave me Morquez Forest, I was like, “Hell yeah! “'”

Robert Varricchio didn't expect a fight against Morquez Forest on Friday night. He also didn't expect this fight to be the CFFC 131 main event.

This is a man who has been training for this title shot for weeks. Now, just days before the card proper, he has to deal with the added pressure of fighting for a title in a main event. How will Robert Varricchio handle this? Tune in Friday night to find out.

Forest is preparing for the title fight in the fifth professional fight

In the other corner, Morquez Forest also heads into Friday night's CFFC 131 main event with an undefeated pro record. Much like his opponent, he is also undefeated in amateur MMA, with Forest boasting a combined record of 12-0 heading into this weekend's fight.

He most recently scored a first-round submission via rear-naked choke against Jordan Harrington (3-2 MMA, 0-1 CFFC) at CFFC 126 on October 13. Unlike Varricchio, however, Forest has seen the scorecards in the past as a pro, with his third fight ending in a unanimous decision against Nick Caracappa (0-1 MMA, o-1 CFFC) at CFFC 124 on September 2 last year.

In a recent interview with CFFC, he discussed his plans after the main event.

“I just take it day by day,” Forest said. “I have already decided that I want to be there Dana White's Contender series this year. That's something that has stayed with me. I have to win this fight, I have to take every fight as it comes, dominate, and that’s where I want to be and hopefully get the chance.”

Morquez Forest only became a professional in the sport about a year ago and has quickly moved up in his career.

Here he is preparing for a championship fight in his fifth professional MMA appearance. Every time he has entered a cage up to this point, Morquez Forest has emerged victorious, but only time will tell if it happens again in the biggest fight of his pro career during the CFFC 131 main event.

Analysis, film study and prediction

With both fighters remaining undefeated in the CFFC 131 main event heading into this contest, this should be a great affair.

Look for Varricchio to try and finish in the first round

As previously mentioned, four of Robert Varricchio's five pro MMA stoppages occurred before the first round of action was completed. Therefore, it stands to reason that the CFFC 131 main event could end the same way. Just watch the tape of his fight against Brandon Evans last September.

Robert Varricchio immediately took control of the fight that night, peppering Brandon Evans with knee strikes from the clinch, inflicting a welt on his opponent's knees in the process. While Evans scored with punches from distance, Varricchio had the edge, finishing with a straight right before following up with ground and pound shots.

The barrage of hammer fists proved too much for Evans, forcing the referee to intervene. If Robert Varricchio comes out in full force on Friday night, the main event of CFFC 131 will be his and he will be able to take home a title on Saturday morning.

Forest can fight their way to victory

In the other corner, the best way for Morquez Forest to neutralize Robert Varricchio is to block a submission like he did against Harrington in October. While the action was temporarily paused to give Forest a chance to recover from a low blow, he repelled the attack and the fight continued, landing a right hand punch to Harrington's jaw to drop him .

The second takedown was the one that led the way to victory, with Forest applying the torque to secure the rear-naked choke. If Marquez Forest knocks down Robert Varricchio, it will be his world on Friday night.

Final thoughts

For those closest to promotion, it's certainly been a chaotic lead-up to CFFC 131. Although half of the originally scheduled title fights are over, there will still be an attractive main event on Friday. Don't miss it.

Prediction: Robert Varricchio by TKO in the first round.