WEF46 Lightweight Title Preview
After over six months of planning, World Extreme Fighting has tabbed two very game opponents to square off for their lightweight championship. The title has been vacant for some time and, with the extended absence, the WEF did their due diligence in seeking worthy fighters to fill the void. Gert Kocani and Robert Goodridge, both WEF veterans, will get the call on April 22nd with the winner undoubtedly earning the championship notoriety needed to advance in the overly-competitive MMA scene. It all begins here, at the local level and Kocani, Goodridge and all of the WEF fighters know how important it is to get noticed quickly in hopes of ascending to the upper levels and the big money contracts.
Both Kocani and Goodridge put on great performances in their last fights with the organization and WEF brass felt pairing these two would make for a great title bout on an already spectacular card. This fight will share headlines with the likes of the legendary Ken Shamrock, UFC veteran and hometown hero, Seth Petruzelli and a host of up-and-comers and hot prospects on the Florida fight scene.
The last time we saw Kocani in action was at a WEF card in Kissimmee in November, when he made quick work of Vinnie Samero, finishing him midway through the second round with a TKO due to punches. Kocani, an American Top Team fighter has
since suffered his second loss, a close decision going the way of his opponent, John Cofer in December. No doubt Kocani looks to bounce back and use his jiu-jitsu to seal the victory and become the new WEF lightweight champ. In his fight with Samero, Kocani looked to be in great shape and showed he is adept to the stand up game as he systematically picked his opponent apart on his feet. When Samero tried to take it to the ground, Kocani shrugged off submission attempts with ease and then made his opponent pay with elbows and strikes. Kocani seemed to be well-rounded in that fight and definitely has the tools to give Goodridge all he can handle in a few short weeks.
Goodridge enters this fight undefeated, and obviously looking to stay that way. “RJ”, fighting out of Jupiter’s Armory, is both tough and quick, looking in perfect form in his last WEF appearance in Jacksonville. That fight, against Aaron Conway back in January, didn’t disappoint as he stopped a then-undefeated Conway by mounting him, battering him and, finally, sinking in a rear naked choke. With the win at 2:47 in the first round, Goodridge put fighters and promoters on notice that he was serious and ready to take on bigger challenges and WEF officials have obliged, sanctioning the showdown with Kocani.
Both fighters have limited pro experience (Kocani at 4-2 and Goodridge, 4-0) but both have proven their mettle to this point in the cage. Kocani’s BJJ skills may be better than Goodridge’s but the latter’s recent history suggests that Goodridge could very well prevail in a standup battle, if that is how this fight shapes up. Either way, both fighters are up for the well-deserved challenge and are will hit the cage in this one looking to leave with the coveted strap around their waist.
Alex "Bayna" Barna
@BaynaVI on Twitter