by Ken Pirok (Photos by Jason Stoller)
(Photos by Jason Stoller / Accurate Image Studios)

International Fight League star Mike Ciesnolevicz had quite a weekend. He fought main events in two different states and in two different weight classes saying, “If I can fight two times this weekend, I’ll be happy. That’s how they used to do it back in the day.”

On Friday, he earned the Courage Fighting Championships 205-pound title by submitting Andrew Force in Decatur, Ill. Then, he was off to Iowa to headline the Extreme Challenge 100 event in Davenport, defeating Matt Andersen as a heavyweight. He tipped the scales at 206 pounds.

Friday’s fight featured a lot of wrestling, with Ciesnolevicz generally on top and in control. He eventually maneuvered his opponent into a guillotine choke and forced the tap at 2:20 of the first round.

The game plan for Ciesnolevicz was to “fight safe tonight,” without a stand up game and avoiding risks like being cut. “I was trying to throw no punches, because I didn’t want to hurt my hands for (Saturday’s fight). (Saturday) I can go all out.”

The standing-room-only crowd in Decatur had a late night, witnessing a full card of twenty-three MMA fights. In the other championship fight, Laverne Clark defeated Matt Kelly for the 185-pound belt. According to promoter Jason Reinhardt, Matt Kelly had called him and stated, “I wanna fight the toughest fighter on your card.”

Even though Kelly was self-trained and fighting in his pro debut, he proved to have an incredible chin. He took a beating, gave a few back, and earned the respect of his opponent. After the fight, Clark complimented Kelly. “He took ten more punches that I didn’t think he was gonna take. I’d like to train with that guy sometime.”

Matt Kelly proposed to his girlfriend before leaving the cage. She said, “Yes.”

As for Laverne Clark’s future, he plans to win a couple more fights and try to return to the UFC, exclaiming, “I’m on my way back!”

Courage Fighting Championships XII
Masonic Temple
Decatur, Illinois
June 27, 2008

CFC 205-Pound Title:
-Mike Ciesnolevicz def. Andrew Force by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:20, R1

CFC 185-Pound Title:
-Laverne Clark def. Matt Kelly by TKO (strikes) at 1:57, R1

CFC 135-Pound Amateur State Title:
-Kaleb Shields def. Javier Barrera by Submission (strikes) at 1:02, R2

CFC 205-Pound Amateur State Title:
-Jason Bragg def. Allen Woodcock by Submission (choke) at 0:47, R1

-Billy Rutherford def. Tommy Delgadillo by Submission (darce choke) at 0:41, R1
-Adam Smith def. Greg Smith by TKO (unable to continue/broken arm) at 1:46, R1
-Mike Morrisey def. Eric Holley by TKO (strikes) at 0:28, R1
-Quartus Stitt def. Keith Shields by TKO (strikes) at 0:30, R1
-Amanda Peck def. Jamie Bragg by Submission (choke) at 2:59, R1
-Dan Loman def. Zamie Woods by Submission (strikes) at 2:18, R1
-Mike Glosser def. Ferron Kelly by TKO (strikes) at 1:18, R1
-Patrick Riley def. Ryan Scheeper by TKO (strikes) at 0:22, R1
-Tim Morrisey def. Charlie Rambo by Submission (strikes) at 1:47, R1
-Chris Morrison def. Joe Hackert by Submission (rear naked choke) at 0:44, R2
-Garrett Buel def. Chris Tickle by TKO (rear naked choke) at 1:55, R1
-Ryan Green def. Ronnie Guglielmetti by TKO (strikes) at 1:41, R1
-Josh Stewart def. Alex May by TKO (strikes) at 2:50, R2
-Jordan Followell def. Malik Abudullah by Submission (rear naked choke) at 1:44, R1
-Mike Stoller def. T.J. Wiseman by Submission (armbar) at 0:57, R2
-Dustin Dailey def. Tommy Pickering by TKO (strikes) at 0:45, R1
-Jake Morgan def. Glenn Hanson by Submission (rear naked choke) at 0:45, R2
-Ken Kirby def. Mike McGee by Submission (rear naked choke) at 1:33, R1
-Bob Vest def. Lee Ross by TKO (strikes) at 0:30, R1