The preface of, “No disrespect intended,” is generally followed by something disrespectfully, one of life’s quirkiest contradictions, but Gemiyale Adkins insists his analysis of Luis Felix
is strictly business, nothing personal.
The two will face one another in a highly-anticipated lightweight bout Friday, Oct. 10th, 2014 on the undercard of “CES MMA XXVI” and the hard-hitting Adkins, born and bred in Philadelphia, likes his chances of leaving Twin River Casino with another win.
“Luis’ chin is suspect,” Adkins said. “My goal is to knock him out and I don’t think he has the chin to take my power.”
Thus begins the verbal barbs between two of the region’s most affable stars. Felix (11-8, 4 KOs), a Providence, R.I., native and Adkins (9-8, 3 KOs) both fought on the undercard of CES MMA’s network television debut on AXS TV in August, also at Twin River. Adkins beat Felix’s teammate, the previously unbeaten Nate Andrews, by decision while Felix lost in stunning fashion to ex-UFC vet Julian Lane, choked unconscious via guillotine.
Adkins coincidentally faced Lane in his previous bout, losing by decision, but had a bird’s-eye view of Lane’s win over Felix, specifically the right hook Lane landed in the third round of their scheduled five-round title bout that sent Felix crushing to the canvas and set the tone for the guillotine finish.
“As far as him getting hit in fights from people that have true power, I haven’t really seen him fight anybody with power like Julian in his last couple of fights,” Adkins said of Felix, who had won back-to-back bouts and six of seven overall before the loss.
“When he was on that winning streak before he got the shot at the title he was fighting older fighters, guys on their way out of the game,” Adkins continued, referencing Felix’s knockout win over 63-fight vet and former UFC standout Drew Fickett in March. “This sport is a business and that’s how you build your name up, but he wasn’t fighting animals. I’m an animal.
“I’m still in shape. I’m still coming at him. I’m hitting him hard and I’m going to stay in his face.”
This isn’t Felix’s first brush with pre-fight banter. Three months ago, Lane accused Felix of faking the rib injury that forced the postponement of their previously scheduled bout in June. Lane answered the bell that night and now Felix again finds himself forced to respond to an opponent’s criticism in advance of another must-win fight.
“As far as my chin being suspect or whatever, that was the first time I’ve ever been knocked down,” Felix said. “It’s my fault. I got lazy. The fight was too easy, to be honest with you, at the moment and I got too comfortable for my own liking.
“The first real fighter [Adkins] beat was Nate and even that was a suspect decision. He can talk about who I’ve fought and whatnot, but I’ve taken care of business when I needed to. I’m sure he’s referring to the Fickett fight because that’s the oldest fighter I’ve beaten [34 years old], but I’ve beaten three guys who’ve been to the UFC already so I think that speaks for itself.
“I don’t have to defend any of it. He better be ready. He’s one of those guys who talks a lot of shit before fights and yet in his last three fights he’s only won once. He can say anything he wants. Come October 10th I’ll be ready and it’ll be a fight just like any other.”
Felix learned two important lessons that night in August, the first being the danger of letting the judges control your fate and the second being the danger of getting too comfortable during a fight, especially one you think you’re winning handedly.
The Andrews-Adkins fight that same night was back and forth throughout with Adkins earning a close, unanimous decision, winning the fight by one round on all three scorecards.
“I saw how the last fight went and what mistakes Nate made. Personally, I don’t think Gemiyale beat Nate,” Felix said. “Nate made a few mistakes. He had him on top, but Adkins kind of laid and prayed. He didn’t do much damage at all. Nate dropped him about four times during the fight where he had a chance to finish, but he didn’t capitalize and lost the decision. I thought he still won, but that’s part of the game.
“That’s what happens when you leave it in the judges’ hands. When Gemiyale and I fight, it’s my job to finish the fight and not leave it up to the judges.”
As for his own fight later that night, Felix appeared to be in control through two rounds, nearly finishing him with a rear naked choke in the opening round and consistently using rear-leg kicks and quick strikes to keep his distance. Then he got caught.
“Kudos to him,” Felix said. “It’s just one of those things. You tip your cap and move on. He was the better man that night. That’s MMA.
“I have a chip on my shoulder,” he continued. “My back is against the wall now. I know where I was in that fight. I’ve got to get through this guy first to get another shot at the title. This fight for me is everything I need to focus on before I think about anything else.”
Tickets for “CES MMA XXVI” are on sale now at $40.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com or by phone at 401-724-2253/2254. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
CES MMA heavyweight champion and Malden, Mass., native “Big” John Johnston (6-0, 6 KOs) also returns Oct. 10th for the first time since winning the belt in March in a non-title fight against Newport News, Va., vet Keith Bell (5-4-1, 3 KOs) and Chuck O’Neil (13-6, 4 KOs) of Bourne, Mass., locks horns with fellow UFC alum Ricardo Funch (8-4, 4 KOs) of Ludlow, Mass., for the promotion’s vacant welterweight title.
“CES MMA XXVI” also features the long-awaited return of fan favorites “The Hulk” Todd Chattelle (12-10, 9 KOs), who hasn’t fought since breaking his hand in a loss to Shedrick Goodridge in January, and “The Asian Sensation” Andre Soukhamthath (7-2, 4 KOs), also looking to avenge a loss to Kin Moy that same night.
With his hand fully healed, Chattelle, a Pawtucket, R.I., native will face veteran middleweight Nuri Shakir, of Andover, Mass., a 38-fight vet. Soukhamthath, originally from Woonsocket, R.I., and now living and training with the Blackzillians in West Palm Beach, Fla., faces Long Island, N.Y., bantamweight Tom English (5-4, 2 KOs).
Also included on “CES MMA XXVI” is Providence’s Greg Rebello (16-6, 9 KOs), who’s looking to avenge a loss in June in a cruiserweight bout against submission specialist J.A. Dudley (7-14) of Kearny, N.J., and unbeaten lightweight prospect Jimmy Davidson (7-0, 4 KOs) of Sandwich, Mass., matched up with the tough Leon Davis (5-2, 1 KO) of Springfield, Mass.
Middleweight Joe Cronin (2-1, 1 KO) of Mansfield, Mass., battles Terrell Clark (1-1, 1 KO) of nearby Worcester; unbeaten featherweight Kyle Bochniak (2-0, 1 KO) of Winthrop, Mass., faces fellow Massachusetts vet Ruslan Khubejashvili (2-1) of Norwood; and South Boston featherweight James Murrin (1-1, 1 KO) takes on North Providence’s Devin Pilkington (0-1).
Visit www.cesmma.com for more information, follow CES MMA on Twitter at @CESMMA and Instagram at CESMMA, or “like” CES MMA on Facebook.