Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Johnathan Ivey’s Cage Fighting Championships is starting 2020 with HUGE BANG! The promotion is ready and will be hosting CFC 8. The event will take place on March 7th in Murfreesboro Tennessee at the MID TEN EXPO.
In this night of action we will see Najee Blackwell stepping back into the CFC cage. Blackwell has been with the CFC organization since it’s debut event back in March of 2017. Blackwell earned fight of the night honors that night alongside Kyle Lee. Blackwell returned at CFC 2 to compete in the main event. Najee Blackwell has fought on four CFC cards and is currently ranked in the top #5. Blackwell returns March 7th to take on veteran fighter Joshua Weaver at CFC 8. Before he steps into the cage he sat down with FightBook MMA to talk about his upcoming bout.
Najee you’re back in the CFC!!! You’ve been gone a little while, can you fill us in on where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to?
Yes sir, I’m back I got the call that Ivey was putting on another show, CFC 8 Winter Warriors, and it wouldn’t be a show without the Winter Soldier himself being present. As majority of the CFC fighters and fans know I’m active military so after my last fight in 2018 I moved a few months later to Anchorage, AK for work purposes.
You’ve competed on four CFC events going 2-2 in your time with the organization. Since dropping your first two fights by judges decision, you’ve scored two knockouts! Do you feel like your on track now and fighting at your best?
Yeah that second lost changed me for the better. Most people would’ve broke down but my mindset is very different. I know I can go far within this sport. As far as fighting at my best, absolutely not I’m still new to the sport I’ve been around for a couple years but I literally started with no training experience at all. So this is just the beginning.
March 7th your moving down to the welterweight division which will be a change for you. Your first four fights were all at middleweight right? How do you think the new weight class will affect you?
Well what a lot of people don’t know is that my majority of my fights I’ve been under weight because I’m originally a welterweight. After fighting at middleweight I decided to pack on a little muscle so I wouldn’t be at an disadvantage. I’ve fought at 185 and a 195 catch so it didn’t affect me that much. I’ll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime.
Your taking on Joshua Weaver at CFC 8 who trains under Kenny Vanderpool at Shelbyville BJJ in Shelbyville Tennessee. You’ve never been submitted in your career but is submission defense something that you are concentrating on in preparation for this fight?
Overall I concentrate on all aspect of the game. I heard Ryan was a submission specialist so I was anticipating the takedowns which never came and it threw my whole game plan off so that was a learned lesson. Honestly I don’t know anything about my opponent besides he’s willing to fight so he has my respect already. I never been submitted and don’t plan on it. I wouldn’t say it’s not going to happen because every dog has it’s day, but I don’t see it happening.
So your a welterweight now…there is a fight taking place the same night at CFC 8 to decide the CFC welterweight champion. A teammate of yours James Hairston will be taking on Ivan Lucas to decide who will be the king of the welterweight division. Will you be paying close attention to that fight and do you have a prediction on how it will turn out?
Of course I will be watching closely. Not only because I’m a fan of the sport but because my teammate is fighting. I have no doubts that will come home with the gold but with our team watching closely that’s how we see flaws in our games and fix them. We noticed things happening in the cage and soon as we get back to the gym it’s time to work, drill, and become better fighters.
Najee, thank you for the opportunity, any shoutouts to sponsors teammates anyone you’d like the floor is yours.
Yes, I want to give a shout out to my gym Harris Holt, my coaches and teammate, family and friends, just heart apparel and lastly the fans, we get in the cage and pour our hearts out for the love of the sport and for y’all. Y’all are the show, so March 7th I need y’all to bring all the energy with y’all.