Johnathan Ivey’s Cage Fighting Championships (CFC) 5 will take place on Saturday October 20, 2018 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee at the Mid TN Expo Center. Event doors will open at 630 p.m. and fights will start at 730 pm.
This fight card is stacking up nicely and its going to be a night of fight you shouldn’t miss. One of the fighters on the card is Najee Blackwell. At CFC 1 he fought Kyle Lee and lost a VERY close judges decision. The audience demanded a rematch just to see another 3 rounds of that fight to happen. So at CFC 2 the rematch was set, but this time it was for the vacant CFC middleweight championship. Najee lost another Judges decision to Kyle Lee, but this fight was even closer than the first fight. The crowd was literally split in half. Half thought Kyle Lee deserved to win, and the other half thought Najee Blackwell deserved to win.
Najee came back at CFC 3 and fought last-minute replacement Ryan Driskel, he’s a solid and experienced lightweight who agreed on short notice to take the middleweight fight. Najee landed a powerful kick to the liver that dropped Driskel, giving Najee his first win in the sport. Najee took some time off, but is making his return at CFC 5 to take on Enrique Escobar.
FightBookMMA CEO Roberto Villa caught up with Najee Blackwell to talk about his return and his fight against Enrique.
Najee thanks for the opportunity to talk tome out of your busy schedule. Before we get into who you’ve fought, let’s talk about who you train with…Lance Boyd, Jacob Kilburn, Isaac Morris, Adonis Bonilla, Kyle Tetley, Caleb Ragsdale…I mean a room full of killers! Describe what that’s like and do you feel grateful or scared when you walk in there everyday at Harris Holt Martial Arts Academy?
Walking into that Gym every night is a blessing. I know I’ll get great work in and learn a boat load of things. All our guys have great strengths to pick up from. We have our Sensei Lance who is very knowledgeable, Jacob who is an absolute monster (hints why he’s the Killer), Isaac who is an absolute stud very athletic and strong, Kyle who is a Muay Thai cardio freak amazing striking abilities, Adonis he’s young but he’s picking up very fast strong kid excited to see his fight, and Caleb who has amazing defense and counters. The best is everybody is willing to help out nobody is looking to be alpha male in the gym it’s an amazing group of guys so I’m very grateful. Caleb would be the guy I hate to spar with the most just because he’s hard to get in on him and he’s waits to capitalize on your mistakes.
Man that’s awesome you are very blessed to be around these great people. So at CFC 1 you fought Kyle Lee, a lot of us know how that fight played out, but for those that don’t know can you walk us through that first matchup?
Yes, unfortunately I lost this fight but it was a clear decision. You could tell I was very inexperienced versus Kyle who was very experienced. I don’t believe he was strong or faster, you could just tell his technique was way above mine and he knew how to control the pace of the fight and it is to his advantage.
That’s very humble of you. Fast forward to CFC 2, you guys do it again. The judges declared Lee the winner again. This time it was for the middleweight strap. I know you’re a humble guy, but in your heart of hearts…Najee do you think you won that fight? Should YOU be the CFC middleweight champion?
Actually, I do believe I got him in the second fight. It was a judge decision once again. He took my back in the first round after a reversal and attempted chokes that he couldn’t sink while taking damage. Other than that he didn’t have much going his way besides 10 second of round and pound late in the third before a reversal from myself. I felt like I controlled the whole fight while dealing out more damage. I say round one Lee due to him talking my back, round two me, and round three me.
So that loss brought you to 0-2, at CFC 3 you take on late replacement Ryan Driskel. You had a clear size advantage over Driskel who usually fights at lightweight. But you landed probably the most powerful kick in the history of the CFC. Can you walk us through that fight?
Yeah CFC 3 was a blast. First shout out to Ryan he’s a tough opponent. I had a terrible camp this time around didn’t think I was going to get a fight because my guy back out so I stopped training until I found out someone stepped up to fight. During the fight I wanted to feel him out a bit. I heard he was a submission specialist so I was waiting on him to shoot most of the fight. By the second round I realized he came to throw hands so I switch my game plan up to finish him. I caught him with a right round house in the second and dropped him so I knew it was effective. Entering the third round I noticed he loved throwing the over hand right so I knew I had to get the switch kick in there. So I threw a jab and a cross to create distance. Waited for him to load that right and step into the devastating switch kick to the liver which resulted in him dropping and the ref calling it. After fighting Kyle that second time I knew I couldn’t leave anymore of my fights up to the judges.
Badass brotha. You didn’t fight at CFC 4 summer smash but you were in the building, was it weird to be there and not fighting?
Yes, very much. I was originally out-of-town due to work on a mission. I wasn’t suppose to be back until early September but I got sent back the day before the show. I love being at Ivey shows. It sucked because I’ve been apart of the organization since the first show and I was just sitting there watching. Although watching them guys just had me so electrified and two of my teammates were fighting for the first time. I actually spoke with Kyle this night and it’s funny because his opponent backed out the day off so everybody was asking me to get in there because they know we’ll go at it and they wanted to see another great fight.
That’s awesome. Your returning to CFC 5 to take on Enrique Escobar, what do you know about him? I mean he fought Sammy Walker so the guy isn’t scared of anything!!
I think Enrique will be a great opponent. I know he’s a stand up guy so that’s kind of my thing. Guess we get to see who more proficient at it. Other than that I don’t know much about him but if he’s willing to step into the cage I know he already has heart and earned my respect.
Before we end the interview I’m going to ask you three rapid questions.
1.) Favourite type of music?
2.) Khabib or Conor at UFC 229?
Ummmm this is tough both great guys ones a better wrestler and ones a better striker. I think I’ll take Conor in this fight. Second round TKO
3.) That’s what I keep telling my friends. Ok, celebrity crush?
Oh man my all time Favourite is easily Jada Pinkett-Smith
Jada huh, ok ok I see you. How do you see the fight with Enrique going?
Umm a fight could go either way every dog has its day but I believe I’ll finish him second round TKO.
Is there a part of you that wants to get your hands on Kyle Lee one…more…time…?
OF COURSE!!!!! (Laughs) we talk about it all the time. I think we both got something to prove to one another. Kyle’s going pro after his fight with Sammy so if we get to trade leather again it’ll be in a pro fight.
Anything you want to say to Enrique before fight night?
Enrique best of luck. Let’s give the crowd what they came for.
Najee thanks again for your time. Any sponsors or anyone you want to shout out the floor is yours.
Yes, first shout out to God. Secondly shout out to all my teammates, family, and friends for pushing and supporting me. Big shout out to Ivey for having me back and letting me be apart of this organization. Lastly shout out to Victor Alpha Clothing Line, and Good Life. Love you all see y’all October 20th.
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