APFC 9 Main Event Breakdown

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This is the busiest weekend of MMA by far in 2023. Throughout the final weekend prior to the Thanksgiving holiday inside the United States, there are no fewer than eight (that’s right, we said eight!) title fights to be held. The championship action stays hot into tomorrow night. While Sunday is usually a day for NFL action from 1 pm ET until (roughly) 11:15 pm ET or thereabouts, this week, the pigskin can grab a seat on the bench as the touchdowns go to the sidelines for a moment in time.

After a night of titles in Bellator 301 on Friday and four championships from A1 Combat on Saturday, the final act of this championship weekend in MMA sees the sport head to Milwaukee, where Anthony Pettis’ APFC sets up shop at the Baird Center for APFC 9.

Interim Flyweight Title Fight Closes Out Stacked Championship Weekend on Sunday

Barring any late cancellations, the final version of APFC 9 will feature 16 bouts, including two title fights at the top of the card. Your final championship fight of the weekend takes place at 125 lbs.

Dillion Cox (6-4 MMA, APFC promotional debut), a veteran of CFFC, will take on Cody Linne (6-1 MMA, 1-0 APFC) for the promotion’s interim flyweight championship this Sunday evening. The winner becomes APFC’s second titleholder at flyweight.

Permanent flyweight champion Badmatsyren Dorzhiev (8-0 MMA, 1-0 APFC), who also holds the 125-lb. strap in CFFC, has gotten attention for possible inclusion in the UFC‘s active roster. This interim title bout is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.

APFC 9 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the APFC 9 main event this Sunday night, Dillon Cox stands as the taller man at 5-foot-10, compared to the 5-foot-6 frame of Cody Linne. No reach information was available online ahead of this event.

Dillion Cox to Play the Heel in APFC 9 Main Event Sunday Night

Dillion Cox enters Sunday’s main event having posted a record of 4-1 over the last five fights. Currently, he’s on a two-fight winning streak.

Back in June, he submitted Tyler Ashton (0-2 MMA) with a triangle choke during the first round of their fight in DCS 86: Summer Kickoff 2023. If he is to take the interim strap back home with him this weekend, he’ll need to overcome two opponents: One being Cody Linne, the other a hostile, booing crowd.

This will be a “road game” for Dillion Cox, and don’t expect him to get any applause from the fans assembled inside Baird Center. Cox has based his training camp out of Iowa, with Cody Linne based out of Kenosha, WI.

It’s never easy for an athlete to go into hostile territory and have to tune out the taunts from the crowd that wants to see their favorite son come away with the win. Head games from the fans can do more harm than good for a fighter.

Cody Linne Looking to Build Off of Knockout Win

In the other corner, Cody Linne has a 4-1 record of his own in the last five bouts. At present, he’s won four bouts in a row, with three of the four coming via stoppage.

Last time out, he scored a first-round knockout in June against Dan Moriarty (3-1 MMA, 0-1 APFC) during APFC 5.  In a recent interview, Linne explained that he’s branched out in preparation for this fight.

“I do half my training at Rothwell [MMA] and half my training at VFS now in Chicago,. It’s right by O’Hare,” Linne began. “And then, I also have a boxing coach. He comes to the gym, but he owns his own gym, too. So, yeah, I try and get the best I can with what I have around me.”

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Expect a ground war on Sunday night. Dillion Cox is a wrestler by trade, with Cody Linne as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner.

Cox Can End a Fight Quickly

Once Dillion Cox enters the cage on Sunday in the APFC 9 main event, you might not want to look away from the screen. He could write a happy ending to the story in a hurry, much like he did against Tyler Ashton earlier on in the year.

Upon taking Ashton down from the clinch inside the first minute, Cox immediately went to work on a rear-naked choke. He executed a deep submission hold, but had to transition to a triangle choke. ‘

Any way you slice it, there was no way for Ashton to get out of it, as he was forced to tap out in a minute and 40 seconds.

Look for Linne to Try for a Knockout

In the other corner, Cody Linne is just as brutal when it comes to landing strikes. One need look no further than the tape of his fight against Moriarty from June.

Linne and Moriarty found themselves in the clinch about a minute into round, with the latter becoming the aggressor, landing shots to the body. The former broke free momentarily, only for the fight to go back to the clinch.

Linne attempted a takedown, only for Moriarty to stuff the effort. He fought back with a flying knee to sit Moriarty down before landing a burst of ground and pound shots to end the fight.

If Cody Linne finds himself on the receiving end of strikes, he’ll do his best to return the favor.

Final Thoughts

By Sunday night, fight fans will be getting ready for a short work week ahead of Thanksgiving inside the United States next Thursday. Why not stay up a little longer and watch the APFC 9 main event?

Prediction: Cody Linne by Unanimous Decision. 

Live coverage of the event begins with the undercard on YouTube at 4 pm ET/ 3 pm CT before going over to UFC Fight Pass at 8:30 pm ET/ 7:30 pm CT. Should there be any remaining undercard fights left after the APFC 9 main event, those will be held at 10:30 pm ET/ 9:30 pm CT, back on YouTube.

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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