Tommy Morrisson vs. James Clarke Breakdown

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It’s the first weekend of summer this weekend and it’ll feel like it across North America. A heat wave is currently gripping the United States where some areas of the nation will experience multiple consecutive days of 90-plus degree (Fahrenheit) temperatures.

One way to beat the heat and stay cool is to stay inside in the air conditioning and watch some MMA. While there are two big shows at the same time on Saturday,  there’s also a packed night of events on Friday, both here in the United States and up north in Canada.

It’s been 4 1/2 months since Samourai MMA held an event, having last put on a show on Feb. 2. On the first Friday night after the summer solstice in North America, Quebec holds three title fights in Samourai MMA Chapter 10.

Vacant Flyweight Championship Up for Grabs in Samourai MMA Chapter 10

Live coverage begins this Friday night in both English and French at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT on UFC Fight Pass. Barring any late postponements between now and fight night, the final version of Samourai MMA Chapter 10 features 11 fights. The first fight of a title trifecta takes place at 125 lbs.

Undefeated Tommy Morrisson (6-0 MMA, 6-0 Samourai MMA) takes on CFFC veteran James Clarke (9-3 MMA, Samourai MMA promotional debut), a five-round fight at five minutes per round.

Fighter Comparison

Heading into the first title fight of three on Friday night, Tommy Morrisson stands as the taller man at 5-foot-7, compared to the 5-foot-6 frame of James Clarke. No reach information was available at press time

No betting odds have been released for Samourai MMA Chapter 10 at press time, either. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend in MMA and/or combat sports, please wager responsibly.

Battle-Tested Tommy Morrisson Seeks Championship Friday Night

Tommy Morrisson has yet to lose thus far in his professional MMA career. Counting amateur competitions, he’s currently on an eight-fight winning streak dating back to January of 2020, before the pandemic hit. Morrison has also never had a pro fight end by stoppage.

This streak continued last time out, when he bested Jose Sandoval (5-2 MMA, 0-1 Samourai MMA) by way of unanimous decision on Feb. 2 during Samourai MMA Chapter 9 in Quebec. While the flashy finishes certainly grab headlines for any undefeated fighter, getting rounds in the cage is equally important.

Morrison has completed 18 rounds of MMA since turning pro in May of 2022. 25 months after entering the cage for his initial professional fight, he’s now just days away from a bid at a championship. Will he walk out of Laval as the new champion at 125 lbs. on Friday night? Tune in and find out.

James Clarke Hungry for Second Flyweight Championship in More than a Year in Samourai MMA Chapter 10

In the other corner, James Clarke has posted an undefeated record of 5-0 in his last five fights. He’s trying for his second vacant flyweight championship over the last year-plus in the co-main event on Friday night.

Back on March 31 in Phuket, Thailand, he took Colton Kielbasa (7-3 MMA) to the distance, winning by unanimous decision after three rounds. A successful title bid isn’t rarefied air in the least bit for Clarke and his camp.

Last year in Oshawa, Ontario, he stopped Ricardo Hernandez (10-11 MMA) by first-round knockout for his second flyweight championship on the regional circuit in Canada. All told, Clarke is aiming for fourth flyweight championship in North America on Friday night.

Just like Tommy Morrison is battle-tested ahead of Samourai MMA Chapter 10,  James Clarke is a proven champion. We’ll know on Friday whether or not he’ll be able to add a fourth 125-lb. strap to his mantle at his home.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

It looks like you’ll have another strength versus strength affair in this one. Who will walk away as the new champion?

Tommy Morrisson’s Defense Can Tell the Tale

With Morrisson being a battle-tested fighter, it’s a given that he’s got great defense. It was on display in his last fight in February against Jose Sandoval. Early on in the opening round, Sandoval rocked Morrisson and went in for the kill, landing a barrage of punches.

In spite of the onslaught of shots, he remained standing and counterpunched, using his defense to create offense and landing a single-leg takedown. While Sandoval attempted a footlock, he was too exhausted to finish the submission due to the earlier offensive fireworks.

With about two minutes to go in the round, Morrisson uncorked a right-handed punch to knock Sandoval down and softened him up with ground and pound shots. He looked like he’d able to stop Sandoval with a head-and-arm choke before opting to maintain the top mount for the rest of the round.

If Tommy Morrisson finds himself in a bind on Friday night, he has the skills to create a better situation for himself.

James Clarke Can Establish Control Quickly

In the other corner, James Clarke is a tough customer in the shop. Upon taking Ricardo Hernandez down in round one, he took top position and landed crisp ground and pound shots, giving Hernandez a miniscule cut in the process. The cut would be the least of his worries, with Clarke continuing to land strikes at will.

Hernandez never even had a chance to defend the onslaught of punches, with the referee mercifully calling a stop to the fight near the end of round one. If James Clarke comes out swinging, it’s a wrap,

Final Thoughts

Although three title fights on the same evening is a rare sight, that’s what we have in Samourai MMA Chapter 10 on Friday night. The first of the three looks extremely entertaining.

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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.