Atlantic City mixed martial arts fighter Cesar Balmaceda is finally going to get a title shot.

The 23-year-old prospect will face Cage Fury Fighting Championships lightweight champion Joe Lowry on Dec. 14 in the main event of CFFC 71 at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for over a year,” Balmaceda said Thursday. “I’ve been training hard and I’m ready to go get that title.”

Balmaceda, a 2013 Atlantic City High School graduate and former Vikings wrestler, will be trying to become the third local MMA fighter to win a regional title, joining Mays Landing featherweight Jeff Lentz and Millville middleweight Tim Williams.

Jeff Lentz is a former CFFC and Ring of Combat featherweight champion. Williams won the CFFC middleweight title before signing with the UFC earlier this year.

Balmaceda (5-0) and Lowry (8-1) are considered among the top, up-and-coming prospects in the 155-pound division. Both are viewed as potential UFC fighters.

“Sometimes these kind of fights are difficult to put together because once fighters reach a certain level and are expecting the UFC to call, they don’t want to take any risks,” CFFC owner Rob Haydak said. “That’s not the case with Cesar and Joe. Neither one of them has ever shied away from a tough challenge.”

Lowry, a 28-year-old union metal sheet worker from Clementon (Camden County), is seeking to rebound from his first professional loss. He suffered a first-round knockout (elbows) against Devonte Smith last month in Las Vegas on Dana White’s “Tuesday Night Contender” series.

He’ll be making the second defense of the CFFC belt he earned with a first-round knockout over Mike Pope during CFFC 65 at 2300 Arena on Philadelphia on May 20, 2017. He retained the title with a first-round knockout over Richard Patishnock at CFFC 68 at Borgata on Oct. 21, 2017.

Balmaceda, a UPS driver, earned the biggest win of his pro career on that 2300 Arena card. He rebounded from a slow start to take a three-round, unanimous decision over previously undfeated Joe Solecki.

He followed that up by knocking out Johnson Jajoute with a kick to the head at CFFC 66 at Borgata on Aug. 5, 2017. In his last fight, he posted a three-round, unanimous decision over formerly unbeaten Hopeton Steward at CFFC 70 last March 18 at Borgata.

Since then, he’s become engaged to longtime girlfriend Adriana Rodriguez, became a father to Cesar Balmaceda III on July 14 and bought a house in Pleasantville.

Now his focus is on becoming a champion.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m ready.”

Can't get enough High School sports? Get the latest scores, game highlights and analysis delivered to your inbox each week!

Contact: 609-272-7201 DWeinberg@pressofac.com Twitter @PressACWeinberg

Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments