Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Ring of Combat show at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, NJ. Lou Neglia always puts on a great card and this is the second show I have attended. While a lot of the early bouts lacked experience fighters and consisted of decisions they were entertaining none the less. About halfway through the card Lou Neglia called out some ROC alumnus including Phillip Nover, Nick Catone, Kurt Pelligrino, Eddie Alvarez, Pete Sell, Ricardo Almeida and Matt Serra. Also appearing as a guest was none other than UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.
The card consisted of 15 fights and with a starting time of 8:30pm I didn’t get out of the Tropicana until after 12:30 but it was well worth it. We were right on top of the action and seeing the UFC stars and being literally five feet away from them was a great experience. Serra looked to be in fantastic shape as he prepares for his fight with Matt Hughes next month at UFC 98. On to the results:
130lb preliminary fight: Chris Aquino defeated Louis Gaudinot via unanimous decision.
Lightweight preliminary fight: John Salgado vs. David Church ended in a draw after Salgado was penalized two points for an illegal kick to his opponent while he was down.
Bantamweight preliminary fight: Joshua Montoya defeated Jose Villanueva via unanimous decision.
Lightweight: Will Martinez and Al Iaquinta fought to a draw as Iaquinta a Serra student was penalized a point for grabbing the fence.
Featherweight: Matt McManmon defeated Jay McLean via unanimous decision.
Featherweight: Joey Camacho defeated Fernando Bernardino via split decision.
190 Lbs: Chris Weidman defeated Mike Stewart via TKO (Punches) 2:38 of round one. Easily the most exciting fight up until this point as well as the first finish. Weidman is another one of Serra-Longo’s students and he looked very impressive.
160 Lbs: Chris Schlessinger defeated Shawn Forman via Unanimous decision.
Featherweight: Andy Main defeated Ricky Lee via TKO (Strikes) at 3:59 of round one. These two went at it for the full four minute round. Main caught Lee with a nice flurry as the round was ending and the ref had no choice but to step in and stop it.
232 Lbs: Gian Villante defeated Paul White via rear naked choke at at 1:46 of round one. Villante took White down pretty easily and landed a devastating punch and then it was over.
Middleweight: Sean Salmon defeated John Doyle via unanimous decision. Yes this is the same Sean Salmon who was head kicked into the next century by Rashad Evans. Salmon controlled the whole fight while in Doyle’s half guard and also was able to gain side mount and did a good job of scoring points at will.
Middleweight: Dante Rivera defeated Lamont Lister via guillotine choke at 1:25 of round one. The last time I saw Rivera fight he was knocked out in under a minute by Paul Bradley. Rivera looked much better this time around and scored the quick win to rebound nicely.
USKBA East Coast Lightweight Title Fight: Charles Oliveira Da Silva defeated Dom Stanco via rear naked choke at 3:36 of round one. Not much detail other than Da Silva had good very jiu-jitsu.
245 Lbs: Ricardo Romero defeated James McSweeney via rear naked choke at 2:27 of round one. The result says it all, a couple of take downs and a choke and it was over.
ROC Middleweight Title Fight: Rafal Sapo defeated Plinio Cruz via rear naked choke at 3:13 of round 2. Another rear naked choke. After all of the beginning fights were decisions this card ended nicely as Sapo controlled Cruz on the ground and attempted a RNC a few times before finally cinching it in.