Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Carlos Moreno Returns, Fails to Kill Opponent

Battle Cage Xtreme, a fledgling promotion in New Jersey, had its debut show this past weekend. Six bouts total. Welterweight stud Greg Soto won a belt, featherweight Matt Zaccarias won a belt, blah, blah, blah. The real news was the long-awaited return of Carlos Moreno. Who is Carlos Moreno?

Moreno first stepped into the ring at one of the old 2002 BAMA FightNight shows and began knocking out heavyweights in impressive fashion, and when he wasn’t sending fighters into dreamland, the ref was either stepping in (lest someone die) or the opponents were submitting with broken eye sockets. Think of a friendly and amiable Puerto Rican Tank Abbott. In 2004, jiu-jitsu wizard Tom Muller took the now Ring of Combat Heavyweight Champ down and submitted him and… we never really heard from Moreno again.

That is, until the tryouts for the BET reality show came along a couple months ago. Yes, Moreno tried out, and by some accounts did not impress – his conditioning wasn’t up to par, he didn’t look great during whatever drills they had to do, etc. And then they put him in the ring against Bombsquad up-and-comer Jarrid Palmer, and when Palmer was sent crashing to the canvas with a broken jaw, the powers that be saw Moreno was the real deal (I think Moreno was given a thousand bucks on the spot).

The trimmed-down Moreno we saw this past weekend was a good 20 pounds lighter than the 2004 version. He looked in shape and was definitely focused, and although he didn’t decapitate his opponent, it was a clear and convincing 34-second one-sided beatdown. Does this mean Moreno is back? God, I hope so. Heavy-handed punchers are always thrilling to watch – especially when they have an uncanny knack for landing those punches in the heat of an MMA bout – and this guy has got talent and presence in spades.