Monday, October 29, 2007
Back in September, MMA Journalist gazed into its crystal ball and tried to get a handle on the November 30th final round of the Ring of Combat "Beasts of the Northeast" tournament. Well, it turns out Eddie Fyvie would bang up his knee and have to drop out, Joe Aviles couldn't stop Charlie Brenneman's takedowns, and Marc Stevens failed to out-hustle Lance Everson. Go on. Say it. My crystal ball sucks. However, it doesn't take a crystal ball to see how things will play out now that the final match-ups have been determined. For example, in the lightweight bracket, Dave Sachs will test his ground game against Brian McLaughlin. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that McLaughlin will remove one of Sachs' limbs and beat him over the head with it. In the welterweight bracket, Mark Berraciol will square off against Charlie Brenneman. There will be no lay-and-pray in this one; expect Brenneman to put Berraciol on his back and pound on him for the duration. In the middleweight match-up, Mike Massenzio will take on the aforementioned Everson. Considering that Massenzio is a well-credentialed wrestler who walks around at about 300 pounds and cuts to 185, Everson will have his hands full. Rounding out the tournament, John Doyle will meet Ricardo Romero at light-heavyweight in a battle of mean dispositions. Whoever wins this one will most likely eat kittens and steal Christmas presents after the show. Fault the MMA Journalist crystal ball all you want, but you can take these predictions to the bank!
When Tom Velasquez and Anthony "Guido" LaDonna have a battle that ends up being the Ring of Combat 16 fight of the night, a wealth of jokes spring to mind. I mean, come on! Velasquez versus "Guido"? But MMA Journalist won't go there, because that bout - which saw Velasquez put LaDonna through the submission ringer in Round One, and LaDonna tear Velasquez up on the feet in the second round before getting caught with a lightning-quick heelhook in the third - should get nothing but praise. No satire, no sarcasm, no snarkiness. Just praise. Velasquez and LaDonna fought with heart, and their efforts when the chokes, armbars, fists and shins were flying deserve a heaping portion of accolades and a healthy serving of respect.