Thursday, February 21, 2008
In no particular order, the best 170-pounders in the NY/NJ area are: -Eddie Alvarez- A former MFC star and BodogFIGHT champ, and now a jewel in the EliteXC/ShoXC crown, Alvarez is a slugger who's one hell of a crowd-pleaser. He's allegedly moving down to lightweight, but all of his bouts have been at welterweight, hence his spot here. -Delson Heleno- Heleno's an IFL star and an ace grappler, and is what you get when you give a Brazilian special forces jungle assassin a work VISA. -Charlie Brenneman- Don't like getting ground-and-pounded into oblivion? Then don't get in the ring with Brenneman, who used his unstoppable takedowns and fists to win the ROC "Beasts of the Northeast" tournament. -Greg Soto- A wrestler-turned-jiu-jitsu man, Soto rose up the ranks like a rocket, but has been sidelined with injuries since KO'ing Sergio Vinagre at a BCX show. Hopefully, he'll return 100% and kick more butt. -Tom Gallicchio- Scrappy. That's the word that best describes Gallicchio, who's parleyed his wrestling background into an MMA game that's seen him batter oponents before submitting them. Honorable mention: the always-dangerous Doug Gordon, Beasts of the Northeast runner-up Mark Berraciol, ROC "Tournament of Champions" finalist Phillipe Nover, and promising up-and-comer Matt Makowski.
It's time once again for MMA Journalist's list of top fighters in the Northeast, and this post will focus on the lightweights. This list was compiled with the help of a giant supercomputer, a Ouija board and some 20-sided dice, and it's based on 2007 performances only. Also, fighters who've made it to the UFC are excluded. In no particular order, the best 155-pounders in NY/NJ are: -Jim Miller- A badass grappler and all-around scrapper, Miller's racked up wins everywhere. His only loss is to superstar Frankie Edgar. -Deividas Taurosevicius- Tough as nails and skilled as hell on the ground, this IFL fighter has beaten nearly everyone he's faced. Taurosevicius and Miller are far and away the best in their weight class, but they've never fought each other and probably never will, as they share the same Renzo Gracie jiu-jitsu lineage. -Brian McLaughlin- The winner of ROC's "Beasts of the Northeast" tournament, McLaughlin is a submission wizard with a deadly guard. -Kevin Roddy- Another submission stud with a deadly guard, Roddy is a BCX champ who's unafraid to throw leather. -James "Binky" Jones- Binky is a fantastic grappler, and he utilized those grappling skills to win the ROC "Tournament of Champions". He's had some losses since then, but you run that risk when you jump to the next level in competition. Honorable mention: Combat in the Cage champ Jim Bova, Beasts of the Northeast runner-up Dave Sachs, and the well-rounded Eddie Fyvie.