Friday, September 19, 2008
Dan Miller needed only a minute and a half to choke the hell out of his opponent in his Octagon debut at UFN 15. Mike Massenzio damn near ripped Drew McFedries' arm off at the same event. Phillipe Nover sent his TUF foe packing in impressive fashion, and by all accounts Brian McLaughlin was kicking ass until an illegal knee earned him a win by disqualification. What do Miller, Massenzio, Nover and McLaughlin all have in common? They're the cream of the crop in the New Jersey fight circuit, and after spending years honing their skills in events like Reality Fighting, Ring of Combat, and the now-defunct IFL, they're sharp as hell and experienced enough to win at the highest of levels. For the longest time, MMA hotbeds like the West Coast and the Midwest were cranking out the toughest mixed martial artists, but no longer. Is the Northeast a breeding ground for badasses? With a wealth of shows and talent and solid schools focused on MMA, it sure is now.