Thursday, March 26, 2009

Team Serra/Longo, version 2.0

Dissect any fight team and lay out the parts and you'll see it's akin to a family, with the trainers as parents and the fighters of varying experience levels the siblings. The Northeast's Team Serra/Longo - helmed by jiu-jitsu magicians Matt and Nick Serra and striking guru Ray Longo - is no exception, and it's not hard to discern that veterans Pete Sell, Luke Cummo and James Gabert are the "older brothers". But who are the younger brothers? MMA Journalist has picked out four notable up-and-comers from this New York-based group. Keep an eye out for them, as they comprise Team Serra/Longo, version 2.0.
  1. Constantinos Phillippou, light-heavyweight/middleweight - Take Luke Cummo, shave his head and add a ton more muscle. That's "Costas", who's proven to be a deadly striker and very capable grappler in the 11 or so months he's been fighting. His only loss was a close split decision to Ring of Combat star Ricardo Romero, and at ROC 24 he'll be taking on UFC vet Sean Salmon.
  2. Al Iaquinta, lightweight - Solid wrestling mixed with submissions, plus a ton of experience as an undefeated amateur - that's the best way to describe Iaquinta, who made his pro debut at ROC 23 and dominated before nailing the Anaconda choke for the tap out. He's fighting again at ROC 24, in a rematch against Will Martinez (who Iaquinta defeated via decision at an amateur show in Delaware).
  3. Chris Weidman, middleweight - He's only fought once, but he looked pretty damn impressive. At ROC 23, Weidman steamrolled over Rubens Lopes, tossing the Brazilian to the ground and submitting him with a kimura in a minute and a half. This Serra/Longo rep will be taking on Mike Stewart at ROC 24.
  4. Anthony Abatelli, welterweight - An experienced amateur (although not nearly as experienced as Iaquinta), Abatelli is a wrestler and ground-and-pounder, and in his first pro fight he took out the veteran Garrett Carmody via decision.

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