- Jay Coleman - A muscular ex-wrestler with heavy hands, Coleman had the uncanny ability to knock out other wrestlers (something about timing and rhythm and a deadly right hook). Early on he pounded out a win against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Leo Dalla, and he went up against Philippe Nover in a ROC tournament, where he lost via kimura.
- Carlos Moreno - Moreno was the epitome of heavyweight knockout artist, a ROC champ and one of the most feared competitors in his day. He took his last bout on about a week's notice, a losing effort against Carlton Haselrig on the undercard of EliteXC's first show on CBS, and he hasn't fought since.
- Tom Muller - A Matt Serra protege and highly-skilled grappler (duh), Muller handed Moreno his first loss back in 2004... and never stepped into the ring again. Did he lose interest in fighting and take up bobsledding? Who knows. But the dude was a machine.
- Travis Roesler - The Philly-based Roesler was a skilled grappler like Muller, and very capable of hanging with the big boys. His last fight was a split decision loss to John Doyle back in 2006. Wherefor art thou, Travis?
- Elvis Garcia - Garcia was Team Tiger Schulmann's first MMA star, and with big punching and a strong top game, the guy was like a mini Fedor. He pounded out Nardu Debra to win the ROC belt and his last fight was a quick KO over Christian Montes in 2006. I believe Garcia went on to just focus on teaching at TSMMA schools full-time. He was the man back in the day, though.
- Laura D'Auguste - Hailed by all as the best 135-pound female fighter of her time, D'Auguste went undefeated taking on killers like Amanda Buckner, Roxanne Modafferi and Megumi Yabushita, and she even went to Japan and won a Smackgirl tournament. What happened? Marriage happened. But at least D'Auguste went out on top.
- Jo-Jo Guarin - Sporting one of the best guards I've ever seen, Guarin was a dangerous jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai practitioner and an instructor at Sean Alvarez's school just north of New York City. His last sanctioned bout was a 2005 decision-loss to Elvis Garcia in a fight he took on about three days notice, and he was at the BET "Iron Ring" tryouts, where he suffered under piss-poor officiating (Guarin had his opponent in a choke and a know-nothing traditional martial artist referee stood them up).
- Baba Shigeyasu - A durable and versatile lightweight with a ton of heart, Shigeyasu had enough grappling skill to go the distance with Wilson Reis - and even give Reis a hard time. This Japanese kid was pure toughness. His last bout was a decision win against Anthony Montanaro in 2007.
- Daniel Akinyemi - Another well-rounded fighter, Akinyemi went from successful amateur to a stint on the Iron Ring, where he was featured slamming his opponent unconscious and suffering a dislocated shoulder as a result (he was awarded the win, though). Akinyemi was in contractual limbo with BET last I heard.
- Alexis Aquino - Good old Aquino fought with his emotions most of the time, which made for some passionate-as-hell beatdowns. Yet he was also skilled, which meant excitement even when he lost. His only defeats were at the hands of Dante Rivera, Lyman Good and David Branch, who are three highly-skilled fighters themselves.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The Northeast's Top Ten Badasses Gone
The history of MMA is full of temporary superstars, guys who could headline a card and promise excitement but for some reason or another are no longer competing. Gone, yes, but not forgotten - not by MMA Journalist, at least. Here are, in no particular order, the top ten badasses from the Northeast who were total studs for a time and have since hung up the gloves: