Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat will return to the Tropicana in Atlantic City on June 12th, and the line-up for ROC 25 is shaping up nicely. According to their website, lightweight slugger Dom Stanco will be facing the well-rounded and dangerous Eddie Fyvie, heavyweight grappler Joe Abouata will take on up-and-comer Gian Villante, Igor Gracie will square off against Team Tiger Schulmann's Radji Bryson-Barrett, and TSMMA stand-out Louis Gaudinot will attempt to land a spinning backfist on veteran wrestler Nick Cottone. As for championship bouts, ROC middleweight champ and Team Renzo rep Rafael Sapo and UFC vet Sean Salmon will scrap, while light-heavyweight killer Ricardo Romero rematches with Glen Sandull (Romero lost their last bout via disqualification). As top-level regional promotions go, ROC is king. MMA Journalist will definitely be cageside for this one.
It takes a lot of guts to step into the ring or cage and test oneself in front of a crowd of strangers. However, it takes just one good look in the mirror to realize you're not ready for that test, and through the years MMA Journalist has witnessed a select few wade into combat totally unprepared and get clobbered for their ignorance. Here's a list of the top five worst Northeast fighters in no particular order (note: since the advent of amateur MMA in New Jersey in 2004, most people not ready for prime time get weeded out; sadly, the following had no such league to learn how much their karate sucked):
- Rob Copenhaver - Back in 2003, Copenhaver was the man if a promoter needed a fighter to fill a hole in the card, and no opponent ever complained. It's hard to say what style Copenhaver represented, as he tended to get beaten up on the feet as much as on the ground. Yet one thing was certain: his full-length Lycra pants meant doom for anyone who dared oppose him. Okay, not really.
- Jon McCaffrey - McCaffrey has the dubious distinction of being the first mixed martial artist to be banned from pro competition for poor performance. The performance in question? A Ring of Combat 6 13-second TKO loss to Jordan Pergola that was embarrassing for Pergola, the referee, the commission, the fans and innocent bystanders driving by on the New Jersey Turnpike who had no idea why they suddenly felt sick to their stomachs.
- Abdul Mohammed - Perhaps the most scariest-looking individual to ever step into the ring (he's so heavily tattooed, the ink designs cover his face), Mohammed has trekked from the wilds of Pennsylvania to compete in NYC's Underground Combat League twice. And he's been knocked out in seconds both times. He looks tough but his jaw is glass.
- Khristian Geraci - Supposedly, Geraci had boxed Golden Gloves and was dangerous with his hands. No one ever saw that, though, as he had very little ground game and kept losing. And losing. And losing. I think his record stands at 2-9-1 now, with his two wins coming via triangle choke after his opponents grew so overconfident they'd lit up pipes and casually starting smoking them from within his guard.
- Felix Rodriguez - A staple at Underground Combat League shows, Rodriguez is a tall and lanky lightweight who can be talked into getting into the ring with anyone. Miraculously, Rodriguez has never been killed, despite facing the likes of light-heavyweight Kaream Ellington and anyone else from any weight class looking to get an easy win.