Friday, June 5, 2009

Liveblog: Caged Combat Part 5

The heavyweights are up at bat, with Hercules Benjamin taking on Eddy Rolon-trained JA Dudley. How do parents decide to name their baby boy "Hercules"? What if he grew up a runt? Anyway, the first round is a lot clinching until Dudley gets the takedown and scores intermittently with punches from top position. In Round 2 Benjamin throws Dudley with a hip toss, but Dudley gets out from underneath and secures the rear naked choke while standing. Benjamin taps furiously and referee Dan Miragliotta tries to break them up. Dudley won't let go, though, so Miragliotta throws him to the ground and gives him the evil eye. We're going to count this one as a win for both Dudley and Miragliotta. Next: Team Pellegrino's Greg Soto against Team No Ego's Craig Kaufman. According to Monte, Kaufman truly has no ego - he's just pure id. Soto gets a big reaction from the crowd, due in no small part to his work as a New Jersey-based crimefighter ("SotoMan"). Kaufman scores first with a takedown and puts Soto on his back, but Soto survives those unchartered waters to pound the snot out of Kaufman until the bell. Round 2 plays out exactly like the first, and while fatigue slows things down greatly in the third, Soto's beatdown is no less severe. He takes the unanimous decision.

Liveblog: Caged Combat Part 4

Gold Team Fighters rep Marcos Rodrigues and Team Pellegrino's Kevin Roddy are up. This one is pretty competitive, with the lanky Roddy making his presence felt on the feet and Rodrigues trying to work his ground and pound. Round 2 sees Rodrigues knee Roddy in the chops while Roddy's on the ground - that costs him a point, and his coach Jorge "Macaco" Patino screams out in Portuguese "Marcos! Bad! No acai for you!" In the final round Rodrigues almost KOs Roddy when he slams his way out of an armbar. Time runs out and the judges declare the bout a majority draw. It's intermission time. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Liveblog: Caged Combat Part 3

Monte Cox is sitting next to me, so I ask if he's got anything on tap for New York once it becomes legalized. He says he's already in talks with some casino, plus he's scoped out all the strip clubs and buffets in Upstate New York. Spencer Fisher-trained Kyle Gray squares off against teen idol Lester Caslow of Team Pellegrino. At the mere mention of Caslow's name girls scream and throw their panties in the air. Round 1 begins with both men trading and Caslow dropping Gray with a right hook. Gray shoots while on autopilot, and Caslow takes his back to hunt for the choke for most of the round. In the second, Caslow gets the takedown, fights his way out of a guillotine and kimura, and once more takes Gray's back. The choke eludes him and again Gray escapes late to try and score some payback. Round 3 starts to play out in similar fashion, with Caslow getting takedown and working into mount. But this time around he drops about 200 punches and elbows, and the rear naked choke comes pretty easily by the 3:24 mark. It's time now for Fight Factory's Steve McCabe and AMA FC's Andy Main. Main knocked out McCabe's teammate Ricky Lee at the last Ring of Combat, then filled Eddie Alvarez's pool with jello and set fire to Steve Haigh's collection of priceless Monet paintings, so their might be some revenge angle going on here. Showing some tight jiu-jitsu skills, Main comes out and jumps to guard, then swings into a bout-ending armbar at 33 seconds in.

Liveblog: Caged Combat Part 2

First up in the cage is Ryan Farhat from MFS against Rhino Fight Team's Mervin Rodriguez. Farhat is visibly smaller, and for most of the first round he's manhandled by Rodriguez. He survives, though, and reverses late to batter the Rhino rep and force the tapout. The official time was 3:48. A very impressive performance by Farhat. Next up is Tyler Venice of BJJ Shore Academy against Zach Burhans of Bombsquad. Venice comes out strong and aggressive, mixing punches with lightning-quick shots. It doesn't seem to faze Burhans, who sprawls, takes Venice's back and puts him to sleep with a rear naked choke.

Liveblog: Caged Combat Part 1

MMA Journalist is cageside at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City for the first night of the Caged Combat double-header - a Monte Cox/World Cagefighting Alliance joint venture. The card tonight is headlined by Tom Gallicchio against some Michigan fighter named Dom O'Grady, but the usual cast of Garden State characters is also here, like submission specialist Kevin Roddy, featherweight warrior Tim Troxell, the scaly Jersey Devil and Louie the Loveable Atlantic City Whino. Press row has yet to figure out where the casino's cafeteria is, so factor that into this "unbiased" report.

Weekend Schedule

It's a big weekend for MMA. The Bellator FC featherweight finals are tonight in Ontario, California, and feature Joe Soto taking on Yahir Reyes for all the marbles.

Saturday night on Showtime is a huge Strikeforce event. Robbie Lawler, Nick Diaz, Jake Shields, Scott Smith, Andrei Arlovski, Brett Rogers... need I say more?

Then on Sunday night WEC 41 on the Versus channel brings us the eagerly-anticipated rematch of Mike Brown against Urijah Faber.

MMA Journalist will be down in Atlantic City, liveblogging the Caged Combat double-header tonight and tomorrow night. The cards are stacked with some of the Northeast's best - Tom Gallicchio, Steve DeAngelis, Doug Gordon, Greg Soto, Zach Makovsky - and there's a ton of up-and-comers fighting as well.