Friday, November 20, 2009
Bellmore Kickboxing's Gian Villante and Team Oliveira's Marcelo Pereira are in the cage now. Pereira comes out and wobbles Villante with a punch, but when he leaps in with a kick Villante catches him in mid-air and throws him down. They then battle a bit on the feet and on the ground, the Bellmore Kickboxing star landing more and landing harder. But Villante ends it with a right cross with one second left in the round, Pereira dropping like a sack of Brazilian potatoes. Pellegrino MMA up-and-comer Jeff Lentz and Team Combat vet Anthony Morrison are up next, vying for the ROC featherweight belt. Wow. Morrison just had the performance of his career. Executing the perfect game plan, he continuously got Lentz down and pounded on him, dodging Lentz's subs and unorthodox strikes along the way. Morrison takes the unanimous decision and the championship. Last bout of the evening and it's Advanced Martial Arts superstar Ricardo Romero against Team Link's Silmar Rodrigo. An interesting aside about Rodrigo... Anyway, Rodrigo manages a couple takedowns, but when they're back on their feet Romero clips him with a left and follows it up with punishment on the ground. With only 4 seconds left Romero gets the tap out with a bent armlock - and the ROC heavyweight title.
Uriah Hall of TSMMA vs. Mitch Whitesel is the next bout, and it's the classic striker vs. wrestler pairing - which means for most of the first round the two don't engage, each wary of the other. Aside from two failed takedown attempts, Whitesel spends all of Round 2 literally running away. The foot race continues in the third, but thankfully Hall catches him and TKOs the now turtled sprinter. Yeesh. Up next: Justin Haskins of Pellegrino MMA against RABJJ stalwart Dante Rivera. Rivera is what you'd call an "old school veteran and big F-ing hero" around these parts, and though Haskins utlizes superior wrestling to get him down and control him for Round 1 and most of Round 2, when Rivera scores a takedown of his own and nails the rear naked choke with just 9 seconds left, it's like the Germans have surrendered and WWII is over. In fact, the Garv is throwing confetti into the cage.
Big puncher Marc Berrocal from BJJ Shore Academy is in the cage now facing big puncher Ryan LaFlare from Bellmore Kickboxing. They come out intense and start scrambling like crazy, and LaFlare ends up dominant, raining down blows from every position imaginable. The action is halted, however, when LaFlare gets overzealous and knees Berrocal in the dome while on the ground (LaFlare is docked 2 points). Yet a restart only leads to the inevitable: LaFlare continuing with the beating and getting the TKO win. AMA FC's Josh Key is up, facing Serra/Longo's Al Iaquinta. How badass is Iaquinta? It takes him only 1:47 to get Key down, backmount him, flatten him out and pound out the TKO.
Green-haired demon Louis Gaudinot of TSMMA enters to take on Nate Williams of Des Moines MMA. Williams wants one thing and one thing only - a takedown - and Gaudinot happily sprawls and feeds him about one billion punches for his troubles. Williams does manage some success in Round 2, while Gaudinot takes Williams' back in the third and comes close with the rear naked choke. Gaudinot takes the unanimous decision when time runs out. It's time for Team Zocchi's Ariel Sepulveda to face Plinio Cruz of Gold Team Fighters. Sepulveda made a name for himself as a deadly striker in the amateur leagues, so we'll see how he does against the experienced Cruz. Hmmm, okay. The two go back and forth a bit with a few kicks and punches, then Sepulveda drops Cruz with a Superman punch. However, when Sepulveda goes in for the kill Cruz ducks down and hits the takedown, and the rest of Round 1 is spent with Cruz on top looking for an opening to pay his opponent back. Rinse and repeat (sans the knockdown) for Round 2, while in Round 3 Sepulveda again drops Cruz with a punch. Sepulveda does indeed have heavy hands. Cruz takes the split decision in what is a damn close fight.
Did you know Greg Soto flew out to North Dakota and defeated Ray Steinbeiss at some Indian reservation show? I did not. Hmmm. The things you learn when you chill out before the show... Anyway, Mervin Rodriguez of Rhino Fight Team is up and facing Andy Main of AMA FC. Main is one tough customer, and Round 1 has him on top trying to work some magic while Round 2 is all about him sinking a triangle and Rodriguez tapping out. Thus far we've seen everything from the young Main - subs and KOs - so maybe in the future he'll shoot fireballs or lightning bolts or something. Jesus Martinez (Will's brother) enters the cage to face Jim Tomczuk of RABJJ. Martinez makes it clear from the start that he's looking for a home for his right hand, but things get a little sidetracked when they both start trading nut shots. Round 2 begins and Martinez drops Tomczuk with that right, although Tomczuk eventually recovers and lands some leather of his own, and with a takedown early in the third, the RABJJ continues to rack up points. It isn't enough in the judges' eyes, though, as Martinez is awarded the unanimous decision.
MMA Journalist is cageside for ROC 27, the Northeast's biggest and longest-running pro show. The card is 13 bouts deep, and first up is Ryan Vaccaro of BJJ Shore Academy against Julio Rosario of Semper Fi MMA. Round 1 sees Vaccaro score a takedown and attempt some ground and pound, however, Round 2 is all about Vaccaro hugging Rosario to death against the cage and Rosario pounding the ever-loving crap out of him. Unfortunately, Rosario is docked a point for grabbing the fence, so what would normally be a draw ends up as a decision win for Vaccaro. Next up is Tong Dragon's Liam Kerrigan and Will Martinez of Fight Factory. Both guys were pretty successful amateurs before turning pro, so what we get when they mix it up is two very seasoned fighters battling back and forth, Martinez dropping leather from above and Kerrigan hunting for subs from below. Kerrigan ultimately nails a leglock in Round 2, but damn is it a war.