Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat 30 is Friday at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, and as Northeast events go, this one is an absolute killer. Four belts are on the line, and the card has got more storylines than a Mexican soap opera. Come, join MMA Journalist for a breakdown of some of them, and a journey into awesome…
- Steve DeAngelis vs. Nick Pace – This one is for the 135-pound title, and it’s a match-up that pits a Kurt Pellegrino-trained ground-and-pounder against an explosive TSMMA striker. Both are, however, very seasoned and well-rounded, and aside from Edson Barboza (see below), they’re the two fighters on the ROC 30 roster most ready for the next level (i.e. DREAM, Sengoku, Shooto, the WEC). If his victory comes in impressive fashion, expect the winner to have to fly Jet Blue or Delta to his next fight.
- Edson Barboza vs. Marcelo Giudici – Barboza is the epitome of “ringer”, stepping into ROC 28 a relative newcomer but needing about a minute to KO Team Serra/Longo’s Nabih Barakat thanks to his 19 or so pro Muay Thai fights back in Brazil. Thus far, the dude has looked practically untouchable, and if I had to guess, I’d say Barboza is only a handful of wins away from facing Ben Henderson for the WEC belt.
- Ryan LaFlare vs. Mike Medrano – LaFlare reps Bellmore Kickboxing Academy, is a dominant grappler who knows how to throw a punch, and is the current ROC welterweight champ. AMA Fight Club fireplug Medrano has been around for a while now and has clawed his way up to a title shot. Put the two together and you have the recipe for an all-out battle.
- Uriah Hall vs. Roger Carroll – TSMMA middleweight Hall has a tough time finding opponents, and rightly so. In only his second MMA bout (in Bellator), he picked apart and absolutely dominated a dude with 28 fights, and in his third MMA bout wrecked a wrestler with 27 fights. He’s not just an elite striker, he’s an elite striker that hunts you down and hurts you. Carroll is a grappling specialist with a 7-3 record – will it be enough?
- Lester Caslow vs. Shennen Maceo – A young, well-rounded Pellegrino MMA rep against an older TSMMA instructor who just happens to be a world-class Muay Thai fighter, and both guys look like they’re carved out of wood. That’s Caslow/Maceo in a nutshell.
- Tom DeBlass vs. JA Dudley – DeBlass, though making his pro MMA debut, just happens to be a Ricardo Almeida black belt and repped Team Renzo at Abu Dhabi. Dudley is big and mean and, if I recall correctly, had to be forcefully pried off his opponent by ref Dan Miragliotta. Watch the f**ck out.
- Carlos Brooks vs. Ariel Sepulveda – One is from TSMMA and the other is from Team Carmine Zocchi, and both like to strike. The only grappling that’s likely to occur in this bout is referee Kevin Mullhall grappling with his conscience about how much damage these guys inflict upon each other.
- Chris Wing vs. Giedrius Karavackas – Wing, a product of New Jersey’s amateur leagues, is making his pro debut at ROC 30, and he’s got some fists to go with his wrestling chops. Karavackas is a world-class judoka who’s already racked up a pro MMA win. The big question here is not if Wing can win, but how big a splash he will make.