Friday, April 16, 2010
It's time for George Sullivan of Pellegrino MMA to take on Rising Dragon MMA's Tiawan Howard. Uh oh. The ring announcer has just revealed that Howard is self-trained. Get ready for a fatality. Round 1 is pretty competitive on the feet, but once it gets to the mat it's all Sullivan, who almost gets the bent armlock at the bell. Sullivan continues where he left off in Round 2, getting Howard down, tying him up in a triangle, mounting him, and punching until ref Big Dan steps in at 2:31 of the round. Dominant showing by Sullivan. Tuan Pham of Fight Firm and Jessie Riggleman of MMAI Fight Team step up to the plate with the winner guaranteed a shot at the ROC flyweight belt down the line. Apparently Riggleman got the memo that Pham is a big puncher, as he does his best to keep this a wrestling match. Inexplicably, Pham obliges him, and despite some back and forth the Philly fighter finds himself caught in a guillotine and is put to sleep at 3:17 of Round 2. Last bout and it's Bellmore Kickboxing star Gian Villante vs. Demetrius Richards of Elite Performance for the ROC light-heavyweight title. Richards was flown in from Nebraska for this fight - I guess they haven't heard of Villante yet in Nebraska. Well, Villante is considered a superhero around these parts... a fact that means nothing to Richards, who eats a few low-kicks but uses a Whizzer to break Villante's forearm (a mishap that occurs when Villante posts his hand). The official time of the TKO win is 3:27 of the first round. Richards is the new ROC 205-pound champ. And that's all, folks.
Mike Medrano of AMA FC and John Salgado of Inner G take to the cage for a welterweight tango. The scuttlebutt is Salgado took this bout on just 24 hours notice. Will that be a factor? Salgado lands one right hand before Medrano gets him down, goes to North/South and slaps on the choke. The tap comes at 1:07. Next up is Wai Kru's Jose Adriano against TSMMA's Nick Pace. Adriano's entrance music is "Hi ho, hi ho" from the animated classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". I fail to see the relevance. From the outset Adriano makes it clear he desperately wants this one on the ground,and he goes through hammerfist hell to get it there, but Pace is too skilled to let himself get controlled. Round 2 is another matter entirely, as Adriano manages to impose his grappling will a little bit more. The round ends with Pace driving Adriano's head into the canvas, and Round 3 is all Pace pounding an exhausted Wai Kru fighter silly. The unanimous decision goes to Pace, and now the clock is ticking on just how long before this bantamweight is in the WEC.
Bout #7 is David McMahon of MFS against Jose Viera Jr. of Jackson's MMA. I know nothing about these guys, so I'm just going to make something up, like, this bout is the culmination of a generational feud between Old West cattle barons. Who owns the rights to the land around Thistle Creek? Who deserves the hand of Thelma Jane in marriage? I don't know about any of that stuff, but what I do know is McMahon can't stop Viera's takedowns, so he spends a bit of the opening round off his back. Round 2 plays out in similiar fashion until Viera seems to run out of gas late, and McMahon - full of vim and vigor - capitalizes in Round 3 with a sprawl to back-mount to rear naked choke. Viera taps 21 seconds in in a thrilling turn of events. Now promoter Lou Neglia is taking a moment to acknowledge his distinguished alumni, and he calls to the cage such studs as Matt Serra, Lyman Good, Kurt Pellegrino, Chester Cheetah, Pete Sell and the Kool-Aid man ("Oh yeah!"). Okay, fight time, and Carlos Oliveira of Team Combat steps up to take on TSMMA's Jimmie Rivera. There's a lot of machismo in the cage now, but I will resist making ethnic jokes. Round 1 is all about Rivera tagging his foe over and over again with crisp hooks to the chops, and Oliveira even tastes canvas at one point. Round 2 is more of the same, and the end comes when Rivera times perfectly a knuckle taco that sends the Team Combat rep into Siesta Land. (Oops.) The official time of the KO is 2:59 of the second round. Good showing for Rivera.
Chris DeLuca of Serra/Longo and Noah Faunce of Varner's Combat Club enter the "Crucible of Doom" (tm) for a lightweight match. Taller, lankier and sporting a definite edge in striking, Faunce dodges DeLuca's takedowns and bloodies him with some judicious knees and punches in the first. But Round 2 sees the tide turn, as DeLuca scores a takedown and gives Faunce some fistic payback. Round 3 is all about who wants it more, and with a takedown and some ground and pound, DeLuca does. He takes the unanimous decision. Liam Kerrigan of Tong Dragon squares off against TSMMA's James Garzillo. Both men have extensive amateur MMA backgrounds, but Kerrigan is the one to gain the upperhand first, nailing a takedown and securing a kimura while in Garzillo's half-guard. The official time of the tap out is 1:48 of Round 1. Next: BJJ Shore Academy's Ryan Vaccaro vs. Daddis FC's Justin Greskiewicz in a featherweight fight and classic grappler vs. man with unpronouncable name bout. Greskiewicz is some kind of Muay Thai champ, so we'll see if he can employ it in the cage. And... he can't. Vaccaro gets him down, mounts him, tenderizes him and taps him with an armbar at 3:01 of the first round.
First bout and it's Carmine Zocchi-trained Ariel Sepulveda against Charlie Joseph of Team Lotus/the Fight Monkeys (seriously) in a middleweight scrap. This one doesn't last long, with Joseph walking into a number of short punches to the face en route to the clinch, and hurting his knee at the 1:27 mark. At least Sepulveda looked good throwing leather and keeping it on the feet. Next at bat is featherweights Pete DeYonker of Tong Dragon and Ryan Castillo of Serra/Longo. These guys do a great job of going back and forth on the ground and neutralizing each other, with Castillo's extra 30 seconds spent on top earning him the majority decision. Light-heavyweight Ricardo Almeida brown belt Haz Ibrahim enters the cage to take on Team Edson Carvalho's Rich Bianchi. Talk about fighting mad, Ibrahim looks like he's ready to crush Bianchi, drive him before him and hear the lamentations of his woman. The story of this bout involves Ibrahim getting Bianchi down quickly, getting on top and generously applying fist to face. Other than some foul language, Bianchi's got nothing for the Northeast old schooler, and Ibrahim takes the unanimous decision when time expires.
MMA Journalist is cageside here at the Tropicana in Atlantic City for Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat 29, the roughest, toughest MMA event east of the Mississippi. There are 15 bouts on tap tonight, and present are such luminaries as UFC fighters Matt Serra and Ricardo Almeida, Bellator champ Lyman Good (sporting a faux-hawk - a bold statement), and Pennsylvania-based blogger Paul Miles. Star ref Dan Miragliotta is hosting Q & A session on his experiences at the UFC in Abu Dhabi, describing in detail the unaired prelim bout that saw Forrest Griffin fight a camel. Also, there's apparently going to be an MMA event on June 19th at Great Adventure theme park, hosted by Great Adventure itself. More on that later.