Whoo-wee, a lot of strong MMA coming up featuring some of the Northeast’s best and brightest – or at some of the Northeast’s angriest and punchiest. Between the next Cage Fury Fighting Championship and ROC and whatnot, there’s enough to make your head spin. But fear not, because MMA Journalist does nothing but sit around the house all day thinking about Northeast MMA, ignoring his dog and wife and three-year-old daughter and forsaking food and not showering, all because the doctors think I have some sort of mental disorder and what the hell do they know, man? Their pills make you crazier. Crazier. Ahem. Anyway, here’s some match-ups to watch out for.
·Tom Gallicchio vs. Joe Fukstick, M-1 Challenge, 10/14/11 – Actually, Gallicchio is facing someone named Daniel Madrid, but since Madrid sports a 6-2 record compared to “Da Tank’s” eleventy-billion fights, it’s almost like M-1 does not give a crap that someone is going to die on a live Showtime broadcast. Seriously, I once saw Gallicchio rip out an opponent’s intestines and bathe in their blood – and that was just at the weigh-ins.
·Zach Makovsky vs. Ryan Roberts, Bellator 54, 10/15/11 – Bellator is contractually obligated to give bantamweight champ Makovsky a certain number of fights per year, otherwise he returns to his home in that other dimension where everyone moves ten times faster than in our world. So, yeah, non-title fight, some cat named Roberts. Makovsky’s going to win that bout so fast, he’ll be back in the locker room before the kid even hits the floor.
·Claudio Ledesma vs. Brian Kelleher, Bellator 54, 10/15/11 – If you recall my recent Northeast rankings, you’ll know I have these two as top five bantamweights in the local scene, which makes this bout more compelling to me than any other pairing on the card (sad, huh?). Anyway, Ledesma’s been at it a while now and Kelleher’s been kicking ass like a superhero, so it should be fun.
·Eddie Fyvie vs. Joey Gambino, CFFC 11, 10/22/11 – Another top guy and veteran, Fyvie gets to take on a young buck in Gambino for the CFFC featherweight strap. I don’t know Gambino, but I do know Fyvie, and the guy has spent years polishing his skills in all aspects of fighting – striking, grappling, katanas, poison, firearms, improvised weapons such as a lamp swung by its cord – and for sure Gambino is in trouble.
·Sean Santella vs. Aljamain Sterling, CFFC 11, 10/22/11 – Santella is the best bantamweight not signed to a nationally-broadcast promotion (i.e., the UFC, Strikeforce or Bellator), and with good reason: he blends flawless grappling with, um, flawless grappling. Really, that’s all it takes to succeed in MMA, just being flawless. And Santella is it. Sterling, while tough, is too new to the game to be flawless. He’s still got flaws.
·Bradley Desir vs. Shane Mallory, CFFC 11, 10/22/11 – I care about this bout because Desir hails from New York Combat Sambo in New York City. We need more sambo in mixed martial arts. Not enough fighters are walking around with limps.
·Al Iaquinta vs. Pat Audinwood, ROC 28, 11/18/11 – Iaquinta is the best lightweight around. Audinwood had his last two fights in the Octagon, and though he lost, those losses don’t negate the fact that he’d made it to the highest level of the sport. This should be a fantastic fight against two
skilled and capable dudes.
·Tom DeBlass vs. Davit Tkeshelashvili, ROC 28, 11/18/11 – Watching DeBlass slaughter opponents one right after the other is like watching the fuse burn on a stick of dynamite. You just know coach Ricardo Almeida is eventually going to toss him into the UFC and DeBlass is going to explode and kill almost everyone within a thirty-yard radius, and Joe Rogan is going to emerge bloody from the rubble and declare into his headset microphone, “Oh my God that guy is awesome!” Anyway, Tkesh… elesh… forget it, I’m not spelling out that Russian’s name. He’s doomed as it is.
·Uriah Hall vs. Daniel Akinyemi, ROC 28, 11/18/11 – In just a few trips to the cage Akinyemi has proven to be deadly on the feet. Hall is a killer in the stand-up department, too, which means we’re either going to see the best striking-heavy fight ever, or someone is going to take the other down and grind out a win that leaves us all saying, “Damn, sure wish they’d slugged it out. That would’ve been cool.”
·Jay Isip vs. Marcio Bittencourt, ROC 28, 11/18/11 – Bittencourt is a jiu-jitsu black belt from Brazil, and when Isip fights there’s more “Fuck yeah!” per square inch than legally allowed in the State of New Jersey. This is going to be a thrilling match-up, so hold onto your gooch. It might get