Saturday, September 10, 2011

ROC 37 Postscript

  • Goddamn was that a good installment. No decisions, concise endings all around, drama, plus a brawl in the bleachers (!).
  • The theme of the event was "let's demonstrate how much we've all been working on our stand-up", and starting it out right was Bellmore Kickboxing's Tom English. If it went to the ground, opponent Carlos Oliveira was sure to tie him in knots, so English took his time, found his range, then BAM! KO. Good showing.
  • "Wing Chun Man" Shawn Obasi draws a lot of flack for his antics, and he didn't many fans taunting opponent Chris Birchler while they were on the feet. But I give Obasi a ton of credit: he's been busting his ass for a while now focusing on the jiu-jitsu aspect of MMA, and in his pro debut he took on a Division I wrestler who outweighed him by 20 pounds. Props to Birchler, who, under the sagely tutelage of Jonathan Helwig, seemed to have a solid game plan that he stuck to, and props to Obasi for taking a tough fight.
  • Ed Gordon vs. Steven Edwards was nuts. Gordon controlled a lot of the bout with his top game, but every now and then Edwards would come damn close to submitting him. And in the sequence at the end of the second round, Edwards actually had the Kimura, and couldn't finish it because he'd dislocated his own shoulder.
  • Hey, more stand-up, with Brian Kelleher bloodying old schooler Mike LaDuke.
  • Matt Ruskin vs. Eduardo Telles was a fantastic fight and it was a shame someone had to lose. In the opening seconds Ruskin started blasting Telles, chasing him around the cage, and when he got the Brazilian down, Ruskin was instantly on his back hunting for the choke. Telles escaped, though, and soon after masterfully found the armbar. Yikes, what a fight.
  • Kudos to last-minute replacement Cody Castillo for stepping up when needed, but opponent James Jenkins is the real deal. Jenkins is definitely someone to watch out for.
  • Aung La Nsang completely had his way with Casey Manrique. La Nsang really jumped into the deep end of the pool early, taking on badasses like Costa Philippou, and the experiences could've definitely discouraged him. Good on him for sticking with it, 'cause he's got skills.
  • At this stage in the game, Tom DeBlass has pretty much shown it all. He's had wars, he's had quick subs and he's had slugfests. If he wants it, the bigger stage will soon beckon.
  • I had mistakenly assumed that Al Iaquinta's front kick to Gabe Miglioli's face - which resulted in a toe going into the Brazilian's eye - was an accidental foul. I was wrong, however, which makes the Serra/Longo fighter's win that much more impressive. The kid is a beast.
  • John Salgado is tough, but Chris Liguori has his number - especially in the striking department. Man, was that an ugly knockout.
  • It's good to see Deividas Taurosevicius still active. Ronnie Rogers was tough and had his moments, but DT has fought just about everywhere against all levels of competition. ROC 37 was just another day at the office.
  • Bonus info: Larry Landless was in the house! Landless is an old school UFC ref who still does officiating in California. His other gig, though, is as a strength and condition coach, and he was in town for the boxing match in Atlantic City the following night. For those who don't know, Landless was an intrinsic part of growing the sport on the West Coast, and he used to promote his very own underground show.