Do you smell that? That's the scent of warriors about to ride off into battle, their anticipation distilled into a sweat that reeks of aggression and violence. *Cues orchestra for dramatic medieval battle music* Oh yeah, it's on now... well, actually, it's on tomorrow night, which is when Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat returns to the Tropicana in Atlantic City for another 50-bout extravaganza that will go on into the wee hours of the morning (actually, a dozen bouts will go down, but trust me, when the main event doesn't happen until after midnight, it feels like 50 bouts). I've already extolled the virtues of Uriah Hall vs. Daniel Akinyemi (slugfest!) and James Jenkins vs. Dwayne Shelton (bloodbath!), so let's take a look at some of the other pairings that will make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and make my colon feel like it has to crap out a sofa.
-Tom DeBlass vs. Randy Smith -After going through about a dozen would-be opponents, light-heavyweight DeBlass - who's on the cusp of breaking into the big leagues - just wanted a damn fight. So in stepped heavyweight Smith. When last we saw Smith, he was fighting Brendan Barrett to a draw, and his size advantage and ability to wear opponents out is something hometown hero DeBlass is going to have to be wary of. While this isn't the first time the ROC 205-pound champ is fighting at heavyweight, it will be the first since he committed to making his mark on the light-heavyweight division, and he's had, what? Something like two weeks notice since Smith took the fight? It should be a good test.
-Jeff Lentz vs. Giovanni Moljo -I interviewed and wrote something about Lentz about two or three years ago and put it up on the FCF website, but I'll be damned if I can find it. Man, that sucks. It was pretty glowing, too, as the kid was something of a prodigy in the Northeast and was taking dudes out left and right with his unorthodox striking and competent ground game. Oh well. I have no idea who Giovanni Moljo is, but Giovanni Ribisi has alway been a decent actor. Remember "Saving Private Ryan"? Gritty performance for sure.
-Pete Sell vs. Mitch Whitesel - It was rough watching Sell fall to Nordine Taleb at the ROC 38, especially since I remember when "Drago" kicked Ted Govola Jr.'s ass at ROC 2. Anyway, Whitesel has never really been one to outstrike anyone, so this should be a nice, competitive matchup where no one gets killed at the end.
-Lester Caslow vs. Duane van Helvoirt - Former teen pop sensation Caslow has fought in just about every promotion that has come to New Jersey, including Bellator. Van Helvoirt, meanwhile, hails from the Netherlands. You know what the Netherlands is a major exporter of? Flowers. Caslow has nothing to fear.
-Munah Holland vs. Pearl Gonzalez -Gonzalez is some kind of submission specialist out of Chicago, while we all know Holland excels at punching girls in the face so hard they... so hard they... I don't know. They something. Anyway, Holland fights out of TSMMA, and she about murdered Kim Couture, and Kim Couture was kicked to the curb by Randy Couture when he found out she was disguising herself as an old witch and handing out poisoned apples to innocent young girls in the woods. So, um, yeah.