Saturday, April 28, 2012

Observations from My Couch: ROC 40

I did not make it down to Atlantic City to see Ring of Combat 40, but I did shell out the dough to watch it on GoFightLive - or, as I prefer to call it, GoFightFrozenScreenBufferingKillMeNow. Anyway, from what I saw, the event kicked ass, as did a few notable fighters. For instance...

-Daniel Akinyemi needed only 12 seconds to put away Brett Linebarger, proving once more that he can hit crazy hard and that his dominant performance against Uriah Hall (up until Hall tapped him with a heelhook) was no fluke. There's a new sheriff in town at 185, and his name is Daniel Akinyemi.

-Carlos Brooks wrecked Danny Babcock in 51 seconds, throwing everything in his arsenal (including a spinning back-kick) and making the Floridian crumble in a heap. Like Akinyemi, Brooks has got skills and is ultra-dangerous.

-It's cool watching a fighter evolve in the cage, and last night we got to see Ed "Truck" Gordon take the next step in his fistic development. Instead of trying to take the veteran Ryan Contaldi to the mat and pounding on him, Truck stood and boxed - and at the 2:58 mark of the first round, he put his opponent away. If I had to guess, I'd say coach Ray Longo has had Truck sparring like crazy. If that's the case, it sure paid off.

-Both men are pretty damn skilled and pretty damn underrated, but when Mervin Rodriguez and Nabih Baraket met last night, it was Rodriguez who was able to impose his will and get the decision. As a Serra/Longo guy, Baraket is, of course, a dangerous striker who's very capable off his back. However, ever since setting up shop at Pellegrino MMA, Rodriguez has been sharp as fuck, and he kept Baraket down and on the defensive enough to warrant the decision.

-Ryan Vaccaro pulled off the win against Billy Vaughan on the strength of two dominant rounds of ground work, but he was spent when Round 3 came around, so a well-rounded Vaughan was steadily gaining on him. Ultimately, Vaccaro had just enough left to keep the round from being a 10-8 in his foe's favor (which would've screwed his lead on the scorecards), and he walked away with the decision.

-Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug. Last night, both Chris Wing and Adam Fearon, who've spent plenty of time being windshields, wound up the proverbial bugs. For Wing, the loss came via a tight split decision against an exceedingly tough Stephan Govan, who just would not go down no matter how hard "Red Line" hit him and dished out a proportionate amount of punishment in return. For Fearon, loss came against a seemingly resurgent Yusuf Yoldas, who pounded on him throughout the first then put him away 40 seconds into the second. Oh well. Wing and Fearon are proven warriors. They'll be back.

-In other action, David Jordan (who trekked all the way from Las Vegas to fight) had one hell of a war with Pat DeFranco. DeFranco took the split decision, but it was a great way to start off the card. Andre Harrison put his stamp on Epifano Diaz, ground and pounding him for the clear-cut decision. Chris Wade took jiu-jitsu specialist Maykon Santos' best, but just like in his last fight, he was ready for every sub attempt, and Wade fed Santos enough leather to merit the decision. Walter Howard had an impressive pro debut against Mike Andrillo, jabbing him to pieces and working him over thoroughly on the ground. And in the main event, UFC vet Marvin Eastman simply brutalized young Russian upstart Dimitry Zablotny.