Saturday, June 16, 2012

ROC 41 Postscript

As usual, Ring of Combat gave us the goods, with the "goods" consisting of some entertaining, quality fights, some thrills, and a few surprising upsets.  Here's the skinny on the bouts:
  • RABJJ rising star Frankie Perez completely handled Ben Syers.  And I mean completely.  I think Syers' best moment was his walkout to the cage.  After that, it was all about Perez tying him into knots on the ground and pounding him out.
  • Anthony Facchini did pretty much the same thing to Kevin Molina.  I think Molina was supposed to be some sort of dangerous kickboxer, but Facchini gave him no opportunity to show it.  He just took him down and raped him.
  • For as long as Andre Harrison vs. Bill Metts lasted it was fun, as both men threw punches at each other's faces with complete disregard for defense.  Eventually it was Harrison that scored the deciding blow, and he used the opening to snag the rear naked choke on the ground.
  • Brit transplant Liam McGeary and Ironbound MMAer Walter Howard had an awesome stand-up scrap that was pretty much nonstop throughout Round 1.  But Howard has zero left in his gas tank for Round 2, so McGeary had the ideal window to put Howard away (which he did).  This one was a crowd-pleaser.
  • Villi Bello almost - ALMOST - became the first fighter to ever win via inverted triangle in Ring of Combat, but somehow Chris Wade gutted it out for the minute it was on and escaped.  This one was contested pretty much in the clinch against the cage and on the ground, with Bello spending a little too much time on the bottom for the judges' tastes, hence the decision for Wade.  Good fight, though.
  • Brian VanHoven had the ability to take Lester Caslow down and hold him there, but what he lacked was the wherewithall to know that Caslow had the ability to slip on a guillotine and tap him the fuck out.  Oops!  Good win for Caslow.
  • And from out of nowhere comes a Russian badass.  That's the story of Tom English's fight against Soslan Abanokov.  Using solid jiu-jitsu, English had Abanokov in trouble early and often, but whenever a rear naked choke attempt seemed to spell his doom, the Russian would do something like escape, get behind English, suplex him, and scurry into a rear naked choke attempt himself (all in the span of a few seconds).  Abanokov took the majority decision in a close, close fight that was cool to behold.
  • Ed Gordon did his thing against Carlos Brooks, more or less avoiding Brooks' dangerous striking by getting the lankier fighter down and grinding on him.  Brooks did get some licks in - at one point he landed a spinning kick right into Gordon's face - but the Serra/Longo fighter just shook it all off and kept scoring.  Gordon is now the ROC 205-pound champ.
  • In his first fight back since almost making it into the TUF House, Jimmie Rivera did what he needed to do against Justin Hickey to earn the win.  But what he did, which was repeatedly take Hickey down and beat on him (which garnered him the clear-cut unanimous decision), wasn't what he was capable of.  More than a few times they stood and traded, and Rivera's punches were so much faster and more accurate that he dropped Hickey repeatedly.  And yet despite being the better striker, Rivera didn't go for the knockout for some reason.  Oh well.  Like I said, he still got the win, and now he's got a shiny, new ROC bantamweight belt.
  • In a complete and total shocker, Guillermo Serment flew in from Chicago, stood with local rising star James Jenkins, landed a stunner of a cross that seemed to break Jenkins' nose (and possibly his orbital), and then jumped into a guillotine that forced Jenkins to tap - all in the span of just over a minute.  No one expected this.  After all, Jenkins has been virtually unstoppable since turning pro, and proven to be tough as nails and not someone to be trifled with when it comes to the stand-up game.  The Serra/Longo fighter was visibly distraught with the outcome, which is understandable, but he'll be back, as he's got too much talent and potential.  As for Serment, well, he's ROC's new featherweight champ.  Paging Jeff Lentz... Mr. Lentz, please report to the cage.
  • Uriah Hall took care of business against Republic of Georgia fighter Nodar Kudukhashvili, but it wasn't easy.  Like the other Eastern Bloc dudes we've seen who've spent time in the Georgian special forces and who have names that are impossible to spell and pronounce, Kudukhashvili was made of iron, and he gave Hall hell on the ground whenever he secured top position.  Hall edged him out, though, picking and choosing his shots on the feet and getting takedown after takedown.  For his efforts, Hall is now the ROC middleweight champ, and the man to beat.