Ring of Combat III

Ring of Combat III June 7, 2003 Mennen Sports Arena Morristown, NJ Alright, so after we were finished with Grappler’s Quest that day, attending Ring of Combat was something of an after thought. We hadn’t flown across the country specifically for this event, but since we were in the neighborhood, what the heck. Plus several of our good friends were competing, so how could we not go? Sav from Tribe Fightwear was kind enough to drive, so we piled in and arrived in time for the end of the third match.

With my last second and haphazard approach to reporting, I didn’t get too much background information on the Ring of Combat. Apparently these events are held by Louis Neglia, a former pro kickboxer. The matches took place in a ring and I didn’t get a good estimation of exactly how many people were in attendance -although all seats offered a good view of the action (but not for pictures, note on the new camera: DIGITAL ZOOM SUCKS!). It was definitely a partisan crowd as most of those in attendance were there to support fighters from their specific schools, and the cheers and chants when a preferred fighter entered the ring rivaled that of any promotion I have attended.

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AMATEUR GRAPPLING One 10 Minute Time Limit – 150 Lb Limit Chris DiPaolo Tong Dragon defeats Mike Wojcik Team Freedom by unanimous decision

AMATEUR GRAPPLING One 10 Minute Time Limit – 179 Lb Limit Steve Kim Team Renzo Gracie defeats Michael Wright Ultimate Sambo by submission (triangle choke) at 1:46

I’ve trained with Steve before, both at Renzo’s and Ralph’s academy (although he had to remind me of the time we trained at Ralph’s), he’s a talented Purple Belt who barely broke a sweat in this match up. He was all smiles as everything went according to plan for him that night, including meeting him later for a celebratory meal of Korean food!

RING OF COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE Three 5 Minute Rounds – 185 Lb Limit James Gabert Team Renzo Gracie bests Jose Rodriguez The Pitt Penn by unanimous decision

PROFESSIONAL MIXED MARTIAL ARTS Three 5 Minute Rounds – 189-205 Lb Limit Tom Muller Serra-Longo Competition Team beats Eirik Certo Ultimate Sambo by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:04 of Rnd 1

Muller is the fast rising protégé of the Serra brothers -expect to hear a lot more from him in the future. This match was over almost as soon as the bell rank as Muller took Eirik Certo down easily, established the back mount with hooks, and sunk in the choke.

PROFESSIONAL MIXED MARTIAL ARTS Three 5 Minute Rounds – Over 205 Lb Limit Jay White Team Renzo Gracie defeats Erik Shaver Bellmore Kickboxing by Referee stoppage (strikes) at 4:17 of Rnd 1

White and Shaver exchanged blows on their feet at first with neither fighter scoring much damage. However, once White was able to secure the takedown, the match became one sided. Erik Shaver rolled to his back to avoid damage from where Jay pounded away until the referee stoppage.

PROFESSIONAL MIXED MARTIAL ARTS Three 5 Minute Rounds – 175 Lb Limit Luke Cummo Serra-Longo Competition Team bests David Tirelli Team Tiger by Doctor stoppage at :46 of Rnd 2

My vote for the best fight of the night (maybe not it in a technical sense, but it was definitely the most dramatic and fun). Cummo and Tirelli went toe to toe for most of the match. Although both tried for takedowns the fight didn’t go to the ground, and inevitable the fighters would chase each other around the ring throwing haymakers with neither gaining a significant advantage. Then in the second round Tirelli appeared to have his nose broke (unclear whether it was from a punch or inadvertently in the clinch) so the doctor stopped the fight much to the disappointment of the crowd.

PROFESSIONAL MIXED MARTIAL ARTS Three 5 Minute Rounds – 181-189 Lb Limit Peter ‘Drago’ Sells Serra Longo Competition Teams defeats Derek Johnson Bama Team End Game by submission(armbar) at 2:03 of Rnd 1

Here we had a bit of controversy on the night, as Drago takes it down to the ground very quickly and gets a fully extended armbar on Johnson. The referee stops the match but Johnson and his corner immediately claims he didn’t tap. So after a lengthy debate in the ring between the two sides and the officials, the match was restarted -with Drago holding Johnson in the same fully extended armbar! Brave on Johnson’s part, but perhaps not the smartest move as he tapped out seconds later and was probably a bit more sore for his efforts.

RING OF COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIP One 10 Minute Time Limit – 181-189 Lb Elvis Garcia Team Tiger Schulmann defeats Nardu Debra Team Renzo Gracie/ Universal Defense by Referee stoppage (strikes) at 1:34 of Rnd 1

Keeping Team Renzo from having a perfect night was a very pumped up Elvis Garcia. Elvis charged across the ring and Nardu quickly fell back into an open guard. Nardu looked very relaxed, perhaps too relaxed as he was slow to respond to some strong punches from Elvis on top. Nardu closed his guard, but Elvis continued to throw bombs that really seemed to daze Nardu. Elvis pounded away until the referee jumped in to stop the match when Nardu stopped responding.

All in all, a fun event. The next Ring of Combat will feature Nick Serra in the main event.

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Gumby is the co-founder of OntheMat.com back in 1997 with Scotty Nelson.