Photo credits: Angelo Carchesio …Angelo J Photography LLC…angeloj_89
Ring of Combat 81 will go down on September 8th at the Tropicana Casino and Hotel Resort in Atlantic City. Louis Neglia and Frankie Perez’s Dead Serious Promotions have been stalwarts in bringing high end talent to the ROC cage. This night looks to be no different. Three championship belts are on the line along with another fight card stacked with great matchups.
145 lb Ring of Combat Championship
Nekruz Mirkhojaev is 8-3 and on the cusp of some great things. He has won four in a row and gets better every fight. He takes on Cristian Lopez. Lopez is making the move down a weight class after splitting his last two fights, both against current champion Armando Gjetja. He is relentless, and talented. This is a tremendous matchup.
Co-main Event…..170 lb Ring of Combat Championship
Yonkers native and Animals MMA stud, Jimmy Drago (4-1) will entertain Marquez MMA standout Itso Babulaidze (3-0). These two welterweights are both super-talented and work as hard as you possibly can. This will be my choice for Fight of the Night as I will be cage-side hosting the pre-fight show, commentating, and hopping into the cage to talk to some of the night’s big winners.
Main Event…..155lb Ring of Combat Championship
Armando Gjetja (7-3) defends his lightweight title against Jacob Bohn (13-10). Gjetja is surging and has won 5 straight including some highlight reel finishes. Bohn is a tough, savvy veteran and is riding a 3-fight winning streak. Gjetja has won 5 in a row and is one of the most exciting fighters I’ve encountered on the regional scene. He has tons of tools in his toolbox and is also a very slippery southpaw with a giant heart and motor. He has been absolutely on fire since teaming up full time with Ray Longo, who is getting the best out of him. MyMMANews reached out to Gjetja. I asked him if he thought it was important to be entertaining as well as winning. He tells us…
“It’s one of the main things. The more you get into this sport, you realize different aspects of it all. Of course, it does start as a dream when you’re a teenager. For me, I would be watching on YouTube highlights of Mirko Cro Cop, Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez, all these great legends. But then you get into it and see the reality of it all. You’ve got to be a killer and on top of it, you got to be entertaining. Not only entertaining, but you have to be a showman. This is show business. At the very end, you are in to bring an experience and numbers do count. I would say it could be a borderline negative thing. Just know the rules and play by the rules.”
Please check out our full interview on the link above.
Gjetja is worth the price of admission and will have a wealth of his fellow Albanians in the stands screaming for him. You can see the prefight show and entire event for free by downloading the Airy.TV app or visiting their website. I will have a full recap and results as well as any updates or changes to the card.
Commentator for Art of War Cagefighting. More than 15 years experience in the PA/NJ regional MMA circuit. Commentator/post fight interviews. Television/media/event production. USKA Fight Sports media and production.
The story of the fighter is what Bob loves about the sport. From the lowest level, to the highest, he only cares about the two warriors who do battle once the cage doors close. Everything else is secondary. Without their blood, sweat, and tears, he would not be here enjoying every minute.