Dave Della Rocca fights Lathan Harmon at MMA Platinum Gloves 9, April 25
Long Island, NY- MMA Platinum Gloves returns to The Sports Arena in St. James on April 25, 2015, where two amateur belts will be defended. The lightweight champion, Nick Fiore, (6-0) will defend his title against James Gonzalez (3-1) in the main event. In the co-main event, Danny Ochart (3-0) defends his undefeated record and MMA Platinum Gloves bantamweight belt against Shaquan Moore (4-1).
A feature fighter of the night that fans should keep an eye on is Dave Della Rocca (2-0). Della Rocca will be stepping into the cage against Lathan Harmon (0-1).
Della Rocca trains Bjj (Brazilian jiu jitsu) out of Vamos Bjj under Chris and Alex Vamos and at Bellmore Kickboxing. He will be fighting in a 160-pound catch weight bout against Harmon. Harmon looks to earn his first amateur victory, as Della Rocca plans to add a third win to his prefect record. Della Rocca struggles finding fights at his 155-pound weight class and decided to accept the catch weight bout just to get inside the cage.
31, Della Rocca intends on battling inside the cage as many times as possible in the near future as he has a long-term goal of turning professional. The Bellmore kickboxing fighter began training Jiu Jitsu about 8-years-ago when he needed to fill the void of his competitive nature. Last April he achieved his biggest accomplishment in Jiu Jitsu by earning a bronze medal in the open weight division at the Abu Dhabi in New York.
This bout will be a battle of two southpaw fighters. Della Rocca noticed his opponent Harmon appeared to enjoy fighting from his feet. Della Rocca is confident in his hands though, as he has been training standup over the past year with Bellmore Kickboxing’s Keith Trimble. Della Rocca referred to Trimble as the “best in the business.”
“My bread and butter is on the ground. I’m a Jiu Jitsu guy at heart,” said Della Rocca. The lightweight fighter is confident on his feet, but if the action inside the cage ends up on the canvas, expect the Patchogue-Medford graduate to look for a finish via submission. “I’m not afraid to trade with this guy on the feet, I feel confident on my feet, but if I see a weakness and a chance to take it to the ground to use my bread-and-butter, that’s what I’m going to do.”
At his age, 31, it’s rare for a fighter to get into the sport competitively this late, but having a strong background in jiu jitsu and watching the sport for so long, Dave Della Rocca needed to fulfill a dream many people have, yet so few accomplish of stepping inside a cage to fight.
“It’s that itch you got to scratch,” said Della Rocca, when discussing the reason he began fighting. “It’s something I feel like I have to do, whether it’s to prove something to myself and see what I’m made of, or that childhood dream. I think it’s a mixture of it all really,”
When asked about his short-term and long-term goals, the full-time IT worker is realistic about where he is in his career. He has short-term goals of fighting in as many bouts as possible and go professional. Tuning pro and taking a few fights will prove to himself he was able to do it and gained a new life experience. He plans to take it as far as he can.
In his long-term goals Della Rocca plans to earn his black-belt. Using his professional experience and a potential black-belt credentials, he intends on taking his passion of the sport and opening a gym of his own one day. Knowing that his experience as a professional MMA athlete could help his students is a motivator for him. He currently teaches a kickboxing class at Vamos Bjj and finds that instructing has helped improve his skills inside the cage. “teaching is a really helpful tool. It makes me aware of the details required to be successful,”
For the first time before a bout, Della Rocca sought out sponsors to assist in his financial burden of camp and the cost of supplement products. Della Rocca pointed out the fact that sponsors were more than just assistance of financial restrictions, but a showing of support for him by the local community. “you don’t have to step on other people for success, the best way for success is for everyone to succeed.” said Della Rocca. Authentic Arts Tattoo by Tommy Simonetti in St. James, ASES A.S Engineering Servies by Alex Spyrou, Riverhead Health Care, and Made To Thrive by Eric Ott are his sponsors supporting him for his April 25 bout.
“I’m going to make this fight as exciting as possible,” said Della Rocca. After telling My MMA News that he has had a full camp and is in the best shape he’s been in, he plans to make a statement in his bout. His favorite way to finish a fight would be a walk-off knockout, “Mark Hunt Style”, Della Rocca referred to. Though, since he’s a grapple any submission would satisfy him. “They can expect me to come out, push the pace and look for a finish.”
MMA Platinum Gloves 9 returns to The Sports Arena in St. James on April 25, 2015. The doors swing open at 6 p.m., with ticket prices starting at $20. Tickets can be purchased from fighters themselves or by visiting MMAPlatinumGloves.com.
“I’m just trying to gain as much as experience as I can, experience is your best teacher,” – Dave Della Rocca