Ring of Combat 54 results: Gillespie, Desir, Santiago all impressive
By Bob Meloni
Photos by Marlene Meloni
Gillespie, Desir, Santiago all impressive.
Gregor Gillespie defended his 155 lb title with a first round (4:09) stoppage by TKO (strikes) against Chepe Mariscal at Ring of Combat 54 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, March 4. Gillespie remains undefeated at 6-0 and has basically mauled everybody in his division. He is a former four-time All American and National Champion wrestler who at 29 years old, has proven that he belongs in the UFC. He doesn’t just take people down, he passes their guard and attacks. Mariscal has nothing to be ashamed of. He ran into a freight train and he is still young, talented and driven. I expect him to be in the mix for the title in the near future.
Bradley Desir defended his 170 lb belt, putting on a striking clinic. Eddie Lenoci showed a huge chin after numerous combinations and 2 big knees. Desir stepped back and came in with a kick to the body that put his opponent down. Desir pounced on him and the referee stopped it at 3:17 of the first round.
Mike Santiago stayed on fire with his seventh consecutive win, defending his 145lb championship. Santiago is easy to root for. He has really worked hard and improved his whole game. His composure early on showed as he worked out of a guillotine attempt and eventually slipped onto the back of Lester Caslow and put on the RNC to end it 3:40 of round one.
Brian Kelleher defeated Julio Arce by guillotine choke 18 seconds into round three. In the rematch, it was very close again. Arce had scored in round two with a couple of takedowns. Kelleher caught him trying to shoot again and defeated Arcs for the second time. The title was vacated as Kelleher did miss weight so there is no champion at 135 for now.
A few highlights from the under card
Frankie Buenafuente (145) has really elevated his striking. Added to his excellent wrestling, he has more weapons. His level changes were very effective as he dominated all 3 rounds vs Leo Perez. Frankie may be in line for a title fight. He is ascending.
Matt Church was very slick on the ground and got a hold of Pay DeFranco’s leg and didn’t let go for a heel hook at 2:55 of round one in the 155lb battle
Other Ring of Combat 54 results
Mike Elshamy decT DiBernardo 185
Max Bohanan dec Zach Fears 155
Tony Gravely TKO strikes (r3) Paul Grant 130
Mike Trizano dec James Gonzalez 150
N Mirkhojaev dec N Fiore 155
Jay Silva dec G Mestvirishvili 185
T Abdul-Hakim dec T Foster 175