Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat 55 Preview
By ‘Beautiful’ Bob Meloni
June 3 at the Tropicana Showroom in Atlantic City, NJ
GILLESPIE defends his title and hopes for a call from the UFC
With three title fights on the card, Lou Neglia once again brings the top talent in the PA, NJ, NY area to battle for supremacy. It’s staggering how many fighters have gone on from the Ring of Combat (ROC) to fight in the UFC. This card figures to add to the total of more than 100 fighters who have made it to the big show
Let’s take a look at the Ring of Combat 55 fight card.
185lb Championship Michael Elshamy (3-2) vs Eric Roncoroni (4-1)
Michael Elshamy earned his shot with an impressive victory against Tommy Dibernardo. This will be a rematch as Elshamy was cut and had the doctor stop the bout against Eric Roncoroni at ROC 53. Roncoroni is one of the most talented 185 lb fighters you will find. He is a product of Team Chamber MMA. All four of his wins are by stoppage. Eric would like this trend to continue as he has his sights set on the belt. This will be a stand up battle and a very exciting fight! The middleweight title was vacated when Oluwale Bamgbose signed with the UFC.
145lb Championship Frankie Buenafuente (5-3) vs Jose “Chepe” Mariscal (3-1)
Frankie Buenafuente is a hot fighter right now, coming in with three consecutive impressive victories. He has transitioned from just a wrestler into a very well-rounded mixed martial artist. Frankie’s last bout, at ROC 54, saw his boxing and overall striking game at a new level as he has found comfort on his feet as well as on the ground. At the top of his game, he takes on Mariscal who has a very lengthy, successful resume. ‘Chepe’ has competed across the U.S. and the world. He is taking this fight for the first time at 145lbs. Mariscal ran into a freight train (Gregor Gillespie) in his last fight which was at 155 lbs. It will be interesting to see how the weight cut affects him and how he deals with the deadly double-leg takedowns from the seasoned wrestler, Buenafuente. Lots of talent in the cage for this fight.
LISTEN TO MY INTERVIEW WITH FRANKIE BUENAFUENTE BELOW
155 lb Championship Champion- Gregor Gillespie (6-0) vs Sidney Outlaw (5-2)
Gregor Gillespie brings with him, probably the most decorated history in NCAA wrestling of any fighter. A four-time All-American and National champion, Gregor has not been challenged yet. In six fights, he has six, first round stoppages. Not since I saw Jon Jones demolishing fighters in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for Battlecage X-Treme, have I witnessed someone so dominant in the cage at any weight class in a local (NJ-PA-NY) promotion. No one has been able to stop Gillespie from taking them down, passing their guard, and either giving up the back or pounded into the cage floor by some of the most vicious ground and pound I have seen. I believe he should already be in the UFC and also doing very well. Up to the challenge is a well-respected and very well-schooled Sidney “the Gun” Outlaw. Sidney has loads of talent and heart. He trains with some of the best instructors in the world including, Tom DeBlass, Ricardo Almeida, and Dante Rivera. This is the biggest fight of his career and a chance to put his name on the short list of fighters waiting on a call to the big dance. He will have to find a way to keep this fight on his feet or perhaps suffer the same fate as the previous 6 opponents of Gillespie. Sidney is a humble, hard worker who is easy to like and root for. His task is a monumental one. This fight should be very interesting if he can keep Gillespie off the mat.
Also on the card:
Jenna Serio vs Sadee Monserrate
Brian Booth vs Ruslan Melikov – 185 pounds
Max Bohanon vs Jimmy Spicuzza – 155 pounds
Nathan Jaime vs Sukhrob Aydarbekov – 135 pounds
Sam Watford vs Nekruz Mirkhojaev – 155 pounds
Michael Trizano vs Raul Gonzales – 155 pounds
Greg Styles vs Tajuddin Abdul-Hakim – 185 pounds
Nick Fiore vs Eddie Lopez – 155 pounds