Julio Arce wins 145lb title, Taj “the Black Spartan” Abdul-Hakim creating havoc at 170… full ROC 57 results
Ring of Combat 57 results from Atlantic City, New Jersey – November 18, 2016
In the main event, Julio Arce defeated the 145 lb champion, Frankie Buenafuente via unanimous decision to win the Ring of Combat championship. Arce is now a two-division champion as he is the former 135 lb champ.
“I’ve never felt this good before a fight. I barely cut any weight and I feel like myself. I watched both of my last two fights, and I saw it in my face. I didn’t look right. Plus I got tired quicker,” Arce said.
He needed every bit of that energy as this fight went down to the wire. Arce won all three rounds on two of the judges scorecards. Buenafuente fought valiantly in defeat but this was Julio’s night. It was an amazing performance to not give up one takedown to the defending champ.
It was obvious the the Tiger Schulman MMA product worked extremely hard on his wrestling defense and had a smart game plan. Arce fought off several deep shots and remained on his feet where the former Golden Gloves champion is at his best. It was a very technical fight from both men and a very enjoyable thing to watch. These two warriors left everything in the cage as the crowd erupted. I would love to see a second battle between these two huge prospects who could both eventually be fighting in the UFC.
Ruslan Melikov defended his 185 lb championship with a dominant performance versus Willie Hosch. Melikov is a superior grappler and used that to also score some hard hitting ground and pound. He still seems uncomfortable standing, but when you can dictate where the fight ends up, that really doesn’t matter. Melokov was on top for a majority of the fight. There are some interesting possible matchups for the champion. We will see if he can keep the belt and continue to grow his arsenal.
My favorite of the night was in the 170 lb weight division. Guram Mestvirishvili is a bull who trains out of the Serra-Longo fight camp. He comes to the cage with an attitude.
But a name everybody should remember is Taj “the Black Spartan” Abdul-Hakim. Taj ran his record to 4-0 with a display of speed and power that had me shaking my head. Easily one of the most exciting fighters I’ve seen in a while. He used kicks, elbows, punches, and danced in and out while battering Guram. The doctor had to stop the fight in the 3rd round due to a vicious cut above the eye of Guram.
Taj clearly won the first two rounds and was on his way to a dominant victory. He has a very vocal and supportive fan base and I could see why after talking with him and seeing how humble and likable this gentleman is. He definitely should be in the hunt for a title shot. The Black Spartan is on a serious roll and whoever he takes on next will have their hands full.
Other Ring of Combat 57 results:
135 lbs – Merab Dvaliahvili defeated Tony Gravely via unanimous decision setting himself up for a possible title fight.
155 lbs – Jerome Mickle defeated Nick Fiore with a vicious head kick KO at 1:41 of round 1
210 lbs – Dashawn Boatwright defeated Jashua Marsh with a flurry of strikes leading to a KO at 3:33 of round 1
170 lbs – Wendell Sneed scored some heavy hands against Julio Germain and the referee stopped the fight at 3:00 of round 2 via TKO
Commentator for Art of War Cagefighting. More than 10 years experience in the PA/NJ regional MMA circuit. Commentator/post fight interviews. Television/media/event 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.