NJ MMA

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The Asylum Fight League's 42nd show took place at its new home, the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday night, and what a debut it was.  Fans showed up in big numbers to support the fighters, who left everything they had in the cage.  It was a splendid debut that saw two champions crowned.

In the main event, for the vacant Asylum Fight League 161 pound title, Steven Romanides took on William "Kick" Borawski.  The fight was closely contested with a lot of the action taking place on the ground.  Both fighters showed excellent grappling skills and tons of heart as they fought three grueling rounds, with Romanides winning via a close but unanimous decision.  I look forward to Steven Romanides's first title defense.

In the co-main event, undefeated Kevin "The Man of Steel Perez" Perez took on Travis Spadafora for the vacant Asylum Fight League 154 pound title.  This fight was a slugfest, with both fighters trading bombs in the first round.  By the end of the round, Perez started to gain the advantage and he came out blasting in the second round, landing huge punches on the face of the very game and tough Spadafora.  Spadafora tried to weather the storm, but one monster right hand put him down for the count, earning Kevin Perez the championship belt.  It was a great peformance by the Man of Steel, who moves to 5-0 in his MMA career.

The undercard was great as well, and the action was intense.  The MMA adage of not letting the fight go into the hands of the judges was in full effect, as most of the contests ended before the end of three rounds.  We saw some masterful submissions and intense kickboxing en route to a very satisfying night of fights.

Promoter Carl Mascarenhas showed why he's the King of Atlantic City with the Asylum, and the organization if a great fit at the Trump Taj Mahal.  Asylum Fight League 43 will be back at the Taj on November 9, so definitely mark your calanders now.  These are shows you do not want to miss.

If you missed the action live, you can check out the replays on GFL.tv.

Here are the official results from all the bouts:

Asylum Fight League 42 takes place this Saturday, September 28 in its new home at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The Asylum has been going strong for many years and with good reason.  The amateur fighters who succeed at the Asylum are very well prepared for pro careers, and it's fun to watch them grow and develop into MMA stars.  This show, the 42nd Asylum event, will feature many of the area's best fighters.  So come on down to the Asylum Fight League at the beautiful Trump Taj Mahal and enjoy a night of MMA action that you won't soon forget.

Two titles will be on the line as Travis Spadafora takes on Kevin Perez and Keith Knudsen battles Bill Borawski.  These two fights alone are worth the price of admission, but there's a full undercard with top fighters from top camps as well.  So join me, Saturday, September 28 at the Taj Mahal!

Check out the Asylum Fight League website for tickets, and the complete card.

For those who can't make it down to the show, you can check out the action live on GFL.tv.

See you at the Taj!

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of it 2013 class of inductees. This class will be honored at the induction dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inn at 350 Lighting Way, Secaucus, New Jersey on December 6, 2013.

On December 6th, UFC star Jim Miller will be inducted into the New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Jim Miller began training in mixed martial arts in 2005 with his brother, fellow UFC veteran Dan Miller. The Millers grew up in Sparta and Jim competed in wrestling at Sparta High School, as well as at Virginia Tech. He currently holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu under Jamie Cruz.

Miller had his first professional fight, on November 19, 2005, and in New Jersey, against Eddie Fyvie at Reality Fighting 10. Miller earned a unanimous decision. Miller later fought Muhsin Cobbrey in New Jersey for the Reality Fighting Lightweight Championship. In his first title defense, Miller took on future UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar at Reality Fighting 14 in New Jersey. Miller secured a tight guillotine late in the final round but Edgar fought through the choke to earn the unanimous decision. In the weeks prior to Reality Fighting 14, Miller began training at AMA Fight Club in Whippany.

Miller debuted with Cage Fury in a lightweight championship bout on April 13, 2007 in New Jersey on the same card as his brother for the first time since Reality Fighting XII and both were victorious. Miller defended his title for the first time, on an   event in Atlantic City which featured the much-hyped fight between Kimbo Slice and Ray Mercer.

Jim signed with the UFC in July 2008 and made his debut at UFC 89 where he defeated David Baron via rear naked choke. Miller next competed against Matt Wiman at Fight for the Troops and won via unanimous decision. At UFC 100, Miller won a unanimous decision versus Mac Danzig. At UFC 103,Miller won after Steve Lopez injured his shoulder.  At UFC 108, Miller submitted Duane Ludwig via armbar. At UFC 111 in Newark, Miller was awarded the unanimous decision against Mark Bocek. At Fight Night 22 Miller fought Gleison Tibau winning via unanimous decision. At UFC 124, Miller defeated Charles Oliveira via a first round kneebar and earned the Submission of the Night bonus. Miller next defeated Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128 in Newark via TKO. At UFC on Versus 5, Miller lost the fight via unanimous decision to Benson Henderson. At UFC on FX1, Miller submitted Melvin Guillard with a rear naked choke. Miller next faced Nate Diaz in Newark, in the main event of UFC on Fox. He lost the fight via submission–for the first time in his professional career–in the second round due to a guillotine choke. Miller faced Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 and won the fight via unanimous decision, with the performance earning Fight of the Night honors. The win also gave Miller the most all-time wins in UFC Lightweight history.  Miller faced Pat Healy at UFC 159 in Newark and lost by submission in the third round.  This fight earned Miller his third Fight of the Night bonus. Healy, however, subsequently tested positive for a banned substance and the result of the fight was overturned to a No Contest.

Jim lives in Lafayette with his wife and two children.

We hope you will join us on December 6, 2013.  Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of  New Jersey martial arts history. Call  201-538-4843 or visit NJSMartialArtsHOF.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts.  It is certain to be a terrific night with friends, fun, and music.

Dead Serious MMA returns with Dead Serious MMA 8 on October 12 at the famed Collins Arena at Brookdale College in Lincroft, New Jersey.  As always, this card is stacked with the best talent from the best MMA camps in the area.  These amateur fights are the MMA stars of tomorrow, so be sure to check them out as they do their thing in the cage on October 12.

In an interview with Jersey Strong MMA, promoter Frankie Perez Sr. said:   "I try to put on as high level amateur card as possible.  I’ve got some big names and some of the biggest fight camps around fighting for us. These are very high-level amateurs."

Jersey Strong MMA is New Jersey's premier website covering MMA in NJ and NY.  They provide great coverage of all the shows in the state.  Also, check out the Dead Serious MMA and Dead Serious Fight Gear websites.  And get your tickets early.  These shows always sell out.

Here is the Dead Serious MMA card so far:

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of it 2013 class of inductees. This class will be honored at the induction dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inn at 350 Lighting Way, Secaucus, New Jersey on December 6, 2013.

On December 6th, Olympic Gold Medalist Jeff Blatnick will be inducted into the New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame posthumously.

Jeff was a well regarded professional MMA judge and judge trainer with the NJACB as well as a licensed referee in New Jersey.  He had judged UFC and other major events in Calgary, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mohegan Sun, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Toronto and Virginia.

Jeff refereed Cage Fury Fighting Chamionships in New Jersey and judged at UFC, IFL, Bellator, EliteXC, Strikeforce, Ring of Combat, M-1, Bodog and any other promotion that came to New Jersey.  But there was so much more, whenever you say the words “mixed martial arts,” think of Jeff Blatnick. He is the person who coined that term. He explained on a broadcast that the “athletes were mixing the martial arts.” He would urge people to stop calling the sport No Holds Barred, in order to help it grow and gain acceptance.

He served as a commentator for 29 UFC events (UFC 4- UFC 32). He was named Commissioner of the UFC at UFC 17.

Blatnick drafted the UFC’s Mixed Martial Arts Council (MMAC) manual while serving as that body’s chair. He was a critical party involved with the drafting of the sport’s unified rules.

He was a tireless advocate attempting to get MMA legalized in his home state of New York, quietly meeting with legislators and those with influence.

Born in Niskayuna, Blatnick became a high school wrestling champion in 1975. He never wrestled prior to being convinced to start by his high school coach who needed a heavyweight in 1973. He then earned a pair of NCAA Division II wrestling titles in 1978 and 1979 while attending Springfield College in Massachusetts. He was a three time All-American. At that time, Division II athletes could advance to Division I nationals, Blatnick placed third and sixth in two visits there. Blatnick was the 1980 and 1981 AAU super heavyweight wrestling champion. He was a three time national champion in Greco-Roman, won eight Greco-Roman All-American awards, two World Cup medals, and two Freestlye All-American honors.

Blatnick made the 1980 Olympic Wrestling team but didn’t compete due to the United States’ boycott of those Games held in Moscow. In 1982, Jeff was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He said, “if you can win in adversity, you can win anywhere.”

After fighting radiation treatments and having both his spleen and appendix removed, he battled through to make the 1984 Olympic wrestling team and win the gold medal. The first gold medal for an American heavyweight in Greco-Roman history.  Blatnick was chosen by his teammates as the representative to carry the American flag at the closing of the 1984 Olympic ceremonies. Of that, Jeff stated, “If I didn’t have cancer, nobody would know who I was, not a lot of wrestlers make the news.  Blatnick never set out to be an Olympian, it was simply about giving his best every time he stepped on the mat.  He stated “I learn to win by learning to lose, that means not afraid of losing.”

Blatnick retired from wrestling in 1988 after a second bout with cancer. He served on USA Wrestling’s Board of Directors.  He continued on as a coach of the Burnt Hills High School wrestling team and the Journeyman wrestling club. He worked as a wrestling analyst for NBC for the 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics. He also was a commentator for ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Division 1 wrestling tournament. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1999.

He was appointed by President Clinton to the President’s Council on Fitness and Sport at a Rose Garden Ceremony. He was also an honorary coach with the New York Special Olympics and very active with the American Cancer Society.

We hope you will join us on December 6, 2013.  Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of  New Jersey martial arts history. Call  201-538-4843 or visit NJSMartialArtsHOF.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts.  It is certain to be a terrific night with friends, fun, and music.

Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat XLVI took place last Saturday night at the Tropican Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The crowd was standing room only and the atmosphere was electric.  And as usual, the fights lived up to the hype.  It was one of the best ROC events I've ever seen.  Here's a recap of the evening.

The show opened with a very intriguing matchup.  Stephen Regman, out of the Tiger Schulmann camp, made his professional MMA debut against Eddie Lenoci of Serra-Longo, who was 1-0 in his pro mma career.  I'd ring announced both of these guys in the amateurs, and knew that the bout would be a tough, closely fought battle.  Once the bell rang, they didn't disappoint.  Each fighter had his moments in the cage, and both displayed well rounded skills.  The scrambles were intense and the striking had fans on their edges of their seats.  The bout was scheduled for two four minute rounds with a third round tie-breaker if needed.  After the two rounds, the fight was declared a draw, and the fighters came out for the third round.  It was another very even round, with both fighters landing big shots.  Crazy Eddie Lenoci came out on top on two of the three judges' scorecards to earn a split decision victory. 

The second fight mirrored the first in that you had 1-0 pro Leodegario Muniz taking on Cody Mooney, who was making his pro debut.  This fight was a rematch--Leo and Cody had fought in the amateurs, with Cody winning a unanimous decision.  Both fighters, as in the previous fight, had their moments, and this fight too went to a third and deciding round.  Leo, who is trained by Justin Garcia, aka Master Chim of the Jungle Gym, started taking charge halfway through the third round, and went on to win the fight by unanimous decision.  I would definitely like to see a rubber match between these two fine prospects.

Next up was undefeated Tiger Schulmann fighter Julio Arce doing what he does best--remaining undefeated.  He was 11-0 as an amateur and 3-0 as a pro going into his fight with Cory Simmons.  Simmons was a game, tough opponent, but Arce was simply too much for him, stopping him in the second round by way of rear naked choke.  Lou Neglia prides himself on ROC fighters moving up into the UFC, and Julio Arce could very well be next.

One disappointment on the card was the Robert Plotkin fight getting cancelled.  Robert came ready to fight, but his opponent was apparently nowhere to be found at fight time and hence the fight was scratched.  Tough break for Plotkin, but probably a wise decision on the part of his opponent.

Another main card bout was Pat DeFranco, another Serra-Longo product, taking on tough Adam Townsend, who came up from Tennessee for the fight.  Townsend, who was undefeated as an amateur with an 8-0 record, came into the fight with a 5-1 pro record, his only loss coming at the hands of top prospect Frankie Perez.  In the fight with DeFranco, Townsend had his moments, but DeFranco landed the cleaner shots and consistently out-grappled Townsend en route to a unanimous decision victory.  It was another fine performance by Pat DeFranco, who seems to be coming into his own now as a professional mixed martial artist.  I'm already looking forward to his next fight.

Next up was a fight I'd been waiting for. James Jenkins, making his return to the cage after a layoff of over a year.  Like so many other fighters on the card, I've had the pleasure of ring announcing James several times and he is an absolute destroyer.  James, out of the Serra-Longo camp, took on hard hitting Justin Steave.  The fighters traded bombs in the first round and Steave caught Jenkins with a big right hand that momentarily stunned the Long Island fighter.  But then Jenkins went into Matrix mode, moving his head and making Steave miss.  By then Jenkins had shaken off the ring rust and began to take over.  He finished Steave with a rear naked choke in the second round.  James Jenkins is another prospect who I expect to see in the UFC.  He's an absolute beast.

As I've mentioned several times, I've had the pleasure of ring announcing many of the fighters on this card back when they were amateurs.  This includes "Hurricane" Shane Burgos and Ashure "Lion Heart" Elbana.  I knew this fight was going to be intense, and it certainly lived up to the hype and more.  Shane Burgos is known as a submission artist, but he has a great stand up game as well, and showed off his striking prowess against Elbana, stopping him in the first round via TKO.  Elbana, out of the Extreme Fight Club camp, always lives up to his Lion Heart nickname, but he was just overmatched by Burgos, who fights out of Team Tiger Schulmann.  Burgos looked the best I've ever seen him, and he appears to be destined for the UFC.  He can strike, grapple and go to war in the cage, and I expect big things from him in the future.  Awesome performance.

This sounds like a amazing card so far, doesn't it?  Well, it got even better.  Because next up was highly touted prospect Frankie Perez, taking on very experienced Muay Thai specialist Rafael Fagundes.  Fagundes, who has knockout power in both hands, came charging across the cage and hit Frankie with a hard right hand, a punch that would have knocked out many mixed martial artists.  The punch stunned Perez, but only for a split second.  Frankie showed great recuperative powers and excellent instincts as he immediately shot in on Fagundes and secured a takedown. From there the fighters scrambled and were grappling against the fence.  Fagundes was warned by referee Keith Peterson for holding the fence, but he didn't heed the warning.  Keith stood the fighters up and took a point away from Fagundes.  This actually could have been in Fagundes's favor, since his is a ferocious striker with an great stand up game.  But Frankie, of the fighting Dead Serious MMA family, is trained by Ricardo Almeida, and spars regularly with Frankie Edgar, was in the zone.  You could see the determination on his face as the fight commenced and he traded with Rafael before taking him down and choking him out for the victory at 3:30 of the first round.  Frankie Perez showed in this fight why he is one of the hottest MMA prospects in the world right now.  This was the first time he'd really been hit that hard and that clean, and he showed a great chin and world class perserverence in overcoming the adversity he faced.  He remains undefeated as a professional, improving to 7-0, and in my opinion is a lock for the UFC.

The next fight was a featherweight title elimination bout featuring undefeated Levan Makashvili (5-0) taking on tough Tom English. Makashvili, who is trained by BJJ blackbelt and former professional fighter Carmine Zocchi, made a huge statement with a second round one punch knockout Tom English.  English, who trains out of Bellmore Kickboxing and Commack MMA, is as tough as they come, and it was a great feat by Makashvili to get the stoppage in such a sensational way.  I can't wait until he fights again.  He is definitely one to watch.

In the main event of the evening, Brutal Brendan Barrett defended his Ring of Combat Heavyweight title against Serbian fighter Miodrag Petrovich.  In his last fight, Brutal Brendan, who always lives up to his nickname, needed only thirty seconds to knock out his opponent.  In this fight, it appeared that he would beat that time as both fighters came charging out to the center of the cage and started throwing bombs.  Then Barrett landed a short straight round hand that dropped Petrovich.  Brutal then seized the opportunity and worked over his opponents with punches until referee Donnie Carolei jumped in and stopped the contest at 2:16 of round one.  Barrett has always had excellent wrestling, but he's been working hard on his boxing lately and it is really paying off.  He has dynamite in his fists, and if he lands, it's goodnight for any fighter.  And he does land, which is why he is the undisputed Ring of Combat Heavyweight champion.  This win is the fifth in a row for Barrett, whose career is really taking off.  I am defintely excited to see what the future holds for this rising MMA star.

It was a phenomenol night of fights, and the crowd took a long time to leave the venue.  Everybody was buzzing after the main event.  This show was just further proof that Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat is one of the very top shows outside the UFC and Bellator.  It is known as the American Idol of MMA, because it takes talented unknown fighters and showcases them to the world before they hit the big time.

If you missed the event live, check out the replays on GFL.tv.  After the jump is the official results from all the fights.

Are you ready to get crazy?  If so, the Asylum Fight League is the place to be for MMA, because Asylum fights are insane!

The Asylum returns to the world famous Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 28, with its 42nd big show.  The Asylum Fight League is AC's premier amatuer fight league, and it's always standing room only at the venue, so make sure to get your tickets ASAP.  Check out the Asylum Fight League website for ticket info.

As always, I will be hosting the show from inside the cage, and I hope to see you all there.  Asylum Fight League founder Carl Mascarenhas never pulls any punches when it comes to running his promotion, so don't miss this event on September 28.  See you at the Taj Mahal!

The New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame has released the names of this year's inductees, and like last year, the list is chock full of some of the biggest names in combat sports.  Here is the official press release for the HOF awards, which will take place on December 6, 2013 at the La Quinta Inn in Secaucus, New Jersey, a stones throw from NYC.  In a few days, I'll be posting the official bios of each inductee.  And don't forget to check out the NJ State Martial Arts Hall of Fame website for ticket info, bios and more!

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud to announce the second class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame.To see all of the inductees biograhies and pictures, please visit our website www.NJSMartialArtsHOF.com.

This class will be honored at the Induction dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inns & Suites Meadowlands Hotel  on December 6, 2013.

Tickets to the awards dinner can be purchased by calling 201-538-4843 or online at www.NJSMartialArtsHOF.com.

Discount hotel room rates at La Quinta can be also obtained by calling 201-863-8700 and mentioning the Hall of Fame dinner.

New Jersey has always been on the forefront of combat sports, and some of the biggest bouts in MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai history have taken place at various venues around the state.

New Jersey has had a boxing hall of fame since the 1960′s and, in a similar sense, we hope to recognize and honor those involved in combat martial arts such as MMA and Muay Thai. New Jersey is building a rich tradition in non-boxing martial arts and our goal is to recognize these individuals and entities.

Our goal is to honor those involved with New Jersey martial arts and to celebrate with them, at an evening with family and friends. Our focus is on those directly involved in New Jersey martial arts.

This truly is a historical moment in our State’s combat sports history as our intent is to have the New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame continue for many years and serve as a record for those outstanding individuals involved in martial arts in our State.

We hope you will join us on December 6, 2013. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of  New Jersey martial arts history. Call  201-538-4843 or visit www.NJSMartialArtsHOF.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts.  It is certain to be a terrific night with friends, fun, and music.

2013 Second Class Inductee Awards

MMA Fighter – Jim Miller

Lifetime Achievement – Danny “Tiger” Schulmann

MMA Judge – Cardo Urso

Grappling Promoter – Brian Cimins

Female MMA Fighter – Tara LaRosa

Ringside Physician – Dr. Michael Kelly

MMA Trainer – Ray Longo

Pioneer Fighter – Dante Rivera

Kick boxer – James Smith

Wrestling – Jordan Burroughs

Traditional Martial Arts – Michael DePasquale Jr.

Muay Thai Fighter – Liam Tarrant

Photographer – Tom DeFazio

Lifetime Contributions – Donnie Carolei

Pioneer Media – Stephanie Stokes

Visionary – Donald J. Trump

Muay Thai Judge Kaensak

Grappling – Rolles Gracie

Announcer – Peter Neglia

Posthumous – Jeff Blatnick

Lou Neglia has put together another great card for Ring of Combat XLVI, which will take place tonight at the Tropican Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The card is stacked and the main event, featuring Brutal Brendan Barrett defending his HW title against Miodrag Petrovich, promises to be a slugfest.  There are also rising stars on the card like Frankie Perez Jr., who is 6-0 in his pro career.   It is truly a can't miss event, so get on down to AC and check it out.  Or, if you can't make it to the Tropicana, check out the action live on GoFightLive. As always, I'll be doing the commentating on the broadcast, and will be joined by Bobby Meloni on the mic, so check it out!

Here are the official weights from last night's weigh ins:

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