NJ MMA

(Pic courtesy of Jersey Strong MMA)

It was an amazing night of fights at Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat 47 last night at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Five champions were crowned, included the middleweight title which was vacated by now UFC champion Chris Weidman.

In a main card bout, MMA standout Frankie Perez Jr. continued improved to a perfect 8-0 with a dominating performance over the very tough and experienced Mike Santiago.  Perez is the real deal, and his getting closer to a ROC title shot.

The title fights were action packed affairs, and the champions are all very deserving of their crowns.  If you missed the event, you can check out the replay on GFL.tv.  And for pics, check out Jersey Strong MMA's facebook pageJersey Strong MMA does a fantastic job of covering the local MMA scene.

Here are the official results:

Ring of Combat returns January 24 with "Ring of Combat 47" at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey and streaming on the GFL Combat Sports Network. ROC 47 is highlighted by five title fights on a 12-bout professional card. ROC continues to be the linchpin of East Coast MMA and reasserts its dominance as the top dog in the Tri-State area.

In the main event, Pat Defranco (4-2) fights Chris Wade (5-1) for the vacant ROC Welterweight Championship. Defranco is coming off of two straight wins while Wade is coming off a stint with WSoF. Defranco is a strong wrestler and has been able to overpower most of his competition while grinding them down over the course of a full fight. Look for Defranco to come out looking to take Wade down and ground and pound from the top while controlling Wade on the mat. Wade is almost a mirror image of Defranco in that he likes to grind away at his opponents over a full fight and pick them apart. Wade is also an accomplished striker who can score points in space and not take much damage while doing so. If Wade can keep the fight standing he will be able to rack up points on Defranco with his kickboxing.

In other action, with the ROC Bantamweight Title at stake, Julio Arce (4-0) battles Jason McLean (6-6). Arce is an up and coming prospect from the East Coast and has shown an ability to win a fight wherever it goes. He is a strong grappler but also can hurt his opponent with punches. Look for Arce to mix up his attacks, by displaying a wide range of punches and kicks but look to take the fight to the ground if he feels he is getting bested in the striking. McLean is a grizzled vet and after 12 fights, he will bring a huge cage experience advantage into the title fight. McLean throws punches with reckless abandon and his fights are usually the most memorable because of his take no prisoners fighting style. McLean can end the fight at any time with one strike. This fight should be a shootout from the opening bell.

The ROC Middleweight Belt is up for grabs as UFC vet Chris "C-Murder" Cope (6-3) tangles with Elijah Harshbarger (6-4). Cope is used to fighting the best of the best and makes his debut for ROC fighting for the title. Cope is a respected all-around fighter with KO power in his hands and feet. Cope will try to use his distance and pinpoint striking to pick apart Harshbarger. Harshbarger is on the opposite side of things as he will likely look to close the gap and go for a takedown or utilize the clinch and take advantage of his world class wrestling in both freestyle and Greco. If Harshbarger can get the fight to the mat, his top ranked grappling could finish the fight with a choke or armbar. These two gladiators are two of the most feared 185 lb fighters in the world and the winner will have a shiny new belt to go along with his victory.

Ariel Sepulveda (6-6) takes on Keith Berish (3-0) for the Light Heavyweight Title. Sepulveda is on a 2 fight win streak and has stormed to the front of the 205 division. Berish will be quicker in the cage as he normally fights at middleweight, but moved up in weight to fight for the title. Berish will need to stay on his toes and push the pace and look for Sepulveda to wear out in the later rounds.

James Jenkins (6-1) takes on Adam Kantaev (0-0) for the ROC Bantamweight Title. Jenkins has only been to a decision once in his career and has demolished his opponents with strikes and submissions. Kantaev is a gritty fighter who has trained for years and will be making his pro debut. Expect Kantaev to try and earn his respect early as he goes right after Jenkins.

Frankie Perez (7-0) battles Mike Santiago (10-8) in a lightweight showdown that could have future title implications for the winner. Perez is undefeated and 5 of his wins have come via submission. He will tangle with the gritty Santiago who has never shied away from a fight and has battled some of the top lightweights in the area.

As always, I will be down in AC tonight commentating, so be sure to tune in.

Here are the official weights:

 

Gold Medal MMA's Fight for the Cure took place on Friday, December 20. The event saw a new Gold Medal MMA champion crowned and the show also raised money for the American Cancer Society. It was a great evening for the fans, who not only got to enjoy eight exciting MMA fights, but also rubbed elbows with many MMA, boxing and other VIPs, including former ECW wrestler 911.

Gold Medal MMA, owned by David Franciosi, now has a brand new 161 pound champion. Juan "Baby Face" Galarza, out of Silver Fox BJJ, fought the very tough Kendrick "Kendo" Mendez in the main event. The fight was closely contested with Mendez and Galarza both landing some great combinations standing. Garlaza's takedowns, however, were the difference in the fight, and he won a unanimous decision to take the vacant crown.

The format of this Gold Medal MMA was interesting because in addition to me doing the ring announcing, we had two other announcers. Steve Peacock did an excellent job of MCing the event and introducing Henry Hascup of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, former professional boxer Darren Maciunski, who holds victories over James "Buddy" McGirt and Meldrick Taylor, and the aforementioned former professional wrestler 911. And Al Hutchins, whose roots are in the world of rock and roll, did a bang up job thanking the many sponsors who made the event possible.

I, too, had the pleasure of introducing some VIPs, including Prairie Rugilo, Frankie Perez, Jr., Carmine Zocchi, Liam Kerrigan, Lester Caslow and Kurt Pellegrino.

All in all it was another outstanding Gold Medal MMA event, and I look forward to more shows in 2014. For a video recap of the event, check out Jersey Strong MMA, which is New Jersey's premier MMA reporting site. Here are the official results from all of the bouts:

The American Cancer Society will get a financial boost from “A Fight for the Cure,” a mixed martial arts (MMA) cage-fighting extravaganza scheduled Friday, Dec. 20 at Brookdale Community College.   Gold Medal MMA, a sporting event promotional company formed by Shore-area businessman David Franciosi, will host the cage-fighting spectacular, which—in agreement with the American Cancer Society—has pledged to donate 10% of ticket sales to the organization.

Franciosi is no stranger to the world of competitive sporting events. Not only will this be Gold Medal MMA’s reprise appearance at Brookdale, the group last year likewise launched an MMA battle at Jackson Liberty High School—a separate extravaganza that succeeded in its goal of raising funds for several area victims of a drunk driver.   Currently Franciosi is a New Jersey professional boxing referee, and formerly was an amateur boxing referee and USA boxing chief of officials.

Franciosi, owner/operator of Knockout Pizza Enterprises in Lakewood, additionally served as president of the Howell Township Police Athletic League.   The Gold Medal MMA fight will take place at Brookdale’s newly renovated Robert J. Collins Arena.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.goldmedalmma.com/. Doors open at 6 p.m. The first bout begins promptly at 7 p.m.

I am honored to be doing the ring announcing for this show, and I'm looking for a big turnout. Be there!!

Dead Serious MMA 9 took place last night at the Raritan Expo Center in Edison, New Jersey, and not only were new Dead Serious MMA champions crowned, but history was made as Dead Serious showcased its first ever female MMA bout.  The fans in attendance were treated to a special night, as all the fighters left everything they had in the cage.  The evening capped a great year for Dead Serious MMA, and I'm already looking forward to the new champions defending their titles in 2014.

In the women's bout, Liz Welch took on Jenna Serio, and the two wasted no time in clashing in the center of the cage.  After some great exchanges, Serio locked on an armbar and submitted Welch in the first round.  It was the first of what I hope will be many women's MMA bouts at Dead Serious.  Women are coming into their own in MMA, and it was great to see two female fighters grace the cage last night.

In the first of the four championship bouts, a long anticipated match up took place between Anthony "El Nino" Rivera and Jovanny "The Submission Magician" Alvarez for the vacant 130 pound title. At the end of the first round, Alvarez, working from his guard, nearly ended the fight with a kimura.  But Rivera, who has always shown great toughness, was able to resist the sub until the bell rang.  In rounds two and three, Rivera took control, and in the end El Nino earned the unanimous decision win to win the title.

The next title fight, for the vacant Dead Serious 168 pound title, saw Cory Menafra and Eric Perez fight a very close battle.  Each man had his moments in the fight, and I had no idea who was ahead at the end.  The judges' scorecards showed just how close the fight was, with Perez coming out on top in a split decision win to take the crown.

The third title fight of the evening featured two Brazilian Ju Jitsu brown belts, Sergio DeBari and  Mike Guarneri vying for the vacant Dead Serious 147 pound title. The fight, as expected, was a ground war, as both men battled for dominant positions.  In the end, DeBari had his hand raised, the winner by unanimous decision and new Dead Serious 147 pound champion.

The main event featured undefeated Renzo Gracie brown belt Trevor "The New York Strangler" McGovern against Ronnie Agosto for the vacant Dead Serious 190 pound title.  McGovern was 4-0, with all four wins by way of rear naked choke, and as expected he came into the fight looking to take Agosto down.  But Ronnie had other plans and he utelized his sprawl to perfection.  In the first two rounds, Agosto was able to keep the fight standing and he landed some big punches on McGovern.  In the third round, however, McGovern was able to get the fight to the ground and he attempted some submissions but was unable to lock anything up.  Agosto walked away with the unanimous decision win and the Dead Serious belt.

All in all it was yet another great night of Dead Serious MMA action, and it topped off a great year for the promotion.  If you missed the show live you can catch the replays on GFL.tv, where you can enjoy the commentating of Dead Serious MMA's 155 pound champion Frankie Roberts.  It was fun working with Frankie, and it's always a great time working with the Perez family and the New Jersey officiating team, led by Nick "Luscious" Lembo.

Here are the official results of all the bouts.

Dead Serious MMA is a big part of the North East Combat Expo which will take place on December 13-15 at the NJ Expo Center in Edison, New Jersey.  On Saturday December 14, Dead Serious Fight Gear presents the World Grappling Open during the day, then Dead Serious MMA at night.  It's an amazing double-header, and I am very much looking forward to this event.

The grappling tournament is open to all grapplers, both gi and no-gi.  In addition, there is a 5 on 5 grappling contest between top camps in the North East.  Some big names will be on the mat that day, so be sure to be a part of the action.

For the Dead Serious MMA event later in the evening, Frankie Perez has put together yet another stacked card.  Dead Serious MMA events are always sold out--with good reason--so be sure to get your tickets early by visiting Dead Serious MMA's website.

The American Cancer Society will get a financial boost from “A Fight for the Cure,” a mixed martial arts (MMA) cage-fighting extravaganza scheduled Friday, Dec. 20 at Brookdale Community College.   Gold Medal MMA, a sporting event promotional company formed by Shore-area businessman David Franciosi, will host the cage-fighting spectacular, which—in agreement with the American Cancer Society—has pledged to donate 10% of ticket sales to the organization.

Franciosi is no stranger to the world of competitive sporting events. Not only will this be Gold Medal MMA’s reprise appearance at Brookdale, the group last year likewise launched an MMA battle at Jackson Liberty High School—a separate extravaganza that succeeded in its goal of raising funds for several area victims of a drunk driver.   Currently Franciosi is a New Jersey professional boxing referee, and formerly was an amateur boxing referee and USA boxing chief of officials.

Franciosi, owner/operator of Knockout Pizza Enterprises in Lakewood, additionally served as president of the Howell Township Police Athletic League.   The Gold Medal MMA fight will take place at Brookdale’s newly renovated Robert J. Collins Arena.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.goldmedalmma.com/. Doors open at 6 p.m. The first bout begins promptly at 7 p.m.

I am honored to be doing the ring announcing for this show, and I'm looking for a big turnout. So be there!!

hall_of_fame_pic_1

Last Saturday night, December 6, 2013, twenty of the biggest names in New Jersey martial arts were inducted into the New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame at the 2nd annual awards dinner held in Secaucus, New Jersey.

This event, which was attended by a venerable who's who of the martial arts world, including fighters and industry people, showed why New Jersey is considered a world leader in combat sports.

All twenty of the inductees were well deserving of their Hall of Fame honors. Members of the audience listened raptly as the inductees stood at the podium and shared stories of their lives in martial arts. There were many funny moments, as well as several poignant ones, during these acceptance speeches. A particularly touching moment came about as top New Jersey State official Nick Lembo accepted the posthumous award for his dear friend, Olympic Gold Medalist wrestler Jeff Blatnick, who passed away in 2012.

After the presentations, the audience, which numbered in the hundreds, enjoyed a fine dinner, drinks and dancing. The event was held at the La Quinta Inn in Secaucus, and was sponsored by Frankie Perez and the Perez family, who own and operate Dead Serious MMA and Dead Serious Fight Gear.  The Perez family spared no expense in making the evening an unforgettable one for all those who attended.

After the event, Frankie Perez said: "On behalf of the Perez family, we would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the Hall of Fame this weekend. Thank you and congrats to all the inductees!"

Although only in its second year, the annual New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame dinner is already becoming one of the hottest tickets in town.  And, according to Frankie Perez, next year's event will be "bigger and better" than this year's.  Given the deep pool of talent and expertise in the New Jersey combat sports world, that comes as no surprise.

The event was filmed by GoFightLive and will be available for viewing on their website, free to the public. For photographs of the event as well as a complete list of inductees and their bios, please visit the New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame website.

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Long Island fight fans are in for a treat as MMA Platinum Gloves returns for it's finale on December 14 at St. Joseph's College in Patchague, NY.  Prince Uchegbu takes on Nick Fiore in the welterweight tournament final, and if you've seen these guys fight at the semi's, you'll know not to miss this show. It's going to be an absolute war!  Check out the MMA Platinum Gloves website for ticket info:  MMA Platimum Gloves.

MMA Platinum Gloves - Season 1 Week 3

Location: John A. Danzi Athletic Center - St. Joseph's College

Dates: Saturday, Dec 14 2013, 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM

Address: 155 West Roe Boulevard, Patchogue, NY 11772

Directions: Google, Yahoo, Bing, MapQuest

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