Monday June 8, 2015– Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat took over the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City on June 5th 2015, for ROC 51. The event was overseen by the NJ Athletic Control Board, and featured 11 total bouts, with 5 titles on the line.
While nothing can compare to a fight in Vegas, my experience at the Tropicana hit a lot of familiar notes. Atlantic City has long been the faux Vegas for those of us on the east coast. ROC 51 lent a lot of credence to that comparison.
As I checked in to my room, I passed by 135 champ Julio Arce, with his belt over his shoulder. I got to wish him good luck. On the elevator ride down, I ran into Ray Longo and Matt Serra. Ring of Combat signage was everywhere. The casino floor was overrun with fans and fighters. There was a lot of excitement in the air. That energy marched it’s way right through to the last fight on the card.
The main event saw Julio Arce defend his 135 belt against a game challenger in Mike Imperato. Julio was more varied in his arsenal of attacks. The disparity was evident on Imperato’s face by the end of the contest.
Julio Arce raining punches on Mike Imperato.
Julio Arce retains his title.
Lou Neglia putting the 135 belt on Julio Arce.
The co-main event featured a fighter whose name we will soon have to learn to pronounce properly. ROC Middleweight Champion Oluwale Bamgbose successfully defended his belt with a beautiful TKO win over Brian Booth. The arena erupted in chants of “U! F! C!” when Oluwale’s hand was raised. It was a surreal moment. The crowd was worked into a WWE style frenzy. I cannot wait to see this guy fight again.
185 Champion Oluwale Bamgbose.
Randy Brown successfully defended his 170 pound title with a TKO stoppage of Rocky Edwards. Gregor Gillespie also looked impressive in earning the vacant 155 pound title, by stopping George Sheppard via arm triangle choke.
145 pound champion Mike Santiago defended his title in a great fight against Mervin Rodriquez.
Mike Santiago landing punches on Mervin Rodriguez.
It was a great night of fights. You can find full results here, (http://www.ringofcombat.com/51-results.php). Here are some of my favorite moments. Max Bohanan stopped Lashawn Alcocks with some ground and pound.
Max Bohanon raining down shots on Lashawn Alcocks.
Max Bohanon getting his hand raised.
Cody Mooney needed one round to stop Zarukh Adashev via rear naked choke.
Zarukh Adashev enters the cage.
Cody Mooney has the choke locked in.
Cody celebrating his win.
From top to bottom, this was a really exciting card, and I can’t wait for their next event. To learn more about Ring of Combat, visit their site, www.RingofCombat.com.
Article By: Mozz Manzoor
Photo Credit: Mozz Manzoor & Jimmy Hansen