GPG 21: Fighting For Autism Awareness

GPG 21: Fighting For Autism Awareness


Thursday July 30, 2015– On Saturday, July 25th, Global Proving Ground put on its biggest show, by far. GPG 21 featured a title fight between two 125 pound fighters at the top of the game, Sean ‘Shorty Rock’ Santella, and Matt ‘Razor Sharp’ Rizzo.

The promise and potential of this matchup was responsible for the packed house at The Events Center in Pennsauken, NJ.  Every single face in the crowd knew they were in for something special that night. Two fighters who have been knocking at the UFC’s door had an opportunity to stamp their ticket to the big show.

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Who wanted it more? Whose technique and training would prevail? Those were the questions buzzing around the venue. What we all did know was that we were going to witness some elite level mixed martial arts competition.

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At the end of the first round, the audience knew that everything they had heard about these fighters was true.  Both fighters found success in a back and forth round that had everyone out of their seats. It was in the second round that an unfortunate incident occurred.  While in side control, Santella threw a backwards elbow at Rizzo’s head.  Rizzo’s head was raised and Santella’s elbow landed at the base of Rizzo’s skull, right on the edge of where the commission defines as “The back of the head”.

Rizzo was visibly shaken and was unable to continue.  Announcer Steve Peacock confirmed that the fight would be declared a no contest.  The GPG will, for now, remain without a Flyweight champion.  (You can see our full photo report of all the fights below.)

A highlight of the night was Matt DiMarcantonio’s submission win over Brylan Vanartsdalen. DiMarcantonio flowed smoothly from one submission attempt to the next, and eventually caught Vanartsdalen with a kimura from the bottom.

The night was filled with wild moments.  The first fight of the night was a roller coaster of shifting momentum.  In the end, however, the wrestling, takedowns, and ground work of Ken Richmond won the day, and the contest.  There was a moment where his opponent Anthony Dill swallowed his own tooth.  Richmond hit him with an arching elbow from inside his guard, which may have dislodged his tooth and sent it into his wind pipe.

Below you will see our photo report of each fight.

Main Event

Matt ‘Razor Sharp’ Rizzo Vs. Sean ‘Shorty Rock’ Santella

125 lb Championship

No Contest

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Matt DiMarcantonio vs. Brylan Vanartsdalen

145 lbs

DiMarcantonio wins via submission, Rd 1.

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Ken Richmond vs. Anthony Dill

135 lbs

Richmond wins by decision.

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F1 3c (GPG Founder, President, James ‘JJ’ Jefferson)
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Jonathan Romero vs. Gil Isabel

265 lbs

Romero wins via TKO (ground strikes), Rd 2.

F2 1 (Gil Isabel)
F2 2 (Jonathan Romero)
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Shelton Graves vs. Joe Stripling

265 lbs.

Graves wins by decision

F4 1 (Shelton Graves)
F4 2 (Joe Stripling)
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F4 6 (GPG General Manager, Bob Meloni)
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Sidney Outlaw vs. Christian Leonard

170 lbs

Outlaw wins by decision

F3 1 (Sidney Outlaw)
F3 2 (Christian Leonard)
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To learn more about Global Proving Ground, or for tickets to an upcoming event, check out their website,

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