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O’Donnell ready for UFC after more domination in return of Cage Fury

Victor O'Donnell (Right) makes his case for a shot at the big leagues. (Picture courtesy of Cage Fury Fighting)

Atlantic City, NJ – Three and a half years. That’s how long it’s been since the Cage Fury Fighting Championship’s last installment, which packed 7,300 screaming fans into Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for Kimbo Slice’s MMA debut back in 2007.

But the end came about then due to money – or lack thereof – and the biggest show on the East Coast was no more. Until this past Saturday, that is.

Of course, it was a smaller – and smarter – CFFC that returned, with a judicious yet action-packed card highlighted by up-and-comers, veterans and a very bad dude who belongs in the Octagon.

Said “dude” was Victor O’Donnell. In 2009, O’Donnell introduced himself to the Northeast circuit with a crushing TKO win over then-champ Rafael “Sapo” Natal. Unfortunately, his bid to gain entry into the Ultimate Fighter house was stymied by an absolute war with Chris Camozzi in the opening elimination round – a war that left both men unable to compete in the show’s 11th season.

Since then, O’Donnell’s been handily dispatching opponents in the minor league, and his foe at CFFC – Ricardo Almeida-trained Andrew Riddles – was no exception. For a round-and-a-half O’Donnell manhandled Riddles, outwrestling him, slamming him and pounding on him, and when the end came via guillotine, Riddles already had an eye swollen shut. It was a brutal performance, but when you have a fighter more than ready for the big leagues, that’s what you get.

Elsewhere on the card, a revitalized James Meals weathered Trevor Suter’s raw aggression to snag an impressive D’Arce choke at the very end of the first round.  Since joining AMA Fight Club, Meals – who was already a skilled striker – has become a dangerous fighter on the ground. Watch out for him in the future.

Team Infamous Rival’s Nah-Shon Burrell turned Craig Thieme into a bloody mess, peppering the Pellegrino MMA rep with fists until Thieme’s face resembled a scene from Friday the 13th. Referee Keith Peterson waved off the bout in the third. Workhorse John Doyle doggedly went the distance with Gemiyale Adkins, losing the decision but standing and slugging throughout. And Chris Sydnor knocked out Lewis Pascavage with a barrage of punches from the mount, wisely avoiding Pascavage’s brawling ability with some Jiu-Jitsu 101.

Full Results

-Victor O’Donnell def. Andrew Riddles via Guillotine at 2:40, R2

-Gemiyale Adkins def. John Doyle via unanimous decision

-Jared Gordon def. Anthony Dagostino via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:42, R2

-Nah-Shon Burrell def. Craig Thieme via TKO (cut) at 3:34, R3

-James Meals def. Trevor Suter via D’Arce choke at 4:52, R1

-Mike Winters def. Michael Rideout via TKO (elbows) at 3:47, R3

-Chris Sydnor def. Lewis Pascavage via KO (punches) at 2:12, R1

-Tuan Pham def. Kurt Kalash via unanimous decision

ROC 34: Bad Night for the Home Team

Atlantic City, N.J. – It was a bad night for the home team Friday at Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat 34, as three of the four championship titles disputed went to fighters from outside of the Northeast.

In a featherweight scrap, Maryland-based Jacob Kirwan was one step ahead of BJJ Shore Academy standout Ryan Vaccaro in their brief scuffle, and before a minute and a half had elapsed, Kirwan had his foe in a tight guillotine.

With the bantamweight belt up for grabs, Pellegrino MMA star Steve DeAngelis did everything right in his bout against Virginia native Dustin Pague, moving in and out to land a plethora of strikes and mixing in takedowns. But 25 seconds into Round 2 Pague found his range – and DeAngelis’ chin – and the local was out cold for the first time in his career.

In the card’s only female contest, Boston-based Ashley Nee fell prey to Ohio’s Jessica Eye and her “Cyborg-esque” striking onslaught, losing via TKO in a four-and-a-half-minute clobbering.

The only Northeasterner victorious in the championship bouts was Tai Kai’s Marques Daniels – though his victory was tainted by the fact that he was getting demolished and was well on his way to Slumberville until opponent Gabriel Migliolo (Nova Uniao) kneed him in the head while he was down. Still, a “W” is a “W” and as ROC 34’s only winning local, Daniels deserves kudos.

In other action, strikers Aung La Nsang and Ariel Sepulveda both racked up wins by submission, snagging a rear naked choke and a triangle/armbar combo over Mitch Whitesel and Steve Durig, respectively. Team Serra/Longo face-puncher Costa Philippou eked out a majority decision against TSMMA middleweight monster Uriah Hall, with Philippou losing the third round handily via ground and pound but employing a single takedown in Rounds 1 and 2 to garner enough points on the judges’ scorecards. And from the Department of Impressive Pro Debuts, Team Vendetta featherweight Jimbo Hoffman cut through Yaser Shaukur like a hot knife through butter. The end came via guillotine after only 47 seconds.


ROC Featherweight Title
-Jacob Kirwan def. Ryan Vaccaro via Guillotine at 1:26, R1

ROC Lightweight Title
-Marques Daniels def. Gabriel Migliolo via Disqualification (knee to a downed opponent) at 4:28, R1

ROC Bantamweight Title
-Dustin Pague def. Steve DeAngelis via KO (punch) at :25, R2

ROC 131-pound Female Title
-Jessica Eye def. Ashley Nee via TKO (strikes) at 4:34, R1

-Costa Philippou def. Uriah Hall via Majority Decision
-Joey Kirwan def. Drew Puzon via Guillotine at 1:09, R2
-Noah Faunce def. Rich Ashkar via Unanimous Decision
-Aung La Nsang def. Mitch Whitesel via Rear Naked Choke at 3:09, R1
-Ariel Sepulveda def. Steve Durig via Triangle/Armbar combo at 2:24, R1
-Giedrius Karavackas def. Josh Key via Rear Naked Choke at 3:36, R1
-Alp Ozkillic def. Sergio Da Silva via Unanimous Decision
-Jimbo Hoffman def. Yaser Shaukur via Guillotine at :47, R1
-Mike Benoit def. Manny Millan via Unanimous Decision

An Epic Night at Ring of Combat 33

Chris Weidman celebrates the successful defense of his title. (photo courtesy of Shawn Baran/

Atlantic City, NJ – It was an epic night of fighting at Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat 33, as 15 bouts played out in exciting fashion before a nearly-packed house at the Tropicana Casino & Resort.  At the top of the card were five championship contests, and of those, none ended with such crushing finality as the lightweight pairing of Jungle Gym superstar Joe Aviles and MMA Institute’s George Sheppard.  In his last scrap – a sudden flying-knee knockout over the tough Mike Medrano – Aviles put the world on notice that with just a little space he could destroy you.  Sheppard seemed cognizant of this, and with the Ring of Combat lightweight title up for grabs he took no chances, employing a suffocating wrestling game to keep his foe off-balance.  It didn’t work, and about four and a half minutes in Aviles landed a short right hook that sent Sheppard into dreamland.  It was so fast, it took several views of the instant-replay on the big screen just to figure out what had happened.

In 205-pound championship action, Bellmore kickboxing rep Gian Villante simply steamrolled over an overmatched Joseph Kenneth Reyes, effortlessly getting on top to drop bombs for the TKO win.  Team Serra/Longo ace card Chris Weidman had a rougher route toward glory, though, as he needed all three rounds to battle the very skilled and dangerous Brazilian Valdir Araugo.  When all was said and done, Weidman emerged from the conflagration with the middleweight strap.  Sean Santella and Marcos Pereira went home with the 125-pound and 145-pound belts, respectively, with near-flawless grappling the keys to their victories.

Elsewhere on the card, Costa Phillipou utilized his usual pinpoint striking to dispatch Aung La Nsang in a mere 11 seconds; Tom DeBlass stalked and out-struck the veteran Mitch Whitesel for the unanimous decision; James Jenkins added another win to his collection with a quick-submission handling of Yaser Shaukut; and Justine Kish was simply too much grappling prowess for Munah Holland, deftly tapping her with a triangle midway through Round 2.

Full Results:

ROC Light-Heavyweight Championship

-Gian Villante def. Joseph Kenneth Reyes via TKO (punches) at 1:03, R1

ROC Middleweight Championship

-Chris Weidman def. Valdir Araugo via Unanimous Decision

ROC Lightweight Championship

-Joe Aviles def. George Sheppard via KO (punch) at 4:21, R1

ROC Featherweight Championship

-Marcos Pereira def. Ryan Vaccaro via Unanimous Decision

ROC Flyweight Championship

-Sean Santella def. Mickey Lovato via armbar at 2:56, R2

Main Card

-Costa Phillipou def. Aung La Nsang via TKO (punches) at :11, R1

-George Sullivan def. Erik Oganov via Unanimous Decision

-Justine Kish def. Munah Holland via Triangle Choke at 2:53, R2

-Justin Haskins def. Danilo Cherman via Unanimous Decision

-Giedrius Karavackas def. Josh Key via TKO (punches) at 2:38, R3

-Tom DeBlass def. Mitch Whitesel via Unanimous Decision

-JA Dudley def. Mike Parzych via Unanimous Decision

-Mervin Rodriguez def. Brian Smiley via Armbar at 1:58, R2

-Whitney Jean Francois def. George Glykas via TKO (punches) at 2:54, R1

-James Jenkins def. Yaser Shaukut via Rear Naked Choke at 1:11, R1

ROC 32: The John Cholish Show

Ring of Combat may have strayed outside of its Tropicana Casino & Resort comfort zone to take part in the MMA & Sports Extravaganza at the Taj Mahal, but the thirty-second installment of the venerable promotion was no less of a showcase of top regional talent.  At the apex of that list of talent: Team Renzo Gracie standout John Cholish, who squared off against veteran Rich Moskowitz for the ROC 155-pound title in the night’s main event.  Like Frankie Edgar, Pete “Drago” Sell and Kurt Pellegrino before him, Cholish is every bit the future superstar dominating the local scene, and his two and a half round scuffle with Moskowitz played out in true Cholish fashion.  Though they seemed evenly matched in Round 1 and battled back and forth on the ground, the tide began to change in Round 2, and by the third frame – and with legendary jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher instructing him from cageside – Cholish soon had Moskowitz locked in a reverse triangle of which there could be no return.  The win earned Cholish a shiny championship belt, and moved him a step closer to being scooped up by one of the “big” shows.

In the co-main event, TSMMA’s Munah Holland stepped into the cage an MMA neophyte against the veteran Kim Couture.  But like Mirko CroCop when he debuted in Pride Fighting Championships, Holland was already an accomplished striker, and her kickboxing and Golden Gloves champion-level boxing was more than a match for whatever the more-experienced opponent brought to the table.  To her credit, the bloodied Couture fought hard until the final bell.  Holland, however, would not be denied her unanimous decision.

In other action, George Sheppard rebounded from a disappointing M-1 Global loss to TKO a skilled Tim Troxell; Liam Kerrigan returned to his winning ways with a smooth but brief graplling clinic on Evan Chmielski; and Claudio Ledesma utilized raw aggression tempered with skill to ward off Mike Murray’s submission attacks and pound his way to victory.

ROC Lightweight Title

-John Cholish def. Rich Moskowitz by Reverse Triangle at 3:05, R3

-Munah Holland def. Kim Couture by Unanimous Decision

-Costa Phillipou vs. Marcus Finch – No Contest at 2:47, R2 due to accidental groin strike

-Randy Smith vs. Brendan Barret – Draw

-George Sheppard def. Tim Troxell by TKO (punches) at 2:33. R1

-Robert Connor def. Marc Berrocal by Rear Naked Choke at 2:10, R1

-Erik Oganov vs. Josh Key – No Contest at 1:01, R1 due to accidental foul

-Liam Kerrigan def. Evan Chmielski by Triangle Choke at 1:51, R1

-Claudio Ledesma def. Mike Murray by Unanimous Decision

-Geidrius Karavackas def. Chris Connor by Armbar at 2:46, R3

-Melissa Bopp def. Ashley Nee by Unanimous Decision

Gregor Gracie makes the most of Brick City FC debut

Picture courtesy of

Newark, N.J. – It was a good night to be a member of Team Renzo Gracie.

At the debut of the Brick City Fighting Championship in Newark, four of the venerable jiu-jitsu master’s star pupils entered the cage against a variety of foes, and all four found victory waiting for them on the other side of battle.  Yet of that quartet, it was Gregor Gracie who shined the brightest.

Making the most of his marquee billing, Gregor steamrolled over Gold Team Fighters welterweight Mariusz Linke, scoring first with hard kicks and punches, then seamlessly transitioning to the ground, where he had his opponent in trouble almost instantly.  Linke did his best to defend the ensuing rear naked choke, but with Gregor on your back, a tap out is practically inevitable.  It came in just under two minutes.

In non-Team Renzo action, wrestling stud Eric Bradley and perpetual gamer Josh Key went the distance in a crowd-pleasing thriller.  As predicted, Bradley had little trouble getting Key down to work his ground-and-pound and rear-naked-choke mojo.  But every chance Key got – and those chances increased as the bout wore on – he stood and absolutely battered Bradley with his heavy hands.

Bradley survived, albeit just barely, and took the unanimous decision when time ran out.

Elsewhere on the card, Team Renzo rep Artur Rofi dominated Adolpho Sanchez, putting the Rhino Fight Team exponent through the submission ringer and even popping Sanchez’s arm at the end of the first round.  Undaunted, the undeniably tough Sanchez came out for more, and at the end of Round 2 Rofi was in mount, raining down knockout blows.

Carlos Cline survived an early scare in the opening round of his bout against Don Wagner, recovering from Wagner’s fistic assault to control position and reign supreme on the ground.  Cline took the unanimous decision as well.

Japanese Team Renzo scrapper Daisuke Yamaji went back and forth with Maciej Linke before turning up the heat and putting him away in Round 2.

Brick City FC Results:

-Gregor Gracie def. Mariusz Linke by submission (rear naked choke), Rd. 1, 2:13

-Jerome Martinez def. Jose Rodriguez by submission (verbal), Rd. 1, 3:26

-Carlos Cline def. Don Wagner by unanimous decision

-Daisuke Yamaji def. Maciej Linke by TKO (punches), Rd. 2, 1:01

-Glen Sandull def. JA Dudley by unanimous decision

-Eric Bradley def. Josh Key by unanimous decision

-Artur Rofi def. Adolpho Sanchez by KO (punches), Rd. 2, 4:53

-Ran Weathers def. Brandon Adamson by Rear Naked Choke at 1:47, R2

Brick City Fighting Championship: Bringing Pro MMA to Newark

The Brick City Fighting Championship comes to Newark’s Essex County College on October 2

After the usual summer lull, New Jersey’s pro MMA scene has hit the fall like a shin to the head, first with the UCC in Jersey City, then with M-1 Global and Ring of Combat 31 in Atlantic City. And now, in week number four of this full contact onslaught, comes the Brick City Fighting Championship – a newcomer to the circuit and an organization ready to provide Newark (a.k.a., the “Brick City”) with a night of fistic action.

“I want to bring the exciting fights to the fans,” says promoter Lou Turco, the man behind Brick City FC. “I don’t want to watch the best wrestler roll around on the ground with someone trying not to lose. I want someone trying to win, not trying not to lose. I want excitement.”

For almost 20 years Turco has been carrying a gun and a badge for his “day job”, but most familiar with the local MMA scene know him for the many hats he’s worn in the fight business. From an inspector for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, to a partner in both a Renzo Gracie affiliate gym and Kevin Mullhall’s New Jersey Fight Club, to a manager of fighters, he’s seen it from nearly all angles. Promoting is simply the next logical step.

“I learned a lot from Nick Lembo,” says Turco. “And I watched other promotions come and go, such as Cage Fury by Felix Martinez. It was the best show I’d ever seen. He started off with a big show with a really big budget. But if you don’t start a show with a fan base commensurate to its size, it’s going to collapse when a financial backer pulls out.”

To that end, Turco’s stocked Brick City FC’s debut card with locals – which, given Newark’s dense population of Brazilians, means there’ll be a lot of screaming and cheering Team Renzo and Gold Team Fighters fans in the audience.

However, the first installment of the Brick City FC isn’t going to be a repeat of Karriem Abdallah’s “The Return of Macaco”, a one-off 2009 event that saw the Essex County College gymnasium transformed into Rio de Janeiro circa Pentagon Combat. Besides Igor and Gregor Gracie, longtime Team Renzo rep Carlos Cline and Gold Team Fighter Maciej Linke, the roster also features Rhino Fight Team coach Rob Guarino, slugger Josh Key and the always-entertaining Jose Rodriguez. There are even a few Greg Jackson-trained fighters in the mix.

“Our goal is to try to avoid boring fights,” says Turco, and if the composition of his 11-bout fight card is of any indication, he might very well achieve that goal.

Ring of Combat 31: Weidman and Gaudinot Are Two Stars on the Rise

Atlantic City, N.J. – If Ring of Combat is meant to showcase tomorrow’s stars today, then its thirty-first installment on Friday night at the Tropicana Casino and Resort worked like a charm.

Future UFC champ Chris Weidman made a giant leap towards the top of the middleweight pyramid, scoring a crushing first-round TKO win over über-striker Uriah Hall.  On paper, Weidman – a Team Serra/Longo representative with stellar wrestling and grappling credentials – should’ve posed all sorts of problems for the TSMMA stud on the ground.  But a cautious Hall seemed to be anticipating a takedown the never came, and Weidman found a home for his left hand before Hall could find his counter-punching range.  The ensuing storm of follow up punches had referee Dan Miragliotta stepping in, rendering Weidman the new ROC 185-pound champ.

Hall’s teammate, Louis Gaudinot, fared much better, and with an inspired win over MMA Institute’s Jesse Riggleman, he firmly established himself as a solid WEC prospect.  Squaring off for the ROC flyweight belt, the two set a fast and frenetic pace early on – Riggleman with his takedowns and efforts to keep his foe down, and the green-haired Gaudinot with his relentless up-kicks and scrambling.

Yet all it took for a sudden and definitive ending was for the TSMMA fighter to regain his feet and seize upon Riggleman’s exposed neck with a flying guillotine.  Riggleman tapped as soon as it hit the floor, and Gaudinot’s shiny new piece of hardware now secures his position as the Northeast’s top 125 pounder.

Elsewhere on the card, welterweight Jungle Gym standout Joe Aviles went toe-to-toe with AMA Fight Club’s Mike Medrano for a round before employing a devastating flying knee that put Medrano in dreamland.  In his sophomore pro outing Chris Wing continued to impress, needing a mere 80 seconds to land a solid dose of knuckles on Yusef Yoldas for the knockout.  And in far-away the gutsiest performance of the night, Pellegrino MMA rep Dave Church survived (some may say miraculously) the blazing stand-up of Carmine Zocchi-trained Villo Bello to turn the tide and sink a third-round rear naked choke.

Church was dropped twice in the early part of the first round but popped back up swinging, and by Round 3 Bello had nothing in his gas tank to fuel his defense.  This was the best Church we’ve ever seen, and he deserves a ton of accolades for his resilience and heart.

Ring of Combat 31 Full Results:

ROC Middleweight Title

-Chris Weidman def. Uriah Hall by TKO (punches) at 3:06, R1

WKA Lightweight Title

-Mikhaeil Malyutin def. Luiz Azeredo by Unanimous Decision

ROC Flyweight Title

-Louis Gaudinot def. Jesse Riggleman by Guillotine at 4:43, R1

Main Card

-Joe Aviles def. Mike Medrano by KO (flying knee) at :52, R2

-Rich Ashkar def. Doug Gordon by Unanimous Decision

-Marcos Pereira def. Jacob Kirwan by Unanimous Decision

-George Sullivan def. James Frier by TKO (knees) at 2:24, R1

-Steve Edwards def. Hazem Ibrahim by Rear Naked Choke at 2:31, R1

-Dave Church def. Villi Bello by Rear Naked Choke at 2:34, R3

-Tom DeBlass def. Tom Velasquez by TKO (punches) at :50, R2

-Mike Andrillo def. Scott Fairlamb by Guillotine at 1:33, R2

-Evan Chmielski def. Ryan Castillo by Split Decision

-Chris Wing def. Yusef Yoldas by KO (punch) at 1

Tyson Jeffries: Kicking Ass and Taking Names at M-1 Global “Selection” Finals

Atlantic City, N.J. – Team Quester Tyson Jeffries may be damn good at Muay Thai, but it was his ability to scramble out of trouble – and fire off submission attempts even when rocked – that won him top honors in the middleweight finals of M-1 Global’s “Selection” tournament.

Taking on Division I wrestler and perennial grinder Mike Geurin at Bally’s Casino Hotel, Jeffries chose his strikes wisely in the first two rounds, walking into a few hard punches but dishing out more than he absorbed.

Round 3, however, was another story entirely.

Geurin, turning up the heat, began mixing takedowns in with his boxing, and Jeffries was retreating on wobbly legs in what looked to be the bout’s final moments.  And a tight triangle – thrown up by the always-dangerous Jeffries – ensured that it was.  If M-1 Global’s mission is to cultivate up-and-coming talent, the organization succeeded with middleweight tournament winner Jeffries.

The other tournament winners had a much easier time of it.  Hometown hero Tom Gallicchio steamrolled over an overmatched Len Bentley in their bout, first by neutralizing Bentley’s heavy hands with a takedown, then dropping leather, and slipping on a rear naked choke for the tap.  Now the rest of the world knows what the Northeast already did: as welterweights go, Gallicchio is one of the best.

Kenny Garner had little trouble with Pat Bennett in the heavyweight finals, punishing Bennett’s body then going north and pounding Bennett’s face for the TKO win.

Byron Byrd survived a high-amplitude slam to submit Daniel Viscaya with a triangle in the light-heavyweight finals.  Ana all it took for Jose Figeuroa to make George Sheppard to quit in the lightweight finals was two solid kicks to the groin.  Curiously, Figeuroa was losing the striking battle in Round 1 when the fouls occurred, but 34 seconds into Round 2 Sheppard waived the bout off, citing problems down below.

M-1 Global “Selection” Tournament Finals Results:

-Tom Gallicchio def. Len Bentley by Rear Naked Choke at 4:38, R1

-Jose Figeuroa def. George Sheppard by verbal submission at :34, R2

-Kenny Garner def. Pat Bennett by TKO (punches) at 2:31, R1

-Tyson Jeffries def. Mike Geurin by Triangle Choke at 3:43, R3

-Mike Winters def. Jose Rodriguez by Unanimous Decision

-Luigi Fioravanti def. Woody Weatherby by TKO (punches) at 2:51, R1

-Byron Byrd def. Daniel Viscaya by Triangle Choke at 2:43, R1

-Bristole Marunde def. Shane Primm by Unanimous Decision

-Josh Thorpe def. Brendan Weafer by Unanimous Decision

Unbridled Beatings at Urban Conflict Championship 3

Jersey City, N.J. (MMA DieHards) – Fans who showed up at the Armory in Jersey City Friday looking for action certainly got their money’s worth.

Despite an abbreviated fight card of seven bouts, the Urban Conflict Championship’s third installment delivered with a heavy dose of beatings within the cage – not the least of which was featherweight Felipe Arantes’ three-round punishment party of the tough Jason McLean.

Hailing from Gold Team Fighters and wielding some of the best Muay Thai in the Northeast, Arantes met McLean’s solid wrestling and fear-inducing overhand rights with some dangerous jiu-jitsu and a barrage of low-kicks from hell. To his credit, McLean never wavered and was in it until the final bell. But when time ran out there was no disputing that the Brazilian had done more than enough to merit the unanimous decision.

Returning to battle after a lengthy hiatus, Rhino Fight Team middleweight Daniel Akinyemi proved that he’s still go it. What’s “it”? Apparently “it” is overwhelming power in his strikes, which he used to clobber Rich Bianchi from one side of the cage to the other. Referee Dan Miragliotta called a halt to the beating at 2:00 of the first round.

Elsewhere on the card, American Top Team rep Ryan Quinn wasted no time getting Kevin Horowitz down and bloodying him with a near-unlimited supply of fist-to-face. Horowitz did his best to hang in there, but by Round 2 the doctors were the ones saying “no mas”.   And in the main event, Pride Bushido vet Luiz Azeredo had his way with MFS fighter Brandon Adamson, dominating him on the ground with flawless jiu-jitsu and snagging a rear naked choke.

Full Results from Urban Conflict Championship 3: “Renegades”

    • Luiz Azeredo def. Brandon Adamson by Rear Naked Choke at 3:06, R1
    • Felipe Arantes def. Jason McLean by Unanimous Decision
    • Ryan Quinn def. Kevin Horowitz by doctor stoppage (cut) at 2:52, R2
    • Daniel Sensintaffar def. Clint Wattenberg by doctor stoppage (cut) at 5:00, R2
    • Daniel Akinyemi def. Rich Bianchi by TKO (punches) at 2:00, R1
    • Rich Van Houton def. Doug Miller by TKO (punches) at 3:23, R1
    • Claudio Ledesma def. Adam Schortz by TKO (punches) at 4:08, R1

M-1 Global “Selection”: Blood, Sweat and Tears as Gallicchio Advances

Bally’s Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, N.J. – It was a storybook ending to a grueling tale, a tale told with the blood, sweat and tears of two of the Northeast’s toughest fighters.  At M-1 Global’s “Selection” event on Saturday, Pellegrino MMAer Tom Gallicchio and Fight Factory rep Aaron Meisner brawled furiously in a welterweight tournament semifinal bout, with the grappler eating a variety of knees and knuckles (and even a shin to the side of the head at one point) before the night was through.  But Gallicchio absorbed it all, and though cut and woefully behind on the scorecards when Round 3 rolled around, he managed to find a takedown where none had existed before.  That takedown marked the beginning of the end, as Meisner soon found himself stuck with his opponent on his back and a rear naked choke constricting his neck.  The official time of the tap out was 1:26 of the round, and when M-1 Global reconvenes in September Gallicchio will take on hard-hitting Len Bentley in the finals.

Also bloody was Bombsquad middleweight Mike Geurin, although his route to victory – over game TUF veteran Shane Primm – was much less circuitous.  For three rounds the former All-American wrestler blasted Primm in the face, and whenever Primm threatened with leather of his own, Geurin stemmed the tide with seemingly-unstoppable takedowns.  The judges awarded the Bombsquader the unanimous decision when time ran out, and Geurin will square off against Team Quest Muay Thai specialist Tyson Jeffries in the 185-pound finals.

Elsewhere on the card, the aforementioned Jeffries eked out a split decision over Gold Team Fighters star Plinio Cruz, with Cruz’s first-round point destruction for an inadvertent groin strike costing the Brazilian striker the bout.  Russian boxer and clear fan-favorite Andrei Kapylou took a beating at the hands of American Top Team heavyweight Kenny Gardner, losing the unanimous decision after three painful rounds of ground-and-pound punishment.  And in a lightweight tournament semifinal, MMA Institute stand-out George Sheppard proved too strong and too game for the technical Josh Bacallao, stealing the split decision for the win.

Full Results:
-Tom Gallicchio vs. Aaron Meisner
Gallicchio via rear naked choke at 1:26 of R3.
-Andrei Kapylou vs. Kenny Garner
Garner via unanimous decision.
-Tyson Jeffries vs. Plinio Cruz
Jeffries via split decision – Cruz deducted one point for low blow in R1.
-Pat Bennett vs. Mehdi Hassan
Bennett via unanimous decision.
-Mike Geurin vs. Shane Primm
Geurin via unanimous decision.
-Daniel Vizcaya vs. Chris Sydnor
Vizcaya via head/arm choke at 2:02 of R1.
-Colin Schrader vs. Len Bentley
Bentley via KO (punch) at 1:45 of R2.
-George Sheppard vs. Josh Bacallao
Sheppard via split decision.
-Josh Thorpe vs. Jose Figueroa
Figueroa via unanimous decision.
-Sammy Collingwood vs. Byron Byrd
Byrd via TKO (punches) at :40 of R1.

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