Written by New York Fighting / Contributing Editor Kyle Antonelli

Photos by Matt Culley & Kevin Smith

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Lou Neglia and Andrea DeAngelo


This past Friday, September 11, 2015, Lou Neglia and Ray Longo presented another installment of Combat At The Capitale in New York City’s Chinatown, and NewYorkFighting.com was on hand to cover the action.  The night featured a total of thirteen amateur and professional bouts, contested under Glory rules and sanctioned by the WKA, and provided a number of competitive matchups and aggressive action in the ring. Brooklyn and Long Island were both heavily represented among the fighters, but fighters also traveled from such places as Detroit, North Carolina, Canada, and even Russia to compete.

The main event was a wild one-round affair for the 152lb North American pro championship. Defending champ Niko Tsigaras, billed from Brooklyn and fighting out of Lions Fight Martial Arts, was able to retain his title with a first round KO over Toronto, Canada‘s Eric Rocha. The fighters engaged with wild punching exchanges right from the bell.

After Tsigaras stunned Rocha with a combination in the corner, the referee administered a standing 8-count, and after determining that Rocha was unable to answer the count, awarded the KO victory to Tsigaras. The champion Tsigaras received vocal support from the crowd, and what appeared to be his entire team crowded inside the ring to celebrate the victory.

In the amateur co-main event for the 145lb title, Justin “The Moose” Muslija from Team Tiger Schulmann claimed a unanimous decision over Preston Fletcher from Evolution MAFA in Toronto.

The New Jersey native Muslija spent most of the first round moving forward while Fletcher looked to counter. “The Moose” landed some hard leg kicks and a glancing left head kick, but round 1 was otherwise full of even exchanges. Muslija picked up where he left off at the start of round 2, landing solid punches while Fletcher focused on kicks. The Canadian turned it on later in the round with combinations, starting to find his rhythm. The third round was also tough to call, as both fighters ended up clinching and looked to punch on the way out. Fletcher looked for head kicks repeatedly in round 3 but all were blocked. In the end, Muslija claimed two 29-28 scorecards, and one 30-27, to claim the victory.

In another pro bout David “Man of God” Moore from Hampstead, North Carolina showed impressive focus and resolve to weather the storm from Lions Martial Arts‘ Zarrukh Adashev and earn a first round KO victory. Adashev, riding on the cheers of a loud fan base, burst out of the gate aggressively with heavy punches looking for the early KO. Moore ate some shots but mostly defended well and kept his composure. When the flurries stopped he followed a left jab with a hard right hook that briefly removed Adashev fom consciousness. The ref did not administer a count and chose to wave off the fight at just 1:11.

Two pro bouts in the womens division were other highlights of the evening as the local fighters brought many fans to the venue for support. At 125lbs, Lou Neglia-trained Andrea DeAngelo took a 29-28 unanimous decision on all scorecards over Philadelphia‘s Jamie Miller.

The first two rounds each started with a tentative feeling out process before Brooklyn‘s DeAngelo entered with an explosive attack of clean punches and kicks. Miller was game, however, and bloodied DeAngelo’s nose by the end of the second round. In the third round Miller came out with more confidence, and while both fighters’ output decreased, the exchanges were more even. Overall, DeAngelo leaned on straigher punches, particularly her right hand, to claim the decision victory.

The second pro womens bout showed Jennie Nedell from LAW MMA dominate Detroit‘s Shaena Cox over three rounds to claim a lopsided 30-25 unanimous decision. The Ray Longo-trained fighter from Lindenhurst, NY showcased superior conditioning after controlling a somewhat competitive first round, and came out with hard kicks in the second to wear down Cox. A flurry from Nedell earned a standing 8-count in rounds 2 and 3, but Cox stayed in the fight and survived to see the final bell.

Another Brooklyn-based Russian fighter from Lions Martial Arts was successful in an earlier pro bout as Avaz Achilov took a unanimous decision over MMA veteran and fellow Brooklynite John Salgado from team Inner G. This fight was a heated affair that saw Achilov score a quick knockdown in round 1, from which Salgado recovered immediately. After an early warning from the referee for an illegal knee to the head, Achilov had a point deducted when he repeated the technique later in the round. This drew an angry exchange of words from both fighters after the foul, although they touched gloves at the end of the round.

The second and third rounds showed more aggressive exchanges, with both fighters seemingly eager to taste his opponent’s best shots. In the end, Achilov had the more crisp technique, tenderizing Salgado’s lead leg with kicks by the third round, and earned a decision victory.

During an intermission before the pro bouts, promoter Lou Neglia recognized several notable local martial artists in the ring, including undefeated pro boxer Jarrell Miller, Titan Fighting champion and former Ring of Combat champion Andre Harrison, current Ring of Combat welterweight champion Randy Brown, and UFC veteran Nick Pace.

Earlier in the night fans were treated to some well-matched amateur fights, as up-and-coming talent got the chance to showcase their skills for the sold out crowd. The highlight of these bouts was Tiger Schulmann product Brandon Cuttino claiming a 3rd round TKO victory over Shannon Halstead when the ref stopped the fights due to a large cut over Halstead’s right eye. The fight was full of wild exchanges, and while both fighters landed there share, Cuttino seemed to be in control prior to the stoppage.

In other action, Diane Zhavaj (Tiger Schulmann, Ramsey NJ) used superior conditioning and boxing to take a majority decision over Yulia Guseva (Lions MA, Brooklyn NY). Damien Bailey (Tiger Schulmann, Brooklyn NY) used his height advantage and accurate combinations to take a unanimous decision over Robert Wallin (Alpha Omega, Queens NY). Raquane Alexander (Longo Competition Team, Freeport NY) won by KO at 1:59 of round 1 over William Braxton (Dambakly Martial Arts, Hampstead, NC) after a furious combination brought Braxton to his knees, conceding defeat. Bridgitte Hilton (Alpha Omega, Hicksville NY) took a majority decision over Dawn Solomon (Journey MA, Port Jefferson NY). Jimmy San (Five Points Gym, Brooklyn NY) used a persistent body attack to take a unanimous decision over Carlos Anton (Tiger Schulmann, Brooklyn NY) after earning a standing 8 count in round 2. And in the opening bout of the evening, Jennifer “Just Jenn” Ventriglia (Alpha Omega) claimed a unanimous decision over Alison Dichter (Team Inner G).

Niko Tsigaras vs Eric Rocha
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Andrea DeAngelo
Justin Muslija vs Preston Fletcher
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David Moore vs Zarrukh Adashev
Jennie Nedell vs Shaena Cox
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Avaz Achilov vs John Salgado