What a weekend for the world of mixed martial arts! At UFC 196, we saw two underdogs in Miesha Tate and Nate Diaz prove the oddsmakers wrong and shoot to stardom by submitting Holly Holm and ConorMcGregor. Sometimes what you see on paper doesn’t mean much once the octagon is locked.

Meanwhile, 2,500 miles to the east, the night before the memorable UFC headliners shook up the world, the next generation of fighters were continuing to craft their skill and competing on what has become a pure breeding ground for the UFC.

If you haven’t heard of Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat fight series by now, take a quick minute to Google the premier east coast promotion and you will see for yourself why the UFC rankings are filled with Ring of Combat alumni.

Several fighters from Friday’s Ring of Combat 54 showed why they may be getting the call from the UFC brass. The 10 plus bout card featured many excellent and exciting matchups including four title fights with the winners all on the cusp of crossing over to MMA stardom after last weekends performance:
•Gregor Gillespie
•Brian Kelleher (title still vacant as Kelleher missed weight)
•Bradley Desir
•Mike Santiago





See below for quick fight results provided by New York Fighting.

Main Card

1. Tajuddin Abdul-Hakim (Universal/ECF Elite) vs. Travis Foster (The Edge Hoboken) – Hakim def. Foster Unanimous Decision 30-27

2. Guram Mestvirishvili (Serra-Longo Fight Team) vs. Jay Silva (RVCA) – Silva wins unanimous Decision 29-28

3. Nick Fiore (Bellmore Kickboxing Academy/Scarola BJJ) vs. Nekruz Mirkhojaev (Brooklyn MMA) – Nekruz wins unanmous decision. 29-28

4. James Gonzalez (Serra BJJ) vs. Mike Trizano (Tiger Schulmann’s MMA) – Trizano def. Gonzalez unanimous decision

5. Tony Gravely (Tech Top Team) vs. Paul Grant (Jungle Gym) – Gravely wins TKO reef stoppage due to strikes from back mount in round 3.

6. Zach Fears (Rich Clement’s Gladiators Academy/St.Charles MMA) vs. Max Bohanan (Ricardo Almeida BJJ) – Bohanan wins via Split Decision

7. Leo Perez (Bonebreaker Gym) vs. Frank Buenafuente (Carnicella MMA) – Frank Buenafuente def. Leo Perez via unanimous decision 30-27

8. Matt Church (Navone Next Level MMA vs. Pat Defranco (Serra-Longo Fight Team) – Matt Church wins by submission (heel hook) in round 1

9. Mike Elshamy (Madama Jiu Jitsu) vs. Thomas Dibernardo (Mymidon Martial Arts) – Elshamy def. Dibernardo via unanimous decision.
Title Fight

10. Lester Caslow (Nick Catone MMA) vs. Mike Santiago (Team Top Notch) – Santiago wins by submission in the first round via rear naked choke. Retains ROC Featherweight Title

11. Eddie Lenoci (Serra-Longo Fight Team) vs. Bradley Desir (AllStar MMA) – Desir wins via TKO round 1 for the ROC National Lightweight Championship

12. Julio Arce (Tiger Schumann’s MMA) vs. Brian Kelleher (Maxim BJJ) – Kelleher def. Julio Arce via submission due to guillotine choke Round 3 (The 135 lb. ROC Title is still vacant because Kelleher missed weight.

13. Jose Chepe Mariscal (Dutch Style MMA) vs. Gregor Gillespie (Bellmore Kickboxing Academy/Scarola BJJ) – Gregor Gillespie def. Mariscal via TKO due to strikes from back mount in Round 1.

Fight Coverage: Grabriel Toribio