A New Jersey Tradition,battle At The Beach Is Back
A New Jersey Tradition,
Battle at the Beach is Back
By Derek Callahan
To the fighting community of the Tri-State area and a little beyond, the Battle at the Beach has become as predictable as the route of a revolving door: every August, early on in the month, a grappling tournament and MMA card roll around to Wildwood, NJ. This year, the card brings with it 22 fighters for 11 bouts. Four of the five Reality Fighting titles will be decided at the show’s 13th installment, starting with the featherweights.
Jim Miller vs. Mushin Corbbrey
Miller has been fighting out of Florham Park, NJ starting with an impressive debut decision over grappling youth Eddie Fyvie in November of last year. The win gave way to two impressive displays of his submission game. Only three fights into his thus-far undefeated career, Miller has been taking a tougher road up. All of his opponents have been game evaluations of where Miller is at, and that pattern continues with Corbbrey.
After running through some competition in 2001 where he won three and dropped one, Corbbrey has been a sporadic competitor. At 4-2 he’s got twice as much ring time as Miller, but lacks the same momentum. Whether that will matter isn’t really known, but what is evident are the skills that both have shown against worthy competition.
Frank Edgar vs. Deividas Taurosevicus
Both these candidates for the Reality Fighting lightweight title have a common win over Jay Isip in local competition. That says that both of them are able to withstand an ocean of activity. With Isip in the ring, the waves keep on coming, and the fact that Edgar and Taurosevicus were able to turn that momentum to their advantage means that they are both composed fighters. Edgar has risen to an unblemished 4-0 on the laurels of fighters with losing records, but there’s nothing wrong with a slower ascent. Taurosevicus will be a step in the right direction for Edgar, having gotten to a 4-1 record against similar opposition. Taurosevicus is an in-shape fighter who will be game for his title shot. He’s well rounded in his approach to fighting, and is a physically compact, but forceful, specimen.
Dante Rivera vs. Mike Massenzio
Vying for the middleweight title will be local favorite Dante Rivera (7-2) and wrestling stud Mike Massenzio (4-1). After a keylock win in his debut, Massenzio was on the wrong end of a TKO, and then ground out two decisions. In between them was his only stoppage win, over Bill Scott last February. What this fight comes down to on paper is Rivera’s developed and effective ground game, against Massenzio’s ability to nullify those submissions. Rivera has been grouind-and-pounded before, depending on how good a wrestler his opponent is. On the feet, the fight will go to whoever is able to keep the other fighter off balance and thinking too much about how the fight could get to the ground. Once the fight does get there, the question will be how good Massenzio is at controlling Rivera’s normally dangerous submission game.
Todd Going vs. Marcelo Virla
Originally scheduled to fight Sean Salmon (6-1) for the light heavyweight title, Todd Going (2-1) will be in a little less deep against Marcelo Virla (1-4). Virla has faced good competition at heavyweight, but most recently lost to Jerry Spiegel (8-20-1) in July. A loss to a 185-pound journeyman may not be too damaging to a career on the local level, but for the sake of pure speculation, it has got to be a confidence shaker. Coming off of two wins, Going shouldn’t have any confidence troubles. He’s entering this bout as a dangerous wrestler with practical strength, Virla seems like a logical type of opponent for Going. Facing a bigger fighter with good experience will be a plus for Going. He is skilled, but lacking in experience. They’re fighters with different types of careers, and when they intersect it will make for either a big step up for Virla, or a smaller but important step for Going.
Here’s the way the rest of the card shapes up: