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Thursday, Dec 07, 2006

Last-minute Changes To The Combat In The Cage Card

Last-Minute Changes to the Combat in the Cage Card

In what can only be described as an amazing turn of events, promoter Ed Hsu has put together a huge last-minute match-up for Saturday’s Combat in the Cage card: Greg Soto vs. Jay Coleman. For those who don’t know, Jersey Shore BJJ’s Soto is considered a top up-and-comer, and Rhino Fight Team’s Coleman is coming off a lightning-fast knockout win over Dominic Dellagatta at the last Ring of Combat.

Also, Bryan Vetell vs. Brian Olsen is off, but Team Tiger Schulmann’s Nissim Levy will be taking on Pitts Penn striker Garrett Carmody. For fans looking to see some fighters get punched in the face, the Soto/Coleman bout and the Levy/Carmody bout will most certainly do the job.

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Across the Pond: British MMA News
Cage Rage 19: Fearless Weigh-in
By David West

Ready to make their first appearance at the Earl’s Court, having spent the last two years at Wembley, the weigh-in for Cage Rage 19: Fearless, was plain sailing. The promoters and most of the fighters are now seasoned professionals at these events and it was only Luiz Azeredo who brought any tension to the press conference, The Brazilian merrily tried to provoke his opponent Paul "Semtex" Daley when they faced off in front of the cameras. Daley was initially unmoved, but when Azeredo continued haranguing him in Portuguese Daley looked about to lose his cool before he was led away by his team. Sparks should fly tomorrow night when these two collide. Azeredo is coming off two losses at PRIDE: Bushido, but his brawling style may unsettle the technically polished Daley if he manages to get under his skin in the fight as he did at the weigh-in.

Cage Rage 19: Luiz Azeredo lightens the mood at the weigh-ins - Photo by David West

Headliners Rob "The Bear" Broughton and Eric "Butterbean" Esch have a combined weight in excess of 670 pounds and Broughton admitted that he was feeling the pressure to perform being top of the bill. "I’m very nervous," he said, "I’ve seen a few tapes of him fighting. He’s a big knockout merchant, I’ve got to keep away from his hands and hopefully I’ll get a chance to take him down to the ground." At 6′ 3" Broughton is much taller than Esch, but doesn’t think the reach advantage will help him on the night. "You’ve got to remember he’s a pro boxer, so he knows how to get in range."

Cage Rage 19: Rob Broughton (left) vs. Eric 'Butterbean' Esch - Photo by David West
Broughton (left) vs. Esch

Xavier "Professor X" Foupa-Pokam’s catchphrase is "punishment time" and his opponent Alex Reid took this idea to an illogical conclusion, appearing in a bondage get-up and whipping Foupa-Pokam, the ring girls and anyone else within arms length. Reid is coming off three losses in a row and needs to win tomorrow to get his career back on track, while Frenchman Foupa-Pokam won his last two by armbar, most recently against Masataka Chinushi at Real Rhythm in Japan.

Cage Rage 19: Alex Reid posing in his bondage outfit as opponent Xavier Foupa-Pokam laughs in the background - Photo by David West
Reid in bondage outfit

Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro will make his second defense of his World Lightweight title against Daisuke Nakamura, in a pairing of submission masters. Whilst the fight is unlikely to be the sort of brawl beloved by casual observers, it promises to be a grappling showcase that should dazzle the discerning MMA fan.

There are plenty of big men on the bill, including Wesley "Cabbage" Correira who will face Tengiz Tedoradze in a great match-up of slugger versus wrestler. Tedoradze has never had a polished stand-up game and his vulnerability on his feet was exploited by Edson Drago who KO’d the Georgian-born battler in five seconds at Cage Rage 16 in April. Since then Tedoradze has gone 2-1-1 and will need to protect his chin against the heavy-punching Correira. However, Tedoradze has powerful takedowns, including a potent supplex, and is the best ground and pound practitioner in Britain, so if it goes to the floor he’ll be in his element.

Full Fight Card

Eric "Butterbean" Esch (396 lbs) vs. Rob "The Bear" Broughton (280 lbs)

Zelg Galesic (184.5 lbs) vs. Mark "The Wizard" Weir (180.5 lbs)

Wesley "Cabbage" Correira (264 lbs) vs. Tengiz Tedoradze (231 lbs)

Elvis Sinosic (204.5 lbs) vs. Mark Epstein (204.5 lbs)

Daisuke Nakamura (156 lbs) vs. Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro (159.5 lbs)

Luiz Azeredo (160 lbs) vs. Paul "Semtex" Daley (160 lbs)

Danilo Cherman (160 lbs) vs. Jean Silva (156 lbs)

Alan Murdock (209 lbs) vs. Dave Legeno (231 lbs)

Xavier Foupa-Pokam (184 lbs) vs. Alex Reid (185 lbs)

Jess Liaudin (168 lbs) vs. Ross Mason (169 lbs)

Alan McCauley (178 lbs) vs. Matt Ewin (184.5 lbs)

Francesco Ligato (167 lbs) vs. Suley Mahmoud (170 lbs)

Prelude to Combat in the Cage IV
By Jim Genia

When: December 9th. Where: Asbury Park Convention Center in Asbury Park, New Jersey. What: Combat in the Cage IV, "Evolutions." Promoter Ed Hsu is at it again, this time with a double-whammy of amateur MMA (starting at 1pm) and a pro MMA card in the evening. Featuring some tough, tough hombres going to war in a cage, it’s an event that promises action. Here’s a look at some of the fighters:

Brian Olsen – Strikezone
It was a horrific illegal kick to the face when he was on all fours that put Olsen on the ‘injured’ list, and there were doubts he’d ever return from that WEC debacle. But the heavy-handed wrestler returns to stake his claim for the Combat in the Cage heavyweight crown. Is he fully recovered? He’ll have to be, for his opponent is the Greco-Roman behemoth Bryan Vetell.

Bryan Vetell – Team Renzo
He’s massive and he’ll throw your butt to the canvas and kimura the heck out you – that’s Vetell, who’s coming into CITC 4 off a KO loss to Ben Rothwell in the IFL. Two things are definite in this heavyweight title fight: Olsen will be looking to take Vetell’s head off, and Vetell will be looking to put Olsen on his back. It’s just a question of who can do it first.

Travis Roesler – Babylon Studios
Moving down to light-heavyweight for the first time, Roesler has proven to be one badass dude. Utilizing a solid clinch game and some deadly knees, he’s the master of ‘devastating body blows’. Will he be able to dethrone CITC champ John Doyle with them?

Greg Soto – Jersey Shore BJJ
From his amateur bouts to his transition to pro, Soto has shown a ton of potential (not to mention dominant wrestling, jiu-jitsu and ferocity). For those out there looking to jump on a ‘promising up-and-comer’ bandwagon, all aboard the Soto train!

Jose Sulsona – Ultimate Dragon MMA
Sulsona had a rough time of it in his MMA debut, which was a beating at the hands of the dangerous Tom Gallicchio. But this Latino fan favorite has got skills in the form of some strong jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. Will Golden Gloves boxing finalist Nissim Levy give him the chance to show those skills?

Mike Murray – Team Tiger Schulmann
It’s been two and a half years since TSK’s Murray stepped into the ring, but he returns at CITC4, hopefully to prove once again he’s a force to be reckoned with amongst the featherweights. A competent grappler who always throwing punches, he was a scrapper then. One motorcycle accident and knee injury later, and the question is: is he the same scrapper now?

The full pro card as of 12/6:

Khristian Geraci (Pittsburgh Fight Club) vs. Mike Murray (TSK)
Steve McCabe (Fight Factory) vs.Diego Jimenez (Adrenaline Gear/Julio Rodriguez)
Mike Schenk (Team Quiet Storm) vs. Anthony Montanaro (Pitts Penn)
John Carson (Hitman Fight Team) vs. Radgi Benson-Barrett (TSK)
Tim Troxell (Evolutionary MA) vs. Steve DeAngelis (Rhino Fight Team)
Jon Murphy (Anthracite Combat Club vs. Carlos Cline (Renzo Gracie)
Jose Sulsona (Ultimate Dragon MMA) vs. Nisim Levy (TSK)
Tom Pursell (Team Pro Pain) vs. Garrett Carmody (Pitts Penn)
Zachary McKlowski (Fight Factory) vs. Tinh Tupy (Jersey Shore BJJ)
J.A. Dudley (Team Endgame) vs. Allen Royster (Pitts Penn)
Christopher Reedy vs. Greg Soto (Jersey Shore BJJ)

Combat in the Cage Light-Heavyweight Title Fight
Travis Roesler (Babylon Studios) vs. John Doyle (Team MFS/Daddis)

Combat in the Cage Heavyweight Title Fight
Brian Olsen (Strikezone) vs. Bryan Vetell (Renzo Gracie)

Suddenly Champion
by Jim Genia

On paper, it seemed that Todd Going was going to be the Combat in the Cage Light-Heavyweight Champ for sure. After all, the Ricardo Almeida-trained badass had been paying his dues for quite some time battling his way up the ranks. But things played out a bit differently once John Doyle entered into the equation. Surviving every rough position and submission attempt, the man with the strength of a bull and the heart of a lion turned the tables in the second round, and with a torrent of fists and a tight guillotine, did what few had thought he could: Doyle had defeated Going in his first pro MMA fight. Suddenly, he was the champion.

Who is Doyle and where did he get the tools to put Going away? Soften spoken and friendly, he’s not someone you’d expect to crack the North East’s top light-heavyweight ranks. But he has, and you can credit his toughness to his years playing football and wrestling in high school. Says the Pennsylvania resident, who went on to take second place at his first NAGA grappling tournament: "I started out learning submissions with Steve Blackman from the WWE. He was the only guy in Harrisburg."

As a last-minute replacement at Combat in the Cage III, Doyle really had no school or team to call his own, and after his win he had some heated words for Team Renzo – the result of wanting to train with the venerable MMA clan but lacking the means to do so. Rebuffed when he called and explained his situation to them, he insists there’s no bad blood now. "I have a lot of respect for Renzo," says Doyle. "I really wanted to train there. But I just couldn’t afford it." With the championship belt around his waist, he’s found a home with Brad Daddis’ team in Philadelphia. It’s a wise move for Doyle, who must now constantly sharpen his skills to fend off the challengers.

First up on the list of people hungry for the title? Travis Roesler, who’s ended all of his fights with his punishing knees. It’s a tough match-up for Doyle, yet you won’t hear him complaining. "I’ve always had a ‘fight anybody’ attitude. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to fight the best."

Does Doyle feel any pressure now that he’s the CITC king of the light-heavyweights? "I don’t really feel a lot of pressure for fights," he says. "I treat everyone like they’re the champ and it’s a championship fight."

On December 9th, at Combat in the Cage IV, we’ll see if Doyle can defend his crown.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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