Atlantic City, NJ – Ring of Combat returns November 18 with ROC XXXVIII. This event has another stacked lineup, something Ring of Combat has become synonymous with, as 5 titles will be on the line as fans from all over the world will be tuning in either in person at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey or Live on iPPV at www.GFL.tv – GFL Combat Sports Network to watch this exciting card. ROC continues to be the linchpin of East Coast MMA and this 16-bout card reiterates its dominance as the top dog in the Tri-State area.
The main event is really a 5-fight main event as 5 titles will be up for grabs. In one match, ROC Welterweight Champion and UFC veteran Pete Sell (9-5) defends his Welterweight Title for the first time against Nordine Taleb (3-1). Sell is coming off of a second round submission victory against Elijah Harshbarger where Sell looked dominant and showed the MMA crowd he is back to 100% after taking time off to heal various injuries. For Taleb, who is riding a 3-fight win streak, this will be the biggest test of his young career. ROC officials hold Taleb in high regard as he was granted this title fight, so don’t be fooled by the lack of experience for Taleb. He is one of Montreal’s gems of MMA and trains with some of the best fighters in the world including UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges St-Pierre at the Tristar gym. For Sell, this is another opportunity to prove that “Drago” is just hitting his peak.
The ROC Featherweight Title is also on the line as champion Deividas Taurosevicious (13-5) defends his strap against Marlon Moraes (5-2-1). The Renzo Gracie protégé, Taurosevicious, has 9 victories coming by submission while Moraes has all 5 of his victories coming by way of stoppage, either KO or submission. Taurosevicious is one of the best grapplers ever trained by Gracie, so look for him to get the fight to the mat quickly. Moraes will have to defend the takedown attempt and make Taurosevicious pay in the standup game if he is going to win the fight and take home the 145 lb belt. This has all of the making to be fight of the night as these two will put on a high pace fight.
In another main-event caliber fight, undefeated Al Iaquinta (6-0-1) defends his ROC Lightweight Championship against UFC veteran Patrick Audinwood (9-2-1). Iaquinta is a Matt Serra trained fighter and a ROC veteran and should have the hometown crowd behind him. But Audinwood is cutting down from 170 where he previously has fought so he will give Iaquinta everything he can handle in the strength department. Iaquinta’s last bout was a quick victory against an opponent who took him to the limit previously, so Iaquinta’s all-around MMA game is growing by leaps and bounds with each fight. For Audinwood, having dropped two tough fights in the UFC, he has made the permanent move down to lightweight and looks to rebound against the ROC champ.
In still more championship action, Jimmie Rivera (8-1) takes on Anthony Leone (9-4) for the ROC Bantamweight Championship. Rivera is on a 7-fight win streak and also a current champion of another top-level MMA organization. Rivera, is also formally a featherweight and will bring a size advantage into the fight and will look to use his wrestling and grind down Leone and finish the fight in the later rounds. For WEC and Bellator veteran Leone, this is a chance to take down a lion and win the most prestigious MMA title on the East Coast. Expect Leone to push the action and try to wear out the bigger Rivera.
The final title that will be on the line is the ROC Light Heavyweight Championship when undefeated Champion Tom DeBlass (5-0) battles Davit Tkeshelashvili (1-1). DeBlass is out of the Renzo Gracie camp and has never tasted defeat. DeBlass’ last two fights have ended in the first round, so expect him to come out with guns blazing. For Tkeshelashvili he was submitted in his last bout, so he will have to withstand the grappling of DeBlass early on to make this a fight.