Jacob Kirwan faced Ryan Vacarro in the main event (Photo by Keith Mills, Sherdog).
Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat returned to the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City on Friday night for its first card of 2011, with Ring of Combat XXXIV showcasing some of the top prospects in the game of Mixed Martial Arts. 14 fights were on the overall bill, including four title matches, and below is a breakdown of those championship bouts. Matches in this portion of the show consisted of three five-minute rounds.
Ashley Nee (1-2) vs. Jessica Eye (3-0) – 131 lbs.
Eye looked very impressive in this women’s pairing, and she is quickly emerging as one of the most talented and popular women in Mixed Martial Arts. She came out firing in this fight, rocking Nee early and often. Her striking was remarkably accurate, and all Nee could do early was cover up and try to absorb less damage. The match could have easily been waved off in the first minute as Nee was virtually unable to protect herself and was not fighting back. Eye scored the first takedown of the encounter, but Nee was able to reverse and force the duo back to their feet. Nee looked clearly gassed, and Eye quickly began to unload again. Having finally seen enough, the official in charge was force to wave it off, giving Eye the Ring of Combat Women’s Title.
Dustin Pague (10-4) vs. Steve De Angelis (10-8) – 135 lbs.
This fight was a scramble on the cage in the early going, with both competitors battling for position. De Angelis was tossing some nice looking leg kicks to keep his opposition at bay, but Pague responded by continually stalking him. Pague next landed a sharp right hand with about a minute remaining in the opening frame, but De Angelis was able to maneuver into top position when that blow forced the action to the canvas. The duo then began to roll for position until the first round concluded. After the second bell, De Angelis threw a leg kick and began to shift right. As he started to back up, Pague fired off a perfectly thrown cross that landed squarely on the button on his opponent’s chin, immediately shutting the lights out for De Angelis. With De Angelis out cold on the floor, the referee stepped in and awarded the knockout win to Pague. The victory gave the Mase Training representative the formerly vacant Ring of Combat Bantamweight Championship.
Marques Daniels (6-4) vs. Gabriel Migliolo (2-1) – 155 lbs.
This battle began in the stand-up position, with Daniels loading up on a right hand and seeking an opening. However, Migliolo landed a massive knee to the head of his opposition during a furious exchange, which noticeably rocked Daniels. The wobbled Daniels seemingly lost all control of his whereabouts, and Migliolo absolutely pounced to take advantage. In a heated exchange on the ground, Migliolo then threw an ill advised knee to the head, which is an illegal blow. The referee had to next stop the action to give a five-minute window to Daniels, who had a nasty cut over his nose as a result. Unable to continue, the referee was forced to disqualify Migliolo, giving Daniels the Ring of Combat Lightweight Title under rather questionable circumstances. Migliolo even appeared as if he was not satisfied with receiving the belt in that manner.
Jacob Kirwan (8-2) vs. Ryan Vaccaro (4-2) – 145 lbs.
The main event of the evening was a short-lived one, with Vacarro shooting early but making himself vulnerable very quickly after getting the action to the canvas. Kirwan took advantage of a loose arm to apply an arm bar from the bottom position, and a scramble then ensued. As the two competitors began to roll to their left, Kirwan locked in a choke hold during the exchange. He then immediately popped to his feet to squeeze on a standing guillotine choke and quickly dropped to his back. Unable to shake the hold loose, Vaccaro was forced to tap, giving the Ring of Combat North American Championship to Kirwan after a submission win at the 1:26 mark of the opening frame.