ROC 49 was originally scheduled with 5 title fights but that changed this past weekend as ROC lightweight champ, Chris Wade, received the call that all professional MMA fighters dream of. Wade, who was already contractually obligated to defend his title at ROC 49, was asked to compete on the UFC 177: Dillashaw Barao card by UFC matchmakers. Seeing the possible contract dilemma at hand, Wade’s team called Lou Neglia to give him the news.
In typical fashion, Lou immediately congratulated Chris, ripped up his contract and wished him well at UFC 177. “Once I heard the news, I immediately ripped up Chris’s contract for ROC 49,” said Lou Negila, president of Ring of Combat. “What other promotion would do that? Being a former fighter, I know where these fighters want to get to and that is to the UFC,” he continued.
Chris Wade also remembers the conversation he had with Lou. “He just congratulated me and told me that he knows I will be victorious with my fighting style, fighting spirit, and ability,” said Wade.
Both Lou and Chris feel that the time spent in the Ring of Combat circuit will serve him well in the elite ranks of the UFC. “One thing I always say and truly believe in is that great fights make great fighters,” said Lou. “All the guys at the Ring of Combat are tested from the ground up. And I truly feel this is why many are finding success against the world’s best in the UFC,” he continued.
“I absolutely feel that ROC has helped prepare me for the UFC,” said Wade. “Let's face it, the track record speaks for itself, Weidman, Gordon, Barbosa, LaFlare, Laquinta, and on and on. It is a consistent hot of fighting talent. I really feel like I am constantly developing and that I am a problem for any man in the world at 155 to deal with. ROC has helped to give me that confidence.” he continued.
Chris now joins Weidman, Serra, Edgar, Barbosa and many more as ROC alumni to leave for the UFC. And just like those before him, he plans on supporting the Ring of Combat promotion. “My time with Lou Neglias ROC has been amazing,” said Wade. “It's been such a great journey that has allowed me to learn the sport and continuously challenge myself which in turn has bettered me as a fighter. I look forward to continuing to come back to watch Lou's events which I will always call home. Ring of Combat will always be near and dear to me,” he continued.
Ring of Combat 49 continues to be a stellar card and Lou feels that any of the other ROC champions could be next in line to get the call from the UFC! “This is the next generation of MMA fighters on this card,” said Lou. “These guys are young and hungry and ready to put on a show come September 19th,” he continued.
When asked who he thought could be next to enter the UFC, Lou thinks it could be any of the current champs but Andre Harrison may be the one. “I have confidence that any of the ROC champs could be called any minute,” said Lou. “There’s Arce, there’s Jenkins, and it could be any of them. It may be Andre Harrison. He is such a dominant and imposing fighter and he could wreak havoc in the UFC’s featherweight division. But whoever it is, one thing I know for sure, they will represent the Ring of Combat well and will have success in the UFC,” finished Lou.
The Ring of Combat 49 card features:
Pete Sell (10-6) vs Elijah Harshbarger (7-4); Andre Harrison (6-0) vs Jeff Lentz (9-4-1); Matt Rizzo (6-2) vs Jimmy Grant (5-1); Julio Arce (5-0) vs Jake Grigson (5-3); Pat DeFranco (4-3) vs Mervin Rodriguez (5-8); Oluwale Bamgbose (2-0) vs Armin Mrkanovic (0-0); Gregor Gillespie (2-0) vs Justin Harrington (6-1); Max Bohanan (1-0) vs Brandon Priest (1-5); Mike Elshamy (1-1) vs Ryan King (0-1); Merab Dvalishvili (0-1) vs Dennis Dombrow (6-4); Cody Mooney (0-1) vs Somner Martin (2-4); Aaron Freedman (0-1) vs Dan Corchado; Randy Brown (1-0) vs Yousef Al-Ghoul (3-2)
Ring of Combat 49 takes place September 19th at the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The fight can be ordered for live streaming at www.ringofcombat.com. Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations or www.ticketmaster.com, www.battlepass.com or the Tropicana Resort box office.
(FIGHT CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
About Ring of Combat: Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat is one of the longest running and most successful MMA promotions in the country. More than 80 ROC fighters have moved on to the UFC and other top promotions, including former UFC champions Frankie Edgar and Matt Serra and current UFC Middleweight Champion, Chris Weidman. It is because of this success, of finding unknown talent and preparing them for the world stage, that Ring of Combat has earned the reputation of being called the “American Idol” of MMA. Lou firmly believes that great fights make great fighters!
About Lou Neglia: Louis Neglia is a three-time World Kickboxing Champion, a former U.S. Kickboxing Champion, a Florida Karate Champion, New York State Champion and an Eastern American Karate Champion. No Opponent has lasted more than three rounds against Louis Neglia since he won his first World Championship in 1980. Lou is an eight-degree Black Belt, and retired from competition in 1985 with a career record of 34 wins against 2 losses. He was named Fighter Of the Year in 1984 and was inducted into the Karate Hall of Fame. He starred in four motion pictures ("A Hard Way to Die","Super Weapon","Fist of Fear",and "One Down", "Two To Go"). Featured articles have been written about him in the top American and International magazines and newspapers. For more information about Lou Neglia's, please visit his website at: www.louneglia.com