Gregor Gillespie has just about outgrown his current surroundings.
The undefeated prospect disposed of Jose Mariscal with first-round punches to retain the Ring of Combat lightweight championship in the Ring of Combat 54 main event on March 4 at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Mariscal lasted longer than any of Gillespie’s previous five opponents but nevertheless succumbed to punches 4:09 into round one.
Gillespie was a four-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, where he won a national championship in 2007. The 29-year-old still ranks first on Edinboro’s all-time list in career wins (152) and winning percentage (.917), and he remains one of only two wrestlers -- Josh Koscheck is the other -- in school history to earn All-America honors four times.
A Long Island MMA rep, Gillespie has already spoken of a hypothetical move to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“I would love for a short-notice fight in [the] UFC to pop up,” he told Sherdog.com in a September interview. “That would be ideal. I could do a fight on two or three days’ notice. I’m always within striking distance of 155 [pounds]. I’m the guy [the] UFC could call up anytime and make a fight happen. I don’t have training camps. I’ve been in camp for four years basically. My workouts [and] sparring or whatever are all the same, whether I’m just around the corner from a fight or three months out from a fight. I walk around at an extremely manageable weight. At this point, I’m not sure what the holdup is. I don’t think there’s a reason for me not to be there. I could beat 99 percent of the guys they have signed right now.”
Another blue-chip talent was not as fortunate.
Brian Kelleher kept his hold on the Ring of Combat bantamweight championship, as he submitted heralded Team Tiger Schulmann standout Julio Arce with a third-round guillotine choke in their rematch. Arce conceded defeat 18 seconds into round three. The 26-year-old has lost only twice in 10 professional appearances, and Kelleher was the culprit on both occasions.
Gaudinot Golden in Philadelphia
Louis Gaudinot has taken his UFC release in stride.
Gaudinot claimed the Cage Fury Fighting Championships flyweight crown, as he took out Sidemar Honorio with first-round punches in the CFFC 57 headliner on March 19 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Honorio met his end 59 seconds into round one, his three-fight winning streak halted in decisive fashion.
The 31-year-old Gaudinot has rattled off back-to-back victories after being cut by the UFC following a decision loss to Kyoji Horiguchi in January 2015.
Meanwhile, the unbeaten Katlyn Chookagian successfully defended the CFFC women’s flyweight championship, as she cut down Stephanie Bragayrac with a first-round knee strike. Chookagian brought it to a close 45 seconds into round one, as she upped her record to 7-0.
In Brief: Bilbulatov Moves to 11-0
Reigning World Series of Fighting flyweight champion Magomed Bibulatov improved to 11-0, as he took a unanimous decision from Irmeson Cavalcante de Oliveira at Akhmat Fight Show 15 on March 12 in Grozny, Russia ... Mu Gyeom Choi retained his featherweight title with a unanimous verdict over former Pancrase and Sengoku champion Marlon Sandro at Road Fighting Championship 29 on March 12 in Wonju, South Korea. Choi, 26, has won four of his past five bouts ... Akihiro Murayama became the latest welterweight King of Pancrase, as he dispatched Shingo Suzuki with ground-and-pound 3:33 into the fourth round at Pancrase 276 on March 13 in Tokyo. The 36-year-old Murayama has posted four straight wins, two of them at Suzuki’s expense ... Onetime WSOF featherweight titleholder Rick Glenn put away Chris Manuel with punches 2:03 into the third round of their Pure Fighting Championships 3 main event on March 19 in Milwaukee. Since surrendering the World Series of Fighting championship to Lance Palmer in 2014, Roufusport’s Glenn has recorded back-to-back victories ... Rob Wilkinson took the Australian Fighting Championship middleweight crown by force, as he wiped out Jamie Abdallah with punches 4:37 into the third round of their encounter at Australian Fighting Championship 15 on March 19 in Melbourne, Australia. Wilkinson is now 9-0 with nine finishes ... Magomed Magomedov was awarded a split decision over Petr Yan, as he captured the Absolute Championship Berkut bantamweight title at Absolute Championship Berkut 32 on March 26 in Moscow. The 24-year-old Magomedov will carry a 12-fight winning streak into his next outing.