Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat plans historic 50th show 1/23
by Kirik Jenness at mixedmartialarts.com
No promotion has sent more people to the UFC than Lou Neglia’s Ring Of Combat. To date, the East Coast promotion has graduated over 90 alumni to compete in the UFC. Not only have they sent the most, to the biggest promotion, but all Ring of Combat alumni are having successful careers.
The latest ROC veterans actively competing in the UFC include middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Al Iaquinta, Ryan LaFlare, Eddie Gordon, Costas Philippou, Edson Barboza, Uriah Hall, and most recently, Chris Wade.
A lot of things turned 50 this year, including Buffalo wings, The Ford Mustang, Sandra Bullock, BASIC, G.I. Joe, Lucky Charms, Pop Tarts, Jeopardy, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. On January 23, Lou Neglia brings Ring of Combat 50 to east coast fight fans at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. The fight card is stacked from top to bottom and will feature top MMA prospects and SIX title bouts.
As a former world kickboxing champion, Lou knows what it takes to help build fighters.
“The recipe is very simple,” said Lou. “Competitive fights challenge you. If you’re not challenged, you won’t change. You get more out of losing competitive fights by improving your game. You gain nothing winning a hand-picked opponent for an easy fight.”
“The UFC has taken a fighter that was 8 wins with 4 losses as opposed to a fighter who was undefeated at 10-0 in another promotion. The matchmakers at UFC know just as well as I do that it’s who you fought and how you fought that matters. I look at these matches as fan myself. I put two solid fighters together that not only fans want to see in action but fights that I would like to see.”
UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver on January 18, 2015 will feature a bout between ROC vets Uriah Hall and Costas Philippou. The pair already fought once at ROC 34, with Philippou taking a majority decision.
“When I first heard that the UFC is putting on Hall vs Philippou, I was very proud,” said Neglia. “These guys are true champions and gave their all at Ring of Combat. The have both come so far since then and I know they are going to put on a good show for the UFC.”
With Lou’s matchmaking skills and top pedigree of fighters, many wonder why he hasn’t made the jump to go head to head with the UFC, but for Lou, that is an easy answer.
“Not too long ago, I was approached by three very successful businessmen,” said Lou. “They asked me if I wanted to join forces with them in the world of MMA and their goal was to compete with the UFC and eventually become bigger than them. I thanked them for their time but declined. I am very content with what I am doing and have no desire to compete with the UFC. They have an all star team with Dana, Lorenzo, Marc Ratner, Joe Silva and are doing great things in the world of combat sports. I enjoy finding great but unknown talent and developing them for the world’s biggest stage and I am happy with the place Ring of Combat has in MMA history, being the american idol of the sport.”
“Our next event is a very special one for Ring of Combat. Not many promotions have made it to their 50th event and many have not produced the superstars that Ring of Combat has. I am very proud of all Ring of Combat alumni, but also very proud of the new generation of ROC fighters who by accepting tough fights in the Ring of Combat, prepare themselves for the road that leads to the Octagon. I’m confident the new generation of ROC alumni will join the others and become stars of the sport.”