Sell (top) scored a submission win at Ring of Combat 36. | Photo:
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- The 36th
edition of Ring of Combat at the Tropicana Casino was the stage
for UFC veteran Pete Sell’s
return to action following a two-year hiatus.
The Serra-Longo product took the ROC “National” welterweight title
from champion Elijah
Harshbarger, despite an extremely shaky first round.
Harshbarger went right after Sell from the opening bell and was
either in mount or on his opponent’s back in what he called the
“best round of my life.”
But the seasoned vet weathered the storm, and surprisingly there
was no worry from his corner in between rounds.
“He can absorb a lot of punishment,” Matt Serra
told Sherdog.com following the bout. “He was really just playing
catch-up on position on the floor. He was a little bit out of
position so he had to play catch-up and before you know it the
round was over. But I wasn't worried as far as taking abuse or
anything. Drago's a beast.”
Not only was his corner not concerned, but Sell was raring to go
for round two.
“The first thing Drago told me before he even sat on his stool was,
‘He's getting tired,’” said Serra. “I thought that was hysterical.
I [asked], ‘You good?’ He said, ‘I'm fine. He's getting
The second round opened with a superman punch from Harshbarger that
Sell eluded. The subsequent collision saw Sell end up on top and
dominate position, much in the same fashion Harshbarger displayed
in the opening period. Soon enough Sell trapped one of
Harshbarger's arms and secured an armbar submission on the other
limb, forcing a tap at 3:24 of round two.
The ROC “National” bantamweight title was also on
the line as Aljamain
Sterling took on Renzo Gracie
Ledesma. The 15-minute bout was primarily a battle for
positioning with Sterling getting the better of his foe. The Long
Island native took a split decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
to take possession of the title.
Sterling (left) edged Ledesma.
Santella and Tito Jones
had a hard-fought duel that saw the Whippany, N.J., native go after
Jones early, scoring a big slam in the first round. But after the
early fireworks the contest became a battle of attrition.
Santella scored with takedowns, but he could not hold Jones down.
It was enough for Santella to score a unanimous decision (30-27,
30-27, 30-27) victory.
Iaquinta took a split decision from Gabriel
Miglioli in a hotly-contested lightweight dustup. The resilient
Iaquinta survived an opening-round onslaught from Miglioli to
capture rounds two and three on dual scorecards (29-28, 28-29,
A relatively uneventful light heavyweight bout saw
Contaldi earn a unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
over Hammer House fighter Rob Wince.
Contaldi took Wince down at will; the Ohioan had no answer.
Holland (right) blasted Caldwell.
In a 130-pound women’s tilt, Munah
Holland bulldozed Marissa
Caldwell by technical knockout with punches at the 1:00 mark of
Jean-Francois went right after Erik Oganov
from the jump, only to be submitted by the M-1 veteran at 1:35 of
the opening frame.
In other ROC 36 action, Casey
Manrique beat Brandon
Saling with a rear-naked choke at 1:30 of round two; James
Jenkins bested Jason
McLean via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28); Ed Gordon
outpointed J.A. Dudley
(30-28, 29-28, 29-28); Keith
Berish stopped David
Colabella with a knee and punches at 1:04 of round one;
Prokop guillotined Brian
Smiley in just 26 seconds; Frankie
Perez tapped Andre
Shuler with a rear-naked choke at 2:32 of the second; Jimbo
Hoffman scored a RNC submission win over Mike Benoit
in 3:19; Tom English
Bruzzese by majority decision.