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Combat Zone 53 Event Review

It was a big night for the longest running promotion in New England; kickboxing returning to Combat Zone for the first time since the Club Lido days. The mixed rules event made it a night with something for everyone, so if you couldn't make it to a packed Rockingham Park, take a gander at what went down on Friday night.

James Kerivan vs Chris Vaquerano

140lb Amateur Kickboxing

The first regulated kickboxing match in the Combat Zone cage started off with James Kerivan taking on Chris Vaquerano. Vaquerano closed distance to work in the pocket, Kerivan looking to land a variety of kicks from outside. A solid mid kick and flurry of hooks landed for Kerivan, but Vaquerano punctuated the exchange with hook over the top. The duo traded leg kicks and Kerivan blasted him with a head kick on the break, having great success with his kicking arsenal on the outside. Vaquerano tried to stay defensive and land a kill shot on the break, but found his opens elusive at best as the round came to a close.

Kerivan landed a head kick to start the round and Vaquerano waded in with flashing hooks, not happy with the distance game he lost in the first round. Vaquerano found his range and kept inside Kerivan’s kick range for a time, landing to the body and head, but taking another head kick off the dome when Kerivan hooked one around the back of the neck. Vaquerano kept it moving and put together combinations, Kerivan landing a stiff knee to the body as his foe closed range quickly. Another pair of mid knees landed for Kerivan as the round came to a close.

The final round of the bout started with a glancing head kick from Kerivan and a front kick, Vaquerano eating another body knee as he looked for his avenue inside to attack. Vaquerano bullied in and landed to the body, using the cage to his advantage, landing with a short hook and overhand before collapsing into the clinch again. Kerivan tried to get his offense going but found his timing muddled as Vaquerano closed and slung leather, neither doing a great deal at the end of an active fight.

James Kerivan wins via Unanimous Decision (30-27)

Owen Finnegan vs Steve Walker

225lb Amateur Kickboxing

Walker took the center and slammed a pair of leg kicks home; Finnegan charging in and eating a vicious left hand that snapped his head back and sent him tumbling to the canvas. While Finnegan beat the count, the referee determined he wasn’t able to continue, the fight over in a flash.

Steve Walker wins via 1st round KO (punch)

Erik Tseronis vs Michael Taddi

170lb Amateur Kickboxing

Taddi stalked forward to start, landing a crisp low kick with a follow-up being caught by Tseronis. Tseronis slammed a right hand down the pipe and dumped Taddi, though there was no call of a down, Tseronis landing a body shot and right hand as the action restarted. Taddi fired a low kick and ate one in kind; Tseronis throwing pure venom with his hands in the face of Taddi’s patient thai game. Taddi landed another low kick and was countered by the cracking right hand, a follow up one-two scoring and a low kick blowing Taddi off his feet to punctuate the end of the round.

Tseronis started mobile in the second, blocking shots and landing the right again, Taddi hitting with a mid and head kick in retaliation. Tseronis charged in with a combination but was countered hard, Taddi trying to fade from the thumping return fighter of his opponent. Taddi landed a body kick and Tseronis fired back but found his target more elusive. Throwing in volume now, Tseronis landed multiple three pieces as he made it past his foe’s legs, staggering Taddi as the round ended.

The final round in a hard-fought battle, Tseronis landed a right hand and flurried on the inside, Taddi landing a leg kick to take some of the oomph out of his foe’s strikes. More low kicks followed as Taddi plinked away and kept range, Tseronis coming up short on the counters, though he snuck a stinging right in. Going to a kick game himself, Tseronis put together a combination that bounced his foe off the cage and scored a standing eight count as they returned to center, the fight continuing as Taddi winged a right hand. Taddi landed two low kicks as the round ended, but the score cards were far out of reach.

Erik Tseronis wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28)

CJ Kevlin vs Jared Wolf

170lb Amateur Kickboxing

Kevlin closed like his life depended on it, landing a right hand but eating one in return. A hard right snapped Wolf’s head back as the two went wild in the pocket, Wolf landing a one-two and Kevlin striking to the body. Wolf threw a long right that landed and Kevlin slammed a left home, both men all offense and no defense in their amateur kickboxing debuts. Kevlin tagged his foe with a two piece and another, then a low kick and mid kick, followed by combination work that left Wolf in shock. Wolf fired back but Kevlin was unfazed, moving forward continuously till the bell rang.

Kevlin came in hard and ate a picture perfect superman punch, but the blow did little to slow him down. Wolf went low with a pair of snapping kicks and a right hand that stunned Kevlin, the Lakes Region fighter coming back into the fray but his opponent having a bit of his timing now. Two body knees landed for Wolf and Kevlin’s jab came out lazy now, the pair firing inside and showing fatigue. Wolf unloaded with combination work against the cage, Kevlin looking to counter and keeping active, though the pace and placement of the body blows was clearly harming him entering the final round.

Kevlin came out and looked to take the fight back, landing a combination and a front kick as Wolf crowded, landing nasty low kicks with abandon. Kevlin landed a cross and a sharp two piece, Wolf looking for a KO counter but not finding it as Kevlin walked him down. A three piece landed for Kevlin and a counter right from Wolf staggered his adversary, the two colliding against the cage. Wolf charged out and landed a final volley, the fight all action from beginning to end.

Jared Wolf wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28x3)

Lisa Dello Russo vs Hannah Murello

125lb Amateur MMA

Murello charged to start the fight, going for a single but tripping to the mat, going wild in pursuit of the fight. Dello Russo used shot punches to score through fleeting openings, Murello throwing technique out the window in place of sheer ferocity. Murello punched in the clinch and hunted for the takedown, Dello Russo composed in her defense, yet being tripped into half guard and quickly mounted. Giving her back, Dello Russo found herself fighting out of an RNC and breaking hooks to come to her feet, Murello again getting a takedown and taking the back in a scramble. Murello went for an armbar off the back but missed, Dello Russo landing a right hand as they came to standing, with Murello charging for a takedown again. Murello let her hands go and landed a running barrage on her overwhelmed opponent as the bell rang.

Murello came out with a low kick and charged hard again, Dello Russo plinking and trying to keep some semblance of range in the spastic firefight. A spinning backsomething dropped Dello Russo to her haunches and Murello ragdolled her foe to the mat as she sprang up, grabbing her back and sinking an RNC.

Hannah Muerello wins via 2nd Round Submission (RNC)

Fred Lear vs Dave Brown

155lb Amateur MMA

Lear charged out hard for the takedown to start the fight, grabbing a body lock but getting hip tossed to the mat. The two returned to standing and Lear held onto a body lock again, trying to sink a hook standing but being hooked with an arm drag that bounced the pair of the mat. Lear held onto position and floated to mount, losing it in a scramble and settling in side control. Brown rolled him with a headlock and went to knee on belly, whipping punches and hitting a quasi-crucifix into mount before being rolled. Brown grabbed at a guillotine but couldn’t get it as the two came to standing again, the grappling action at a breakneck speed. Brown came in and landed a kick to the groin that halted the bout for a moment, though Lear was no worse for wear as the match restarted. Lear ducked under a punch for a takedown when the action resumed, but was nearly rolled again by the larger fighter, taking the back as they came to the feet but ditching the position as Brown spun. Landing in side control, Lear tried to keep the pressure on his foe but simply couldn’t stop him from moving, Brown coming to his knees as the round ended.

The second round started with Brown taking center cage and Lear throwing a mid kick, Brown landing a superman punch and head kick. Lear came in for the body lock and was caught in a standing guillotine by the larger man, Brown holding it to land knees to the body. Lear summoned some herculean strength and slammed his foe to the mat, dodging an omaplata but getting bowled over into side control. Lear rolled for a single and they came to standing, Brown again going for that guillotine and wrenching it on for the tap.

Dave Brown wins via 2nd Round Submission (Guillotine)

Kerri Kennison vs Jeannette Pomales

130lb Amateur MMA

Pomales pumped a jab to start, Kennison looking for her own range before landing a mid kick and another, working deft combinations. Pomales landed a power shot and Kennison came in hard behind it, Pomales lining up a vicious right hand behind the ear that floored her adversary.

Jeannette Pomales wins via 1st round KO (punch)

Pete Ishiguro vs Shawn Melanson

145lb Amateur MMA

The round began with a two piece from Melanson, the two colliding into the clinch where Melanson landed a stiff knee. A left and an uppercut landed for Melanson, but Ishiguro got inside and landed the body lock takedown into guard. With fast hips, Melanson threw up a picture perfect armbar and swept his foe to his back for the tap.

Shawn Melanson wins via 1st round Submission (armbar)

Dyllan Davis vs Gunner Wyman

Pankration Exhibition

Wyman threw a mid kick and body punch to start, Dylan coming back with a side kick. The pair traded mid kicks, both using a TKD base as they wheeled around a cage that provided ample room for the two little warriors to fight in. Wyman swarmed and overcommitted, Davis shooting under his opponent to hit a takedown and slip to the back like a ghost. Locking on an RNC, Davis got a tap, though the match would continue under the special rules of Pankration. Restarting the action on the feet, Davis landed a mid kick but was tripped to the mat by his larger opponent. Undeterred, Davis went for a straight armbar, landing another tapout. Again restarting, Wyman came forward with a kick and body punch, the two separating and Dylan going for a takedown. Wyman ended up on top and Dylan again went for the armbar, settling for a sweep and omaplata set up that missed. Davis took the back standing and Wyman spun him into the cage where Dylan dropped and landed a perfect double leg, though he couldn’t hold position. Wyman came forward and landed a flurry, but one of the punches rode high and struck Dylan in the mouth, pausing the action. Resuming the bout, Wyman threw a front kick and Dylan retaliated with a body kick that sent Wyman toppling, the round ending as Dylan sprinted to initiate the ground game again.

Tim Caron vs Shawn Summey

180lb Professional MMA

Caron snapped a low kick to start and a counter left hand as his opponent came in to strike. Summey landed a stiff right hand and backed his foe up, coming in again with a two piece, though he was halted as Caron tagged him with a low kick and power jab. Summey landed to the body and ate a body kick in return, hitting a pair of right hands and a spinning backfist that didn’t seem to slow Caron in the slightest. Summey came into the clinch and took a pair of knees while hunting for a single, finding his neck caught in a standing guillotine against the fence, Caron adjusted and went for the bottlecap variation, getting the tap.

Tim Caron wins via 1st Round Submission (guillotine)

Mike Scapicchio vs Carl Langston

135lb Amateur Title

The vacant Bantamweight title up for grabs, the two combatants met at center cage, Langston working his long striking game, but slipping on a low kick. Scapicchio charged in behind and went for a trip but was tripped to the mat himself, Langston spinning to his back and looking for a fast RNC. Scapicchio rolled and found himself in an arm triangle in top position, Langston sweeping to side control and putting the crush on his adversary. Scapicchio broke the choke and snatched a leg, getting half guard and landing short punches while looking for a guillotine. Langston fought hands and rolled his opponent to side control, looking to settle down the grappling exchanges, but finding Scapicchio squirrelly on the mat. Scapicchio worked to take the back from a front head lock position, threatening with guillotines and working his forearm under the neck to standing, Langston trying to survive the hold. Scapicchio dropped with the choke and Langston couldn’t find his way out, tapping in a fast and furious showing.

Mike Scapicchio wins via 1st round Submission (guilltotine)

Ryan DiBartolomeo vs Lloyd Fernandes

155lb Amateur Title

Fernandes closed early and looked to get his boxing game going, Dibartolomeo throwing a two piece that missed. Dibartolomeo threw an overhand and rushed a takedown that he couldn’t snag, Fernandes kneeing to the body and backing out. Dibartolomeo landed a low kick and pawed with a jab, throwing a right and going for a takedown, Fernandes using his upper body strength to stop the attempt and turn his foe into the cage. Fernandes tried to pick the ankle but failed, Dibartolomeo fighting for position and going for a guillotine in a scramble on their knees, landing a body knee while inching the choke on. Breaking off, Dibartolomeo slung a left hand and the two returned to center, Dibartolomeo landing a two piece and mid kick. Fernandes put a stiff jab out there and looked to slow the pace of the fight and work from his own range, Dibartolomeo throwing a lead uppercut and low kick, the kick returned by Fernandes as the bell rang.

The second started with Fernandes pumping his jab, Dibartolomeo crashing in hard to land his power. The two moved in and out, having opposing game plans that saw their feet work more than hands, Dibartolomeo landing in the pocket and clipping with a leg kick before shooting for a takedown. Fernandes used his strength and shut down Dibartolomeo’s shot, working a front headlock and throwing knees, Dibartolomeo clipping him with a left as Fernandes retreated. The pair traded jabs at center cage and Dibartolomeo tried to find a home for his hook, again dropping for a double that he found with tremendous effort, the pair sinking to the mat. Fernandes tried to post up but Dibartolomeo was heavy on his legs, though Fernandes sprung up with a well-timed push, looking for a kimura standing. Dibartolomeo put his foe up on his shoulder and wound up for a killer slam, but Fernandes hooked a heel behind his adversary’s knee and forced him to lay him down more gently than he intended, closing the round out from top position.

The third round kicked off with long range weapons from both, Fernandes pushing the action and Dibartolomeo looking to counter this time. The two whiffed on low kicks and punches, Dibartolomeo coming in hard with a two-three that landed. Fernandes threw a low kick and went high with the follow up; foot bouncing off the gloves and Dibartolomeo landing a mid kick in retaliation. Dibartolomeo came in hard and landed a pair of hooks before shooting for a double that he landed, trying to pull his opponent away from the cage to work his top game, but Fernandes stalled with butterflys. Dibartolomeo slipped a triangle and came back into guard, but found himself in the triangle again, turning and trying to escape, though the bell gave him respite.

The first championship round began with a hard low kick from Fernandes, Dibartolomeo trying to line up his power shots. Fernandes swarmed with a combination that pinned Dibartolomeo to the fence, Dibartolomeo firing back with a pair of overhands that narrowly missed their mark. Fernandes pumped a jab and Dibartolomeo came in behind with a pair of hooks, Fernandes winning the boxing exchanges and Dibartolomeo shooting for a takedown to change the game. Fernandes reversed and dropped for his own double against the fence, landing a blistering body knee and trying to take the back standing. Fernandes kneed the legs and held position, Dibartolomeo turning out of the hold and trying to hit a takedown in the final seconds, though he was rebuked.

The final round of the evening saw the two box at center cage, Dibartolomeo landing his power shots and shooting for a single off a low kick from Fernandes. Dibartolomeo kneed the leg and tried to drag his foe to the canvas, working diligently on the takedown in a tight fight. Dibartolomeo pushed and Fernandes sprawled hard, turning to the back and kneeing before going for his own takedown that Dibartolomeo shut down. The two returned to center and Dibartolomeo winged hooks, again shooting and being stuffed against the fence, though he gutted it out and hit the double leg into guard. Fernandes looked to shut down his foe’s top game and work a sweep but found nothing from bottom, unable to angle his hips to attack as the round closed out, along with the fight.

Ryan Diabartolomeo Wins via unanimous decision (48-47x3)

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