| July 3, 2017 | 0 Comments


MANCHESTER, NH — An event that will go down in the Combat Zone history books as the best event ever put together. Over 60 events, three promoters, and many UFC veterans, none had pulled off the excitement, crowd interaction, and terrific fights we saw at CZ62.

Knock-outs, Submissions, and come from behind victories were the meat of the excitement. In over 1000 fights I’ve seen locally at hundreds of shows this event comes in at a close second to only Full Force Untamed “Shultz vs Diekmann”. Literally every other fight had the crowd going crazy. I had done play by play this event with Mike Koutrobis and Lewis Corapi and it was deafining at some points.

Jake Pilla has been Combat Zone’s top ticket seller the past couple years with some fighters coming close to his numbers but none have topped Alyssa Marini as she crushed Pilla’s numbers in her debut! Just to make her night better, she killed it with a KO with seconds remaining in the opening frame. Thats not all… Alyssa won the FOTN award at intermission. A five foot trophy awarded to the nights top amateur fighter. Not to be overshadowed, Pilla himself pulled off an awesome STANDING head and arm choke. Not an easy finish standing. Pilla won for the first time in three fights breaking a two fight losing streak.

Tears were shed both before and after the next featured bout as Rick Hawn’s fighter Jeff Silva of Start BBJ fought Kenny Rodriguez of Team Link Hooksett. Rodriguez was putting an absolute beating on Silva throughout the first round and a half of the fight. As Rodriguez started admiring his work and getting flashy. Silva was desperate to find anything to work. With his kitchen sink all but empty, Silva connected with a spinning back fist to the neck sending Kenny to wobbly legs. Silva sunk a guillotine but only to allow Kenny to escape and rain down bombs. The ending was in sight …..and then…. Jeff through up a hail mary triangle. Locked it tight and earned the tap! More importantly, Jeff earned a standing ovation and sent people in the crowd from tears of sadness to tears of joy as what appeared to be a grossly overmatched bout, turned to a heart wrenching performance as Silva showed an incredible showing of heart and determination.

Renzo Gracie NH’s Nick Fiore improved to 4-1 beginning a two fight win streak as he quickly took out mma veteran Carl Langston 6-9 who himself was riding a win streak. Fiore, using his excellent jiu jitsu, was able to take Langston down quickly, take the back and pound out for a to victory from back mount with a flurry of punches. Nick looks to be inline for the vacant featherweight title.

Sean Lally 6-2 proved once again why you shouldnt stand in front of him and let him hit you. The hardest hitting fighter in New England pummeled the 40 fight veteran Mitch Whitesel 17-28 into delirium as Whitesel argued the stoppage immediately after, explaining his late heel hook attempt (after the stoppage) was his attempt at victory. None the less, Whitesel needed help to his locker room.

Always flying under the radar, rising featherweight Dylan Lockard 3-0 once again proved to be one of the most dangerous featherweights in the division as he disposed of 30 plus fight veteran Brandon Odom in the very first round. Lockard’s footwork and head movement were special to watch as the young fighter has improved from being a dangerous wrestler to now a technical and powerful striker. The well rounded fighter is sure to crack the top ten soon.

The main event proved all the hype was real as “Relentless” Ray Shawdee 5-3 boded Will Santiago 8-4 into a striking war. Shawdee, a very successful kick boxer (3-0) has proven to have an iron chin in his kickboxing bouts. Enough so, he challenged Home town Lawrence boy and Jackson/Wink fighter Santiago to an old fashion throw down in the center of the cage. Santiago walked away victorious :44 seconds later with another vicious KO victory by way of his explosive right hand.

From a card that initially lost its heavily marketed main event featuring UFC vet Drew Fickett vs Lucas Cruz to what we witnessed the past weekend, This card proved to be far better than anything Fickett or Cruz could have put on that night. It was a night for the amateurs to shine and that they did!



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