Following Footsteps of Greats
The best fighters in the history of Team Tiger Schulmann all cut their teeth at Ring of Combat. Trailblazers like Dave Tirelli, Elvis Garcia and Nissim Levy were around for the single digit versions, as was Lyman Good who spring boarded to a welterweight world title.
Jimmie Rivera, Nick Pace and Louis Gaudinot all took their Ring of Combat experience to the biggest stage, fighting in the UFC.
Friday the 24th of January it was time for the next generation of fighters to stake their claim to Ring of Combat glory.
Stephen Regman vs. Jonathan Hughes
The first matchup for Tiger Schulmann’s pitted two guys looking for their first win. Both lost their debut as professionals with Stephen Regman’s coming in a close split decision. He wouldn’t let the judges decide this fight.
Regman is known for his incredible punching power, something he displayed in a successful amateur career in both MMA and Kickboxing. Apparently Hughes got the message as he quickly looked to take Regman to the ground. This has been the one area that has challenged Regman, who has spent countless hours bringing his ground game up to speed with his standup. That work paid off.
Hughes was able to control Regman on the ground for a while, but eventually the Tiger Schulmann’s fighter was able to reverse Hughes and unleash a torrent of ground and pound. Regman continued to strike until the final bell appeared to save Hughes.
The one minute break wasn’t enough for him to recover though as Hughes failed to answer the bell for Round 2.
Regman gets into the win column with a TKO victory at 4:00 of Round 1.
Jose Villanueva vs. Leodegario Muniz
Jose Villanueva’s been on a streak of a different kind. He’s had four straight scheduled fights that never saw the opening bell for one reason or another. Tonight he would get his chance to knock off four and half years of ring rust.
‘El General’ showed no ill effects from the layoff in the first round as he showed the control that earned him his nickname. Villanueva’s blend of wrestling and striking was simply too much for Muniz to handle as Villanueva did what he’s done to nearly every opponent he ever faced.
Muniz came out in the second round needing a miracle comeback. Unfortunately for Villanueva that’s exactly what he got. Muniz attempted a flying knee as Villanueva came forward for the takedown. The combined impact left Villanueva unable to defend himself and the ref stepped in to stop the fight.
It was a tough loss for the always game Villanueva. Hope to see him back in the cage before another four years passes.
Julio Arce vs. Jason MacLean
Finally it was a Bantamweight Title bout between Julio Arce and Jason MacLean. There was more than a little history in this matchup as MacLean is the person responsible for the only loss on the record of Arce’s teammate Jimmie Rivera. MacLean’s trainers, Sean Santella and Jim ‘B-52’ Smith, both have multiple fights themselves against TSMMA fighters.
Arce didn’t need that motivation to help him though. His Self-Discipline is unquestioned among his teammates and the hard work Arce has put in to earning the title shot was more than enough to push him to his best.
That’s exactly what MacLean got from Arce. Right from the start MacLean struggled to find the taller Arce, who’s movement was impeccable. He continually used lateral movement to avoid the hard charging MacLean early in the fight. He was able to control distance beautifully with his jab. Something he used through the fight.
As the first round wore on so did Arce. He landed a beautiful push kick with two minutes left in the round. It led to a flurry of punches that landed on the face of Maclean.
The shorter opponent tried to use a low kick to get back in the fight but Arce caught the kick and landed a hard straight left hand that stunned MacLean.
Another kick led to a takedown as Arce finished the round on top of MacLean landing ground and pound for the better part of the last minute.
MacLean tried to change things up early in Round 2, pushing Arce to the cage. The TSMMA Bayside Instructor was able to secure a plum clinch off the cage, a phenomenal display of strength, and MacLean abandoned the position.
It was back to a Kickboxing display as Arce spent the rest of the round peppering with jabs before finishing Round 2 with a beautiful step knee kick that landed flush.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Arce started Round 3 with a flying knee that landed before going right back to his Kickboxing. He began using feints that had MacLean reacting to punches that never came before being hit with punches he didn’t see coming.
All credit to Jason MacLean who never stopped trying to get the win, even throwing a vicious spinning back fist in the last minute of the fight. The attempt missed, which was the story of the fight. He simply couldn’t find Arce nearly enough to win.
The three judges all scored in favor of Arce although it is a mystery how one of the three scored one round for MacLean. Not sure if there was something extra in his water bottle.
An amazing display by Arce and one that leaves his fans excited for the future.
Another great night by Team TSMMA at Ring of Combat as all three fighters displayed amazing skill. A tough loss for Villanueva, but a great win for Regman and more dominance from the young Julio Arce.
It will be exciting to see all three back in action in the cage soon.
Article By: Sensei Thad Campbell
Below Photo Gallery Below by Jersey Strong MMA