Ring of Combat (ROC), one of Atlantic City’s longest running sporting events, will hold its "ROC XXIII" event this Friday, February 20, at 8:30 pm ET and streamed live on GoFightLive.tv from the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, NJ.
ROC XXIII will be headlined by undefeated Bret Kohan (3-0-0) as he faces off against current champion Joe "Apocalypse" Abouata (4-1-0) for the ROC heavyweight title.
Kohan scored a stunning knockout victory over Fernando Rivera last June at Ring of Combat 20 and has emerged from Ricardo Almeida’s camp as one of the heaviest hitters around. As versatile as he is heavy handed, Kohan has kept his opponents on the lookout for both knockouts and submissions.
Abouata, fighting on behalf of Alex Wilkie’s Warriors, will be making his second defense of the ROC Heavyweight crown. Abouata finished his last two fights via rear naked choke, and is also dangerous on his feet with two brutal TKO wins to his credit.
In the evening's co-main event, Alexandre Moreno (6-1-0) battles Rafael "Sapo" Natal(4-1-0) to determine the new ROC middleweight champion.
Coming out of Marco Alvan’s Team Link and being a teammate of UFC heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga, Moreno has gained a reputation as a submission expert, scoring all six of his professional victories by way of tapout.
Moreno faces another submission expert in Natal. Like Bret Kohan, Sapo is a product of Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Ricardo Almeida owns multiple submission victories. This one is going to come down to which fighter is better able to impose their will on the ground.
Here is the scheduled fight card for ROC XXIII:
Chris Weidman vs. Anthony Dick
Jeff Lentz vs. Jerome "Jay" Isip
Roger Mamedov vs. Jeff Pender
James Faleris vs. Gian Villante
Bret Kohan vs. Joe "Apocalypse" Abouata
Brendan Barrett vs. Ricardo Romero
Rafael "Sapo" Natal vs. Alexandre Moreno
Tuan "Kid Thunder" Pham vs. Nick Pace
Greg Soto vs. Shawn Foreman
Al Iaquinta vs. Oscar Arizmendi
Jimmie Rivera vs. Tyler Venice
Anthony Abatelli vs. Garrett Carmody
Aaron Meisner vs. Costa Phillipou
Ring of Combat is Atlantic City’s longest running mixed martial arts promotion, and has proven to be a breeding ground for fighters of the next generation. Top fighters who began their careers with Ring of Combat include Matt Serra, Frank Edgar, Josh Kosheck, Kurt Pellegrino, and Phil Baroni.