With the lack of regional shows going on in New England, many of our local fighters have had to travel out of the region in order to stay active and get opportunities. Over the weekend 2 New England amateurs made their way down south for their 2nd ammy fights of their respective careers.
Defensive Edge's Anthony Vasta (1-1) traveled down to Westchase, Florida to take on local fighter Lance Hart (1-2) on the Combat Quest 11 card last Friday. Vasta lost a close split decision, but in my opinion he was robbed, as I had him winning rounds 1 and 3 pretty clearly. This is part of the risk of taking fights out of the region and battling a local fighter like Lance Hart. There's always the chance that the local judges will have some sort of biased for the hometown fighter, and I think this is what essentially did Vasta in.
Vasta did a good job of using his length and a high-volumed kicking attack to keep Hart at bay for most of rounds 1 and 3. Vasta didn't land all of his strikes from the outside, but he surely outpointed Hart in the striking game, and this should have given him the edge in these rounds. 2 of the 3 judges didn't see it that way, and gave Hart's lay 'n pray game plan the nod. It's a tough loss to swallow for the Massachusetts native, but he definitely gained a wealth of experience traveling to Florida and battling against the hometown boy. You can check out Vasta's full fight video below.
Also taking a trip south for his 2nd amateur fight was Team Link Muay Thai's Colin Robinson (2-0). Robinson traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on a much more experienced Coalton Dunn (3-3) on the Valor Fighting Challenge 78 card in a middleweight clash. I haven't been able to watch Robinson's fight, as it's behind a paywall, but the results turned out ideal for the former football player and wrestler, as he secured a rear-naked choke 1:43 into round 2 to notch his 2nd victory in his young MMA career.
In the highest level of the professional ranks, Lauzon MMA's Mike Rodriguez (11-6) lost by technical submission (rear-naked choke) to Danilo Marques (11-2) on the UFC Vegas 18 card on Saturday night. Rodriguez was out grappled, and eventually had his back taken by Marques before being put to sleep late in the 2nd round. This is Rodriguez's 2nd loss in a row on the big stage, but many see his previous loss to Ed Herman as an actual victory for him, as ref Chris Tgioni stole the victory from his grasp thinking that Herman was struck with a low blow, but the replay told a different story. Rodriguez will head back to the drawing board, and will most likely get another fight in the UFC, as the powers that be consider the Herman loss BS.