Unbeaten streak of Julio Arce ends at ROC 52
Over the generations, boxing has built a bizarre system in which a prospect is fed a series of hapless opponents building up a large undefeated record, characteristically 15-0 or more. Then there is a fight or two against a gatekeeper. And then there is a title shot.
This is not how sports normally work. The path to the superbowl, to an Olympic medal, to anything you can think of is paved with increasingly tough, competitive contests. That is the way it should be.
There are pressures in MMA to follow the same crooked path as does boxing. For example, with little television revenue outside the UFC, fighters who are big ticket sellers, who can put asses in seats, are coveted by promoters. Offering easy fights is one draw.
Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat has a different model - tough fights for everyone.
In boxing huge win streaks land title shots. The UFC's Joe Silva works off streaks too, but he wants to see it against opponents who are better than 50/50 fighters. That is why the ROC has sent so many fighters to the UFC that it has been dubbed the “American Idol of MMA."
Team Tiger Shulmann's Julio Arce never lost as an amateur in eleven fights. And he never lost as a professional in eight, winning the ROC Bantamweight title, defending it three times, and becoming one of the faces of the promotion.
As the song goes, the harder they come they harder they fall. It was the talk of the region when Arce suffered his first professional loss, losing a majority decision and his title to Brian Kelleher at ROC 52.
It was a close technical battle with neither fighter gaining the upper hand. When the scorecards were read, one judge had it 29-29, while the other two scored it 29-28 for Kelleher.
Rather than take a tuneup fight, Arce is looking to settle the score and get his title back and Kelleher is happy to oblige. A rematch has been booked for Ring of Combat 52, November 20th at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, NJ.