ROF 43: Bad Blood
RING OF FIRE MMA returns to the 1STBANK Center on Saturday June 2nd with the promotion’s 43rd installment, BAD BLOOD. Headlining the event will be a battle of two of the heaviest hitters in the welter weight division as Phil THE NEW YORK BAD ASS Baroni will face Chris THE HAMMER Holland. Phil Baroni is one of the most experienced fighters in the game having fought in MMA’s biggest promotions including the UFC, Strikeforce and PRIDE FC. The Long Island, New York native has a wrestling background but truly prefers to stand in the center of the cage and trade bombs with his opponents. Not one to ever back down from a challenge, he has faced some of the biggest names in the sport. His attitude both in and out of the cage are legendary for being “in your face”. When asked about his thoughts on his opponent he simply replied “Who am I fighting again? I’m gonna hit him forget him.” The same nonchalant approach can’t be said of Baroni’s opponent. Chris Holland knows full well who he is facing, and he considers himself a big fan of the NEW YORK BAD ASS. “I have so much respect for Phil Baroni, he is an MMA legend. I really enjoy the way he comes to fight and entertain the fans while he does it. He is a very hard puncher, and I know he has good wrestling.” But with a smile he also added “I can’t wait to put these hands on him!” Those hands have earned Holland the moniker of THE HAMMER in the cage. All of his 9 career wins have come by way of knockout. The event theme BAD BLOOD couldn’t be more appropriate than in the co-main event of the evening. UFC veterans Tyler THUNDER Toner and Cameron MONEY MAN Dollar are scheduled for a five round title fight. In a post fight interview after a recent win, Dollar took the opportunity to specifically call Toner out. “I think Toner is good, but he is over rated” said Dollar. It didn’t take long for THUNDER to respond “He’s tough and a well rounded fighter, but has a bit of a big mouth. He’s made a lot of enemies.” All talk aside, Dollar’s 10-4 record matches well with Toner’s at 9-3, and stylistically could be fight of the night. The top two up and coming lightweights in the region will put there undefeated records on the line as Justin THE HIGHLIGHT Gaethje challenges Marcus BAD INTENTIONS Edwards. Both fighter’s have a perfect 10-0 record in a match that has been brewing for over a year. Edwards last appeared at ROF 40 where he took on then undefeated Nick Laney for the promotions YOUNG GUN Championship. In a dominating performance Edwards captured the title by finishing Laney with an arm bar early in the first round. Earlier that same night fans witnessed “The HIGHLIGHT” in action as Gaethje made quick work of his opponent. Gaethje used his high level wrestling to toss his opponent around before finishing him with brutal knees to the body. It was immediately apparent that Edwards and Gaethje were on a collision course, and the two will finally meet on June 2nd. In Denver, Colorado there is no bigger sports franchise then the Denver Broncos. So when news broke that former Denver Bronco Leandro Veal was going to be making his MMA debut at RING OF FIRE, the storm of phone calls and e-mails have come in to ROF President Sven Bean. “The response has been pretty crazy actually. I’ve never seen this much attention go to a debut fighter ever. He’s training with some of the best heavyweights in the world at GRUDGE and holding his own, so I’m excited to see how he does in the cage. Veal will be facing former WWE wrestler Chad Wicks from Mason City, Iowa. The former “sports entertainer” has transitioned to MMA in 2010 and is excited about facing a former NFL player.