On September 24, 2010, Lou Neglia was holding another ROC event. On this card were two extremely talented middleweight prospects in Chris Weidman (then 2-0) and Uriah Hall (then 4-0). Rather than protect their perfect records, Lou saw a great fight between the two and booked their collision course for Ring of Combat XXXI. That night saw Weidman hand Hall his first professional loss via strikes.
But Joe Silva, Dana White, and the UFC brass sign fighters not records. And both Weidman and Hall are fighters.
The pair went on to the UFC with Weidman becoming UFC middleweight champion by dethroning UFC legend Anderson Silva. "The All American" went on to defend his title three times before being dethroned himself. Hall’s run in the UFC was a bit more of a bumpy road, but he's now on a win streak, having his hand raised in three of his last four bouts; Weidman has lost two of his last four.
A decade later they find themselves on another collision course, this Saturday at UFC 261. Their past can’t be denied. Both are ROC alumni greats and Lou’s philosophy has been tried and tested; that's why over 100 ROC fighters have gone on to the biggest promotion in the world, the UFC. Great fights make great fighters, and that’s why both Hall and Weidman have enjoyed long UFC careers. And just like many of their peers, it all started in Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat.
Lou has always made competitive fights and this one more example, in a long, long line. Be sure to look for the Ring of Combat footage of Weidman and Hall to promote their rematch at UFC 261.
Like the entire planet, ROC was hammered by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The last event was Ring of Combat 71 on February 21, 2020. But look for a huge Summer 2021 return, with events on June 19 and July 17, as ROC is coming back bigger and better, and doing what that do best - finding unknown but talented fighters that go on to MMA stardom.