By Lynne Snierson
The main event of Combat Zone MMA, Fight Frenzy at The Rock, promises plenty of firepower and excitement when Moultonboro, N.H. police officer and world Brazilian Ju-Jitsu champion Jimmy Quinlan steps into the cage against seasoned veteran Ryan Contaldi from Team Bomb Squad in New York.
Combat Zone 42 takes places at on Friday, September 7 with an action-packed and evenly-matched full card of three professional and 14 amateur fights featuring many of the best mixed martial artists from across the Northeast. The undefeated Quinlan (2-0-0) and Contaldi (8-6-1) will battle at 185 pounds.
Quinlan, who is also the assistant wrestling coach at Methuen (MA) High School just across the border from the racetrack, decided to give MMA a try after working the corner for his friend, Chuck O'Neil, when O'Neil was a finalist in the UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter" two years ago. He was already an outstanding wrestler who had excelled at Bridgewater State University and had earned a collection of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu world championship belts between 2009 and 2011.
"Jimmy is one of the most decorated guys in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, especially on the east coast, at his level," said Nate Ryan, who trains the fighter at Mass BJJ. "When we look at this fight with Contaldi, we think it will be a really good match-up for Jimmy and will turn out to be a really good ad competitive fight. Ryan can throw some bombs, and he's a tough, scrappy fighter who can make things difficult for his opponents. But Jimmy is the better wrestler, the better BJJ fighter, and has the better submission game.When it comes down to striking on his feet, he hits very hard. He's got very good hands and I think he'll be able to show that in this fight."
Contaldi (8-6-0) is ranked as the #5 light heavyweight by Northeast MMA, but he'll be dropping down from 205 pounds into the middleweight ranks for this fight. Coming off consecutive losses by knock out, including his match in the Bellator Fighting Championships on October 15, 2011, he will be gunning to get back on the winning track at Rockingham Park.
In other intriguing pro action, Walter Smith Cotito (0-1-0) from Triumph MMA in Nashua takes on John Green (2-1-0), who is fighting for the Green Mounatin Boys out of Vermont. Both bantamweights had stellar undefeated amateur careers, with Cotitio unblemished at 3-0-0 and Green going 5-0-0. In his first pro fight, Cotito lost a unanimous decision in Combat Zone 40 at The Rock but he now is more experienced.
"This will be a great match-up for him," said Triumph MMA's John Fain, who also cross-trains Quinlan at his Nashua studio. "I really hope he puts on a good show. In his last fight, he just wouldn't pull the trigger. He's training great and coming in to the fight in great shape. He's ready and he won't make that mistake again. When he hits the ground, he's got a good Ju-Jitsu game."
Another Triumph MMA fighter to keep an eye on is Vovka "KGB" Clay (3-0-0), who will fight Mike Burke (5-2-0) from Lakes Region Valley Tudo at 155 pounds in one of the marquis amateur match-ups. "Clay is ranked #4 at 155 pounds and Mike Burke is ranked #4 at 170 pounds," said Fain. "Clay has won all three of his fights by submission and he is an up-and-comer. After this fight, I expect he'll be ranked number one because there is nobody better at his weight."
Tickets for the event are $120 for the ringside row, $90, $75, $50 and $40 and parking at Rockingham Park, where full food and beverage service is available, is free.
Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at www.czmma.com or by calling promoter David George at 978-360-3846. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first fight is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. in the Sports Club at the racetrack.
The weight-in, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Thursday, September 6 and begins at 6 p.m. in the same venue.