Las Vegas May 5, 2013 Micah Miller’s knee heard ‘round the world solidified him as an immediate lightweight contender and put the perfect punctuation mark on an incredible night of fights at Rocktagon XXVI “Veni, Vidi, Vici.”
On Saturday night, Miller made his Rocktagon debut at The Agora in Cleveland, Ohio against Tyler Combs.
It wasn’t any secret that Combs faced an uphill battle heading into the main event bout. Miller, a former WEC fighter, came into the fight with a wealth of experience competing against the best fighters in the world.
His edge in experience showed early on in the fight in avoiding wild standup exchanges.
Combs is a dangerous brawler who tends to drop his hands and come forward in hopes of baiting opponents into unnecessary exchanges. He did everything he could to unravel Miller’s methodical approach and get him to open up.
Miller stuck to a solid game plan of utilizing his reach to pick Combs apart from afar and seek takedowns whenever the distance closed. On the ground, he easily transitioned to mount on several occasions and went to work with short strikes and submission attempts.
Combs proved why he is touted as “MMA’s Rocky” by fighting through some dire situations both on the feet and ground.
Unfortunately, it all came crumbling down when he ate a huge knee that sent him crashing to the canvas for the TKO stoppage 45-seconds into the third round.
After the fight, Miller admitted he was taking his time and waiting for the right opportunity to go for the finish:
“I wanted to disguise my power. In the third, I threw everything I could and caught him off guard…He was really tough.”
In the co-main event, Andrew Cseh really did look like an animal in submitting undefeated Greg Jackson student Jordan Espinosa.
Cseh refused to abandon his wrestling after a few early failed takedown attempts. His persistence eventually paid off as he finally secured a takedown and immediately transitioned to Espinosa’s back during a scramble.
From back, Cseh worked really hard to lock in a rear naked choke, but Espinosa’s defense was solid. Things eventually went his way when he went palm to palm with the choke and forced the tap at 3:39 of the first round.
It has been an impressive turnaround for Cseh, who has bounced back from a three-fight losing streak with three consecutive wins. After the fight, he credited Team Ascension for his success in ousting one of the best prospects in the country:
“Credit goes to my team, Team Ascension. Best BJJ on the planet.”
Micah Bender opened up the pro action with a quick first round submission victory over Darryl Madison.
It marked his first fight back after nearly a year hiatus. He certainly didn’t show any signs of cage rust on Saturday night as he secured an early takedown and began teeing off with strikes from top position. Madison had no choice but to give up his back to avoid further damage, which setup Bender’s rear naked choke submission at 1:49 of the first round.
In his post-fight interview, Bender said his game plan was based on putting Madison in a position he felt least comfortable:
“Put a lion in the ocean, and he’s just another piece of prey.”
In other bouts, James Pfeiffer wrestled his way to a unanimous decision over Daniel Coffman; Brandon Vasquez earned a unanimous but close decision over Steve Chapple; Uriah Karkow locked Matthew Zindren in a kimura for a verbal submission at 2:33 of the second round; Tobiaus Taylor knocked out Orundi Colvin at 2:03 of the second round; Nicholas Rodriguez transitioned from an armbar to a triangle choke for the tap at 2:12 of the second round in his bout with Billy Freedson and Tim Taumoepeau took a unanimous decision over John Macgregor.
Rocktagon XXVI featured live music by American Wi-Fi and a guest appearance by Anthony “The Recipe” Lapsley, who will be featured in Rocktagon XXVII’s main event. UFC star Cole Miller was also in attendance cornering his younger brother, Micah.
The Rocktagon MMA “Journey of Champions” Pro-Am National Tour will continue on June 8 at Rocktagon XXVII “Way of the Warrior” at the Crane Bay Event Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Founded in mid-2010, Rocktagon MMA has successfully completed 26 events on two coasts and is the only promotion able to offer four types of shows to meet the needs of various markets: all amateur, all professional, Pro-Am, and Rock-n-Rage. Rock-n-Rages are premium events combining the cage of mixed martial arts with the stage featuring live musical performances by well-known artists.
To find out more about Rocktagon MMA, go to www.RocktagonWorldwide.com or text MMA to 36000. Fans may also follow Rocktagon MMA on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.