Rodrigo Almeida, who was well on his way to the big stage in MMA before a training accident shattered his ankle, continues his comeback and puts his four-fight win streak on the line when he headlines the main event of Combat Zone 45 at Rockingham Park on Friday night.
The 25-year-old Brazilian native and former GFL belt holder, who fights for Carlos Neto BJJ in Boston and has a record of nine wins against only two losses as a professional, will battle Zac Kelley (5-7) from Seminole, Okla., in the main event at 150 pounds.
Almeida is returning to the scene of his most recent triumph, where he submitted Christian Rivera in only 2:15 of the first round in the co-main event of Combat Zone 43 on March 1, even though he had been idle for 18 months while rehabilitating his surgically repaired ankle. Kelly, who normally fights in the welterweight division and is dropping down to the lightweight ranks, has dropped his last five fights but the record may be deceiving as he has fought in the XFL and faced some pretty tough competition. His nickname is “The Punisher.”
In the co-main event, Pedro Gonzalez (8-5), who is ranked No. 2 by Northeast MMA in his weight class, matches up at 155 pounds against Chris Barnes (8-23). Barnes is part of the contingent jetting in from Oklahoma for the event.
The undercard is stacked with local pro and amateur fighters looking to rise up the ranks.Danny Klezmarczyk from Nottingham and Andrew Cutter from Farmington make their amateur debuts for Team Kaos in Somersworth, and another pair of first-timers, former hockey goalie Justin Boraczek and Dan Lynch, who wrestled at Keene State College, represent Spero’s MMA in Atkinson. Nashua’s Joe Lambert will also have his first fight when he takes on Doug Dainty (1-4), who is with the crew from the Sooner State.Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first fight is at 8.
Tickets are $40, $50, $75, $90 and $120 and may be ordered on the Combat Zone website at www.czmma.com or by calling promoters Jamison Kattar at (978) 361-6772 or Calvin Kattar at (978) 305-3372.
The weigh-in will be today at 5 p.m. in the Sports Club at Rockingham Park and it is free and open to the public.