MMA Analysis: Thatch vs. Njokuani at ROF 41

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On Saturday August 20th RING OF FIRE MMA return with ROF 41: BRAGGING RIGHTS from the first Bank Center in Denver, Colorado. Headlining the event will be Current ROF Young Gun Champion, Brandon RUKUS Thatch against super striker Chidi “CHIDI BANG BANG” Njokuani for the ROF 170 World Title.

A neck injury de-railed Thatch, and after a 20 month absence he returned at ROF 39, where he finished Danny DEE-1 Davis in a non title bout. Thatch then went on to KO rival Chris Holland at ROF 40 in just 19 seconds of the first round to defend his Young Gun title.

Thatch now has his sights set on Njokuani and the ROF World Title. Knowing that a win here will most likely propel him to the UFC, he realizes this could be the last chance his local fans will get to see him fight live. With that in mind and presented with multiple opponents for this bout Thatch simply stated. “Whoever is the toughest, that’s the one I want to fight. I want to be challenged. I want a war. I want the toughest match up possible.” But once the fight with Njokuani was agreed to Thatch added “Well now it’s also about bragging rights, he’s from Las Vegas, and everyone knows I fly the 303 flag proudly. Denver is my home town, and I will represent!”

Chidi “CHIDI BANG BANG” Njokuani is known for his hard hitting and aggressive Muay Thai style of fighting. He has amassed a 5- 2 MMA record, with 4 of his wins being a TKO or KO. He is the brother of UFC light weight fighter Anthony Njokuani, and fights in the same manner as his sibling. Chidi also has had a succesful professional Muay Thai career as well. Chidi trains with his brother at One Kick Nick’s gym in Las Vegas along with other fighters like Stephen Bonnar and Steve Cantwell. He and Thatch are exactly the same height, and have almost identical backgrounds and similar records. Besides the Bragging Rights that are at stake, and the ROF World Title, this truly could be the war that Thatch is looking for.

Making his return to the RING OF FIRE will be fan favorite Tyler THUNDER Toner.  Toner is a former ROF Champion and launched his big league career through the promotion. After debuting in the WEC and then getting absorbed into the UFC, Toner now finds himself climbing his way back up the ladder. Toner has shown Fight of the Night efforts in almost all of his MMA matches and never disappoints. Excited to be fighting in front of his home crowd again, Toner is training hard for his return. Facing Toner will be Bodog Fights veteran Glibert JR Sims. Sims has an extensive boxing background and a style that should bring out the best in Toner.

No one has had a harder path to ROF then Serbia’s Bojan Velickovic. Velickovic was the grand champion of the reality televison show PUT KA VENRONOM RINGU which translates in English to THE ROAD TO RING OF FIRE. The program was braodcast in 6 countries in Europe and the winner was given a chance to come to America and compete in the Ring Of Fire flagship promotion.  After surviving a long elimination process of over 100 fighters, Bojan was chosen as one of the finalists. He was then sent through a grueling training program which included Muay Thai, Brazilian JiuJitsu, Wrestling, and even Special Forces Combat training. He then fought two times on the television show, winning both fights by submission and earned a spot in the final 4. On June 19 in the capitol city of Belgrade, Bojan fought two times in one night to be crowned the Champion of the series and earned his right to come to the US to compete.

The fighter chosen by the promotion to welcome Bojan to the US is Jason THE DRAGON Lee. Lee was voted the ATO 2010 Amateur Fighter of the year. Lee debuted at ROF 40 with a decision victory over Hit Squad fighter Coltin Cole. With a 4-1 amateur and 3-0 professional record, Lee looks to be one of the top prospects on the circuit. Lee is training hard at GRUDGE Training center preparing for his clash with Velickovi, and is looking forward to representing America in this International battle.

The newest addition to the RING OF FIRE roster is #1 Ranked heavyweight Ryan Martinez. Martinez is a monster in the cage and sports a 4-0 amateur and 4-1 professional record. Having made his way up the ranks on the smaller regional shows Martinez wanted to step up his game. After seeing other Heavyweights such as Shane Carwin and Brendan Schaub have boosts to their careers from ROF, Martinez saw it as the next progression on his path.

With all of his Ryan’s wins coming by way of K.O., ROF president Sven Bean knows talent when he sees it. “I have had Ryan in my sights for quite a while actually and we have had some discussions in the past, but the timing was right now.  We are extremely happy to have signed the best heavyweight in the region to a multi fight deal.” said Bean

Stay tuned as the full fight card will be released next week!

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