Haselrig Suspended After Ring of Combat No-Show

By Joseph Thompson Sep 12, 2009
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Carlton Haselrig, a former Pro Bowl offensive lineman with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was suspended for 150 days by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board after he failed to show up for his Ring of Combat 26 bout with Gian Villante on Friday at the Tropicana Resort and Casino.

According to the NJSACB’s Nick Lembo, Haselrig was given a Sept. 9 deadline by which to submit his medical paperwork for the fight. The deadline passed without contact from the 43-year-old or his representatives. Villante went on to knock out Rob Wince, a late replacement, with a head kick 1:25 into the second round.

Meanwhile, UFC veteran Chris Liguori made a successful return to the cage after his knockout loss to Marcus Aurelio in February.

A Ricardo Almeida understudy, Liguori showed off his jiu-jitsu skills and controlled the ground action, as he retained his lightweight championship in a unanimous decision victory against Dwayne Shelton. Even though Shelton put Liguori in danger and at times wowed the crowd, the champion kept his foot on the pedal throughout.

Another title bout ended in more decisive fashion.

Ricardo Romero sent a message to heavyweight champion Brett Kohan, as he submitted Rich Lictawa to retain his USKBA light heavyweight crown.

Sticking to his game plan, Romero took down Lictawa at will and mounted him three times. After peppering Lictawa with shots from the mount, Romero moved to the side and finished Lictawa with a kimura. The end came 2:14 into the second period.

Elsewhere, Costa Phillipou captured the Ring of Combat middleweight championship with a unanimous decision victory against Victor O’Donnell.

Joseph Thompson/Sherdog.com

Ed Guedes vs. John Salgado.
The first round between O’Donnell and Phillipou was hotly contested, as the combatants traded strikes and submission attempts. O’Donnell appeared to get the nod, staggering Phillipou early on and threatening him with a triangle choke. In the second period, Phillipou initiated a takedown -- a move that almost cost him the fight, as O’Donnell slapped on another triangle choke in the middle of the cage. Phillipou powered out, only to be taken down shortly after.

The tide appeared to turn in the challenger’s favor in the final round, as Phillipou landed his jab, took down O’Donnell and stayed out of danger. After absorbing a heavy dose of ground-and-pound in the third round, O’Donnell complained that Phillipou gouged his eyes. Still, the judges sided with Phillipou.

Finally, Rafael Natal submitted Allan Weickert with a rear-naked choke 2:53 into their bout. A late replacement for embattled UFC veteran Sean Salmon, Weickert found himself overmatched from the outset. Natal, who lost to O’Donnell at Ring of Combat 25 three months ago, has posted four wins in five fights.

Other Bouts
Chris Schlesinger def. Nabih Barakat -- Unanimous Decision
Ed Guedes def. John Salgado -- Unanimous Decision
Sean Santella def. Jose Villanueva -- Submission (Armbar) 2:00 R2
Ryan LaFlare def. Jose Sulsona -- Submission (Armbar) 2:18 R2
Lester Caslow def. Matt McMannmon -- Submission (Armbar) 3:20 R1
Louis Gaudinot def. Jeff Cressman -- TKO (Punches) 0:24 R2
Liam Kerrigan draws Roger Mamedov
Andy Main def. Jackson Galka -- Split Decision
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