---- — Kattar at Rock
The battle between two mixed martial artists stepping up into the professional ranks for the first time is the new co-main event of Combat Zone 44 at Rockingham Park tomorrow night, while the marquee fight remains the highly-anticipated bout featuring the brilliant Calvin Kattar against undefeated Brazilian Gabriel Baino.
Kattar (13-2-0) is widely perceived to be just one more win away from advancing to the bigger stage and brighter lights of the UFC or Bellator MMA, which are the sport’s two largest promotions in the world. Kattar is riding a five-fight win streak and had notched six KO/TKOs, three submissions, and four decisions including three which were unanimous while dispensing with some extremely tough and accomplished opponents. Baino (5-5-0) won one of his fights by unanimous decision but none of his other adversaries have lasted through the second round.
In the co-main event, John Healey of Wakefield, N.H., and Team Iron Jaw brings his 4-3-0 record as an amateur into the cage against the 5-1-0 amateur record of Mike Burke from Laconia and Lakes Region Valley Tudo when each begins his pro career in the lightweight ranks.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first fight is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tickets, which may be purchased at www.combatzonemma.com or by calling 603-360-3846, are $40 for general admission, $50, $75, $90 and $120 for ringside seating. Parking is free.
Strong finish, then drafted
It was a great way to end your college career, with a diploma from a top 25 university and then receive a contract offer to play baseball professionally.
That’s what happened with Michael Yastrzemski and John Farrell, former Andover Legion teammates, this week.
Yastrzemski was drafted in the 14th round by the Baltimore Orioles, 429th overall, while Farrell, his Andover Legion teammate, was selected in the 21st round by the Tampa Bay Rays, 683rd overall.
Yastrzemski, who graduated from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tenn.), was named First Team All-SEC and All-Defensive Team by the coaches, hitting .312 with 25 extra-base hits, 43 RBIs, 52 runs scored and a career-best 20 stolen bases. He ended his Vanderbilt career starting the final 203 consecutive games.
Farrell, who graduated from William & Mary University (Williamsburg, Va.), finished his senior season with a record of 11-3 and an ERA of 2.70. He became the first Tribe hurler to win 10 or more games in a season since Rosy Waugh accomplished the feat in 1938. Farrell also led the CAA in wins and innings pitched (116.2) and he earned first-team All-CAA accolades. Both are expected to sign deals and play short season-A ball later this month.
Belichick on rookies
Patriots coach Bill Belichick does not like to do a lot of talking in October and November, never mind player evaluations in early June.
While he didn’t want to talk about Tim Tebow, saying he would not give minute-by-minute updates, he did elaborate a bit on rookies that miss mini-camps, etc.
Said Belichick: ”Definitely behind. Any player that’s not out there is behind. The fact that they’re not out there is the best thing for them because they need to get physically healthy and rehab whatever condition they have so that’s more important than being out there.
”But if they were healthy and they could be out there, they would gain more from being out there than not being out there. We do the best we can with each individual player and do what’s best for him. Guys that are out there are out there.
”The guys that can’t be out there are working hard and hopefully they’ll be out there as soon as they can. We have guys in different stages of that process. When they’re ready, they’re ready and when they’re not then they’re working to get ready.”
Brady mum on Tebow
Patriots QB Tom Brady was asked about Tim Tebow yesterday and, well, to be honest, he wasn’t overly talkative about his newest backup.
”I think that any time, I don’t really make decisions and transactions — whether we cut players or sign players or trade players. My reaction is very much like everyone else on the team,” said Brady. “[I’m] just trying to focus on what I need to do and what I need to do to be a better player and certainly any time a new teammate comes in, you welcome them, try to do whatever you can to help them fit in and understand what we need to do. It’s been a fun couple days.”