EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 31, 2014

MMA: Unbeatens to square off at Rock tonight

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — SALEM — The main event of Combat Zone MMA promises to rock The Rock tonight when unbeatens Andrew Tripp (5-0) and Paul Gaffney (3-0) meet in a 170-pound matchup.

Tonight’s “Winter Brawl” features a stacked all-amateur card featuring six fighters ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions.

Ken Murphy, who stands at 5-0 and is top ranked at 125 pounds, will battle top-ranked Jay Perrin (4-1) in the co-main event at 130 pounds.

In other action of top-ranked fighters, Javier Velasquez (3-0) battles Xavier Vargas (3-2) from Spero MMA in Atkinson in the heavyweight ranks and XCP light heavyweight title-holder Jesse Baughman (4-0) matches up against Dan Burke (3-1).

This is the first Combat Zone promotion since the New Hampshire State Boxing Commission changed the rules governing amateurs. Now the fighters will not have to wear shin guards, kicks from the ground to the head will be allowed, and fighters are able to use their elbows more and wear more nimble four-ounce gloves.

“All of our guys are prepared for the rules changes and are excited about this card,” said Team Link trainer Ed Carr. “With the new rules, there’s really not a heck of a lot of difference between the pros and the amateurs.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first fight kicks off in Rockingham’s Sports Club at 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $40 for general admission, $50, $75, $90 or $120 for ringside seating and parking is free. Tickets may be purchased at combatzonemma.com.

Tonight’s Card

145: Paulo Alves De Sousa 1-0 vs. Ivan Sanchez 1-3

185: Kristian Lombari 0-3 vs. Brad O’Brien

150: David Sousa 1-2 vs. Danny Abad 0-2

170: Corey Bowhall 1-1 vs. Dave Spero 3-2

140: Jake Pilla 1-0 vs. Jordan Yantin 0-1

170: Nick Alley 1-1 vs. Shane Mulligan 2-0

210: Xavier Vargas 3-2 vs. Javier Velasquez 3-0

205: Jesse Baughman 4-0 vs. Dan Burke 3-1

130: Ken Murphy 5-0 vs. Jay Perrin 4-1

170: Andrew Tripp 5-0 vs. Paul Gaffney 3-0