TODAY'S PAPER
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SportsMixed Martial Arts

LI's Ryan LaFlare defends Ring of Combat title

First, the medical report, as told by Ryan LaFlare, a mixed martial artist and, of course, the patient.

Five weeks before his June 11 fight in Atlantic City, he got into a car accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and an injured wrist. “I was barely able to strike and couldn’t grapple at all,” said LaFlare of Lindenhurst.

Two weeks before the fight, his first defense of the Ring of Combat welterweight title he won in April, LaFlare pinched his kidney. So much for sparring.

And on fight night, which ended with a first-round TKO of Mike Medrano, “I broke my left hand in the fight, too.”

Not exactly a smooth road for the 26-year-old new father. But once he got in the ring, and after absorbing a few good shots in the clinch from the 5-foot-5 fire hydrant that is Medrano, LaFlare settled.

He landed a few big knees that stunned Medrano and pushed back toward the cage.

“I heard him make a gargle noise, and I said I have to finish this guy,” LaFlare said. “I started unloading bombs. I had him pinned against the cage and just cocking back bombs.”

LaFlare (6-0) earned the technical knockout with 53 seconds left in the first round of the main event at Ring of Combat XXX at The Tropicana Showroom in Atlantic City.

While the pre-fight hardships slowed LaFlare’s training, his post-fight days seem brighter. LaFlare said a few fight managers and insiders are starting to contact him about moving up the promotional ranks. LaFlare said several people “guaranteed” his next fight would be in Strikeforce of UFC.

If that is just agent speak for the time being, at least LaFlare has this title defense to enjoy right now. Oh yeah, and the thousand dollars he won at the craps table after the fight.

New York Sports