Thursday, May 12, 2011

MMA Fighter Feature: Ray Rocheleau

Rocheleau defeats Taylor to win Heavyweight Title at WXC 29: Victorious

By: Andrew Thurlow

Downriver native and Wayne State graduate Ray “The War Machine” Rocheleau extended his record to 12-1 after defeating Roseville’s Rob Taylor (14-5-1) and winning the WXC Heavyweight Title at Cobo Hall in Detroit on Saturday May 7th.

The fight, which was decided by a unanimous decision, started quickly when both fighters viciously traded punches early in the first round. Later in the round, however, the fight turned in Rocheleau’s favor, after he caught Taylor with several solid leg kicks.

In the second round, Taylor knocked Rocheleau down with a big right hook and quickly followed up, hoping to end the fight on the ground. However, Rocheleau then turned the fight into a ground battle, where he was able to take advantage with a series of knee strikes and hammer fists to Taylor's body and face.

Because Rocheleau did have a size advantage of 8 inches and 18 pounds, Taylor was hesitant to go toe to toe and spent most of the fight being chased around the cage by his larger opponent.

In the fifth and final round, Taylor could hardly standup as the body shots from "The War Machine" had appeared to have taken its toll. Taylor managed to land a few good punches but it wasn’t enough to sway the voting of the judges.

According to two of the judges, Rocheleau won every round except the fourth, where he was penalized a point for a low blow. The final decision was (48-46, 49-45, 48-46).

Rocheleau, who is one of the most recognized and talked about fighters in the amateur circuit today, has not lost a fight in three years. This was Taylor’s sixth title fight and first loss of the year.

In addition to his victory in the cage, it can be noted that Rocheleau also won over the crowd, who by the fourth round started chanting “War Machine....War Machine...” until the end of the fight.

From left...WXC Matchmaker Michael Pendenelli, Ray Rocheleau and WXC VP Norbert Pasztor.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Young.


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