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Combat Do’s Rivera Jr. Faces MSU Wrestler Troy Lamson in Praetorian 2.5 Main Event


Praetorian 2.5: Lamson vs. Rivera Jr.

by Matt Lo Cascio

Praetorian 2.5 goes down Saturday night at the Best Western in Schaumburg, the first MMA event ever held in the city. The main event looks to be electric, as Combat Do’s multi-titled welterweight Angelo Rivera Jr. takes on Michigan’s undefeated Troy Lamson.

Lamson is 15-0 as an amateur MMA fighter, holds six titles and also wrestles collegiately for Michigan State. A state champion wrestler in high school, Lamson compiled a remarkable 62-2 record during his senior year. He’s also fresh off a trip down to Florida to train with Blackzilians.

While Rivera Jr. has fought all comers and rolled through Chicago’s best ammy fighters, the case could be made that Lamson is his toughest test yet. Unless you’re asking Rivera Jr.

Angelo Rivera Jr.“I feel he’s just another fighter and I train just as hard to fight him as I do everyone else. I haven’t fought him so I can’t say he’s my toughest test yet. Maybe on paper he looks tough, but these days — no offense to him — a lot of fighters get taken care of by their gym or managers in which they never actually fight top guys because they would rather pad their stats and keep their fighter undefeated. Once they turn pro as a 10-0 amateur fighter they get crushed in the pros because they were never tested,” Rivera Jr. said.

Rivera Jr. also shrugged off Lamson training with the Blackzilians, despite a roster stacked with big names and former MMA champions.

“As far as him training with the Blackzilians, it means nothing, especially if you’ve been watching the UFC lately. They really haven’t done anything impressive. You can train with whoever, wherever, but once the cage doors are closed that’s when everything you learned gets put to the test or goes out the door.”

Troy LamsonAsk Lamson though, and it sounds like he wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world.

“It was top level training that really forced me to up my game. Among the mix of Brazilian and American fighters, were the Villefort brothers and other UFC fighters like Abel Trujillo and Jorge Santiago,” Lamson said.

Rivera Jr. loves representing Chicago, and he didn’t have to leave the city to line up his own lineup of renowned training partners.

“I train at the top three MMA schools: Combat Do, New Breed Academy, and Uflacker Academy. I have been working personally with Christian Uflacker to prepare for this fight.”

Uflacker, a black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr., is undefeated as a pro MMA fighter, but best known in Chicago as for his BJJ academy. He’s well-respected throughout the BJJ community, as none other than 7-time BJJ world champion Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros will attest.

“Christian is a very good fighter with great technique. We have trained together and I’ve helped him to prepare for a few fights. He is also a great teacher and good friend. It’s very good for the BJJ community to have people like him teaching the sport,” Comprido said.

Lamson has done some homework on Rivera Jr., and has a clear plan of attack for the bout.

“I have somewhat of a background on Angelo and I’m ready for anything. I plan to come into the fight, impose my will on him and push the action,” Lamson said.

Although he is coming down from Michigan for the fight, Lamson said this is not a fly-by fight. While his NCAA wrestling schedule takes precedence over his amateur MMA career, he said he would defend the title if he wins on Saturday night. “I have been having major trouble finding fights in Michigan.”

For tickets and the full event card for Praetorian 2.5, visit Praetorianmma.com.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is the former play-by-play announcer for the XFO and other organizations, and he has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided, and more.

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