Tevin Cooke vs. Paul Grant set for ROC 59

Tevin Cooke steps on the ROC 56 scale on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2016.


Featherweights Tevin Cooke (3-1 MMA, 1-1 ROC) and Paul Grant (3-3 MMA, 0-3 ROC) will meet at Ring of Combat 59 at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Friday, June 2, 2017.

Cooke suffered his first defeat at Ring of Combat 58, tapping to a second-round triangle choke against James Gonzalez Feb. 24, 2017. The 24-year-old will return to the promotion, making his third appearance for ROC.

The Haymarket, Virginia native told NJ MMA News that he considers ROC as one of the most professional promotions along the East Coast.

“To be honest, Virginia doesn’t have the best professional venues for fighters and Ring of Combat is one of, if not the best venue on the east coast for fighters trying to make a name for themselves,” Cooke said Jan. 25, 2017. “Also, Lou (Neglia, ROC President) has been great to work for and I enjoy fighting in Atlantic City. I plan on staying with Ring of Combat.”

After going undefeated as an amateur with seven victories, Cooke finished his first three professional opponents by TKO. He racked up wins against Roy Smith Jr., Tyler Smith and David Wesley.

With three fights under the ROC banner, Grant never won with the promotion. In his most recent outing, Grant lost a unanimous decision to Merab Dvalishvili at Ring of Combat 56 Sept. 23, 2016.

In his previous bout at ROC 54, the 23-year-old lost to Tony Gravely via TKO March 4, 2016. In his first bout of 2016, Grant submitted Magic Mears with a rear-naked choke in the first round at Dead Serious MMA 16 in February.

After three contenders fell through, ROC scheduled Grant to fight Ricky Bandejas for the vacant ROC regional bantamweight championship at ROC 58. Grant eventually withdrew from the bout for an undisclosed reason.

The ROC 59 event is headlined by ROC Heavyweight Champion Shelton Graves (5-3 MMA, 1-1) and challenger Brendan Barrett (10-7-1 MMA, 3-1 ROC). Graves won the belt at ROC 56 by defeating Barrett via third-round TKO at Sept. 23, 2016.

By NJ MMA News Staff

Writing for NJ MMA New since 2011, Connor is passionate about covering local mixed martial arts. He graduated from Temple University’s School of Media and Communications with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. His love for MMA stems from his past as a high school wrestler and jiu-jitsu blue belt. Former UFC fighter Kurt Pellegrino coached Connor in his senior year of high school. He worked as a Rally Sports Desk report for The Philadelphia Inquirer and interned as a sports reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News.