Perfect Timing Makes Everything, well Perfect!

Posted: February 14, 2013 in Combat Sports, UFC

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

The moment Daniel Cormier finished Dion Staring the Strikeforce promotion ceased to exist  The roster of over 70 fighters was left wondering who was going to be kept and who was going to be released. At first, only a few names were mentioned including Ronda Rousey. Later an official roster was released to the press, however more names were supposedly going to follow.  Many fighters were waiting for that call from their manager, the call they have been dreaming about since they first began hitting the bag. Every fighter dreams of getting that call from the UFC.

For Long Island MMA Fighter Ryan Laflare, that call never came. But his phone did ring!

Let’s go back two and a half years, when at 6-0 LaFlare was the reigning(and still is) Ring of Combat welterweight champion. Back then the future was guaranteed, for the young fighter who was destroying his opponents wherever the fight went. That is when Ryan Laflare’s phone began ringing. With the UFC in his sights, LaFlare signed with the Strikeforce promotion, which would eventually be bought by ZUFFA (parent company of the UFC). With an unblemished record, and big fight contract LaFlare seemed to be on the verge of greatness.

Then the injuries started mounting. While training for his debut Stikeforce fight LaFlare sustained an injury in training that forced him to withdraw from the fight. With a guaranteed deal, it seemed like only a speed bump. However soon after the injury, the Strikeforce promotion began having major issues with their television contract with Showtime. After it was announced that Stikeforce was closing its doors, LaFlare found himself in a very difficult situation. So he returned in January to The Ring of Combat promotion, and again finished his opponent impressively.

Although he was signed under the ZUFFA umbrella, he never had the opportunity to show his skills on the big stage. He was not alone, this heaved several careers into limbo. Slowly, the UFC  began announcing fighters that were coming over. Big name fighters like Gilbert Melendez, Daniel Cormier, KJ Noons, Ryan Couture, Tyrone Woodley, and many others were immediately mentioned, but still no word about LaFlare. Then it was announced that his teammate and training partner Gian Villante had been added to the roster. Still, no word on LaFlare.

Finally, LaFlare heard from his management Glen Robinson. The burgeoning promotion run by Rey Sefo The World Series of Fighting wanted badly, to have Ryan fight for them. With no other better options, they signed the deal. Then it was announced that he would be fighting UFC veteran Josh Burkman in his WSOF debut.

Last week, a very upbeat LaFlare expressed how excited he was to be fighting Burkman. “Its the biggest fight of my life, this fight means everything.” LaFlare said. Although not the UFC, the young long islander beamed at the chance to fight a big name such as Burkman.

However, the roller coaster ride of emotions had just begun. First, LaFlare and his lovely bride found out they were expecting his second child, a boy. Just when he thought his smile couldn’t grow anymore, the phone rang again! On the other line was his manager Glen Robinson. He told LaFlare that unfortunately he could not fight Burkman, or even for WSOF at all.

It seems that once the match-makers at the UFC realized that they were at risk of losing LaFlare for 4 fights, they decided to retain his contract. They announced that his first fight would be in Sweden, against TUF ‘The Smashes” alumni Ben Alloway. For LaFlare the opponent is not the issue, “Im just glad to be in the UFC, I’ll fight whoever they want me too!” LaFlare said.

With his immediate future set, LaFlare will join his fellow training partners Villante and Dennis Bermudez in the talent rich UFC roster, while Marcos Galvao continues to turn heads in the Bellator organization. Between these three at Long Island MMA/Bellmore Kickboxing Academy and the talent coming out of the Serra/Longo fight team, Long Islands future in this sport seems set for some time to come.

With his first son on the way, a new UFC contract in his pocket Ryan LaFlare can finally stop waiting for the phone to ring. Its never been about the work, as an athlete LaFlare’s work ethic is strong. Opportunity was the only piece of the puzzle missing, and now that the picture is complete, LaFlare can enjoy some of the fruits that his hard work has ensured.

  1. Brett Ballweg says:

    What an amazing story and so damn well written! Anyone that happens to read this, wether they are a fan of mixed martial arts and UFC entertainment or not, must agree that the battle for achievement, both personally and professionally for Ryan is such an awesome tale of triumph, respect and well deserved success. I am very proud to personally know Ryan and his family, not to mention the talented and dedicated journalist Jonathan King for sharing such awesome news.


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