The greatest title match in the history of Roast Battle. Best of the Belly Room Volume 2. A bunch of weirdly entertaining international matches featuring Swedes, Canadians, and Australians. Black History Month in the Belly Room had a little bit of everything. Except black people. Let’s get to the rankings.

Los Angeles Top Ten

1. Alex Duong 16-7
2. Pat Barker 19-8-2
3. Toby Muresianu 14-5-2
4. Omid Singh 20-9
5. Nicole Becannon 12-6
6. Keith Carey 18-19
7. Leah Kayajanian 14-10-1
8. Bryan Vokey 10-3
9. Isaac Hirsch 10-3
10. Alex Hooper 15-9

We’ve got a new champion here in Los Angeles, and his name is Alex Duong. Duong continued his unbelievable run (6-0 in his last six with wins over Kayajanian, Tran, Barker, Light, Castillo, and now Muresianu) with an impressive double-overtime victory against reigning champ Toby Muresianu. There’s not much left to say about Alex Duong at this point – he’s clearly ascended to a level that very few battlers have reached in the past, and he now has a legacy-defining classic battle to go along with all those wins. There will be no rest for the champion though, as he immediately faces non-title matches against Sarah Keller at SXSW on March 9 and Roast Battle legend Joe Dosch in Phoenix on March 14. After that we will begin the process of figuring out who the next top contender is; right now that field is wide open but perhaps another month will provide more clarity. Muresianu drops to 3 with the loss while Nicole Becannon falls to 5 after losing to the returning Connor McSpadden in the headlining fight at Best Of 2. We round out the top ten with a couple new names, as Isaac Hirsch makes his Top Ten debut after beating Jay Light and Alex Hooper makes his return to the top bracket after defeating Sarah Keller.

New York Top Ten

1. Mark Benjamin
2. Dave Sirus
3. Paul Hooper
4. Dan Wickes
5. Drew Drevyanko
6. Jerry Martinez
7. Catherine Zini
8. Mia Faith Hammond
9. Dan Abraham
10. Jake Vevera

We start with a statement from commissioner Matt Maran. “Big news this month at Comedy Fight Club is that our champion, “Hollywood” Sean Finnerty, coming off an appearance on the Tonight Show is relinquishing the title! After Comedy Fight Club alone launched Sean’s career and got him a spot on Fallon, he is moving to LA. Finnerty’s gone Hollywood on us! But seriously, we all appreciate Sean for coming down to the CFC Arena and killing it over the last few years. And hey, now that he’s in LA, maybe he’ll stop by Roast Battle sometime.” Speaking on behalf of Roast Battle I can safely say, yup, he’s ours now, bitch.

In the meantime, Mark Benjamin, winner of the most recent tournament (CFC XVIII) will face the winner of the next tournament (CFC XIX) to declare a new champion. Those motherfuckers love tournaments in the Big Apple. Dan Abraham jumps into the top ten after an impressive win over former champion Adam Gabel. Before that, he defeated another past CFC champ in Jake Vevera. This hot streak lands Abraham at number 9. In two weeks, two former champions will be battling it out as Jerry Martinez (6) and Drew Drevyanko (5) go at it in a battle that will surely cause a rankings shakeup.

Los Angeles 11-20

11. Jamar Neighbors 7-6
12. Quentin Thomas 10-4
13. Doug Fager 11-7-1
14. Jeanne Whitney 8-5
15. Sarah Keller 10-4-2
16. Jacob Trimmer 8-4-1
17. Greg Roque 8-3
18. Joe Eurell 12-12-2
19. Dan Nolan 12-12
20. Tony Bartolone 9-8

Sarah Keller falls to 15 after her loss to Alex Hooper at Best Of II. Keller has struggled a little recently but will have no shortage of redemption opportunities, starting this Saturday in Austin at SXSW. Greg Roque catapults into the Top 20 following his Best Of win over Zahra Ali, rolling right past Joe Eurell who falls to 18 after taking the loss to Movses Shakarian.

New York 11-20

11. Chloe McGovern
12. Erica Spera
13. Anya Volz
14. Sally Ann Hall
15. Leo Volf
16. Mikey Mayes
17. Jessica Fleischer
18. Jack Finnegan
19. George Fernandez
20. Rob Ryan

Jack Finnegan jumps into the top 20 at the 18 spot after dominating the first two rounds of the CFC XIX tournament. Finnegan has been to the Elite Eight of a tournament twice before – he now finds himself back in that spot and will look to get over the hump this time. At number 19 is another CFC XIX semifinalist, George Fernandez. Fernandez has been to the finals before and came up just short; will this be the time he wins the tournament, the belt, and ends up on the Tonight Show? Only time will tell.

Los Angeles 21-30

21. Brett Erickson 7-0
22. Billy Anderson 5-1
23. Rena Hundert 7-3
24. Jono Zalay 7-2
25. Jay Light 15-17-2
26. Tom Whalen 7-2
27. Joel Walkowski 14-8
28. John-Michael Bond 8-4
29. Stuart Thompson 6-6
30. Tim McGorry 7-3

The talent pool at Roast Battle might be deeper than ever right now, as evidenced by the quote-unquote middle of the pack, which boasts a combined record of 83-46-2. Brett Erickson will attempt to reach rarified air this month when he goes for a record-tying 8-0 record against Zach Stein. Billy Anderson moves up to number 22 after a win over Micah Bleich, while Jono Zalay makes his LA rankings debut following a win over John-Michael Bond that brings his combined Roast Battle/Roastmasters record to 7-2. Jay Light falls to 25 with the loss to Isaac Hirsch, while Tom Whalen continues his incredible surge with a very impressive win over Josh Waldron that brings him to 26. Lastly, Bond falls to 28 with the loss and Tim McGorry cracks the Top 30 following a win over Ashley Johnson.

New York 21-30

21. Anthony Passaretti
22. Jill Weiner
23. KP Burke
24. Robbie Goodwin
25. Isabel Hagen
26. Boris Khaykin
27. Pauline Murphy
28. Alison Klemp
29. Bobby Sheehan
30. Stu Melton

Boris Khaykin moves up to number 26 as he stays alive in the tournament, while Pauline Murphy returns to the rankings after a big win over Bobby Sheehan. Alison Klemp debuts in the rankings after a win over David Piccolomini. A former Roastmasters main eventer, Klemp has impressed every time she’s come down to the CFC Arena. Rounding out the rankings at number 30 is Stu Melton, another member of the Elite Eight of CFC XIX who has been killing it for a while and shining in the tournament.

Los Angeles 31-50

31. Ashley Johnson 6-2
32. Zach Stein 10-8
33. Armando Torres 5-6-1
34. Caesar Lizardo 10-8
35. Movses Shakarian 6-5
36. Robin Tran 4-8-1
37. Dylan Sullivan 3-3
38. Kelsey Lane 8-7
39. Brian McDaniel 5-3
40. Lou Misiano 3-2

Ashley Johnson falls to 31 with his close loss to Tim McGorry, while Movses Shakarian jumps up to 35 after a main event win over Joe Eurell. Dylan Sullivan has shown flashes of brilliance early in his Roast Battle career but hasn’t been able to maintain consistency yet, and he falls to 37 after a loss to fellow door guy Matt Lockwood. Kelsey Lane earns her highest rankings spot yet at 38 after a thorough whooping over Sarah Fatemi.

41. Rebecca Rush 4-1
42. Zahra Ali 4-3
43. Mia Mars 4-3
44. Todd Walker 4-0
45. Micah Bleich 3-1
46. Russell Ells 3-0
47. Julian Fernandez 4-3
48. Ezekiel Echevarria 4-1
49. Paige Wesley 6-10
50. Heather Marulli 6-7

Zahra Ali (42) and Micah Bleich (45) drop following their losses to Greg Roque and Billy Anderson, respectively, and the rankings welcome two new undefeated members in Todd Walker and Russell Ells. Walker limps his way in after winning an astonishingly bad battle with Tatenda Mbudzi. Still, 4-0 is 4-0 and he’s been solid overall. Here’s hoping for a little stiffer competition going forward. Russell Ells, on the other hand, rides an impressive win over Berenice Ashikian into the Top 50. The victory caps off a nice little run of three quality battles (and victories) to start Ells’ battle career.

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