RFA 12.5-48

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Resurrection Fighting Alliance returned to the Southern Californian landscape with an evening of combat at the OC Hangar in Costa Mesa. The night featured some of the regions top young talent, as well as a good mix of savvy veterans who are hungry to return to prominence. With the vacant lightweight title on the line (vacated by Christos Giagos when he was signed by the UFC), Mehdi Baghdad (11-3 MMA, 1-0 RFA) took on Zach Juusola (10-3 MMA) in evenings main event.

Juusola looked to keep the fight grounded and out of the range of Baghdad’s strikes and did so for the better part of four rounds. However halfway through the fourth round Baghdad unleashed an I.Q. changing elbow that split Juusola apart, before dropping him to his knees. Juusola had just recovered from a low blow. After being given some time to recover, he indicated he was ready to go. The elbow came almost instantly, as did the stoppage.

The win places Baghdad in a good position. If he is signed by the UFC he will join Giagos, Kevin Casey, Brian Ortega, and Alan Jouban as former RFA champions currently employed by the industry leader. However it wouldn’t be surprising to Scott Coker courting him as well.

With Viacom committed, Bellator MMA could be the perfect fit for Baghdad. There he would be able to make good money, in a division with much less clutter. Currently the UFC roster is bloated with over 100 lightweights, whereas Bellator currently only has 27. With the UFC uniform concept yet to be proven profitable, it may make sense to look elsewhere.

In the co-main event fan favorite Joe Murphy (8-1 MMA, 1-0 RFA) starched Brazilian Bruno Frazatto (6-2 MMA, 1-1 RFA) with a dizzying array of strikes, that saw the grappling expert in the fetal position trying to cover up as the referee stopped the fight. Murphy landed with a short lead uppercut that caught Frazatto on the tip of the chin, felling him early in the first round. Much to the delight of the crowd who came complete with signs and t-shirts in support of the Cleber Jiu Jitsu fighter. The win may be enough for Murphy to maneuver himself for a shot at a title.

Chase Gormely (11-4 MMA, 1-0 RF) also cruised to a unanimous decision win over Dale Sopi (6-1 MMA) in a battle of heavyweights. Gormely looking to make his way back to the UFC handed Sopi the first loss of his career. Both fighters appeared to tire after the first frame, but Gormely was able to impose his will on Sopi, consistently taking him to the mat. The win keeps Gormely on track to get back to the UFC ranks.

Francisco France (11-3-1 MMA) made short work of veteran Mikey Gomez (17-11 MMA) winning their fight in the very first round by technical submission. France dropped Gomez with big shot to the top of the head. Once on the mat, a dazed Gomez was unable to prevent France from getting to side control, where the arm in choke put Gomez to sleep. The win may have moved France into title contention.

RFA continues to get better with each show. The main reason for that growth is the talent level they attract! Promoter Ed Soares and his team have created a viable promotion that primarily acts as the bar for the larger organizations. If you can win a title within the RFA organization, chances are you will do very well in the big show. If not, well then this is the measuring stick you need to gauge yourself against. Everyone wants to be in the UFC. First ask yourself if you can make it too RFA!

 

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