Posts Tagged ‘Mehdi Baghdad’

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!

 

Duran inspires a leak!

Duran inspires a leak!

 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Bamma USA has gained a reputation in the Mixed Martial Arts community for being one of the best promotions around. There are numerous reasons to bestow such praise for Brett Roberts and his crew, however the simplest reason is also the most important. They put on exciting fights. There are no free rides.  “Match ups, make fights!” In Bamma USA, the matchmaking is what makes the difference.

Badbeat 11 continued that trend, despite major issues that would have folded a lesser promotion. After loosing 1/2 of the main event, the promotion unlike most was able to find a extremely suitable competitor on short notice. Mehdi Baghdad (8-3) stepped in for E. Chavez who had to pull out of the fight due to injury, leaving Dionisio Ramirez (7-4) out of a title fight, and with a very dangerous opponent on short notice.

Both fighters gave an outstanding effort, that had the crowd standing at several points.  The first round found both fighters landing big, with neither giving any ground. After a very entertaining five minutes, both fighters emerged for the second round with neither staking a convincing claim to the first frame.

In the second though, Baghdad began to find his range, and after dropping Ramirez with strikes, he quickly transitioned to the back, securing the choke and the win at 1:53 of the second round.

Earlier in the evening John Hackleman Jr (son of famed striking coach of the same name) made his pro MMA debut, winning via TKO in the very first round. Hackleman jr, utilized his superior Muay Thai strikes, and dominate range to level a very tough Edward Hyman (0-1) at 1:07 of the very first round.

David Duran (2-1) was able to secure his second consecutive ‘Be First Clothing’ KO of the night bonus, edging out Aaron Wetherspoon (9-4), Chris Costello (3-2), and Jack May (6-0) who all won impressively either by KO, or TKO.

Mayhem Miller and Uriah Hall Incident:

Unfortunately and through no fault of the promoters the evening was marred with a black eye, because of one disgusting incident that has made headlines. Apparently Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller and Uriah Hall had words over a female(that may or may not be the same female who had filed assault charges against Miller earlier this year). When Hall try to calm things down, Miller began taunting him.

As this was happening, several reporters and security began to separate the fighters. It was at that point, a few racial slurs were uttered, and a right hand from Hall was issued in response. At that point Hall, who although upset, conducted himself with dignity the whole time, began seeking a way out of the arena.

Hall was escorted by security to the parking lot, not because he was being removed, Or because he was seeking out Miller, but because he simply wanted to go home. Security was there to ensure Miller didn’t return. Which to his credit, he did not!

Commentary: 

Much has been written already about the incident, most by people who weren’t even there. Debates have started, both defending and attacking Miller. Emotions were high, horrible things were said, and a punch was thrown. Is that enough for you to pass judgement on someone? Maybe it is; maybe this incident added to a few others is enough for some to feel comfortable passing judgement. However, sometimes good people do stupid things, when they are in pain or personal turmoil. It is no excuse for bad behavior, nor is it a ‘get out of jail free card’, but maybe it is a cry for help.

Hopefully, Hall doesn’t receive any punishment, and Miller gets the help he needs (only of course, if he feel if he is in need!) I for one, would love to see the resurrection and redemption of a very talented fighter named Jason Miller, not this angry Tyler Durden version of one of the most charismatic fighters in MMA history!

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