Posts Tagged ‘Resurrection Fighting Alliance’

Christos -6

Seizing the day, The Spartan Delivers

Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow!”- Horace

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Going into his fight with Karen Darabedyan at RFA 38, Christos Giagos appeared as as calm as the day is long. Waiting for his walkout music, he patiently paced back and forth, pausing for a moment to acknowledge a few fans in the crowd. He didn’t seem concerned in the least, instead the young fighter appeared oddly at peace. Almost tranquil, it appeared as if the Spartan already knew the outcome. For the day was at hand, and Giagos appeared as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Did he know that this was perhaps the most important fight of career? He had to know that Dana White, his former boss, was in the building filming ‘Looking for a Fight’, (a show that showcases White’s search for emerging talent that airs on the UFC network Fight Pass). If not he was certainly aware of the danger before him.

His opponent Karen Darabedyan is one of the fiercest grapplers in the division. If you make a mistake against him, you can loose an arm, a leg, or end up asleep looking up at the lights wondering what the hell just happened. However as soon as the fight started it became clear The Spartan’s calm almost ‘laissez-faire’ approach was the result of proper preparation.

As Darabedyan bounced in and out Giagos countered with a crisp jab, cross combination that sharply snapped the head of Darabedyan back. A few moments later, after eating a sharp jab from Giagos, Darabedyan charged in looking to engage in a fire fight, but instead walked into a three punch combination from Giagos that clipped his chin, sending him to the canvas. A few ground and pound strikes later and Giagos finally came to life.

Running towards the cage, ‘The Spartan’ ran a flip off the cage, and then began screaming with all his might, for the first time all night he appeared uncomfortable. He didn’t know what to do. For months, this moment was all that was on his mind. Now having seized the moment, the raw emotion simply took over.

The fight ended up producing one hell of a MMA equation. The fashion of the victory, multiplied by the caliber of the opponent equaled UFC President Dana White saying ” This last kid was in the UFC, and tonight he looked like he should be back in the UFC.” (interview with Ron Kruck on Inside MMA). How about that for some MMA math?

Where Giagos fights next remains to be seen, however he has certainly proved he belongs in the UFC. In his first run with the promotion, Giagos compiled a 1-2 record, with the win splitting the losses. When he was cut, it seemed odd, as he had not lost consecutive bouts, and the last loss to Chris Wade ended up being an extremely entertaining fight.

Not only was Dana White impressed with his performance but UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby was in the building as well and appeared extremely interested as well.  So it appears all the stars are lining up for The Spartan’s return to the UFC. However making it to the UFC is one thing, but staying there is a completely different animal. If Giagos hopes to remain, he will have to continue to conquer each day, as if it is his last.

 

All photos and content are owned by The Clinch Report, LLC. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. Email news@theclinchreport.com for licensing. 

 

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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!