Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) returned last night (March 30, 2012) with its second mixed martial arts (MMA) offering from the Viaero Event Center in Kearney, Nebraska. The show lived up to its name, as a few MMA veterans resurrected their careers with some spectacular finishes.
The main event featured two former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavy hitters in the form of Gilbert Yvel taking on the local favorite, Houston Alexander. In a fight filled with striking expectations, the action was rather lackluster in the early going. But it only takes a split second for fans to get treated to one brutal knockout.
Alexander opened up his attack very early, connecting repeatedly with some jabs and surprisingly came out with a very successful kicking game, peppering Yvel throughout the first few minutes of the opening frame, even dropping him with a very nice kick to the leg.
Yvel, on the other hand, seemed hesitant to the pull the trigger. He consistently backed away, eating nice jabs from Houston in the process. However, in the final minute of the opening round, "The Hurricane" finally opened up and caught Alexander with a well placed left hook that stunned him and before Houston was able to recover, Yvel blasted the hometown favorite with a perfectly placed right hand that sent him crashing to the canvas. No follow up punches necessary.
The win gave Gilbert his second in a row since dropping to Light Heavyweight after fighting with the big boys at Heavyweight throughout his career, including a three fight stint with the UFC in which he went three and out.
The rest of the RFA 2 card featured the comeback of the 50 year old Maurice Smith, one of the pound-for-pound best female fighters in the world in Tara LaRosa and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 reject, Dakota Cochrane.
Check it out:
In the co-main event of the evening, Dakota Cochrane looked to get back into the win column after failing to make it inside the TUF house. Unfortunately for Dakota, Cliff Wright Jr. wanted to make a name for himself, and he did just that by putting Cochrane to sleep with a rear-naked choke in the very first round.
Cochrane was able to take Wright down early, but was quickly reversed once on the ground. Wright fought hard to get the choke in, and once he did, he did not let up. Herb Dean checked on Cochrane a few times to see if he was ok, but after there was not tap, Dean called a halt to the action once he realized Cochrane was already in dream land.
Long time MMA veteran Maurice Smith returned to action after a four year layoff since losing to Hidehiko Yoshida in 2008 at Sengoku 3, to take on Jorge Cordoba.
The 50 year-old didn't look a day over 30 in his performance, connecting repeatedly at will on his young counterpart. Throughout the fight, Cordoba was the aggressor, rushing in and swinging wildly at times, but catching air for the most part. While, Smith remained calmed and picked his shots carefully, battering Cordoba's face.
With two minutes remaining the fight, it seemed Smith was well on his way to a unanimous decision victory, but that was not what the kick boxer had in mind. After eating a right hand from Smith, Cordoba tried to make some distance between he and the 50 year-old, but did so with his hands down. That was all Smith needed to connect with a clean head kick that put the young fighter out for the count.
In women's action, often considered one of the top female fighters in the world, Tara LaRosa returned after a year hiatus to take on Kelly Warren. The bout lacked some luster, as both women played it cautiously throughout, neither willing to take a chance in the first two rounds.
In the final frame, the intensity picked up somewhat, as both realized they needed to do something special to sway the judges. After a scramble on the ground, LaRosa was able to catch Warren in a tight body triangle, looking for the rear-naked choke in the process. After failing to get the choke, LaRosa quickly transition into an armbar with only a few seconds remaining in the fight and caught Warren in a very secure armbar. Hanging on as much as she could, Warren eventually tapped with only one second remaining in the fight.
How's that for drama?
Perhaps a move to Strikeforce after packing on 10 more pounds should be in LaRosa's future.
For complete RFA 2 results and detailed round-by-round play-by-play action, click here.