Ladies and Gentlemen,
Prior to UFC on Fox 10, check out regional MMA!
AXS TV has another event this Friday involving the "unofficial" regional feeder to the UFC: the Resurrection Fighting Alliance. There are currently 10 fights scheduled for the card along with 2 RFA title fights in main and co-main events.
When and Where:
See it on TV: AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET following Inside MMA.
See it in Person: Shrine Auditorium (665 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007)
Event Starts at 5 p.m. local time, 8 p.m. ET for the preliminary bouts
Behind the bouts:
-The card has 12 undefeated fighters; including the 4 fighters involved with the main and co-main events.
-Between the 20 competitors on the card, the overall record is 73-9-2 for an 87% win rate.
-The fighter with the most losses is UFC/TUF veteran Kevin Casey with 3 losses.
-The overall finish rate for the competitors on the card is 64%.
-Boston "Boom Boom" Salmon is making his pro debut after a successful 3-0 amateur career, all in 2013.
-John Hackleman Jr.'s second pro MMA bout.
|Cameron Diffley||V||Jeff Roman|
|WIN RATE||HEIGHT||6'1"||ODDS||WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'10"||ODDS|
|FINISH RATE||AGE||29||RH||FINISH RATE||AGE||24||LH|
|LAST FIVE||3||0||0||LAST FIVE||0||0||1|
|GYM||R1 Training Center||GYM||One Kick Nick Gym|
Some of you may remember Diffley from the ironically forgettable TUF Season 16. He got into the house winning by first round armbar but lost in the quarter final bout by decision to currently UFC fighter Neil Magny. It is also worth noting that he was actually an assistant coach for Forrest Griffin's team on season 7. All 3 of his wins are by submission, all in the first round. He hasn't competed in an official bout since November of 2011.
Roman had a draw in his debut against Dejan Kajic (3-2-2 1 No Contest). According to Roman's facebook page he is a "2011 College Wrestling All American" and if you view the video you can see he is a very muscular and powerful athlete. His amateur record (that I was able to find) was 5-1 with 3 submissions and 2 (T)KO's.
Diffley is likely the favorite going in, he has sick jiu-jitsu and has been training in MMA far longer, however I think that the lengthy submission specialist will find himself on the wrong end of this. Roman will use superior strength and athleticism to grind out his first pro MMA win. Roman by decision.
|Howard LaCroix||V||John Hackleman Jr.|
|WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'11"||ODDS||WIN RATE||HEIGHT||6'3"||ODDS|
|FINISH RATE||AGE||28||RH||FINISH RATE||AGE||32||RH|
|LAST FIVE||0||1||0||LAST FIVE||1||0||0|
|GYM||Arriva Machado Jiu-Jitsu||GYM||The Pit|
Couldn't find much on LaCroix besides that he lost his pro debut in September via TKO in the first round. A photograph of him from his facebook page is that he was in/currently in the United States Coast Guard and suggests that he is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt (kind of feel like a stalker trying to get information on this guy).
Meanwhile there are plenty of articles on Hackleman. He is the son of "The Pit" founder John Hackleman Sr. His striking is his strength and he showed it in his debut, TKO'ing Edward Hyman in just over a minute in his pro debut in October.
If I was LaCroix I would take this fight to the ground like my life depended on it, but I expect that Hacklemans takedown defense will be too much for the Jiu-Jitsu stylist and it ends violently in favor of the striker. As a veteran I hope the best for Mr. LaCroix in his sophomore MMA bout. Hackleman via knockout, round 1.
|Jordan Isordia||V||Dmitry Gerasimov|
|WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'10"||ODDS||WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'9"||ODDS|
|FINISH RATE||AGE||23||RH||FINISH RATE||AGE||30||RH|
|LAST FIVE||2||1||0||LAST FIVE||2||0||0|
|GYM||Black House||GYM||Systems 8 Fight Club|
Isordia trains out of the Black House with some very high level fighters and seems to be a promising prospect. You can watch his pro debut HERE. He's showcased some promising striking.
Gerasimov is another decent striker. He has yet to finish a professional opponent but has stopped multiple fights as an amateur. You can view a highlight video HERE.
Too bad this fight isn't going to be airing on TV because I think it'll be a good one. Gerasimov by decision.
|Perceu Friza||V||Boston Salmon|
|WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'6"||ODDS||WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'9"||ODDS|
|FINISH RATE||AGE||24||LH||FINISH RATE||AGE||23||RH|
|LAST FIVE||2||0||0||LAST FIVE||0||0||0|
|GYM||Team Machida||GYM||House of Ryu|
Couldn't find much on either guy here. Friza is also listed under Souza on some MMA websites and is undefeated as a professional after 2 wins. He fought once in 2010 and once in 2013. Hopefully he'll be more active in 2014 and the years to come.
Salmon is an interesting prospect. This is his pro debut after going 3-0 as an amateur in 2013 including two knockouts. The second can be seen HERE. And I must say it's worth looking at.
Common sense would say that going with the guy with two pro MMA wins would be the smart choice. But "Boom Boom" Salmon has been more active and I like his chances in his pro debut. Salmon by decision.
Main Card Airing Live on AXS TV:
|James Moontasri||V||Rick Reger|
|WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'10"||ODDS||WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'10"||ODDS|
|FINISH RATE||AGE||25||RH||FINISH RATE||AGE||26||RH|
|LAST FIVE||4||1||0||LAST FIVE||5||0||0|
|GYM||Black House/UFC Gym Rosemead||GYM||Team Fightkore|
Moontasri is a top level prospect with a high level Tae Kwon Do background(Silver Medalist in the Pan Am Games) and Olympic hopeful(didn't make it) and an improving ground game. He trains with Lyoto Machida and other high level MMA fighters regularly. If he continues to win expect to see him in a bigger promotion fairly soon. Check out this recent interview with MMAinterviews.tv.
Reger is undefeated and is another good prospect, (RFA seems to get those). Most of his wins are by submission including 3 straight in the first round. A pro since 2011, the 26 year old has a background in BJJ and boxing and has finished all by one of his victories. He's a strong lightweight who will likely take this fight to the ground where he will have a likely advantage over the tae kwon do based Moontasri.
This card really is as stacked as you can get for a regional card can get because this has all the makings of an awesome fight. I think Moontasri keeps it standing and batters Reger on the feet for his first professional loss. Moontasri by decision.
|Women's Straweight Bout|
|Justine Kish||V||Randa Markos-Thomas|
|WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'5"||ODDS||WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'5"||ODDS|
|FINISH RATE||AGE||25||RH||FINISH RATE||AGE||28||RH|
|LAST FIVE||3||0||0||LAST FIVE||3||0||0|
|GYM||Black House||GYM||Maximum Training Center|
Kish is a Russian born Muay Thai specialist who is a pro World Muay Thai champion, pro boxer and pro kickboxer. She clearly has grappling chops as her two finishes are actually via submission. She has focused on MMA because she wants to fight in the UFC one day. She's not super explosive as an athlete but has good technique. I would love to see a bout between her and TUF 20 Participant Joanne Calderwood one day. Hasn't beaten any big names in MMA yet but hasn't fought total scrubs.
Markos-Thomas is a Canadian who has struggled to get fights in her brief career. When she has fought she's been at a weight disadvantage but has been dominate, including a submission victory over Allanna Jones, a fighter that routinely fights at both 135 and 145 lbs. Jones most recently fought rising star Holly Holm in July, losing via head kick knockout. Markos-Thomas is a grappler first with a background in amateur wrestling and BJJ. She will look to take the fight to the ground and avoid the stand up disparity between herself and Kish. HERE is a video of her sparring with a "Pro Boxing Champ" who is not identified in any of three videos uploaded.
Markos-Thomas has passable striking but she likely won't stand and bang, she takes Kish down and looks for submission and ground and pound. Markos-Thomas via decision.
|Zac Chavez||V||Marcus Kowal|
|WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'5"||ODDS||WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'7"||ODDS|
|FINISH RATE||AGE||25||RH||FINISH RATE||AGE||36||RH|
|LAST FIVE||2||0||0||LAST FIVE||3||1||1|
|GYM||303 Training Center||GYM||Systems Training Center|
Chavez is a young guy coming off a narrow split decision win at RFA 7 in March. He has pretty solid jiu-jitsu off his back and really comes from the grapple first mindset. It was difficult to find a lot of video on his striking but what I saw was pretty rudimentary. He's only 25 years old so he's got the time to develop.
There is a lot more information on Marcus Kowal; born in Sweden, he has a background in kickboxing where he excelled as an amateur and as a professional, a two time Golden Gloves runner up and is a black belt in Krav Maga. He currently lives and trains in Los Angeles(where this event is taking place) and he trains actors/actresses for fight scenes and has appeared on TV a number of times. Most of that information is found at his website... I don't want to have an angry pro fighter coming after me but I wasn't able to verify any of that information. Take that as you will.
In any case, Chavez will have the superior grappling in this bout while the 36 year old striker should look to stay on the feet. Chavev by decision.
|Kevin Casey||V||Eddie Mendez|
|WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'11"||ODDS||WIN RATE||HEIGHT||5'9"||ODDS|
|FINISH RATE||AGE||32||LH||FINISH RATE||AGE||31||RH|
|LAST FIVE||3||2||0||LAST FIVE||3||2||0|
|GYM||Rickson Gracie BJJ||GYM||Rain MMA|
Casey is known to TUF 17 fans for being a fairly one dimensional grappler who isn't very exciting. He's a black belt under Rickson Gracie and 3 of his six wins are by submission. He doesn't have a very good chin as all of his losses are by knockout or TKO. He last fought at RFA 9, winning by unanimous decision.
Mendez's last fight was UFC on Fuel TV 10 in June, losing to Daniel Sarafian by arm triangle choke in just over 2 minutes. If you watch that fight he looked like he was a turtle off his back. Mendez hits pretty hard and is a striker first but does own a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu but make no mistake he will not want to hang on the ground with Casey.
Mendez was taken down fairly easily by Sarafian in June and if there's one thing that Casey does well is grapple and lay on top of you. Casey by decision.
Check out the Co-Main and Main Event on Thursday. Have a good night.