LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) is officially moving from the exotic cornfields of Nebraska to the fight capital of the world of Las Vegas for its fourth installment on Friday, November 2nd, 2012, which will take place at the Dallas Event Center inside Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
RFA 4 will be headlined by a light-heavyweight bout featuring two former UFC heavyweight stars, who are looking to resurrect their respective careers at 205-pounds. In the most stylistically contrasting RFA main event to date, one of the world’s most feared strikers Gilbert “The Hurricane” Yvel meets one of the world’s most feared grapplers Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz.
Yvel enters the fight fresh off of his brutal highlight reel KO win over Houston Alexander in the first round of their main event at RFA 2 in March. That was his second consecutive win as a light-heavyweight, since dropping down to the weight class for the first time in his 15 year career at RFA 1 last December. Yvel won his fight at RFA 1 by first round TKO over Damian Dantibo.
Yvel has been fighting professionally for over 15 years and is credited for being one of the first Dutch fighters to successfully apply Muay Thai striking in MMA. Being a master of “The Art of Eight Limbs”, Yvel possesses the ability to KO his opponent instantly using either of his fists, elbows, knees, or shins, but he is perhaps best known for his signature “flying knee” strike. Yvel has plied his trade all over the world and became a star fighting in three of the world’s biggest MMA promotions: UFC, PRIDE, and RINGS.
Yvel has a wealth of experience having faced some of the greatest fighters in MMA history. He has squared off with the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Junior dos Santos, Cheick Kongo, Pedro Rizzo, Houston Alexander, Semmy Schilt, Josh Barnett, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, and Gary Goodridge during the course of his storied MMA career.
While Yvel is regarded as one of the most potent and feared strikers in MMA, he will meet a man who is just as dangerous on the ground. That would be the man known as Pe de Pano, who is one of the world’s most widely respected Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. Pe de Pano’s jiu-jitsu game and reputation in the sport was so great in fact, that he burst onto the MMA scene in a way seen by very few before or after him.
By 2005, Pe de Pano had solidified his standing as one of the greatest competitors in the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after becoming a 6-time World Champion, 4-time Brazilian National Champion, 6-time Pan-American Champion, and the 2003 ADCC World Champion. His jiu-jitsu career was highlighted by his confidence, devastating guard game, and heated rivalries, which instantly put him on Zuffa’s radar when he announced his intentions of transitioning to MMA.
In October 2005, he became one of the first fighters during the Zuffa era to make his professional MMA debut in the UFC. Pe de Pano took full advantage of the opportunity, submitting Keigo Kunihara via Rear Naked Choke at UFC 55. He followed that win with the biggest win of his MMA career. In just his second professional bout, Pe de Pano fought the former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir on the main card of UFC 57. Mir, who is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight jiu-jitsu practitioners in the history of MMA, was dominated on the ground by Pe de Pano and eventually stopped via TKO due to a barrage of punches and elbows in Round 1.
Pe de Pano would go on to have a grudge match with his former jiu-jitsu rival Jeff Monson and was the victim of one of the most controversial restarts of 2006, against another former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski, after appearing to have the fight locked up on the ground with a near submission. Pe de Pano would rebound by winning his next 5 fights, including a win over Rafael “Feijão” Cavalcante in the IFL. Pe de Pano is the first man to defeat Feijão, who is the same man who eventually won the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title.
Yvel vs. Pe de Pano has all the makings for another great Las Vegas main event. Both men have fought on the biggest stage in the city, both men possess the highest level skill and technique in their base martial arts (Muay Thai vs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), and both men have fought in the UFC as heavyweights and are looking to resurrect their careers at light-heavyweight.
RFA 4 – Yvel vs. Pe De Pano will be supported by an equally exciting co-main event. The bout will feature two former UFC lightweight stars, as Tyson Griffin meets Efrain Escudero. The card will also feature the return of RFA veterans Dakota Cochrane, James Krause, and Alessandro "Zoio" Ferreira, local favorites Fredson Paixão, Jimmy Jones, and Jerry Shapiro, as well as top MMA prospects Bubba Jenkins, Steve Mocco, Gregor Gillespie, Lance Palmer, Chris Holdsworth, Sergio Pettis, and Tyler Shinn.These fights and more will take place at the Dallas Event Center inside Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.