RFA 4 – Griffin vs. Escudero
Friday, November 2, 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Tickets: Limited number
Doors Open: 5 p.m. PT at the
Televised: AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
RFA Website: www.RFAfighting.com
Main Event | Lightweight Bout (155 lbs.) – Fight #11:
Tyson Griffin (15-6, UFC-Strikeforce vet) vs. Efrain Escudero (18-5, UFC vet, TUF 8 champ)
-During the 5 years that Tyson Griffin fought for the UFC, he became a fan favorite due to his action-packed and explosive style of fighting. Griffin’s skills and crowd pleasing fights have earned him five UFC "Fight of the Night" awards, one "Submission of the Night" award, and one "Fight of the Year" honor. Griffin will be the hometown favorite, as he is one of the founding members of Xtreme Couture MMA in Las Vegas. He holds notable wins over fellow MMA stars Urijah Faber, Duane Ludwig, Clay Guida, Thiago Tavares, Rafael dos Anjos, Gleison Tibau, Marcus Aurelio, Hermes Franca, and Manny Gamburyan.
-Efrain Escudero burst onto the MMA scene by winning his first 10 pro fights. That earned him an invitation to fight on the eighth season of the UFC’s hit reality television show The
Co-Main Event | Welterweight Bout (170 lbs.) – Fight #10:
Chidi Njokuani (8-3, RFA vet, younger brother of UFC star Anthony Njokuani) vs. Phil Dace (8-2, SCC vet)
-Chidi Njokuani is the younger brother of current UFC star Anthony Njokuani and much like his brother, he possesses a devastating Muay Thai pedigree. Njokuani trains alongside his brother Anthony, Stephan Bonnar, and Steve Cantwell, as well as RFA fighters Tyler Perry, Mark Dickman, and Carl Postma at "One Kick" Nick Blomgren’s school in Las Vegas. In June, Njokuani won his RFA debut in dominant fashion despite it being the only win on his record that hasn’t come by way of KO/TKO or submission.
-Phil Dace also wields flashy stand-up skills, which he hones across town in Las Vegas with Mark "The Hyena" Beecher. Before teaming up with Beecher, Dace was a member of Team Tompkins under the late Shawn Tompkins. Dace and Njokuani share more similarities than just their fans in Las Vegas. Since the two strikers made their pro MMA debut, they have combined for a total of 11 KO/TKO victories and have become familiar names to local fans by fighting on various cards in Sin City. That will make this a very explosive encounter between Las Vegas’ top two welterweight prospects.
Light-Heavyweight Bout (205 lbs.) – Fight #9:
Marcio "Pe De Pano" Cruz (7-3, UFC vet, ADCC champ) vs. Joe Yager (5-0, NCAA D-1 wrestler)
-Marcio "Pe De Pano" Cruz is widely considered 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. In October 2005, he became one of the first fighters during the Zuffa era to make his professional MMA debut in the UFC. He quickly won his first two fights for the promotion with dominating stoppages over the likes of Keigo Kunihara and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Since leaving the UFC at the end of 2006, Pe De Pano has won 5 of 6 bouts, including a win over eventual Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Rafael "Feijão" Cavalcante.
-Joe Yager fights out of Apex MMA in Tucson, Arizona alongside UFC fighters Chad Griggs and George Roop. He is a highly-touted light-heavyweight prospect who is unbeaten in 5 fights. He was a standout wrestler in high school and college, where he was an NCAA Division I wrestler at Central Michigan. During Yager’s freshman season, UFC veteran Phil Baroni was a senior on the team. Yager also defeated UFC light-heavyweight star and NCAA Division I All-American Ryan Bader in collegiate wrestling.
Featherweight Bout (145 lbs.) – Fight #8:
Fredson Paixão (10-4, UFC vet, BJJ black belt) vs. Lance Palmer (4-0, 4x NCAA D-1 All-American wrestler)
-Fredson Paixão is one of the most decorated jiu-jitsu practitioners to ever compete in MMA. He is a 3-time black belt World champion, 8-time Brazilian National champion (5 of these titles as a black belt), Copa Osvaldo Alves champion, and he holds a win over 8-time jiu-jitsu World champion Robson Moura. He teaches out of Epic Training Center in Henderson, Nevada and is a veteran of three of the world’s most respected MMA promotions: UFC, WEC, and Jungle Fights.
-Lance Palmer is one of the most decorated wrestlers in Ohio high school history, was featured in the acclaimed wrestling documentary "Pinned", and was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler at Ohio State. He was also a Big Ten champion and national runner-up. He is currently unbeaten in MMA and trains alongside Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes, Joseph Benavidez, and several other UFC stars at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. This past spring, he also served on Faber’s coaching staff on the UFC’s hit reality television show The Ultimate Fighter 15.
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs.) – Fight #7:
James Krause (16-4, RFA-WEC-TUF vet) vs. Guilherme Trindade (8-0, Octagon FC welterweight champ)
-James Krause is an RFA mainstay having won his first two bouts for the organization. He is also a veteran of the WEC, Titan FC, and participated on the 15th season of the UFC’s hit reality show The Ultimate Fighter this past spring. Krause has won five of his last six bouts. He fights out of Grind House MMA in Lee’s Summit, Missouri with two-time Olympic Team Alternate wrestler Eric Akin and UFC flyweight fighter and former RFA star Tim Elliott.
-Guilherme Trindade is an undefeated Brazilian prospect from the famed Black House MMA camp, who has finished all eight of his opponents. After making his professional MMA debut last year, Trindade won all seven of his bouts in 2011 in impressive fashion. He won five bouts via KO or TKO, while submitting the other two. In Trindade’s first bout of 2012, he destroyed Jean dos Santos with a highlight reel Flying Knee knockout victory at Octagon FC 3 in Brazil. This will be Trindade’s first fight at lightweight and his first fight outside of Brazil.
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs.) – Fight #6:
Dakota Cochrane (12-3, RFA-TUF vet) vs. Derrick Burnsed (10-2, Strikeforce vet)
-Dakota Cochrane is the only fighter in RFA history to participate on every RFA card to date. That includes taking a fight at RFA 2 in March on short notice, just days removed from returning to Nebraska from Las Vegas, where he participated on the UFC’s hit reality television show The Ultimate Fighter 15 (TUF 15). Cochrane has also picked up two marquee wins over big-name UFC veterans since last fall. Current UFC star and former WEC champion Jamie Varner and former UFC #1 contender and TUF 2 champion Joe Stevenson have came up short in main event fights with Cochrane over the past year.
-Derrick Burnsed trains alongside Urijah Faber at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California, where he also has the luxury of training with UFC stars Chad Mendes, Joseph Benavidez, Danny Castillo, T.J. Dillashaw, as well as fellow RFA fighters Lance Palmer and Chris Holdsworth. However, what makes Burnsed unique compared to his grappling-oriented teammates is that he comes from a decorated amateur kickboxing background. Burnsed is also a Strikeforce veteran that participated on the historic Strikeforce – Fedor vs. Werdum card.
Bantamweight Bout (135 lbs.) – Fight #5:
Sergio Pettis (5-0, younger brother of UFC star Anthony Pettis) vs. Jimmy Jones (4-1, Tuff-N-Uff champ, SCC vet)
-Sergio Pettis, who is the younger brother of UFC star and former WEC champion Anthony Pettis, has been watched closely by MMA scouts from an early age due to the prodigious talent he inherited much like his older brother. Pettis made his amateur MMA debut at the age of 15 and went unbeaten in 4 fights. He then won his first 5 bouts since turning pro last year. The 19-year-old Duke Roufus protégé will look to continue that streak as he prepares to fight on the biggest stage of his young career.
-Jimmy Jones won his first 4 MMA bouts since turning pro in November 2010. His only career loss was a razor-close Split Decision this past January in the only fight where Jones did not fight in his hometown of Las Vegas. Jones is no stranger to prodigious talent or famous MMA families, as he holds a submission win in amateur MMA over Larry Mir, who is the cousin of former UFC champion Frank Mir. Jones began training under UFC Hall of Fame member Randy Couture, when he opened Xtreme Couture MMA in Las Vegas in January 2007.
Bantamweight Bout (135 lbs.) – Fight #4:
Chris Holdsworth (3-0, Tuff-N-Uff champ, BJJ black belt) vs. Tyler Shinn (3-0, RFA vet, NCAA D-1 wrestler)
-Chris Holdsworth is a Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Marc Laimon and will enjoy the home crowd advantage. Holdsworth now lives in Sacramento, California as a member of Team Alpha Male, but he lived in Las Vegas before that. In Las Vegas, Holdsworth earned his Black Belt as a member of Cobra Kai Jiu-Jitsu and also won all six of his amateur MMA bouts in Las Vegas. He held titles at 145-pounds and 135-pounds for Tuff-N-Uff.
-Tyler Shinn is a standout wrestler and national qualifier from the NCAA Division I powerhouse wrestling program at Oklahoma State. At Oklahoma State, Shinn trained under the legendary John Smith. Smith has coached many of the world’s top wrestlers, including many who eventually became MMA stars. That would include Randy Couture, Johny Hendricks, Daniel Cormier, Mark Muñoz, Jake Rosholt, Jared Rosholt, Shane Roller, Mo Lawal, and RFA fighter Steve Mocco.
Heavyweight Bout (265 lbs.) – Fight #3:
Steve Mocco (0-0, Olympian, 2x NCAA D-1 champ) vs. Tyler Perry (1-0, RFA vet, NCAA D-1 wrestler)
-Steve Mocco is a former U.S. Olympian and two-time NCAA Division I national champion wrestler for the University of Iowa and Oklahoma State University. He is widely considered to be one of the best amateur wrestlers in U.S. history, which in turn makes him one of the highest-rated heavyweight prospects to enter MMA in a long time. Mocco currently trains out of the acclaimed American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek, Florida.
-Tyler Perry is a heavyweight prospect with an amazing pedigree. In collegiate wrestling, he was teammates at the University of Missouri with two current Bellator champions: Ben Askren (welterweight champ) and Michael Chandler (lightweight champ). One of Perry’s graduate coaches on the team also happened to be current Strikeforce welterweight top-contender Tyron Woodley. Perry also competes in college against five men who have won six of the last seven NCAA Division I heavyweight national titles in wrestling. He won his first two bouts for the RFA (1 pro and 1 amateur with dominating first round finishes.
Bantamweight Bout (135 lbs.) – Fight #2:
Jerry Shapiro (0-0, Tuff-N-Uff champ) vs. Cory Galloway (1-1, Bellator vet)
-Jerry Shapiro is a brown belt in jiu-jitsu under ADCC veterans and jiu-jitsu black belts Marc Laimon and Sim Go at Cobra Kai in Las Vegas. He also supplements his grappling background by learning the stand-up game from one of the best strikers in the world, UFC and PRIDE veteran Gilbert Yvel. In amateur MMA, Shapiro won the Tuff-N-Uff 4-man bantamweight tournament and the Tuff-N-Uff bantamweight title.
-Cory Galloway possesses a solid grappling pedigree, as he trains under jiu-jitsu black belt, former UFC fighter, and ADCC veteran Jeff Curran in Chicago, Illinois. Galloway is also the bigger and more experienced fighter being that he is a Bellator veteran and will be coming into this fight fresh off a submission win that he just earned at XFO this past summer. Galloway has also shown that he is very comfortable when the fight is kept standing.
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs.) – Fight #1:
Joey Angelo (0-0, LV MMA welterweight champ) vs. Jordan Isordia (1-1, Samurai Pro Sports vet)
-Joey Angelo is a local favorite having fought for both the Tuff-N-Uff and LV MMA amatuer MMA promotions in Las Vegas. He currently trains with former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman at the House of RYU in Las Vegas. Angelo won the Las Vegas MMA welterweight title exactly one year ago and will look to continue his MMA success in Sin City.
-Jordan Isordia fights out of the famed Black House MMA camp, which is also home to UFC stars Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, the Nogueira brothers, Glover Teixeira, and Justin Lawrence. In three combined bouts (2 pro and 1 amateur), Isordia has never gone past the first round making him an exciting fighter to watch.