RFA 4 – Yvel vs. Pe De Pano, Griffin vs. Escudero headed to Las Vegas on November 2nd

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 Texas Station.

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 of 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 the fight at RFA 1 by first round TKO over Damian Dantibo.

Yvel has been fighting professionally for over 15 years. He is noted as 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. Yvel 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 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 many 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 the sport, 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 drop one of the most controversial restarts of 2006 against another former 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 a 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.

Griffin vs. Escudero set to co-headline RFA 4 in Las Vegas

The main event will be supported by a lightweight bout pitting two former UFC stars looking to regain their past glory in the UFC’s backyard of Las Vegas, as hometown favorite Tyson Griffin faces TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero in the co-main event of RFA 4.

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 earned him five UFC “Fight of the Night” awards 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 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 reality television show The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). Escudero would submit Ido Pariente, Shane Nelson, and Junie Browning before defeating Phillipe Nover in the TUF 8 Finale to become the TUF 8 champion. Escudero went 3-2 during his first stint with the UFC. Escudero would then go 5-1 outside the UFC, which included a win over Mike Rio (Rio’s only loss). Escudero came back to the UFC late last year on short notice, but lost decisions to former NCAA Division I wrestler Jacob Volkmann and TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig.

RFA 4 will continue in the great tradition of prize fights held in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a city, which is home to the UFC, Strikeforce, and Top Rank Boxing, the RFA will provide the city’s fight-crazed fans with a 14 bout fight card, which will feature some of the sport’s biggest name veterans, as well as some of the top blue chip prospects in the sport. Along with the main event and co-main event, RFA 4 is expected to feature the return of RFA veterans Dakota Cochrane, James Krause, and Alessandro “Zoio” Ferreira as well as UFC veterans John Gunderson and Fredson Paixão. Top MMA prospects Bubba Jenkins, Steve Mocco, Gregor Gillespie, Lance Palmer, Chris Holdsworth, Sergio Pettis, and Tyler Shinn are also expected to compete.

About RFA:
Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) was founded in 2011 and includes a number of prominent businessmen, fight promoters, matchmakers, and others with successful careers in hosting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) shows across the United States. To learn more, check out our website at RFAfighting.com.

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