Matt Manzanares boxed his way to RFA flyweight gold in his hometown of Cheyenne, Wy. | Marshall Boyce/Sherdog.com
The crowd at the City of Cheyenne Ice and Events Center in Cheyenne, Wy., wanted nothing more than to see their hometown hero, Matt Manzanares, attain Resurrection Fighting Alliance gold. They got their wish Friday night at RFA 14, as Manzanares took a split decision (50-45, 49-46, 47-48) victory over Junior Maranhao to become the RFA flyweight champion.
The first round consisted primarily of striking exchanges, with Manzanares landing the harder, cleaner blows. Though Maranhao had a 7-inch height advantage and seven-and-a-half-inch reach advantage, Manzanares was clearly the faster fighter, which allowed him to land power punches to the chin of his foe. His slick counter work also rendered Maranhao’s reach advantage useless early in the bout. Once Maranhao realized he was in trouble, he took down the hometown fighter down, but with only 30 seconds left in the round, he was unable to mount meaningful offense.
Manzanares continued his striking dominance early in the second round, quickly knocking down the Brazilian with a fake uppercut hook combination. Maranhao wasn’t out of the fight though as he slapped an armbar on Manzanares. He was able to squirm out of that attempt but Maranhao transitioned right into a triangle choke and a heel hook.
Manzanares calmly worked his boxing game to great effect over the championship rounds. Maranhao was game and responded with kicks and punches of his own, but was too sluggish to respond to the hand speed and crisper combinations of the local fighter. The most bizarre point of the contest came at the fourth round's conclusion, with Maranhao being saved from a Manzanares' triangle by the bell. Maranhao was sat on his stool by his team and then appeared to actually blackout momentarily, falling flat on his face on the canvas. Somehow, he was cleared to fight the final five minutes, in which Manzanares kept his workrate up to seal the deal.
Manzanares, now 7-2, will face Team Alpha Male's Tyler Voth in his first promotional title defense.
“Tricky” Mark Dickman dug deep into his bag of wrestling tricks to get Raoni Barcelos to the ground, and once he did, he quickly ended the fight. Dickman submitted the previously unbeaten Brazilian at 2:06 of the second round via rear-naked choke, becoming the next challenger for Brian Ortega’s RFA featherweight belt in the process.
Dickman quickly turned a single-leg takedown into back control as the second round began. After squeezing his legs together into body lock, the former Lindenwood University Louie wailed on Barcelos with punches until his defenses weakened. In a flash, Dickman flattened his foe and slipped his arm underneath his chin, coaxing the tap. Dickman moved to 9-1 in his career while Barcelos dropped to 7-1.
In another matchup of number one contenders, aforementioned Tyler Voth earned his title shot via unanimous decision against Jeimeson Saudino in a slow affair. Voth was able to control Saudino with a mixture of clever striking and clinchwork. His whipping body kicks allowed him to easily move within range of Saudino and shove him against the fence. From there, Voth was able to drag his opponent to the mat repeatedly over 15 minutes.
Alan Jouban fought off multiple submission attempts to knock out Armando Montoya Jr. at 3:33 of the second round in a spirited welterweight tilt, while at 145 pounds, Daniel Aguiar submitted UFC veteran Tyler Toner with a heel hook just 29 seconds into the first round.
The main card began with a 120-pound catchweight bout between Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger and Rosa Acevedo, in which Jones-Lybarger rode her jab to an easy unanimous decision victory. In the sole professional bout of the preliminary card, Scott Ingram knocked out Joshua Smith at 4:35 of the first round.
In amateur action: Andrew Kauppila defeated Zach Hare by TKO at 21 seconds of the third round; Enrique Torres submitted Sonny Yohn with a rear-naked choke at 2:08 of the first round; Joe Guerrero also finished his opponent, George Martinez, with a rear-naked choke at 2:01 of round two.