Resurrection Fighting Alliance lightweight champion Thiago Moises proved to be too much for local challenger Zach Freeman to handle in the RFA 44 main event on Friday in St. Charles, Missouri.
Moises popped “The Altar Boy” several times with clean punches early and then controlled virtually every second of the rest of the fight on the ground. His systematic game plan to slowly grind down Freeman was effective, and he earned a lopsided unanimous decision for his efforts. The Brazilian did everything right in the contest, as he not only outstruck the taller fighter on the feet but nullified everything Freeman tried off his back. Even when Freeman scored a desperate takedown early in the fifth round, Moises reversed position and controlled him for the duration of the frame. The challenger was worn out and battered by the end of the bout and did not have enough energy to author a wild come-from-behind rally.
In the end, Moises was awarded the nod via tallies of 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46 to retain his title.
Flyweight contender Nick Urso had to be on his toes against the submission-savvy Ken Porter, as he had to escape from deep guillotine choke attempts in the first and second rounds of their co-main event. The Jackson-Wink MMA representative was dominating Porter in the third round but dove into a deep triangle choke. Behind on the scorecards, Porter attacked with the triangle for roughly a minute and nearly finished it. Urso snaked out of it, but Porter switched to a belly-down armbar, forcing him to pull out all the stops to avoid being submitted with only a few seconds remaining. Unable to land the submission, Porter fell short in the eyes of the judges. Urso carried 29-28 scores across the board.
Lightweight prospect Drakkar Klose came out swinging for the fences against rival Hugh Pulley, creating a storm of action in the first round. However, once Pulley seemed to tire, Klose used his strength to clinch “The Wolverine” into the cage, where he controlled the match and stomped Pulley’s feet dozens of times. Klose won handily, as the three judges awarded him 30-27 marks.
Zach Fears was taken down repeatedly in the first round and could not find a rhythm against fellow lightweight Adam Osmoe. Fears was taken down again in the second, but the local fighter never lost his composure. After moving on top, he transitioned to the north-south position and set up Osmoe with a textbook guillotine choke during a brief scramble. The Illinois resident tried to break free of the choke but was forced to tap out at the 2:52 mark of round two.
Joey Miolla could not land any of his patented bombs against T.J. Brown but nevertheless found a path to a stoppage. After a fast-paced opening frame that saw both featherweights winging powerful punches, the Mesa, Arizona, fighter seized Brown’s back during a scramble late in the second round. From there, Miolla locked in the rear-naked choke, eventually prompting the Arkansas resident to tap. The official time of the submission was 4:32 of the second.
Strawweight Kelly D’Angelo was successful in her professional MMA debut, as the St. Louis-based boxer shockingly submitted grappler Emily Whitmire in the second round. After the Xtreme Couture product scored a takedown, D’Angelo slipped on a quasi-inverted triangle choke, but her angle was off-center and prevented the submission. D’Angelo tried locking in an assortment of key locks from her back, but it was not until Whitmire scrambled to her feet and shot in that the fight ended. D’Angelo wrapped up a guillotine in the midst of the takedown and forced the tap at the 3:46 mark.