For the first time in the promotion’s year-long history, Resurrection Fighting Alliance journeyed away from their mainstay in Nebraska to the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas.

On Nov. 2, the promotion held Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4, which took place at the Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel. It was a big night for newly-anointed president Ed Soares, as the promotion took a step forward by premiering their fights in front of a live television audience on AXS TV.

In the main event of the evening, two former UFC contenders battled it out for a much needed win as Tyson Griffin took on Efrain Escudero. Both men had been on a skid that led to being released by the UFC, but one would get back on track Friday night to get his career moving forward again.

The remainder of the main card featured many up-and-coming fighters, including the brother of UFC fighter Anthony Njokuani, Chidi Njokuani, fighting Phil Dace, Marcio Cruz vs. Joe Yager, Lance Palmer taking on Fredson Paixao, former WEC, Bellator, and The Ultimate Fighter competitor James Krause squaring off with Brazilian Guilherme Trindade, Dakota Cochrane vs. Derrick Burnsed, and highly-touted prospect and brother of “Showtime”, Sergio Pettis, going three rounds with Jimmy Jones.

Another four bouts were unaired, with the main card beginning at 10 p.m. ET on AXS TV.

Griffin gets back on track with win over Escudero

In the main event of the evening, Tyson Griffin got a much needed win over Efrain Escudero under his new team at American Kickboxing Academy.

Griffin hurt Escudero from the start, which led to a takedown for the AKA fighter. Escudero threw his legs up looking for an armbar attempt, but ended up in full guard. Griffin stayed on top, while Escudero had an arm locked up. But the veteran Griffin escaped and returned to his feet. A close first round, with Griffin controlling and Escudero trying to work from the bottom.

Round two began and Griffin landed solid shots to keep Escudero at bay throughout the early stages of the round. Griffin then went back to his wrestling to control Escudero, but did not allow him to go for submission attempts. Dominant round by Griffin.

Griffin picked up where he left off by having his way with Escudero early in the final round, but Escudero kept competing by going for numerous submission tries, and controlled the majority of the final round. But in the end, it wouldn’t be enough.

The judges scored the bout 30-27, 29-28, and 30-27, all in favor of Griffin who earned the unanimous decision victory.

Njokuani dominates Dace

Chidi Njokuani, brother of UFC fighter Anthony Njokuani, continued to impress in his young career by putting on a dominant performance against Phil Dace.

After an early groin shot, the two welterweights went to work looking to gain the upper hand in the clinch. Another low blow was landed by Dace, which forced referee Kim Winslow to deduct one point from Dace. Njokauni was still able to continue, and looked for his patented head kicks to land. This time, Njokuani landed a low blow to Dace, but action continued. After a long opening round, Njokuani took a big lead on the cards due to the point deduction.

Njokuani looked to build off the momentum, and worked his striking very efficiently. The taller Njokuani dominated on the feet, with Dace not putting together anything offensively. After two rounds, Dace was down by a larger margin.

The only way Dace could pull off a win was by finishing Njokuani. But instead, the opposite happened. Njokuani landed a big right hook that dropped Dace, and after several punches on the ground, Dace was unable to defend himself.

With the TKO win, Njokuani improved to 9-3 at only 23 years old.

Cruz earns submission win over Yager

Joe Yager stepped in the replace Gilbert Yvel on Friday to take on Marcio Cruz in a feature fight on AXS TV. After a round and a half of slow-paced fighting, Cruz locked up an inverted triangle to get the stoppage win.

To avoid the length of Cruz, Yager went with a game plan to press his taller opponent against the cage. Once the referee broke the two up, Yager went right back to pressing Cruz against, until getting separated once more. The first round ended with Yager on top after a takedown.

Yager went back to his same strategy, and didn’t allow Cruz to do any damage with back against the cage. Steve Mazagatti was forced once again to break the two up. This is how the entire second round played out, up until a minute remaining in the round, as Cruz locked his legs around the neck of Yager, and forced him to tap out.

The ruling was an inverted triangle, which took place at 4:16 in the second round. After the fight, Cruz stated that he’d like to be matched up with Yvel again in the future.

Palmer edges out Paixao

One of Team Alpha Male’s promising young fighters, Lance Palmer, took on Nova Uniao fighter Fredson Paixao in a grueling fight on the main card. Palmer would edge out the Brazilian by split decision, improving his record to 5-0.

The two went toe-to-toe for half of round one, until Palmer landed a takedown on Paixao. The Team Alpha Male member landed some shots while on top, until the Brazilian Paixao returned to his feet. Paixao looked to apply pressure, but could never get a hold of the faster Palmer.

Once again, the former collegiate wrestler Palmer took his opponent to the mat to start round two. The Nova Uniao fighter was able to scramble and get back to his feet, but was taken down again by Palmer. After a questionable stand up by the referee, the two were forced to return standing. But Palmer made his wrestling look easy by taking the fight to the ground for the third time. Paixao went for a couple of leg locks to end the round, but was unsuccessful.

Paixao had guillotine locked up to start the third round, but Palmer was able to escape and remain on top. Paixao attacked with many elbows from the bottom, one of which busted up Palmer. After Palmer stayed on top for the majority of the round, Paixao returned to his feet, but had no time as the clock ran out.

The verdict would be a split decision, with one judge seeing it for Paixao, and the other two scoring it for Palmer, 29-28.

Krause stops Trindade in just 31 seconds

In a lightweight clash, James Krause picked up another win inside the RFA cage by knocking out Brazilian Guilherme Trindade in just 31 seconds.

Krause predicted he’d win by first-round submission, but instead went with his hands to earn the win. There was no way this fight was going the distance, and Krause made sure of that by rocking his opponent, then pounced on him to force referee Herb Dean to stop the fight.

The win makes it five in a row for the 26-year-old, who may have calls from the UFC coming his way after another impressive win.

Cochrane submits Burnsed in round one

Dakota Cochrane has competed in every RFA event that has taken place, and found himself on the main card Friday taking on Team Alpha Male member Derrick Burnsed.

Cochrane opened up quickly with combination, and then landed a takedown on Burnsed. But Burnsed immediately took the neck of Cochrane, and had a tight guillotine attempt, but Cochrane slipped out. This allowed Cochrane to take top position for the remainder of the round. After a scramble, Cochrane was able to adjust to take the arm of Burnsed, lock it up, and force a tap.

The armbar submission came at 4:38 of the first round, giving Cochrane his second straight victory with RFA.

Pettis improves to 6-0 over Jones

Brother of former WEC champion and UFC contender Anthony Pettis, 19-year-old Sergio Pettis made his fifth professional appearance inside the cage, and would keep his unbeaten streak alive by defeating Jimmy Jones by unanimous decision.

Jones had a reach advantage on Pettis, and used it against him by working his jabs early on. Pettis answered back with leg kicks though, and was able to get his game going later in the round by pressing forward. Close first round, with both men staying on their feet the entire round.

Pettis adjusted to the height of his opponent better in the second, but Jones used front kicks to keep him at bay several times. Pettis looked a lot better than in the first, as he applied pressure to Jones more often. After some crisp striking by Pettis, the horn sounded an end to round two.

The third round would decide the fight, with both men winning a round a piece. Jones started taking advantage with his best punch of the night, while Pettis also continued to get inside the reach of his opponent to do damage. An accidental low blow by Pettis caused a break in the action, but the two went back to work. Nearing the end of the fight, Pettis really opened up his strikes nicely. With 20 seconds left in the fight, Pettis landed a head kick that dropped Jones, but the horn sounded to call an end to the bout.

The judges scored the bout 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27, with all three giving Pettis the win.

Preliminary Card Summary

The last unaired fight of the night featured Chris Holdsworth submit Tyler Shinn by triangle choke submission in the second round.

Former U.S. Olympian and two-time NCAA Division I champion wrestler Steve Mocco made his MMA debut on Friday, and earned a win by defeating Tyler Perry by second-round kimura.

Cory Galloway came into Jerry Shapiro’s hometown, but silenced the crowd by coming from behind to knock out Shapiro in the second round.

In a bloody exchange to start the night,  Black House member Jordan Isordia defeated Joey Angelo, who was making his professional debut, by unanimous decision.

FULL RESULTS
Tyson Griffin def. Efrain Escudero by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Chidi Njokuani def. Phil Dace by TKO (punches). Round 3, 0:41
Marcio Cruz def. Joe Yager by submission (inverted triangle). Round 2, 4:16
Lance Palmer def. Fredson Paixao by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
James Krause def. Guilherme Trindade by TKO (punches). Round 1, 0:31
Dakota Cochrane def. Derrick Burnsed by submission (armbar). Round 1, 4:38
Sergio Pettis def. Jimmy Jones by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-27)
Chris Holdsworth def. Tyler Shinn by submission (triangle choke). Round 2, 1:32
Steve Mocco def. Tyler Perry by submission (kimura). Round 2, 1:34
Cory Galloway def. Jerry Shapiro by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 3:15
Jordan Isordia def. Joey Angelo by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

Photo: Tyson Griffin (left) squares off with his opponent Efrain Escudero (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.