Facing late replacement Mike Rhodes (4-1) in a 175-poud catchweight fight, Colorado native Brando Thatch (9-1) brought his hometown crowd to its feet with a first-round submission win.
The bout served as the main event of Friday’s Resurrection Fighting Alliance 7 event, which took pace at 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo. The evening’s main card aired on AXS TV
After a few brief initial exchanges on the feet, Rhodes drove in for a takedown, but Thatch quickly swept to top position and started to pick his punches from top control. Rhodes turned and exposed his back, and Thatch quickly latched on to a rear-naked choke. Rhodes tried to pull the arm down and away from his neck, but the hold was secure, and he was forced to tap at the 2:22 mark of the first round.
Thatch, who has trained alongside UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in recent months, now boasts an eight-fight win streak. Rhodes, who stepped in on just 10-days’ notice, loses for the first time as a professional.
Njokuani upset, Bektic remains perfect
In the night’s co-feature striking specialist Chidi Njokuani (9-3) was a heavy favorite in his welterweight contest with Jeremy Kimball (9-4). Apparently Kimball didn’t get the message.
Njokuani never really had a chance to unleash his vaunted Muay Thai skills, as Kimball kept the pressure high from the opening bell. Even that seemed to favor Njokuani in the opening round, as he quickly took mount on an initial scramble and then slipped on to the back when Kimball turned to avoid damage. However, Njokuani could never get the finish, and it came back to haunt him in the second.
It was a reversal of fortune in the next round as Kimball pushed in again quickly and took the fight to the floor against an obviously tiring Njokuani. However, this time it was Kimball who worked to the back. He did not make the same mistake as his opponent.
Kimball quickly snuck his arm under the neck and squeezed, and a disappointed Njokuani tapped out to the choke.
Undefeated 22-year-old featherweight prospect Mirsad Bektic (6-0) kept his career record unblemished with a first-round TKO win over Nick Macias (6-3).
Bektic wasted little time driving in and taking the action to the floor. Once there, Macias tried his best to buck and roll and scramble back to his feet, but Bektic was heavy on top and kept his opponent pinned to the floor. Oe the position was secure, Bektic unleashed a steady barrage of heavy right hands that eventually forced a stoppage at the 1:57 mark of the fight.
Bektic is now perfect through his first six fights, and five of those wins have come via stoppage. Macias falls to 1-2 in his past three fights.
Colon, Thompson score stoppage wins in early action
In middleweight action, New Mexico’s Billy Colon (5-4) silenced the hometown crowd with a third-round comeback win over Colorado fighter Vinnie Lopez (5-4). A mostly standup affair for the opening two frames, Lopez appeared to have the upper hand in the exchanges. But when Colon was taked to the floor in the third frame, he used it to his advantage.
Looking first for a triangle choke that was easily defended, Colon quickly switched to an armbar and earned a tap 72 seconds into the final round.
In a featherweight matchup, Tommy Thompson (5-0) earned his fifth straight professional win with a flashy knockout win of the previously undefeated Joey Banks (2-1).
A an early fake Superman punch into a kick left Banks’ guard down, and Thompson delivered a straight right hand down the middle that sent his opponent crashing to the canvas. Thompson pounced with follow-up punches on the floor, and the bout was waved off at the 20-second mark of the first
And in a bloody card-opening battle, bantamweights Zac Chavez (2-0) and Danny Mainus (1-1) went toe-to-toe for 15 hard-fought minutes. The action was tightly contested for the entirety of the contest, but it was Chavez who kept his perfect record intact with a split-decision win.
Complete RFA 7 results include:
- Brandon Thatch def. Mike Rhodes via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:22
- Jeremy Kimball def Chidi Njokuani via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:51
- Mirsad Bektic def. Nick Macias via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:57
- Billy Colon def. Vinnie Lopez via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 1:12
- Tommy Thompson def. Joey Banks via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:20
- Zac Chavez def. Danny Mainus via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
For more on RFA 7, check out the MMA Events section of the site.
(Pictured: Brandon Thatch)