Unbeaten Prospects Sergio Pettis and Lance Palmer Stay Perfect, Earn Gold at RFA 8

By Jordan Breen Jun 21, 2013
Sergio Pettis had Dillard Pegg out cold standing in 51 seconds in the RFA 8 headliner. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Though an LCL injury thwarted Anthony Pettis' chance to bring home UFC featherweight gold this August, his 19-year-old brother Sergio saw to it that Roufusport added another piece of hardware to the trophy case Friday night in Milwaukee, knocking out Dillard Pegg in just 51 seconds to win the vacant Resurrection Fight Alliance flyweight title.

Pettis was originally slated to headline RFA 8 against UFC and Pride veteran Jeff Curran, however the 15-year pro withdrew from the bout just over a week ago, expressing his desire to be with his wife and children after their family dog was struck by a car.

Pegg was aggressive from the outset, attacking Pettis with lead left hooks. However, the Amelia, Ohio, native simply couldn't match “The Phenom's” level of craft and it showed quickly. Under a minute into the bout, Pettis fired a jab that put Pegg in perfect position for his right cross. The shot froze Pegg stiff, toppling him to the mat. In the blur of an eye, Pettis got five perfunctory hammerfists in before referee Al Wichgers could intervene, and the fight was over.

Pettis is now 8-0 with five stoppages in his 21 months as a professional.

It was much tougher sledding for another coveted prospect, as Team Alpha Male's Lance Palmer gritted out a tough five-round split decision (48-46, 48-46, 46-48) over Hard Drive MMA's Jared Downing to earn the RFA featherweight title.

The former Ohio State wrestling star was tense and wild with his strikes early on, allowing the champion to defend the takedown, land right hands that bloodied up Palmer's eye and even take down the four-time All-American wrestler on occasion. However, despite a generally successful opening 10 minutes, Downing was simply worn down by the constant pressure and physicality of “The Party.”

D. Mandel

Palmer's left hand led the way late.
By the third frame, Palmer was able to locate his powerful lefts more successfully and finally get Downing to the mat. The Iowan was keen to scramble back to his feet and never allowed Palmer to get dominant positions, but he couldn't keep up with the unrelenting punching and wrestling of the Alpha Male fighter.

Palmer still had to dodge potential disaster: with the fight seemingly won late in the fifth round, another inside low kick strayed to the cup of his opponent. The groin shot was at least the fourth Palmer inadvertently landed, forcing referee Otto Torriero to dock him a point.

In the end, the penalty didn't factor in as anticipated: judges Matt Janecek and Sal D'Amato saw the bout 48-46 for Palmer. Dissenting judge Larry Struck scored the contest 48-46 Downing.

With the win, Palmer moves to 7-0 in his MMA campaign, while Downing falls to 9-2.

Perhaps the night's most brilliant performer was yet another unbeaten blue chipper: Brazilian Pedro Munhoz destroyed Bellator tournament veteran Mitch Jackson in consummate fashion before forcing him to surrender to a guillotine choke at 4:49 of the first round.

A BJJ black belt under Marco Barbosa now training out of Los Angeles, the 26-year-old Munhoz was both surgical and economical in dismantling Jackson. There was zero wasted movement as he made hard contact with constant jabs, hard low kicks, chopping left elbows, knees and any other strike he chose. After tuning the Minnesotan up with a hard clinch knee and following with punches on his wounded prey, Munhoz was able to secure the fight-sealing guillotine for the eighth win of his career.

With the win, Munhoz earns a shot at the inaugural RFA bantamweight championship against Keoni Koch at RFA 9 on Aug. 16 in his adopted home of Los Angeles.

Roufusport welterweight Mike “Biggie” Rhodes flashed his punching power, clobbering Benjamin Smith. The Milwaukeean buttered Smith up by flashing his jab, measuring him for a crushing right hook as soon as Smith sought to bob around the jab. Smith was laid out on his knees and ate another picture-perfect right from the surging Rhodes before Torriero could call the bout at just 56 seconds.

D. Mandel

Munhoz showed his potential by
dismantling Jackson.
Greg Nelson featherweight pupil Dan Moret moved to 5-0 as a pro, toughing out a unanimous decision over Jose Pacheco. Moret started slow, but the Mankato, Minn., fighter gradually utilized his size and reach advantage over the diminutive Pacheco, landing southpaw left crosses and dodging Pacheco's capoeira-inspired kicks en route to a 30-27 sweep of the judges' cards.

Hometown welterweight Zak Ottow easily took apart Matt Gauthier, getting the Green Bay native to the canvas, quickly securing full mount and latching on to an arm-triangle choke. Ottow didn't even need to pass to the side to force the tap at 3:07 of the first round.

Farwell, Mich.'s Brian Householder sent Roufusport's Kevin Morris packing in just 10 seconds, almost immediately landing a surprise knee that dropped Morris and sent Torreiro into action.

The evening's professional card started at 135 pounds, where Householder's Team Vicious training partner Derrick Mandell wore out David Rhoads, using his wrestling and powerful top game to take three 30-27 scorecards.


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