RFA prepares for “showdown” in Utah with RFA 35 – Baghdad vs. Castillo
RFA SET TO POKE THE BEEHIVE IN THE BEEHIVE STATE
RFA MAKES FIRST FORAY INTO UTAH AS ‘SHOWDOWN FIGHTS’ ELITE AWAIT EPIC SHOWDOWN with RFA 35 – BAGHDAD vs. CASTILLO
MEHDI “THE SULTAN” BAGHDAD vs. DAVID CASTILLO
LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD TITLE
THIAGO MOISÉS vs. DAVID “PLAYTIME” PUTVIN
CURTIS “RAZOR” BLAYDES vs. ERIC IMAN
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19th LIVE on AXSTV
LIVE at the UCCU CENTER in OREM, UTAH
Tickets are on sale NOW through SmithsTix.com
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) president Ed Soares announced today that the promotion is set to expand into a fourteenth state in February. The main event of RFA 35 will feature the first title defense of RFA lightweight champion Mehdi “The Sultan” Baghdad. He will put his title on the line against longtime Showdown Fights star David Castillo. RFA 35 – Baghdad vs. Castillo will take place Friday, February 19th inside the UCCU Center in Orem, Utah. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
“I am excited about bringing the RFA to Utah,” stated Soares. “RFA lightweight champion Mehdi Baghdad will defend his title against longtime Showdown Fights star David Castillo in the main event of RFA 35. Showdown Fights has established itself as the premier organization in Utah and I’m looking forward to seeing how we match-up heading into ‘enemy territory’.”
Showdown Fights owner Will Farrar is also excited as his promotion prepares to collaborate with the RFA.
“We have always admired the RFA, and now to have them here in our back yard? We too have taken a lot of pride in building fighters up to move on to the UFC and on February 19th, I bet we will see the next crop,” stated Farrar. “This event has been in the works for sometime and now it’s almost here!”
Tickets for RFA 35 – Baghdad vs. Castillo are available for purchase NOW through SmithsTix.com. Tickets to RFA 35 start at just $25 for General Admission. $35 for Upper Reserve, $45 for Lower Reserve, and VIP tables are available by calling 303-521-0966.
Baghdad (11-3), who is a native of France, came to the RFA in 2014 and quickly made his presence known. The WKBC Muay Thai world champion would decimate Evan DeLong in his promotional debut with a first round TKO via head kick and punches at RFA 18. The win earned “The Sultan” a shot at the vacant RFA lightweight title. He took full advantage of that opportunity by dropping Zach Juusola in the fourth round with a standing elbow to capture the RFA lightweight crown at RFA 21. Baghdad would then participate on the UFC’s hit reality show The Ultimate Fighter 22 (TUF 22), but injuries would impact his performance on the show after he defeated eventual TUF 22 finalist Artem Lobov to earn entry into the TUF 22 house. Baghdad is now healthy and ready to reassert himself as one of the most feared lightweight fighters in the world.
“I feel great about this fight. I have been training with Anderson Silva for his fight next month, so it is a good time to train hard,” Baghdad explained. “I can’t wait to fight again. On TUF 22, I broke my hand and couldn’t show who I was. Now I can in this fight. I will be looking for the finish on February 19th.”
Castillo (19-7) has established himself as one of Utah’s most beloved fighters over the course of his seven and a half year career. In that time, Castillo has fought in Russia, Bahrain, and Canada, while remaining one of the most active and entertaining fighters in his home state’s history. The Utah native and longtime Jeremy Horn protégé is now eager to make his live American television debut in what he sees as the perfect opportunity to prove he is one of the world’s elite 155-pound fighters.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity for myself and the Utah community as a whole. RFA is one of the biggest MMA shows to ever come to the state. Utah has a lot of MMA talent and a great fan base,” Castillo explained. “The chance to headline this card is big for me and the show as a whole. It guarantees a packed house since Utah fans know I’ve never been in a boring fight. I know Muay Thai is Baghdad’s strength, but I feel I’m a better striker and a more well-rounded fighter. I’m looking forward to this event and becoming the next RFA lightweight champion at RFA 35.”
The co-main event of RFA 35 will feature another “showdown” between RFA and Showdown Fights standouts as Thiago Moisés (6-1) battles David “Playtime” Putvin (7-1) in a lightweight bout. Moisés, who is a native of Indaiatuba, Brazil, fights out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. The Brazilian prospect made an impressive RFA debut last summer at at RFA 28, when he choked out Javon Wright via second round Rear Naked Choke at featherweight. Moisés now moves up to lightweight to face one of Utah’s most promising prospects. Putvin fights out of Jeremy Horn’s Elite Performance in the greater Salt Lake City area and is undefeated in his home state. “Playtime” may describe his personality, but he is all business once he steps inside the cage. All seven of his wins have come via submission.
The feature fight of RFA 35 will see the highly-anticipated RFA debut of Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (4-0). Blaydes was an NJCAA national wrestling champion at Harper College and is widely considered one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world. He was all weighed-in and ready to make his RFA debut last summer at RFA 28, but his opponent Justin Frazier ended up pulling out of the fight on the morning of the fight due to a family emergency. The blue chip RFA prospect will now have a stiff test awaiting him as he faces a dangerous Utah native in Eric Iman (4-3). Iman is a mountain of a man with nearly twice the experience of Blaydes. Iman will also enjoy a huge home crowd advantage as he has fought his entire career in his home state of Utah.
The full RFA 35 fight card and further information regarding this event will be announced soon. RFA 35 will be the promotion’s first event to take place in the “Beehive State” of Utah and it will mark the fourteenth overall state the promotion has visited. The entire main card of RFA 35 will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Friday, February 19th.
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