Christos Giagos Keeps Eye on UFC Return, Stonewalls Arthur Estrazulas in RFA 42 Headliner

By: Brian Knapp
Aug 19, 2016

Christos Giagos has designs on a return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Black House lightweight leaned on power punching flurries, crisp counters and well-timed takedowns in claiming a unanimous decision over Kings MMA’s Arthur Estrazulas in the Resurrection Fighting Alliance 42 headliner on Friday at the Visalia Convention Center in Visalia, California. Giagos (13-5) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-27 and 30-27 marks.

Estrazulas (8-3) was game from start to finish -- he nearly cinched a rear-naked choke in a back-and-forth first round -- but lacked the firepower necessary to give Giagos real pause. Giagos struck for multiple takedowns in all three-rounds, as he kept the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt guessing throughout the 15-minute encounter. He did some of his best work over the final 90 seconds, as he secured a takedown and floated between full mount and back mount in search of a finish.

Giagos, 26, has rattled off back-to-back victories.

In the three-round flyweight co-main event, former Tachi Palace Fights champion Alex Perez threw the brakes on a two-fight losing streak with a split decision over the previously undefeated Ray Elizalde. Two of the three cageside judges scored it 29-28 and 30-26 for Perez, while a third saw it 29-28 for Elizalde.

Elizalde (10-1) had issues controlling distance and staying on his feet. Perez (14-4) executed repeated takedowns, assumed dominant positions on the mat and withstood a series of reversals and submission attempts from an increasingly desperate opponent. Elizalde enjoyed success in the standup exchanges and nearly turned one of his reversals into a rear-naked choke in the second round, but his inability to keep the action at a safe range proved costly. More often than not, he found himself pinned to the canvas, eating punches and elbows from the methodical Perez.

Meanwhile, Team Alpha Male rep Anthony Avila submitted “The Ultimate Fighter 18” alum Cody Bollinger with a first-round guillotine choke in their lightweight showcase. Bollinger (18-6), who accepted the bout on short notice, conceded defeat 54 seconds into round one, as he lost for the third time in four appearances.

Avila (13-4) invited the World Series of Fighting vet into the clinch, countered a takedown and snatched the guillotine in the transition. The 27-year-old wrapped Bollinger in full guard before rolling to a mounted position and coaxing the tapout.

In other action, Team Nogueira’s Davi Ramos (5-1) dispatched Mike Flach (7-2) with a rear-naked choke 4:07 into round one of their catchweight tilt at 160 pounds; Steve Gruber (6-3) submitted Shai Lindsey (4-2) with a rear-naked choke 42 seconds into the second round of their flyweight affair; and Adin Duenas (5-1) escaped with a majority decision -- 28-28, 29-28, 29-28 -- over Tommy Aaron (2-1) in their three-round battle at 145 pounds.

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