Resurrection Fighting Alliance and Legacy Fighting Championships will co-promote an event Friday night in Robinsonville, Miss., and Brazilian flyweight Alexandre Pantoja feels honored to headline this "historic" fight card, which airs live on AXS TV.
"Two MMA promotions coming together is historic. It’s wonderful," Pantoja told MMAFighting.com. "I feel more motivated fighting for this special belt after winning the RFA title. Fighting and defeating another champion will take me to a different level."
Pantoja claimed the RFA 125-pound championship in September, chocking out Matt Manzanares in the second round. Across the cage will be Damacio Page, who won and defended the Legacy FC belt in 2014.
"I feel like I’m also fighting for RFA, defending the brand, to show that RFA has the best fighters and that I am the best fighter," Pantoja said. "(Page) always tries to win by knockout, and that’s exactly my idea when I step inside the cage. I always want to finish the job quickly and the best way possible."
The Brazilian flyweight enters the bout coming off eight straight victories, half of them via submission, and the fact that seven of Page’s nine MMA losses came via submission boosts his confidence.
"I also have the option to take the fight to the ground, and I’m going to kill or be killed," he said. "I will be ready to fight standing or on the ground. If he’s not ready to fight on the ground, too bad."
Page is a former UFC and WEC fighter. Pantoja believes that a win over a fighter that already competed against the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Marcos Galvao, Scott Jorgensen and Brian Bowles will be enough for him to sign a contract with Zuffa.
"There’s no better fight for me right now," Pantoja said. "I won the Shooto belt, then the RFA belt, and I will now fight for this belt. A win over him should put me in the UFC. There’s no other place to go besides the UFC.
"I will ask for a chance in the UFC after this fight. I’m evolving as an athlete ever since I came to the United States. I’m working hard to win titles, and I want to do the same in the UFC. I wouldn’t ask to be in the UFC if I didn’t feel I’m at this level, and I’m growing a lot."
RFA vs. Legacy FC fight card takes place at the Horseshoe Tunica Hotel and Casino in Robinsonville, and also features Luke Sanders vs. Terrion Ware for the bantamweight gold and Dave Burrow vs. Mike Bronzoulis for the lightweight title.