KEARNEY, Nebraska — Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) announced today that they have signed Alessandro "Zoio" Ferreira to a 3-fight deal. Zoio is one of Brazil's most promising and talented fighters.
Zoio began fighting professionally in the summer of 2006 and quickly made a name for himself in the Brazilian MMA scene by winning two consecutive "Desafio dos Campeoes" 8-man, 1-night tournaments in 2007 and 2008. Most impressively, during the 6 fights he won in those two 8-man tournaments (3 fights in each tournament) he used his black belt jiu-jitsu skills to win 6 different ways.
By winning those tournaments, he was called up in 2010 to compete in the popular Brazilian promotions Jungle Fight and Predador Fighting Championship, which are televised in Brazil. After winning his first fight for each of those organizations in the spring of 2010, he would then face the first setback. However, this setback was not due to his own actions, but do to the unstable officiating prevalent in those organizations.
After utilizing a routine guard slam against Johil de Oliveira at Jungle Fight 22, the fight was suddenly ruled an illegal spike and the fight was suddenly ruled a no-contest. Then one month later, things got even crazier when Zoio was the victim of one of the worst decisions in Brazilian MMA at Predador 16. The robbery was so bad in fact, it made one wonder if John Dillinger has any Brazilian relatives judging fights down in Brazil. After Zoio clearly dominated Team Nogueira prospect Roberto Amorim for 15 minutes, the judges inexplicably gave the nod to Amorim.
After seeing his perfect record get victimized by corrupt judging, Zoio won once more a month later at Brazil Fight 3 in November 2010. He would need only 70 seconds to dismantle Thiago Michel. After dropping Michel with an inside leg kick, he transitioned effortlessly to a fight-ending Rear Naked Choke. Michel is one of Brazil's highest rated fighters and will be making his American debut this Friday night in the first round of Bellator's lightweight tournament.
As for Zoio, he will be making his own American debut exactly one week after Michel on the main card of RFA 2 - Yvel vs. Alexander. In preparation for his highly-anticipated American debut, Zoio has been spending the past year training and teaching in northern California with one of the most talented MMA teams in the world. After years of splitting time training his grappling at Showtime Jiu-Jitsu in São Paulo, Brazil and his striking at Chute Boxe in Curitiba, Brazil, he decided to cut out the unnecessary travel time and suspect Brazilian officiating.
In 2011, Zoio (10-1; 1 NC) took his skills stateside and worked as an instructor for Gracie Fighter, which is the world-renowned MMA team led by Cesar Gracie. In doing so, he got to spend 2011 working on his boxing technique with Richard Perez, who is also the boxing coach to Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz. He also got to fine tune his grappling and MMA skills alongside the Diaz brothers, Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, Caio Terra and many more of the world's most accomplished and elite jiu-jitsu and MMA fighters.
Zoio is now set to put those skills on full display in America next week at RFA 2. Zoio was busy training for the the 2012 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which also takes place next week, but opted to make his American MMA debut instead. His first fight will be a 150-pound catchweight bout against the very well-rounded and Midwestern fighter Jared "Demon Eyes" Downing. Downing will be coming in to the fight as a crowd favorite, after winning decisively at RFA 1 in December. Downing holds an impressive 8-1 record and has also won two fights in Bellator. RFA 2 - Yvel vs. Alexander takes place on Friday, March 30th at the Viaero Event Center in Kearney, Nebraska.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) was founded in 2011 and includes a number of prominent businessmen, fight promoters, matchmakers, and others with successful careers in hosting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) shows across the United States. To learn more, check out their website at www.RFAfighting.com .