After almost a decade as a professional mixed martial arts fighter, former Boise State wrestler Jesse Brock has put together some of his best bouts leading up to a big one Friday.
Brock, a Pac-10 individual champion in 2002 and 2004, has won six of his past seven fights dating back to December 2012 and is 20-8 in his career. He will take on Joe Murphy (8-2) in the main event at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 27 at CenturyLink Arena.
“My main goal is to just to keep improving, and I feel like I’ve done that,” Brock said. “The last few fights have been good, but the battle is always with myself. That way the journey never ends, and I’m still enjoying it.”
Friday’s fight card also includes a handful of other fighters with local connections, including Twin Falls’ Czar Sklavos in the co-main event, and former Bronco wrestler and Army vet Scott Thometz in another pro bout.
RFA has positioned itself as a feeder system into the Ultimate Fighting Championship, like college football to the UFC’s NFL. RFA president Ed Soares said more than 30 RFA fighters have earned UFC contracts. The group also has a television rights deal, as Friday’s card will be televised on AXS TV (DirecTV channel 340, DISH channel 167), the first time an Idaho MMA event has been on a national broadcast.
“We have to be smart about where we go, this is our 12th or 13th state we’ve been to, and there’s some talent in Boise, it’s a good fight town, so we kind of always had it in mind to get an event up there,” Soares said.
It will no doubt be one of the bigger fights of Brock’s career, though he puts little stock into what it means in the larger sense.
“I put pressure on myself in every fight,” he said. “I have to perform my best, no matter who is watching — it could be in an abandoned building for all I care. I just want to go and justify what I was put in the main event.”
As for what he expects against the 27-year-old Murphy, Brock said he doesn’t obsess over video study like some fighters, but has seen a bit of the California native, coming off a loss in his last fight in February at RFA 23.
“I’m going to have to impose my will on him,” Brock said. “The guys I work out with (at Boise’s Combat Fitness) give me a lot of different looks, so I’ll have a lot of answers for what he’s got.”
Brock does pay attention to what the event could mean in another way — more exposure and better competition for those local fighters he spars with day in and day out.
“I think it’s awesome for the local scene,” he said. “You get a little taste of what people are doing outside of our area. It’s going to raise the level everywhere. It’ll be good for the young guys to see the top pros. And I’m not done learning myself.”