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AFL’s Tara Larosa to Fight Again Soon!

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CHICAGO, IL – In its ten year history, Ironheart Crown has consistently exceeded expectations with every show.

The upcoming event scheduled for November 8 at the UIC Pavilion features an incredible lineup, which heralds in a new era in the popular mixed martial arts organization.

Gideon Ray vs. Juan Magana
Raphael Assuncao vs. Joe Pearson
Tara LaRosa vs. Roxanne Modafferi
Tommy Lee vs. Charles Wilson
Matt Fiordirosa vs. Rob Menigoz
Achour Esho vs. Josh Lee
Brad Fonck vs. Nick Janowitz

Louis Taylor vs. Adriel Villa

Mustafa Hussaini vs. Antonio Canas

Jeff Serafin vs. Chris Albandia

Ricardo Lamas vs. Christopher Martins

Derek Langone vs. Tony Marti

Joey Benoit (Gilbert Grappling) vs. Keith Smetana

The AFL added two of their top fighters, Tara LaRosa and Raphael Assuncao to the already solid card back in August. The opportunity to feature these fights came when Ironheart Crown became a member of the American Fight League’s expanding Affiliate Promoter’s Program. The program allows organization’s to have access to AFL fighters and resources and a chance for fighters to gain national exposure as well.

Owner Eric Moon couldn’t have been happier.

“I thought this show was over the top with what we had already arranged”, Moon said. “Then the AFL calls me and gives me two fights that I think the entire world will want to see. These bouts have big implications in each of their respective weight classes. It means a lot that the American Fight League and its CEO, BJ Santiago allowed these guys to fight in the event.”

In one of the two featured AFL bouts, Raphael Assuncao (13-1-0) of Ascension Fight Team in Atlanta will face Joe Pearson (30-11-1) of Miletich Fighting Systems in Davenport, Iowa. Considered by many to be one of the top 5 featherweights in the world, Assuncao possesses an uncommon combination of strength and speed with fast hands, powerful leg kicks, and incredible ground technique. Pair that with his sheer aggression and stamina, and you have a virtual 145 pound wrecking machine. 

In spite of 11 career losses, Joe Pearson has won 12 of his last 14 fights, and every one of his 30 victories was decisive. 

“I’ve never had women fighting in the Crown before”, Eric Moon said. “I never really had any plans to do it, but when the AFL offered me this fight, I had to take it. This may be the biggest thing that has ever happened to the Ironheart Crown organization”

Tara Larosa (15-1-0) is widely recognized as the number one female fighter in the entire world. Her only loss has been to Jennifer Howe, whose only two defeats were both to the number three ranked female fighter in the world, Roxanne Modafferi (12-4-0). Larosa and Modaferri met once in 2006 and after three rounds of attrition Larosa walked away with the decision. On November 8 this year, the two will meet again in Chicago at the Ironheart Crown.

“These girls fight as tenacious as the men do” Moon said. “They’re the best in the entire world in my opinion. This is huge for us.”

While the rest of the world fixates on Assuncao vs. Pearson and Larosa vs. Modafferi, the local fans have much more to look forward to on the rest of the card. 

“The Gideon Ray and Juan Magana bout is probably still going to be the fight of the night,” Moon says, “Expect a dazzling display of hands with a lot of heavy blows landing on both sides… This one might not even touch the ground”.

“While Gideon Ray is well known for his appearances in the UFC, Magana is less notorious”, Moon continued. “That’ll change. Juan Magana is Miguel Torres’s top student. He is undefeated at 6-0 with five of those wins by either knockout or submission.”

AFL CEO BJ Santiago was also excited about the event.

“We had to do it in Chicago. We had to”, Santiago said. “Larosa vs. Modafferi is huge. The winner of this fight is the clear number one in the women’s division. The Assuncao vs. Pearson fight’s outcome will either move Raphael up the featherweight ranks or firmly place Joe Pearson on the map. We really respect Eric’s promotion and The Ironheart Crown’s respect for our league and MMA in general. It was an easy decision to allow these fights to happen there”.


The Ironheart Crown will be held on Saturday, November 8 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. Doors open at 6:00 PM and the fights will begin at 7:00 PM. Tickets are on sale now at as well as directly from the promoter. A limited number of VIP seats and ringside tables are available. For information and updates, visit the event website at or call the promoter directly at 773-793-6555.


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