2015 was one of the busiest yet for the RFA. Over the course of the year, the promotion averaged a show a month and also managed a first for major American MMA companies when it held a duel event with Legacy FC.
“I think we put on some great shows with great fights for the fans, and we’ve been able to have guys move on to the next level,” Soares told MMAWeekly.com. “That’s our goal: help guys develop and be ready for the next level.
“It was definitely one of the more historic moments of the year for not only us, but the sport, to have two promotions go head-to-head against each other and also have champion vs. champion. It was really great to be able to sit ringside and be able to cheer for one guy or another, so that made it a lot of fun and memorable.”
Soares feels the RFA has some of the best titlists around, alongside some up-and-coming talent could be well on the cusp of joining the championship ranks.
“We have a few champions we feel are definitely ready for the next level, like Alexandre Pantoja, who is the RFA flyweight champion and won the inaugural AXS TV Super Fight title,” said Soares. “Our featherweight and bantamweight champs, Raoni Barcelos and Luke Sanders, are definitely high up there on most people’s prospects lists, as is our middleweight champion Andrew Sanchez.
“As far as non-champions, who went 3-0 for us this year, is Matt Lopez. This kid had all first-round finishes for us this year. He’s a well-rounded fighter and a scrapper. I think he’s a prospect people should keep their eyes on.”
Looking ahead to 2016, Soares intends on having just an active schedule for the RFA as it did this year and possibly go head-to-head with another promotion.
“I think we’re going to keep on track with what we’re doing: putting on great nationally and internationally televised events and develop fighters and help them get to the next level,” said Soares.
“We’re looking forward to doing 12-15 shows this year, and I’d like to get together with Legacy or another promotion and do another promotion vs. promotion show. Other than that I want to continue to build the RFA and make it bigger.”