Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) is headed back to Minnesota in March. RFA 24 – Smith vs. Romero will feature title fight between two dynamic welterweight prospects. Benjamin Smith returns to the RFA octagon fresh off of a dominant performance in November. He will face RFA newcomer Tat “Mean Bean” Romero, who has not lost a fight in 3 years. In the co-main event, Minnesota buzzsaw Melvin Blumer meets UFC and RFA vet Jeff “Big Frog” Curran in a bantamweight bout. The event takes place Friday, March 6th at the Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
“I am thrilled to announce that RFA is bringing another title fight to Minnesota with RFA 24 – Smith vs. Romero,” stated RFA president Ed Soares. “Benjamin Smith vs. Tat Romero is an exciting headliner that will determine our next welterweight champion.”
Tickets for RFA 24 – Smith vs. Romero are available for purchase NOW at CageTix.com/RFA.
Smith (11-2) returns to the RFA octagon after winning impressively in the co-main event of RFA 20 in November. His triumph came on the heels of a busy training camp in October that was interrupted for 9 days, while he and his wife were in the hospital for the birth of their son Wylde. Smith was able to draw inspiration from the newest member of his family and pull out the victory in his opponent’s hometown. He now looks to capture RFA gold in his own backyard.
“It all seems to have lined up the way it was planned,” Smith explained. “Hopefully, this fight is the one that propels me to where I want to go (the UFC). Tat and I will both have a lot of friends and family at the fight, so there will be thunder in the cage and a lot of energy in the crowd.”
Romero (24-5) enters the title fight on a 6-fight tear and has not tasted defeat in three years. Over the past decade, Romero has gained a loyal fan base for his vicious style of fighting, that has seen him earn multiple regional titles and 21 stoppages in 24 career victories. Romero sees his shot at RFA gold as the opportunity he has been working toward his entire career.
“I feel really good about this,” stated Romero. “10 years has boiled down to this fight. I’m very excited about this opportunity. Benjamin Smith is a solid opponent and has a great ground game. The fans should expect an exciting title fight at RFA 24.”
The co-main event of RFA 24 will see the RFA debut of Melvin Blumer (11-2). Blumer is one half of the storied “Bash Brothers” who have a made a name for themselves in the talented Midwest MMA scene, after the identical twins made a successful pro MMA debut on the same card 5 years ago. The other half of the “Bash Brothers” will also be in action at RFA 24. Marvin Blumer (11-4) returns after being nominated for “RFA – 2014 Fight of the Year” for his successful promotional debut in October.
The “Bash Brothers” will both face stiff competition in their respective bantamweight bouts at RFA 24, as they are both tasked with facing men who have challenged for the RFA bantamweight title.
Melvin will welcome back UFC and RFA vet Jeff Curran, who is returning to competition after retiring in the summer of 2013 after an unsuccessful bid at the RFA bantamweight title at RFA 9. Curran is a jiu-jitsu black belt and the lone man in MMA to have competed for all 6 promotions now owned by Zuffa: UFC, PRIDE, WFA, IFL, WEC, and Strikeforce.
In the featured fight of RFA 24, Marvin will fight Jarred “Shutout” Mercado (12-2) who looks to rebound from an unsuccessful title bid at RFA 20 in November. Mercado wrestled at the NCAA Division I program at Northwestern University and has made a name for himself as one of the most effective wrestlers in MMA’s bantamweight division. Mercado is a member of Elevation Fight Team in Denver, Colorado, where he trains alongside RFA alum turned UFC star Brandon “Rukus” Thatch.
The main card of RFA 24 will also include a high-stakes featherweight showdown between RFA fan favorites Dan “Hitman” Moret (7-1) and Daniel “Agent Orange” Swain (12-4-1). In the bantamweight division, undefeated Bellator vet Andre “The Diva” Tieva (8-0) faces RFA vet Matt Brown (9-4). The first bout on the main card will see the return of RFA vet Bojan “Veli” Velickovic (9-3). The Serbian submission specialist will meet North Dakota native Chris “Hitman” Hugh (17-9).
The entire main card of RFA 24 – Smith vs. Romero will be televised live on AXS TV starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Friday, March 6th. RFA 24 will be the promotion’s second event to take place in the state of Minnesota. It will be the first time the RFA has visited “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” in 2015. More fights on the stacked RFA 24 fight card will be announced soon.