Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) has a new co-main event as the promotion heads back to the Mile High City with RFA 16 – Copeland vs. Jorgensen. The main event features top undefeated heavyweight prospects Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland and Jan “The Janimal” Jorgensen battling for the inaugural RFA heavyweight world title. The co-main event, will now see Colorado’s own Jarred “Shutout” Mercado face Washington state native Daniel “Agent Orange” Swain in a 140-pound catchweight bout. The event takes place Friday, July 25th at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
The co-main event of RFA 16 will still feature the RFA debut of local fan favorite Jarred Mercado (11-1). After compiling an impressive 106-18 record in high school wrestling, Mercado attended Northwestern University and wrestled in the Big Ten Conference. During his four years with the Wildcats, Mercado faced some of the top NCAA Division I competition in the country. After graduating, Mercado continued displaying his athletic prowess inside the cage and is widely-regarded one of the top bantamweight MMA prospects in the country. After preparing for jiu-jitsu ace Joe Murphy and the heavy-handed Jake Klemme, who were both forced off the card with injuries, Mercado now faces a fellow wrestling standout in Swain.
“I know Daniel Swain is a really good wrestler, but since it’s this close to the fight, I don’t have time to study him too much,” Mercado explained. “I will focus on what I do best. I have the skills and style to beat anyone. I’ve fought most of my career at featherweight, so 140-pounds won’t be a problem. It will be nice not having a few extra pounds to cut.”
Swain (11-3) like Mercado has been wrestling most of his life. He placed four times in high school (Washington state) before moving on to Douglas College in the Greater Vancouver, British Columbia area of Canada. As a member of the Royals wrestling program, Swain was two-time NCWA finalist and one-time NCWA national champion. Swain moved on to find similar success in MMA. He has currently won 5 out of his last 6 fights and has fought multiple times in the United States, Canada, and Japan. Swain trains out of Trevor Prangley’s American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho under the tutelage of four-time UFC vet Trevor Prangley and he is eager to return to a nationally televised fight on AXS TV.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to show my skills on such a big stage in the RFA,” Swain explained. “I didn’t hesitate to take this fight for a second. As a growing fighter, I have to be training every day to get better and to be ready for opportunities like this. Jarred Mercado is a very good wrestler that comes to fight in really good shape, but I’m going to mix it up with him, take his hype away, and build my own.”
RFA 16 will be headlined by the aforementioned heavyweight title tilt between Copeland (8-0) and Jorgensen (7-0). Both men have picked up prestigious regional heavyweight titles in their home states of Colorado (Copeland) and Utah (Jorgensen). On July 25th, they will be looking to rekindle the long-lasting “Rumble in the Rockies” sports rivalry between the two Rocky Mountain border states. The rivalry began in 1903 between the University of Colorado and the University of Utah. The winner of Copeland vs. Jorgensen will also walk away the first-ever RFA heavyweight champion, while keeping their unblemished MMA record intact.
The main card of RFA 16 will also feature a top-tier welterweight contest between Denver fan favorite Josh “Superman” Cavan (9-3) and St. Louis native Chris “Stump” Heatherly (7-1). In the bantamweight division, Zac Chavez (2-1) and Boston Salmon (1-0) will lock horns in a bout featuring two of the RFA’s most exciting prospects. In women’s bantamweight action, local favorite and GLORY kickboxing vet Maureen “Baby Face” Riordon (0-0) will make her pro MMA debut against the highly-regarded California based prospect Marion “Moe Moe” Reneau (3-1). The main televised card of RFA 16 will kick off with a pair of undefeated flyweight prospects, as local favorite Sid “Vicious” Bice (3-0) takes on the equally impressive Eric “Showtime” Shelton (3-0).
The entire main card of RFA 16 – Copeland vs. Jorgensen will be televised live on AXS TV starting at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT on Friday, July 25th.