Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) has a new co-main event as the promotion gets ready to host its first event in the state of Minnesota in October. The main event of RFA 19 – Collier vs. Checco will feature two of the world’s top middleweight prospects as American standout Jake Collier battles undefeated Brazilian dynamo Gabriel Checco for the vacant RFA middleweight title. The co-main event will now see RFA and DREAM vet Abel Cullum return to the RFA octagon fresh off of his successful return to the sport. Cullum is replacing an injured Jeff Curran against fast-rising bantamweight prospect and Minnesota favorite Carl Deaton III. The event takes place Friday, October 10th at the Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota, located just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Tickets for RFA 19 – Collier vs. Checco are available for $35, $50, $65, $80, and $100. Contact the Mystic Box Office at 952-445-9000 or visit MysticLake.com for more details.
Cullum (19-6) just made a triumphant return to the sport of MMA less than a week ago with a dominant 89-second submission win of UFC vet Ulysses Gomez in the co-main event of RFA 18. After serving as a police officer in his hometown of Tucumcari, New Mexico for three years, Cullum made a huge statement at RFA 18 in his home state of New Mexico. The 27-year-old is now looking to build off that momentum in a little over three weeks as the “The Silent Assassin” now goes on the road to face his next challenge.
“I’m excited about this, because I love to fight,” Cullum explained. “To have the opportunity to fight again so soon is exciting to me. Carl Deaton III is tough and well-rounded, so I’m not taking him lightly. He is young, hungry, and has been training with a lot of really tough guys. That makes him very dangerous.”
Deaton III (8-1) was originally tasked with welcoming Curran back to the sport, who had retired 14 months ago. Now the 24-year-old will meet a man in Cullum, who just returned to MMA less than a week ago, after a three year hiatus. “Anishinaabe” is currently riding a four-fight win streak that has many regarding him as one of the hottest prospects that calls Minnesota home.The change of opponents has not changed the hometown favorite’s focus on the fight.
“My teammate Wilson Reis at Alliance MMA has already fought Abel Cullum, so we will game plan off that. I’ll leave that to my coaches, but my striking should be the same as it would against Curran,” stated Deaton III. “Cullum is extremely tough and just finished a UFC vet really quick. This will be a very exciting fight for the fans back home in Minnesota. I am also a proud Native American (Sault Ste. Marie / Saginaw Chippewa) fighter, so it’s also an honor to be fighting on national television at the Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in front of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC).”
RFA 19 will be headlined by the aforementioned middleweight title tilt between Collier (7-1) and Checco (7-0). Both men are ranked in the Top 10 of multiple middleweight prospect rankings. After recovering from an injury, Collier has been training alongside former RFA middleweight title challenger Andrew Sanchez and TUF 19 light-heavyweight champion Corey Anderson and looks reassert himself as one of the most talented knockout artists in the division. He will face Checco, who has used a wide variety of skills to finish all seven of his opponents he has faced. Checco will be making his American soil and national television debut, as he attempts to join his fellow Brazilian countryman Pedro Munhoz and Alexandre Pantoja as an RFA champion.
The main card of RFA 19 will also feature a high-octane bantamweight contest pitting RFA vet Junior Maranhão (9-3) against local favorite Marvin Blumer (10-4). In featherweight action, two-time RFA vet and proud Minnesotan Dan Moret (6-1) returns to face Roufusport standout Jordan “The Psycho Hammer” Griffin (8-3). In the women’s strawweight division, RFA vet Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (3-1) returns to face Missouri native Rebecca Gullet (2-0). The main card of RFA 19 will kick off with a highly-anticipated rematch between bantamweights John Castaneda (5-1) and Matt Brown (8-4).
Also confirmed for RFA 19 is a women’s atomweight affair pitting Roufusport prospect Raquel Magdaleno (2-0) vs. Invicta FC vet Cassie Rodish (4-4), a lightweight bout between Minnesota natives Mike Zimmer (4-1-1) and Jacob Ouradnik (1-0), and a welterweight contest between RFA vet Zak Ottow (6-2) and Minnesotan Nate Howe (6-3).
The entire main card of RFA 19 – Collier vs. Checco will be televised live on AXS TV starting at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT on Friday, October 10th. RFA 19 will be the promotion’s first event in the state of Minnesota and the eleventh state that the RFA has visited. More fights on the RFA 19 fight card will be announced soon.