Raufeon Stots gets the marquee billing on Friday night when he takes on Ryan Lilley in a bantamweight bout at Legacy Fighting Alliance 48.
The event takes place from the Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska, with the main card airing live on AXS TV. It marks the return of the Ed Soares-led promotion to the birthplace of Resurrection Fighting Alliance, which combined with Legacy FC.
“RFA started in Kearney, Nebraska back in 2011. Four of the first five RFA events took place in the central Nebraska town and we are excited to retrace our history by bringing LFA to the birthplace of RFA at LFA 48,” Soares said. “The homecoming will be similar for Raufeon Stots. He is a local legend having won two national championships in wrestling at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He will be fighting Ryan Lilley in a top-tier bantamweight match-up. Lilley is coming off a huge knockout win in the co-main event of LFA 45. Stots and Lilley are two of the top 135-pounders in the world and will give our fans in Kearney a fantastic main event on September 7th.”
Stots, a 29-year-old from Roufusport, has won nine of his 10 career fights, including a recent December submission of Arnold Berdon. Of those nine victories, one back in 2015 came under the Legacy FC banner when he topped Mitch White.
Since that time, Stots has fought for Victory Fighting Championship and Ring of Combat, earning wins over the likes of Robert Emerson, Jeff Curran and William Joplin.
Stots told MMA Weekly recently that he’s been forced to sit on the sidelines awaiting a fight, which has been “frustrating.” But the former two-time NCAA Div. II national champion understands that’s part of it all.
“I thought I was scheduled to fight on (Dana White’s) Contender Series but that fell through,” he said. “I had some other fights fall through. It’s just been frustrating playing the waiting game.
“Fights falling through maybe sucks more; I feel like you’re expecting that income, you’re expecting that fight, so you’re planning for that. You’ve made sacrifices to get to that point, but you don’t get it. It’s not as frustrating just waiting, but it’s frustrating too.”
Lilley is a formidable foe, as the 28-year-old trains out of the Bas Rutten Elite MMA gym and is 9-3 in his career. Since a split decision loss to Vince Cachero in late 2017, he has been active, winning three fights – all via first round finish.
That includes a July TKO vs. Jordan Winski in his Legacy Fighting Alliance debut. Of his nine career wins, eight have been finishes, four via strikes and four more via submission.
Other fights planned for the night include Brandon Royval vs. Charles Johnson, Kassius Holdorf vs. Calen Born, Ryan MacDonald vs. Trevor Ward and Darrick Minner vs. Kevin Croom.
MacDonald, a Nebraska native, is 9-0 in his career with five finishes. He’ll be making his debut for Legacy Fighting Alliance.
Minner, another Nebraska resident, sports a record of 21-8 with 18 wins via submission. The Premier Combat Center fighter is looking for his first win under the LFA banner after three losses, including a decision with UFC veteran Chico Camus.
Below is the main card, which begins at 9 p.m. ET:
Main Event | Bantamweight Bout (135 lb.)
* Raufeon Stots (9-1) vs. Ryan Lilley (9-3)
Co-Main Event | Flyweight Bout (125 lb.)
* Brandon Royval (7-3) vs. Charles Johnson (7-1)
Welterweight Bout (170 lb.)
* Kassius Kayne (12-5) vs. Calen Born (5-0)
Bantamweight Bout (135 lb.)
* Ryan MacDonald (9-0) vs. Trevor Ward (5-4)
Featherweight Bout (145 lb.)
* Darrick Minner (21-8) vs. Kevin Croom (18-9)