This Friday September 18th, with the main card airing live on AXS TV, Resurrection Fighting Alliance returns to it’s roots in Lincoln, NE at the Pinnacle Bank Arena for RFA 30: Smith vs Jardine. With UFC veterans, MMA Futures Grey Hats, and local rising stars, RFA 30 is the most highly anticipated cards of the year. Doors open at 6:00PM and the undercard starts at 6:30PM. The televised main card starts at 9PM CST.
Smith vs Jardine
In the main event of the evening, Nebraska’s own UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator veteran, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (22-11), will take on my fellow Canadian and UFC veteran Brock “The Machine” Jardine (12-5) in their RFA debut. Smith is currently on a five fight win streak, with his latest victory coming by way of a first round TKO over Tim Williams at CFFC 50 in July of 2015. After winning two out of the four bouts in Strikeforce, Smith was brought into the UFC when the promotions merged to face Antonio Braga Neto at UFC on FUEL TV 10: Nogueira vs. Werdum in June of 2013. Smith, however, got caught in a leg lock in round one of the bout. Smith then suffered another loss to fellow UFC veteran Josh Neer at VFC 41 in December of 2013. Since then, Smith has been on a tear, winning all but one of his five fights by TKO and submissions. Jardine, who is also a UFC veteran, was previously competing in the welterweight division, and is currently 7-0 at middleweight. Jardine had won eight of his nine bouts before competing in the UFC. In his two bouts in the UFC, Jardine suffered losses to Rick “The Horror” Story at UFC on FX 4: Guida vs. Maynard in June of 2012 and to Kenny Robertson at UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche in February of 2013. Jardine went on to suffer two more losses, this time under the Titan FC banner in 2014. After making the commitment to switch to middleweight permanently in early 2015, Jardine is on a three fight win streak, with his most recent win coming by way of unanimous decision against Michael “Mad Mike” Arrant at SteelFist Fight Night 36: Conflict this past August. This bout is extremely important for both of these fighters, as a win could propel the victor back into the UFC roster.
Megan’s Pick: I’m going to have to go against my fellow Canuck (I’m sorry) and pick my MMA Futures commentating buddy, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith by KO or TKO. I could also see this ending via submission as well, but this fight is definitely not going to go the distance. I really want to see Smith get a highlight reel finish.
Roberts vs Harrison
In the co-main event and what is looking to be a well matched fight, another UFC veteran and current Victory Fighting Championship Featherweight Champ, Ryan “Are You Ready” Roberts (21-10-1) of Omaha steps into the cage to face Tennessee’s Adam “Prime Time” Townsend (13-3). Just like Anthony Smith, Roberts is also on a five fight win streak. We last saw Roberts fight at VFC 46 in which he defeated fellow UFC vet Ramiro “Junior” Hernandez via TKO in round one of the bout. Townsend had his RFA debut back in May of this year, where he secured a unanimous decision win over Yuri Villefort at RFA vs Legacy FC 1: Pantoja vs. Page. Townsend is also dropping down a weight class for this bout, and is very confident that he will add another win to his record. This fight is also important for Roberts, as a win could aid in him proving that he belongs back into the UFC.
Megan’s Pick: This was a tough one to pick, but I am hoping Ryan “Are You Ready” Roberts is able to secure a finish, but I think this will go to the judges in a unanimous decision in Roberts’s favour.
Minner vs. Brown
Nebraska City fighter Darrick Minner (13-4) enters the RFA cage for the fifth time to face fellow RFA fighter Matt Brown (10-4) of Wisconsin. Minner, who has been training at the infamous Black House MMA in California, is currently on a four fight win streak. Minner last fought in his hometown back in June of this year, where he was able to lock down a submission win against Erik Vo at DCS 17: Homegrown. Brown is also on a four fight win streak, with his last win coming by way of TKO against Andre “The Diva” Tieva at RFA 24: Smith vs. Romero back in March of this year. Between all of the wins combined with these two fighters, only three out of the twenty three have gone the distance.
Megan’s Pick: With Brown being more of a wild card and Minner being an aggressive but technical grappler, I’m going to go with Darrick Minner by submission.
Dawson vs Wimer
Someone’s “0” has gotta go! Grey Hat submission specialist Grant “the Prophet” Dawson (7-0) is putting his undefeated record on the line against Clay Wimer (5-0) of Wyoming, who also has an undefeated record. Dawson made the move down from Nebraska to Kansas to train at Glory MMA & Fitness. Dawson fought last month under the Kansas City Fighting Alliance banner in a 145lb pro tournament, where he emerged the victor and became the owner of a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle. Wimer, who has finished four out of the five wins on his record by submission (one being a TKO), was last victorious against Eric Ramm a few week’s back at RFA 29: USA vs. BRAZIL.
Megan’s Pick: Dawson by submission…keep the trend going!
Kayne vs Hamilton
Grey Hat Kassius “Killa” Kayne (7-1) faces fellow Omaha fighter, Don Hamilton (11-4) in this exciting welterweight bout. Kayne, who went from a high school wrestler to an incredibly technical Muay Thai fighter, is coming off of an impressive TKO win over Matt Jones back at Victory FC 46 in July of this year. Hamilton, who is 10 years Kayne’s senior, was victorious in his last bout back in June of 2014 at Dynasty Combat Sports 9: Nebraska City Showdown after nearly a decade long lay off. Hamilton is also making the drop from Middleweight to Welterweight for this bout.
Megan’s Pick: Kassius “Killa” Kayne via KO or TKO. I think Kayne’s striking will be too overwhelming for Hamilton, and the ring rust certainly will not help Hamilton in this bout.
Weaver vs Guillot
In this lightweight Amateur bout, and the one I am most excited for, Grey Hat and yours truly’s fiancé, Justin “Magnum” Weaver (7-4), faces his friend and previous training partner, Nate “The Anarchy” Guillot (5-6). Weaver, who was a phenomenal high school and college wrestler, is no stranger to fighting friends. Weaver stepped into the cage to face his best friend and old roommate, Tower “TF” Robinson, in the 155lb tournament final at Dynasty Combat Sports 12: Season’s Beatings 2014 back in December. Weaver is coming off of a tough TKO loss against the undefeated Boimah “Baby-D” Karmo back in April of this year at DCS 16: Spring Brawl 2. Guillot, who has previously competed at Welterweight, is also coming off of a tough submission loss against Angel Ortega back at Victory FC 45 in April of this year.
Megan’s Pick: If it isn’t already obvious…Justin “Magnum” Weaver by either decision or submission. Weaver’s striking has improved since his last fights, however, being a technical wrestler I can see him getting Guillot to tap.
Below is the full fight card: