Competing in a No. 1 contender contest creates high incentive for a fighter to emerge victorious in their push to secure a position to fight for a championship title. One step closer to fulfilling his dreams, Resurrection Fighting Alliance middleweight contender Andrew Sanchez currently has his eyes set on the prize of becoming the RFA middleweight champion.

Sanchez (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

Sanchez (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

The middleweight landscape in the RFA is filled with many hungry and talented competitors hoping to stake their claim to the title. Sanchez enters the division with a strong grappling pedigree as a collegiate wrestler and a Pan American purple belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion. His world-class grappling skills, which give him a massive edge going into his fights, possibly even rival those of the promotion’s other No. 1 contender for the vacant middleweight belt, Kevin Casey.

“I feel my grappling is on a completely different level than all the guys in my division,” Sanchez told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “I feel Kevin Casey’s jiu-jitsu is good, but not as good as he thinks it is. I feel if I am able to compete against him for the title, I am going to surprise him on the ground.”

Sanchez has already found success in his five-fight run as a pro. Despite an impressive victory over Todd Meredith back in November 2013 at RFA 11, this fighter is always eager to showcase something new in each fight as he works endlessly to leave no area untouched in preparation for future encounters.

“I am constantly working on my striking,” he explained. “Most importantly, which has been an issue in the past, is putting everything together, which is important to becoming a complete MMA fighter. These things have gradually been improving in these last training camps.”

The performance is always the prime focus for Sanchez. Based in St. Louis, Sanchez has been building his fight game at Finney’s MMA and working on his strength and conditioning at Victory Training Center. Taking his training out of the state, the middleweight contestant has even received tutelage from Renzo Gracie, Ricardo Almeida, Marcelo Garcia and even the MMA’s world-class elites at Tristar.

“Got a chance to train with some of the best guys in the world,” Sanchez revealed. “This has been a great experience for me because it has made me confident that I am ready for anyone. There is by no means no greater feeling than walking into the cage knowing you did everything you could to the ready for that moment to fight.”

Sanchez (top) (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

Sanchez (top) (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

The Finney’s MMA standout will need every bit of strength and skills he can muster when he steps into the cage for the co-main event at RFA 13, where he goes up against Miles “Beast Mode” Marshall in a high-stakes match. Known for his unorthodox, aggressive style, Marshall has laid waste to his last three opponents to establish his viability as another deserving candidate to fight Kevin Casey for the title. Placed with a tough task ahead of him, Sanchez has devised a master plan to deflect Marshall’s brawling tactics.

“Miles only has a puncher’s chance of beating me with his over-aggressive style and knockout power, because the longer the fight goes I will drag him into deep waters, whether it is in stand-up and especially on the ground,” Sanchez proclaimed.

Fighting has been everything to this competitor’s life, and it is on display through his hard work and rising success. If Sanchez proves victorious over Marshall, it will certainly be a major turning point in his career. His next stop, then, would be a battle for the middleweight gold.

The future doesn’t stop with the capturing of the coveted RFA championship, however. Claiming the title is only the beginning, after all. From there, he must defend the strap and make his future push for UFC glory.

Andrew would like to thank his sponsors: Revgear, Gamma Labs and Fear the Fighter. He would also like to thank everyone at Finney’s MMA, Victory Training Center, Tristar MMA and manager Hector Castro. He also wanted to give a shout out to his girlfriend Cathy and his mom and dad. Follow Sanchez on Twitter: @ElDirteSanchez

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.

  • fnkyphrk

    yeahhhhh buddy! #dirtybeatdown