Resurrection Fighting Alliance is heading to the Centennial State to bring fight fans RFA 20: Mercado vs. Sander live from 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado.

A bantamweight matchup between between two of the world’s top 135-pound prospects will serve as the main event as undefeated “Cool Hand” Luke Sanders and local favorite Jarred “Shutout” Mercado battle for the vacant RFA bantamweight title.

Sanders (8-0) has quickly endeared himself to the RFA faithful during his first year with the promotion. In his last outing, fans saw Sanders drop down to his natural weight class of 135-pounds, even though his undefeated record was still intact. The division change paid immediate dividends as he defeated Darrick Minner via TKO in August to earn a shot at his first world title. Needless to say, Sanders is eager to cement his status as one of the world’s premier bantamweights.

His opponent, Mercado (12-1), possesses one of the most brutally effective styles of fighting in all of MMA. This comes from his well documented wrestling pedigree. After compiling a 106-18 record in high school wrestling, Mercado attended Northwestern University and wrestled in the Big Ten Conference. Mercado faced some of the top NCAA Division I competition in the country as a Wildcat and continued displaying his athletic prowess inside the cage upon graduation.

The co-main event of RFA 20 will feature a pair of exciting RFA vets in what could be billed as a battle of superheroes. Local favorite Josh “Superman” Cavan (9-4) will look to entertain his hometown crowd once again as he squares off with the surging Minnesota native Benjamin Smith (10-2) whose fans are easily spotted at his fights sporting his signature “Batman” themed t-shirts.

The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

Main Card Summary

Co- Main Event: Josh Cavan vs. Benjamin Smith

Round 1: Smith throws the first strike with a leg kick, and immediately goes for the takedown. Cavan fights his way out of the ground control imposed by Smith. Cavan follows up with his own take down and Smith makes his way back to the cage and wall walks.  Cavan maintains control against the cage, but doesn’t do much damage in the position.  Following a stalemate against the cage Cavan scores a great takedown.  Smith isolates Cavan’s arm, and follows up with his own toss / takedown followed up by an attempted inverted arm bar.

Round 2: A quick exchange between both men followed by a takedown by Smith. Smith finds side control and implements some ground and pound. Cavan elevates his hips and attempts to transition to an arm bar, but Smith finds his way to Cavan’s back.  Both men make their way to their feet and Cavan establishes control against the cage. Cavan fights for and completes a take down.  Once again, Smith finds his way to his feet, but is still up against the cage. In the final seconds of the round both men traded heavy punches , but Smith’s hands found more of a home than Cavan.

Round  3:  Cavan attempts a superman punch and Smith capitalizes with a takedown. They get back to their feet and have a quick exchange. Smith then completes another successful takedown and provides some some ground and pound and takes the back of Cavan. Cavan takes Smith down and he establishes half guard while attempting a head and arm choke. Smith defends well and makes his way out the back and takes Cavan’s back.  Cavan attempts to shake off Smith who is a bit high on his back, but Smith hangs on tight. Smith tosses Cavan and locks in head scissors before the final bell. Benjamin Smith def. Josh Cavan by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Main Event: Jarred Mercado vs. Luke Sanders – For vacant RFA bantamweight title

Round 1: Mercado pressures, but Sanders establishes a dominant positon as they make their way to the ground in a sprawl. Mercado lands a solid right hand as he comes back up, but they return to the ground with Sanders once again in dominant position. As Mercado stands up Sanders delivers a knee to the head and rushes Mercado. As Sanders rushed in Mercado drove his head into Sanders knee creating a controversial end to the fight as the referee calls and end to the bout. Luke Sanders def. Jarred Mercado  by TKO (Punches), Round 1, 1:06. 

FULL RESULTS

Luke Sanders def. Jarred Mercado  by TKO (Punches), Round 1, 1:06. – For vacant RFA bantamweight title
Benjamin Smith def. Josh Cavan by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Gilbert Smith def.  Bojan Velickovic by Majority Decision (28-28, 29-27, 30-26)
Cody Mumma def. Colton Vaughn by TKO (punches), Round 1, 0:11
Alvin Robinson def. Fabio Serrao by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Round 1 3:14
Boston Salmon def James DeHerrera by TKO (Punches), Round 2, 2:10

PRELIMINARY CARD
Untelevised, 8 p.m. ET

Joe Guerrero def. Nick Clem by unanimous decision (30-27)
Chris Mierzwiak def. Joe Miles by submission (standing Guillotine), Round 3,  4:29
Stephanie Skinner def. Kyra Batara by split decision (29-28)

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.