On Friday, June 5, Resurrection Fighting Alliance, touched down in in Broomfield, Colorado to bring fight fans RFA 26: Smith vs. Smith live from the 1st Bank Center.

Headlining the card was a welterweight title fight between Benjamin Smith and Gilbert Smith.

Benjamin Smith (14-2) returned to the RFA octagon after winning the vacant RFA welterweight strap with a dominant TKO victory over Tat Romero in March. Prior to this win he bested Josh Cavan in the co-main event of RFA 20 to close out last year. Smith had been perfect in MMA for the past two years and is currently riding a 6-fight winning streak.

Gilbert Smith (10-4, a veteran of the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter, entered the title fight looking for redemption and some vindication after his first shot at the title in January was hindered when his opponent, Chidi Njokuani, missed weight by 5-pounds, resulting in their bout becoming a non title fight.

MAIN CARD SUMMARY

It wasn’t pretty, but Boston Salmon got the win in his first time going the distance as a professional. The bout saw Mainus trying to wrestle and Salmon looking for moments to pull the trigger on a perfect shot, and despite getting a takedown at one moment in the bout, Mainus found himself wobbled after one failed attempt to take things into his realm. Mainus remained able to keep his composure throughout the dying seconds of the bout, but Salmon’s offense proved significant enough to earn the finisher his first career unanimous-decision win.

Ashley Gooch needed to rebound from a close call after getting hurt by Brandon Griffin’s first combination of their heavyweight contest, but once he gathered his bearings, he was able to work back to his feet and stay in the fight. Griffin fought on, but left an opening for Gooch to take him down and was unable to prevent Gooch from getting to mount. From there, Gooch’s efforts to rain down with heavy blows became academic, as did the referee’s intervention once it became evident that Griffin could not defend himself properly.

Andrew Sanchez wanted to return to the win column against Clinton Williams, and he did so in impressive fashion. Straight out of the gate, the former title contender established his wrestling in round one, bringing down punches and elbows on his foe, who escaped the round without getting stopped. Sanchez forced the stoppage in round two, however, by landing a hard kick to the face, taking Williams back down to the ground, and shutting him down by sticking some lethal ground and pound against the cage.

Jarred Mercado and Bruno Frazatto didn’t waste any time in feeling each other out in their contest, as Mercado stood with Frazatto in the first round of the bout before going in for a double-leg takedown, which Frazatto defended well. The second round proved the difference, as Mercado would shoot in again on Frazatto, only to find himself defending a rear naked choke. Frazatto kept the pressure on, and ultimately, once he found the choke, Mercado had to tap.

The ultra-competitive Marcus Edwards made it clear at the start of his co-headliner with Thiago Alves that the Brazilian would have nothing for him in the world of striking, but it didn’t stop Alves from going for takedowns when the opportunities showed themselves. Still, those opportunities were few and far between, as Edwards made certain that the fight would not go Alves’ way at any time. Edwards’ offense may not have locked down a finish, but his output over the course of three rounds did more than enough to earn him all three rounds in a unanimous sweep.

Through two rounds, Benjamin Smith used a two-inch height advantage to his edge by defending takedowns and even finding a home for a push kick, but Gilbert Smith would not be denied in his quest for the RFA welterweight crown. Once the third round hit, Gilbert secured a takedown and started to find a way to do something with it, outside of simply holding and controlling the champion on the ground.  Gilbert moved into the mount and Benjamin attempted to spin into Gilbert’s guard, but it led Gilbert to the title-clinching win as he found Benjamin’s arm, extended it to try and force an armbar, and successfully forced a tap from his lankier foe to become the new RFA welterweight champion

FULL RESULTS

MAIN CARD

Gilbert Smith def. Benjamin Smith by submission (armbar). Round 3, 3:27 – for RFA welterweight title
Marcus Edwards def. Thiago Alves Cavalcante Rodrigues by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Bruno Frazatto def. Jarred Mercado by submission (rear naked choke). Round 2, 2:28
Andrew Sanchez def. Clinton Williams by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 1:17
Ashley Gooch def. Brandon Griffin by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 3:16
Boston Salmon def. Danny Mainus by unanimous decision (30-27 30-27 29-28)

PRELIMINARY CARD

Josh Cavan def. Matt Cox by TKO (punches). Round 2, 3:28
James Nakashima def. Kris Hocum by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Adam Martinez def. James Fleming by submission (guillotine choke). Round 2, 1:40
A.J. Robb def. Joe Guerrero by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28) – amateur fight
Dylan Stubblefield def. Weston Turner by TKO (punches). Round 1, 1:42 – amateur fight