On Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, the RFA heads to the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center in Las Vegas for RFA 31: Smith vs. Marunde where two RFA titles will be up for grabs.

Over the past couple of years, the RFA has become the premier developmental league in MMA and they continually send fighters to the UFC. That alone should be reason enough for fans to tune in and watch, but if you need some specifics as to why RFA 31 is “Must See” TV, here you go.

Top Young Talent

First and foremost, the reason to watch any RFA event is to see the young talent. The RFA has a strong history of developing talent and sending them off to larger organizations; namely the UFC. Every RFA card is filled with some of the best and brightest future stars MMA has to offer. This is a fan’s chance to get in on the ground floor and witness the development and progression of young talent.

Prospect Watch: Matthew Lopez

Currently undefeated as a pro with all of his RFA wins coming by way of first round stoppage, Lopez is prospect who is quickly rising up the ranks. A solid wrestler with good hand and an evolving ground game, Lopez continues to look better and better each time he steps into the cage.

A Women’s Strawweight Champion Will Be Crowned

In the co-main event of the evening, the RFA will crown a new champion as Zoila Frausto takes on Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger. As the first and only women’s champion in Bellator history, Frausto has long been one of the top female fighters in the world. But considering she has lost three in a row and has not competed since December of 2013, it’s surprising to see her competing for a title. Jones-Lybarger on the other hand has won three in a row and is undefeated in the RFA cage.

Welterweight Title Fight

In the main event of the evening, newly crowned champion Gilbert Smith looks to defend his welterweight title for the first time against experienced veteran Bristol Marunde. After a disappointing run with Strikeforce and then the UFC – going 0-3 – Marunde has won four in a row to earn this opportunity. Smith on the other hand is coming off of an impressive performance to win the title in his last outing and now he will look to send a message to the rest of the division. This one is a great opportunity to make some cash from the leading sportsbook for betting on MMA, too.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.