Resurrection Fighting Alliance came with another must-see card on Friday night, Jan. 15, as RFA 34 came live from 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, CO, with the main card airing at 10PM ET as part of AXS TV’s “Friday Night Fights”.

Former RFA welterweight champion Benjamin Smith took center stage as part of a welterweight title headliner once again. After losing the title to now-Bellator welterweight Gilbert Smith, Benjamin rebounded with a unanimous-decision win over Craig Eckelberg, but he faced a stern test in the form of Bojan Velickovic. The 15-3 Serbian fighter, now making his residence Colorado, went a perfect 3-0 in 2015, including a decision win over Vardan Sholinian.

The co-main event showcased middleweight prospects in action, as John Poppie and Adam Stroup red down in the RFA cage. Stroup came into his RFA debut on the heels of a second-round submission win over Charlie Brown. Meanwhile, Poppie’s fight with Stroup marked Poppie’s first fight since a loss to now-reigning middleweight champion Andrew Sanchez.


Benjamin Smith vs. Bojan Velickovic – for vacant welterweight title

Velickovic maintained control from the start of his title fight with Smith and didn’t stop until he knew he found a finish. While the first round saw both men struggle to gain a significant edge over their opponent, Velickovic showed off a better offensive display once he found himself in the clinch for extended periods of time. To top off his efforts, he successfully neutralized any attempt from Smith to lock up s

Velickovic took top position in a second frame that played out similarly to round one. Smith remained active from the bottom, but Velickovoc shut Smith down with ease and continued to overpower the former champion in the clinch.

Smith secured two takedowns on Velickovic in the third round. Smith was unable to get what he wanted from the first takedown he completed, but the second one led to his demise. Smith attempted to pass the guard of the Serbian fighter, but was forced to tap after Velickovic tightened the hold.

John Poppie vs. Adam Stroup

Poppie made his intentions to take Stroup down clear from the onset, but an early attempt nearly saw him on the receiving end of a choke. No long after surviving the choke attempt, Poppie found the takedown, landed some elbows, and took Stroup’s back, but could not finish in time.

Stroup mounted a bit of a comeback in round two, thanks in no small part to combinations and body kicks that kept Poppie at bay. Additionally, Stroup showed much better takedown defense for the better part of the round, which gave the former middleweight title contender something to consider.

Poppie never stopped committing to the takedown, though Stroup continued sprawling while attacking both the head and ribs. Poppie appeared spent at times, but still finished the takedown he wanted and transitioned to side control. Poppie couldn’t hold Stroup down, but he eventually took his back and threw knees to the body. Poppie sealed the round by landing a few shots while still riding the back of Stroup, and thus, he sealed his own victory by way of the night’s fourth unanimous-decision victory.

Jeremy Kimball vs. Cody Mumma

Kimball’s battle with Mumma, for much of round one, represented a clinch-heavy battle, though Kimball made stellar use of his right hand to keep on top of Mumma in the striking exchanges. As was the theme for this main card, Mumma never went down, though it wouldn’t stop Kimball from  keeping the pressure on.

Kimball fired off a kick in round two, which Mumma caught for a takedown. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the most out of it, and began to eat more rights from Kimball before throwing a kick of his own. Kimball caught the kick and landed a right to send Mumma to the floor, but Mumma held on until the end of the round, despite eating shots on the ground.

Kimball brought more right hands to Mumma in round three, and he landed every single shot. Mumma survived, but Kimball’s cardio allowed him to drain Mumma’s energy further. That extra has in the tank didn’t lead to a finish, but it left no doubt about Kimball earning the better end of the third unanimous-decision verdict of the televised card.

Zac Riley vs. Hugo Viana

Viana may have came in as an odds-on favorite, but Riley did everything in his power to make him look like anything but the favorite. Viana led, at one point, with a hard overhand right, only to get rocked just moments later with a spinning wheel kick. Riley stayed on top of the TUF Brazil 1 alum with a mix of uppercuts and hooks, but Viana weathered the storm and stuck a big right hand, though it was made clear that the underdog Riley came to fight.

Viana responded in round two as Riley looked to pressure him. Every time Riley tried moving in, Viana found homes for a few solid overhand shots. Though none of them were able to put Riley out, they did cause a comeback of sorts for Viana.

Still, Riley stayed in the fight. He found his jab to be one of his most effective weapons in the round, as it caused Viana to retreat and think twice about throwing hands as much. Viana got a takedown on Riley with 45 seconds left in the round, but couldn’t do anything to sway the decision in his favor. Once the dust cleared, it was the underdog that walked out with his hand raised in victory thanks to a unanimous call from the judges.

Brian Camozzi vs. Tyler Milner

Camozzi aimed to show that he was as legitimate as they come against a game Milner, and he only needed a little more than a minute to deliver. After getting in a few knees in the clinch, Camozzi secured his right arm under Milner’s chin and brought him down with ease. Once he got the hooks in and locked the rear naked choke up, the tap became academic.

Cory Sandhagen vs. Andrew Tenneson

Sandhagen opened up round one establishing himself on the feet, where he laid in some heavy knees. Once Sandhagen took the bout to the floor, he landed with a brutal ground-and-pound assault while pressuring on top. Tenneson began to hunt for leg locks, but to no avail, and knew he needed to make some adjustments in the second round.

Early on, Tenneson found a home for kicks and used an opportunity on the ground to attempt a calf slicer, but Sandhagen would escape the hold and continue his striking-heavy offense by mixing in elbows with his knees to do damage and forcing Tenneson to play guard.

Tenneson’s ground game would not be denied in the third frame. Again, Tenneson looked to lock up the leg, but when he couldn’t get a kneebar, he threatened with a neck crank and a gogoplata. Despite his best efforts, Sandhagen survived, and while Tenneson certainly looked to put him in danger, Sandhagen still took home the unanimous decision.

Full Results

Bojan Velickovic def. Benjamin Smith by submission (guillotine choke). Round 3, 1:51 – for vacant welterweight title
John Poppie def. Adam Stroup by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jeremy Kimball def. Cody Mumma by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Zac Riley def. Hugo Viana by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Brian Camozzi def. Tyler Milner by submission (rear naked choke). Round 1, 1:20
Cory Sandhagen def. Andrew Tenneson by unanimous decision (30-27 30-27 30-27)

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.