On Friday, March 6, 2015, MMA’s premier development league heads to the Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn., for RFA 24: Smith vs. Romero.

Since its inception, the RFA has grown to become the ultimate proving grounds for high level prospects looking to impress the sport’s premier promotion, the UFC. Fighters who succeed under the RFA banner are hot commodities and they find themselves in the Octagon sooner rather than later.

RFA 24 features a lineup of exciting young talent mixed with established veterans looking to make a run at the big time. Headlined by a bout to crown a new welterweight champion, RFA 24 is sure to be an exciting event.

Matt Brown vs. Andre Tieva

Top prospect Tieva heads back to the bantamweight division looking to make a run towards bigger and better things. The 25-year-old is coming off of a somewhat lackluster performance at lightweight and he is eager to show just how good he can be when fighting at his optimal weight. Brown is no slouch and he comes into this bout riding a three fight win streak, but he’s just no on par with the youngster. Look for Tieva to stop this bout in the first round.

Prediction: Tieva by first round submission

Marvin Blumer vs. Darrick Minner

The bantamweight clash between Blumer and Minner has the potential to be an exciting grappling affair between two guys who know how to finish. Blumer is the more polished of the two, but Minner is young and hungry to get noticed. That youthful exuberance is great, but it will cost him against the savvy vet.

Prediction: Blumer by first round submission

Melvin Blumer vs. Jeff Curran

The co-main event of the evening features a bantamweight bout between the other half of the Blumer twins, Melvin and longtime veteran and lighter weight pioneer in Curran. Blumer is a talented regional fighter who is fighting with a lot of confidence right now. Having won five straight with four wins by stoppage, Blumer looks like a fighter ready for the next level. But don’t be fooled as even though Curran is coming off of a brief retirement, his skill set puts Blumer’s to shame.

Prediction: Curran by unanimous decision

Indalecio Tat Romero vs. Benjamin Smith

In the main event of the evening, a welterweight champion will be crowned as Smith and Romero battle it out of the vacant RFA title. Even though Smith is still relatively new to MMA, the 34-year-old has already amassed a record of 13-2. While the majority of his wins have come by way of decision, Smith has finished two fights during this five-fight win streak he is currently on. Smith’s opponent is also on a bit of a win streak. Romero has won six straight including five by stoppage. A pro since 2004, Romero’s experience and finishing ability will be the difference.

Prediction: Romero by second round TKO/KO

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.