RFA 24: Smith vs. Romero features two top welterweights vying for the vacant RFA welterweight world championship, as Ben Smith battles Indalecio Tat Romero for the vacant. Both men come into this bout on lengthy streaks, with Romero riding a six-fight winning streak and Smith riding a five-fight winning streak.

In the co-main event, RFA bantamweights collide, as longtime veteran Jeff Curran returns to the RFA cage to fight Melvin Blumer. Blumer rides a five-fight winning streak, including two submissions victories, and makes his RFA debut against Curran, who has not competed since a 2013 loss to then-undefeated Pedro Munhoz. Melvin’s brother, Marvin, also competes as a bantamweight and will see action on this card against Darrick Miner.

Also, it’s the battle of “Hitman vs. Wolfman” at featherweight as Dan Moret takes on Bobby Moffett. Moret has been a mainstay of the RFA featherweight ranks, and outside of a comeback which led Luke Sanders to victory against “The HItman”, Moret has been a dominant force. Moffett, often referred to as “The Wolfman”, comes into his RFA debut with a two-fight winning streak and a penchant for exhilarating finishes.

The event takes place Friday, March 6 at the Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn., and airs live on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

Main Card Summary

Bojan Velickovic kicked off the main card of action against Chris Hugh. Hugh would get put on his back fairly early by Velickovic, who controlled the action on the ground in a wide-open half guard, which left an opening for Velickovic to pressure his way to side control. Velickovic would pound Hugh until he surrendered his back, and them rained down on Hugh until the ref mercifully halted the bout with just 20 seconds left in the round.

Matt Brown and Andre Tieva put on a competitive tilt to follow the opener. Brown controlled the bout well for the first round, but Tieva rebounded in the second, which guaranteed that the winner of the third would take the fight. Brown would open up the door for a finish early in the third with a wave of punches that eventually immobilized Tieva against the cage, and once Brown turned up the volume with elbows, the result became academic.

The battle of “Hitman vs. Wolfman” sounded like something out of a Hollywood film before this card started, but Bobby Moffett’s battle with Dan Moret would provide something very unscripted. Moret knew that Moffett wanted to control the bout with his wrestling from the onset, and though Moret put forth a better effort in the first round, Moffett started getting more out of his wrestling as the fight wore on through the last two frames. Moret did his darnedest to bust Moffett open and turn this bout into an ugly encounter, but Moffett’s ground game proved the difference in the verdict.

Darrick Minner would score arguably the most dominant of the night’s decision wins in his performance against Marvin Blumer. Minner stayed aggressive at every turn with double-leg attempts, submission attempts, and a blend of punches and elbows on the ground at one point in the bout. Blumer stayed in the fight for the entire three rounds, Minner did more than enough to take home arguably one of the most dominant non-title victories in recent memory.

Melvin Blumer, in stark contrast to his brother, found a great deal of success in a bout with Jeff Curran that didn’t last long. Curran attacked with guillotine choke attempts early on, but got aggressive to the point of looking for a standup battle with Blumer. A backfist made Curran rethink that momentarily, but Blumer didn’t give Curran too much time to change his mind, as a swift uppercut knocked Curran cleanly out.

The way Ben Smith performed against Tat Romero, it could have easily been understandable if Smith elected to simply go for a decision win. Throughout the first two rounds, Romero attacked with what he could, but a few ill-advised moves left him on his back, serving as a punching bag for Smith at times. The onslaught carried on in a “lather, rinse, repeat” fashion until the third round, when the overwhelming offense became too much for Romero to handle, thus causing Smith to claim the welterweight crown.

Official Results
Ben Smith def. Tat Romero by TKO. Round 3, 4:32 — for welterweight title
Melvin Blumer def. Jeff Curran by KO (backfist and punches). Round 1, 4:58
Darrick Minner def. Marvin Blumer by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Bobby Moffett def. Dan Moret by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Matt Brown def. Andre Tieva by TKO (punches and elbows). Round 3, 1:28
Bojan Velickovic def. Chris Hugh by TKO (punches). Round 1, 4:40
Ricky Steele def. Jay Pressley by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ben Neumann def. Isaiah Pitts by submission (strikes). Round 1, 2:12
Kali Robbins def. Corrie Ward by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 3:24
Dana Gostomczik def. CT Bailey by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Charles Anozie def. Jahan Galehdari by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 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.