Article by Brett Auten
Branson will play host to the Resurrection Fighting Alliance swan song.
The RFA, long known for providing a pipeline of fighters into the UFC, will merge with Legacy FC to become the Legacy Fighting Alliance in 2017.
JT Tilley, longtime promoter and coach in Branson, MO helped package a 14-fight pro-am card that will be held at the Branson Convention Center and will air live on AXS-TV Friday night.
Much like the RFA’s September stop in St. Louis, RFA 46 features fighters from around the country paired against some of the area’s top pro’s. The regions of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas, and others who have ties to Tilley’s Branson Fight Club or who have appeared on his Shofight cards make up the playbill.
While other promotions have come and gone in Branson over the last 13 years, Tilley has stuck with it. He has staked claim to the town just north of 10,000 residents but is known nationally has an entertainment and tourism destination. Tilley ran two amateur promotions as well as the successful ShoFights series, all held in the area.
The main event of RFA 46 will have Jordan Johnson (5-0) vs. LeMarcus Tucker (5-1) for the vacant RFA light-heavyweight championship.
According to an RFA press release, Johnson is a former Iowa Hawkeye wrestler who has spent time training this year at Power MMA in Arizona, while also serving as one of Vitor Belfort’s main training partners. Johnson is currently working with Phil Davis at Alliance MMA. Tucker, from Arkansas, is coming off a first-round submission win over previously undefeated prospect John Lair in July. The co-main event sees James Nakashima (5-0) versus Dez Hill (8-3) at 145-pounds.
Missouri MMA fans will have their eye of Katy Collins.
Collins, who has fought locally for Rumble Time, Fight Hard, and Bellator, makes her RFA debut on the main card against Mandy Polk. Polk is 3-2 and locals may recall her 2014 loss to Rebecca Ruth under Shamrock FC. Collins and Polk will meet at a catchweight of 120-pounds. Collins – 5-1 (2-0 in 2016) – has lots of momentum built, winning four in a row for four different promotions.
“She is just so aggressive,” Tilley said. “She is just down to fight. To her, a decision is not winning the fight.”
Collins’ path to the cage has been arduous. She started out 2-7 has an amateur, took a year off from competing, then straightened the ship and won five straight.
“Where she was living she had no access to coaching or training partners,” Tilley said. “I mean not a single person. She would drive five hours one-way, once a week just to come here and train.”
Former Branson FC pro heavyweight Kenny Fredenberg will be on the main card. Fredenburg (7-4) will face Indiana’s Don’Tale Mayes (2-0). The 6-foot-6 Mayes has won 10-straight, dating back to his last eight ammy fights.
Marco Hutch, “the Afro Samurai”, returns to Branson. A big hometown favorite, Hutch has four fights remaining on a five-fight contract with Shamrock FC but was granted permission to be released for the one fight. Hutch won his pro debut in May. Hutch faces fellow middleweight Stephen Shock (3-0), of Talequah, Oklahoma. Hutch has been with Tilley since he was a teenager. Hutch will have to use his athleticism and footwork to stall Shock’s power and strength advantage.
Miles McDonald (2-1), a regular on Tilley’s Shofight cards as an amateur, will meet Federico Olivera (2-3), from Irving, Texas. McDonald is coming off a Bellator win over Dan O’Connor.
BFC will have amateur flyweight Quentin Davidson on the undercard and Branson’s Dave Koenig, a heavyweight, will be on the amateur portion of the undercard. Davidson (3-0) will fight for the fourth time this year when he faces Joe Greene (5-1). Yerrick White – a former Branson Fight Club member – enters his fight with Bryle Martin (7-7) having won eight of his last nine fights to emerge as the Brawl Inc. flyweight champion.
Tilley feels confident that Legacy FA will return to Branson in 2017 and he would like to add some St. Louis flavor onto future cards.
“Being able to unify the competition is a goal of ours,” he said.
Tickets can be purchased at CageTix.com/RFA, or catch the action on AXS TV at 9 PM CST.
Main Card (all pro fights)
Main Event | Light-Heavyweight Title — Jordan Johnson (5-0) vs. LeMarcus Tucker (5-1)
Co-Main Event | Welterweight — James Nakashima (5-0) vs. Dez Hill (8-3)
Bobby Moffett (8-2) vs. T.J. Brown (7-3)
Katy Collins (5-1) vs. Mandy Polk (3-2)
Kenny Fredenburg (7-4) vs. Don’Tale Mayes (2-0)
Undercard (pro fights)
Miles McDonald (2-1) vs. Federico Olivera (2-3)
Stephen Skoch (3-0) vs. Marco Hutch (1-0)
Undercard (amateur fights)
Joseph Carriker (6-0) vs. Zane Schmeeckle (5-2)
Maddie Reid (1-2) vs. Elle Wagman (1-0)
Joe Greene (5-1) vs. Quentin Davidson (3-0)
Kyle Powell (4-0) vs. Yerrick White (9-4)
Andrew Terhune (3-2) vs. H.D. Easley (5-0)
Kris Dodson (3-4) vs. Dave Koenig (0-1)