Resurrection Fighting Alliance’s 16th event, RFA 16 takes place on Friday, July 25th at the 1stbank Center in Broomfield, Colorado.
The main event crowned the inaugural RFA heavyweight champion when a pair of undefeated heavyweights: Josh “Cuddly Bear’ Copeland (8-0) faces Jan Jorgensen (7-0) for the vacant title. 12 of their 15 combined bouts have ended via stoppage, an 80% finish rate. It was a surprise to no one when this fight ended in the very first round.
The home state favourite, Josh Copeland–out of Grudge Training Center–wasted no time opening up, landing left and right hooks to begin the fight. Jorgensen answered with shots of his own. The two heavyweights began trading blows on the feet, with Copeland getting the better of the exchanges–landing first each time. Copeland, the heavier fighter, was ironically the lighter fighter on the feet, got Jorgensen in the clinch and unleashed a barrage of strikes that bloodied up his face.
As the two fighters separated, Josh Copeland landed a combination of haymakers that put Jorgensen down and out in the first round, the right hand was the final blow that ended the fight. Josh Copeland becomes the inaugural RFA heavyweight champion, and remains undefeated, now 9-0.
“Man I’m blessed, I asked Pat [Barry] for advice and he said ‘you use your jab, just use your jab’,” an overjoyed Josh Copeland said.
The co-main event was a late notice bout, featured Colorado’s own Jarred Mercado (12-1) taking on AKA’s Daniel Swain (11-4) in a 140lb catchweight bout. Mercado spent the majority of the first round on top after defending an early armbar attempt by Swain. Rounds 2 and 3 would play out in a similar way, seeing Jarred Mercado get the takedowns and maintain top position. Daniel Swain mounted a near comeback the final 90 seconds of the fight, locking in a deep triangle choke attempt, but Mercado eventually escaped.
Jarred Mercado earned the judges’ unanimous decision over Daniel Swain.
Elsewhere on the card, Chris Heatherly (8-1) weathered a 2nd round storm from Josh Cavan (9-4), and came back to rock him with a knee followed up with a guillotine choke for the tap.
Boston Salmon (2-0)—one of the best names in MMA—won his 2nd professional bout, scoring a 1st round TKO over Zac Chavez (2-2).
Marion Reneau (4-1) submitted the debuting kickboxer Maureen Riodon (0-1) in the first round.
Sid Bice (3-0) won a unanimous decision over Eric Shelton (4-1), handing Shelton his first loss.
RFA 16 Full Results:
Main Card (10 PM EST, AXS TV)
- RFA heavyweight title: Josh Copeland def. Jan Jorgensen via Knockout (punch)–Round 1, 4:49
- 140lb catchweight: Jarred Mercado def. Daniel Swain via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Chris Heatherly def. Josh Cavan via Submission (guillotine choke)–Round 2, 3:20
- Boston Salmon def. Zac Chavez via TKO (strikes)–Round 1, 4:47
- Marion Reneau def. Maureen Riordon via Submission (armbar)–Round 1, 4:15
- Sid Bice def. Eric Shelton via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Danny Mainus def. Ian Connelly via Submission (armbar)–Round 1, 3:04
- Darrell Flores def. Mitch Peterson via Submission (armbar)–Round 2, 1:35