RFA on Friday officially announced it will next go to the 1stBank Center in Denve for “RFA 7: Thatch vs. Silva.” As revealed on AXS TV’s Inside MMA, in the featured main event, Denver’s own Brandon Thatch (8-1), a Grudge Training Center superstar and Georges St-Pierre protégé, will take on Brazil’s Leandro Silva (18-7) in what promises to be a sizzling 170-pound showdown. RFA 7 will take place Friday, March 22 and will be televised live on AXS TV starting at 10:00 p.m. ET.
“The crowd in Denver is going to cheer for hometown hero Brandon Thatch, but they will respect both fighters once this main event gets underway,” said Ed Soares, RFA President. “Both of these guys are aggressive and like to stand and go for the knockout. Leandro has 11 KOs on record and Brandon has won six of his nine pro fights by first-round KO. This is going to be a fast-paced main event that delivers for the fans, and I think RFA 7 as a whole is going to be packed with highlight reel finishes.”
Tickets for “RFA 7: Thatch vs. Silva” are on sale now and available through Tickethorse.com or by calling 866.461.6556 (8am – 8pm M-Sat, 9am – 5pm Sun). Denver customers can dial locally at 303-53HORSE. Tickets start at $25. For VIP Status, eight-seat catered cage-side VIP tables are available by calling 303-521-0966. Doors for RFA 7 open at 5:30 p.m. MT; first bout starts at 6:00 p.m. MT and the main card goes live on AXS TV at 8:00 p.m. MT/10:00 p.m. ET.
In preparation for Silva, Thatch is currently training in Montreal at the famed Tri-Star Gym with UFC champion Georges St-Pierre. He was selected as a training partner to help GSP prepare for his successful title defense against Carlos Condit and has been working with the team ever since.
“It’s amazing being at Tri-Star and working with GSP – he’s definitely one of my favorite fighters because he is so classy and effective,” said Thatch. “I’m going to stay here working with GSP and the team until the first week of March and then finish up my training with Grudge back home in Denver.”
Thatch says he was honored to be selected as the headliner for RFA 7 and is excited to represent his hometown.
“Headlining RFA 7 against Leandro Silva on AXS TV is a huge opportunity to further my career and to fight an athlete who will bring out my best,” says Thatch. “It’s an amazing when I walk out and the whole crowd is cheering. I feel like the arena is my house, and I truly consider myself the fighter who represents the 303.”
Training out of the equally respected Blackhouse Gym in Southern California, the Jiu-Jitsu black belt Leandro Silva expects to ink yet another headline news MMA victory for his native Brazil at RFA 7.
“On March 22, I’m going to show American fans what the Brazilian fans already know, that I am a complete fighter,” said Silva. “Everyone is going to see what I’m capable of in the cage on AXS TV, and believe me, they will be talking about my win at RFA 7.”
In RFA 7’s middleweight co-main event, rising star Chidi “Bang” Njokuani (9-3), who is riding a four-fight win streak and coming off a TKO victory at RFA 4, will face knockout specialist Jeremy Kimball (8-3), also on a four-fight tear with six of his last eight wins via TKO/KO. In addition, former NFL player for the Denver Bronco’s Leandro Veal (1-0) makes his return to the cage after stunning the Ring of Fire Denver crowd with a first-round KO over Chad Wicks in his MMA debut. Veal is set to collide with 6’1”, 265 lb. former Tuff-N-Uff Heavyweight Champion Carl Postma (1-0) who is coming off his successful pro debut last June. Postma knocked out Anthony Alirez with strikes in just 19 seconds of the first round at RFA 3.
Also on the televised card are bantamweights Sergio Pettis (6-0), younger brother of Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, and Matt Manzanares (5-1), who is coming off of a spectacular first-round KO over Kevin Gray at RFA 5. This bout will decide the number one contender spot for RFA’s 125-pound division.
Also on the main card, a featherweight match-up between undefeated 21-year-old American Top Team phenom Mirsad Bektic and Colorado’s own Nick “Lighting” Macias. Bektic is looking to continue a 5-0 win streak with a victory over Littleton’s FactoryX Muay Thai camp Macias (6-2), who has beaten five of his last six opponents.