RFA 34: Bojan Velickovic to Battle Former Champ Benjamin Smith For Vacant WW Title
By Press Release
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) president Ed Soares announced today that the promotion will return to Colorado with RFA 34 – Velickovic vs. Smith in January to kick off the new year. The main event will feature a welterweight title fight between two of the division’s most accomplished fighters as Bojan “Serbian Steel” Velickovic battles former RFA welterweight champion Benjamin Smith for the vacant title. RFA 34 – Velickovic vs. Smith will take place Friday, January 15th inside the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
“RFA has a busy 2016 schedule and I’m excited about starting it back in Colorado,” stated Soares. “Bojan Velickovic and Benjamin Smith will headline RFA 34 for the vacant welterweight title. They are two of the most accomplished 170-pound fighters in RFA history and it’s a great way to kick off the new year.”
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Velickovic (12-3) earned his title shot after going a perfect 3-0 in 2015. In March, the Serbian destroyer earned a quick first round TKO victory over the seasoned MMA vet Chris Hugh at RFA 24. Velickovic then participated as a member of Team RFA at the historic RFA vs. LEGACY event in May. His bout was the first match of the promotion vs. promotion competition and Velickovic picked up the pivotal lead-off win against Charles Byrd. He then closed out the year with a victory over decorated Armenian-Ukrainian wrestler Vardan Sholinian at RFA 31. Velickovic’s win over Sholinian in Las Vegas was accomplished with only 5 days’ notice. Now the surging “Serbian Steel” looks to start the new year exactly how 2015 went down — with his hand getting raised.
“When I found out that I would be getting an RFA title shot, I was vey happy,” stated Velickovic. “I feel that I deserve this opportunity and it didn’t matter who I would be facing. I will fight anyone who’s put in front of me. I am also excited to be fighting in Colorado. I moved here 3 months ago and it already feels like home. This will be the first time in 5 years that I get to fight in the place I live. Ben Smith and I fought on the same card twice for RFA and he’s a really tough dude. He comes to fight and I look forward to our title fight on January 15th.”
Smith (15-3) also ended the year on a high note with a unanimous decision victory over the previously undefeated Craig Eckelberg at RFA 32 last month. The win came on the heels of two consecutive RFA title fights that Smith had for the RFA in 2015. Now the second-ever RFA welterweight champion will look to reclaim his RFA crown in what he sees as his last ride towards UFC glory. That ride continues in the main event of RFA 34 against a man he shared cards with at both RFA 20 and RFA 24.
“This is the last hurrah for ole Ben Smith,” Smith explained. “I’d been feeling that way before my last fight, but I also wanted to put an exclamation point on my career by reclaiming my RFA title and earning my shot in the UFC. I got the win at RFA 32, but I felt like I could do more, which is what I will show in this next fight. Colorado has always treated me well and I enjoy competing there. Bojan is a good fighter, he’s a marketable guy, and a very worthy opponent. When I was offered this fight, there was no way I could say no. I love to compete and I’m looking forward to this title fight with Bojan.”
The full RFA 34 fight card and further information regarding this event will be announced soon. RFA 34 will be the promotion’s seventh event to take place in the state of Colorado. The entire main card of RFA 34 will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Friday, January 15th, 2016.