ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
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Amy Kaplan

It's only been a day since the announcement of the merger of two of the biggest feeder leagues to the UFC, Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) and Legacy Fighting Championship, but in those hours, it's become one of the hottest stories of the month.

The new promotion will be called Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) and they are looking to host 30 events in 2017, with their first being LFA 1 in January, 2017.

The promotion will be spearheaded by RFA president Ed Soares who will act as CEO to LFA. Both promotions will finish out the 2016 season.

"I felt that when we joined forced, we'd be much stronger together as a unit than we would be separately, and that's what we wanted to do," said Soares said on The MMA Hour on Monday. "We wanted to create the NCAA of mixed martial arts. By Legacy and RFA coming together, that's exactly what we've built."

When two well-established promotions join together, it posits a very important question in the back of my mind.

What will happen to each promotion's champions?

Luckily, Soares answered that, and it's kind of amazing.

The division champions of RFA will face the division champions of Legacy to crown a new LFA champion.

How cool is that?

I've been told that those fights will tentatively begin in January 2017, so in the meantime, let's see who will be facing who.



Both flyweight champions are currently competing on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, so no flyweight championship bouts will be held until after the entire season airs.


The current RFA champion is Leandro Higo, who's on a seven fight win streak with his most recent win coming by way of a first round submission (rear-naked choke). He's 5'8 with a 16-2 professional record, and looks to have a slick RNC, as most of his 10 submission victories come from that choke.

Steven Peterson is the current Legacy bantamweight champion, and is also on a stunning win streak (six wins in a row). He still needs to get past his next opponent, Mark De La Rosa, before securing the fight with Higo. Peterson is also coming off a submission victory by RNC, but his came in the fourth round.

If Higo and Peterson face off, it could be anyone's game, and they look to be fairly evenly matched. This has the potential to be an impressive fight, no matter the outcome.


RFA's current featherweight champion is Raoni Barcelos, but he's set to defend that title against Dan Moret at RFA 45 on Oct. 28. So, there could be a new featherweight champ by January. Barcelos is on a three fight win streak, with his most recent win coming by way of a five round unanimous decision victory. At least we know he can last through the championship rounds.

Legacy's featherweight champ is Kevin Aguilar, who is also on a three fight win streak, with his last fight ending via split decision. Aguilar has only one professional loss to his 11 wins.


RFA's lightweight champion is Thiago Moises, who is set to defend his belt against Zach Freeman at RFA 44 on Sept. 30. He's only lost once in his nine pro fights, and has gone undefeated for RFA.

Currently, the Legacy lightweight title is vacant, but I wouldn't just assume they'd hand the new LFA belt to Moises (or Freeman, depending on the outcome of the next fight). I predict they match the RFA champ with a promising Legacy lightweight, at the very least.


RFA welterweight champ, Brian Camozzi (Chris Camozzi's brother) hasn't lost a fight since 2014, and looks to hold on to his title, despite Legacy not having a current welterweight champ. Like the previous fight I mentioned, it's likely they will square him off with a Legacy fighter for the first title defense.


RFA does not have a current middleweight champion but has scheduled a bout between Gerald Meerschaert and Chase Waldon at RFA 45 on Oct. 28. The winner of that bout could be crowned RFA champion and would face the Legacy champion.

Rafael Lovato, Jr. is a dominant grappler who also happens to be the Legacy middleweight champion. He's currently undefeated (3-0), but has only ever fought for Legacy. It will be interesting to see him paired with a fighter from another organization.

**Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight titles are currently vacant for both promotions, as are the female weight classes.

Tell me your predictions for the match-ups in the comments below!


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