Above: James Krause and Amir Khillah will compete in a 165-pound catchweight bout at RFA 3.
KEARNEY, Nebraska — Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) started the month off with a bang, when they announced that former UFC lightweight #1 contender Joe "Daddy" Stevenson would be returning to the cage to face two-time RFA veteran and hometown favorite Dakota Cochrane in the main event of RFA 3 on Saturday, June 30th.
Now the two The Ultimate Fighter veterans Stevenson (TUF 2 champion) and Cochrane (TUF 15 veteran) will be have two more TUF veterans join them on a fight card, which is quickly becoming one of this summer's nicer MMA surprises. The RFA has announced that RFA, WEC, Bellator, and TUF 15 veteran James Krause will meet TUF 12 veteran and Jeremy Horn protégé Amir Khillah on the main card of RFA 3 - Stevenson vs. Cochrane.
Krause finished 4 of his 5 opponents last year, which was punctuated with a highlight reel Head Kick KO just 26 seconds into his bout with Mark Korzenowski at RFA 1 in December. The win caught the attention of the UFC and he was quickly invited to compete alongside 31 other lightweight hopefuls on TUF 15, which began airing live on March 9th. Even though Krause came up short in a one-round exhibition against tournament favorite Justin Lawrence, he is still currently riding a professional 3-fight win streak and boasts an impressive 15-4 professional MMA record.
Krause will meet a man who is a natural born "khillah" both by name and fighting style. Amir Khillah first burst into mainstream MMA consciousness in the fall of 2010, as part of TUF 12. Just like Krause, Khillah competed against an entire cast of lightweight fighters looking to earn a spot in the TUF house. Despite losing an exhibition match to current UFC lightweight contender Cody McKenzie, who just won 6 days ago at UFC on Fuel TV 3, Khillah would stay busy and has finished his last four opponents. He is currently riding that 4-fight win streak and holds a 9-4 professional MMA record.
Above: RFA 3 takes place on Saturday, June 30th at the Viareo Event Center in Kearney, Nebraska.
The similarities between Krause and Khillah do not end end at their stints on TUF and current win streaks. They also come from impressive amateur backgrounds. Krause had a remarkable amateur MMA career, which saw him compile a record of 18-1. Many people considered him to be one of the top amateur fighters in the country before he turned pro in late 2007. Krause fights out of Grind House MMA in Lee's Summit, Missouri, where he is also noted for helping with the emergence of Tim Elliott. After defeating Jens Pulver and Josh Rave in back-to-back tilts in the RFA, Elliott was signed to a multi-fight deal with the UFC.
Khillah was born and introduced to martial arts in Egypt and eventually moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan with his family when he was 6-years-old. He quickly became a decorated martial artist, which saw him become the 2004 National Collegiate Taekwondo National Champion (Welterweight), while attending Western Michigan University. He would later train at the Olympic Training Center and compete at the Olympic Trials for Taekwondo. Khillah currently owns and operates his own gym, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, while training full time at Jeremy Horn's Elite Performance. Khillah recently taught an MMA college credit class for the 2011 fall semester at his alma mater Western Michigan University.
Krause and Khillah will meet at a catchweight of 165-pounds at RFA 3. The lightweight headliner between Stevenson and Cochrane will be anchored by an explosive light-heavyweight tilt, as former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith returns to the RFA . He will face Oklahoma native Preston Snook, who holds a notable submission win over Strikeforce star Lumumba Sayers. Smith vs. Snook will serve as the co-main event of RFA 3.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) was founded in 2011 and includes a number of prominent businessmen, fight promoters, matchmakers, and others with successful careers in hosting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) shows across the United States. To learn more, check out their website at www.RFAfighting.com.