MMA giants merge to form Legacy Fighting Alliance

The second-tier of mixed martial arts is coming to the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield on Feb. 24 for Legacy Fighting Alliance 5: Edwards vs. Townsend. This will mark LFA’s fifth event of 2017.


Brandon “Raw Dawg” Royval working the pads in preparation for his upcoming fight on RFA 5: Edwards vs. Townsend. Photo courtesy of Old Soul Era •

The Resurrection Fighting Alliance, based in Las Vegas, and the Houston based Legacy Fighting Championship merged to form LFA in May 2016. The merger brought together two of the most lucrative MMA organizations in history.

LFA’s first live event took place Jan. 13 and had 14 bouts on the card, 10 of which ended with finishes and also a unification of two bantamweight belts.

Three of Denver’s best MMA fighters from of Factory X will be competing at LFA 5, one of them being Brandon “Raw Dawg” Royval, who was recently added to the card. Royval will be competing side-by-side with teammates Ian Heinisch and Marcus “Bad Intentions” Edwards.

Royval, Heinisch and Edwards are all coming off wins. Heinisch remained undefeated at 7-0 in his professional career after his last bout, while Edwards will enter the cage with a record of 13-4. Royval comes in with a career record of 4-2.

Opening up the night for Factory X will be Royval, who fights in the flyweight weight class. All of Royval’s wins have come from finishes, including a highlight-reel flying knee and a 30-second triangle choke.

“I think that’s just a theme of my fighting,” Royval says about how his ability to finish fights so quickly. “I have a style that leads to finishes. I attack on the ground and I attack on the feet. I’m not a wrestler, so I don’t have that in-between spot. Everything’s working to finish when you’re a jiu-jitsu striker, whether it’s a submission finish or a knockout.”

Royval will meet Rakan Adwan who comes into the fight with a record of 3-1. “I’m always looking for the finish,” Royval said.

Royval’s teammate Ian Heinisch is known for his power as well as his wrestling and jiu-jitsu background. The middleweight division fighter has overcome many hardships in his personal life to become a force to be reckoned with in MMA today.

“Just going through the hardship I did, it’s just the perfect ingredients that breeds champions,” Heinisch said. “I love my past, it just fell into place.”

Heinisch will be facing Lucas Rota who has a record of 12-6, but he doesn’t see experience being a factor. “I know he’s going to be tough, and I don’t expect this to be an easy fight, but honestly, he’s on his way out, I’m on my way up, and he’s just another body in way. I’m going to get in there in and take care of business like I always do and move on,” he said.

Moving up the card, the main event of the evening will be Edwards vs. Adam “Prime Time” Townsend.

For those not familiar with Edwards’ “Bad Intentions” nickname, it epitomizes his fighting style. He is known for his vicious knockout power in the lightweight division. His last win came in 12 seconds at LFC 60 when he brutally knocked out Billy Christianson.

He also has two finishes in 10 seconds or less and has finished four other fights in the first 30 seconds. He attributes his timing as to how he is able to finish opponents so quickly.

“I’m fast, I’m quick and obviously I’m powerful,” Edwards said. “But a lot of the time, I’m not even hitting the guys hard, it’s just they’re running into that strike they don’t see. The best strike is the one your opponent doesn’t see, and that’s the one that puts them out.”

With his winning record and powerful fighting style, Edwards has been knocking on the UFC’s door for sometime now and believes a win over Townsend should be his ticket to an invitation from Dana White.

“I put in a lot of work over the past few years being a professional fighter,” he said. “I’ve fought a lot of high level guys, and I think I’ve proven not only to myself, but the fans, the promoters and the MMA world that I’m ready for that next level.”

All three men who will be representing Factory X at the 1st Bank Center on Feb. 24 fight with the intention of finishing their opponents.

Tickets for the fights are available at and the main card can be seen on AXS TV at 7 p.m.

Author: Jake Howard

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