It was announced Thursday that unbeaten bantamweight Luke Sanders (7-0) will be returning to action on Friday, Aug. 22, when he faces Nebraska’s Darrick Minner (9-3) at RFA 17 in South Dakota. Sanders is our prospect to watch for August.
Sanders began his pro MMA career back in Jan. 2011 when he made his debut at Strikeforce Challengers 13 in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., stopping Josh Jarvis via first round TKO. Since then, he’s fought in a multitude of regional shows including Gameness Fighting Championship, XFC and Rhino Fighting Championships.
Luke made his RFA debut in March when he defeated Minnesota Martial Arts Academy’s Dan Moret (6-1) via unanimous decision.
Having began his mixed martial arts training under the tutelage of BJJ black belt Shawn Hammonds and his team at Nashville MMA, Sanders now spends the majority of his fight camps with John Crouch & Co. at The MMA Lab in Glendale, Ariz., which is probably best known as home of former UFC lightweight champ and current no. 1 contender Benson Henderson.
We asked Luke his thoughts on his upcoming fight at RFA 17 with Minner:
“Being signed to a company like RFA means there are no easy fights,” Sanders said. “It sounds cliché, but its the truth here, every fight with them will be the biggest fight of my career. Darrick was on the Nebraska card with me, so I wasnt able to watch his fight, but I expect him to be a challenge. You dont get a 9-3 record accidentally. We both have a lot riding on this fight, so I expect to see the best Darrick Minner there is. I promise him he will get the best Luke Sanders on Aug 22.”
Sanders’ progression is noticeable and has been fun to watch. He’s taking the necessary steps by seeking out the proper training to move from a local force to a national force and RFA is providing him the platform which can catapult him to the big show in the future.
Watch Luke vs. Darrick Minner and the rest of the RFA 17 main card live on AXS TV on Friday, Aug. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Visit www.rfafighting.com for ticket info and follow Luke on Twitter at @sandersmma.