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Sanchez, Meredith meet at RFA 11

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

Andrew Sanchez went from no fight to one of the biggest of his young career.

The grappling savant from Belleville, IL, was slated to fight Keith Smetana at Journey to the Top 4 earlier this month, nut once that fight fell through weeks before the event was to take place, an even larger opportunity sprung up.

Sanchez, out of Finney’s MMA, will fight on Friday’s main card of Resurrection Fighting Alliance 11 at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. The event airs live on AXSTV.

“I’m really excited,” Sanchez said on the Knuckle Junkies podcast, KJ: Unfiltered. “This is a big stage. If I win impressively I’m hoping that it will get me to the next level.”

Sanchez’s opponent is 33-year-old Todd Meredith (4-2) out of Grudge/Elevation.

Meredith, a Colorado native, is known for his unrelenting drive and plans on not disappointing what is sure to be a large crowd rooting for him.

“I’m going to go after Sanchez,” Meredith told RFA. “I won’t quit. It will be a show you will remember. This guy is going to be a heck of a wrestler. It’s MMA, you have to be ready for anything. I’m ready.”

Meredith, nicknamed “Captain America” has wins over Derek Morales, Adam Stroup, Reed O’Malley, and most recently, Michael Matthews. And Sanchez is fully aware of Meredith’s tenacity and durability.

“I’ve seen his videos on YouTube and he’s been in some wars and will not quit,” Sanchez said. “That’s the most intimidating thing a person can bring to a fight, I think. Being in shape and being fuckin’ tough and knowing that he’s not going to quit, ever. Like, you got to put him out. You got to choke him unconscious. It’s going to be a battle for sure.”

Sanchez has wins over Edward Smith, Darryl Cobb and Thomas Jones. His lone loss came against Dustin Jacoby earlier this year in a memorable back-and-forth brawl that had Sanchez coming out on the wrong side of a split decision against the Road to Glory champion.

As a member of the McKendree College wrestling team in Lebanon, IL, Sanchez was a four time All-American and even more impressive two-time NAIA national champion. The purple belt has been racking up impressive IBJJF tournament wins as well, most notably at Pan AMs.

While he respects Meredith’s ability and toughness, deep down ‘El Dirte’ feels he both the better athlete and fighter.

“He’ tough. He can take it,” Sanchez said. “He’s a shorter guy, 5-10 and stocky. He’s pretty much decent at everything. He was a wrestler in college. He likes to throw his hands but I think I can beat him everywhere. I think my wrestling is a lot better than his. I think my hands are a little better.”

Sanchez went from another weekend on the shelf to a weekend in the limelight. He said credit goes to his new manager, Hector Castro, and management team at Empire Sports Marketing.

“I’ve been working with a new guy, Hector Castro, and he’s awesome,” Sanchez said. “He works hard for his fighters. Hector heard I was a big prospect and he flew down to St. Louis and we hung out all weekend. I told him my fight got cancelled and I was bummed out. I was in shape and I needed a fight ASAP. I’ve been going in circles, training and having fights cancelled. That’s happened like four times.”

RFA 11 is highlighted by the main event of Matt Manzanares vs. Zach Makovsky for the flyweight title.

Resurrection Fighting Alliance 11
Friday, November 22nd
1stBank Center
Broomfield, Colorado
Live on AXSTV