The Resurrection Fighting Alliance returns to Nebraska for the first time since the early days of the promotion, as RFA 13 gives a bunch of prospects the opportunity to shine on a bigger stage, and a couple of veterans the opportunity to keep rebuilding their careers. The main event features former Ultimate Fighter winner Efrain Escudero (21-7) and Dakota Cochrane (15-5) in a lightweight bout. After a rough second stint in the UFC, Escudero rebounded well in 2013 with three consecutive wins, and he aims to extend that streak. Cochrane has also been up-and-down, but far more erratic. Wins over Jamie Varner, Joe Stevenson, and Deivison Ribeiro have been offset by losses to lesser known fighters. Both fighters have done their best work in the grappling department, so this fight should be interesting on the mat. A pair of middleweight prospects look to earn an RFA title shot in the co-main event, as Andrew Sanchez (4-0) takes on Miles Marshall (3-1). Both of these fighters like to come out aggressive and dispatch opponents quickly. All seven of their combined wins have come inside the first round. It’s always hard to gauge how a bout will play out with two fighters who haven’t been pushed, but the styles of these two should at least make things fun while it lasts. Even though he has a win over Dakota Cochrane in his last outing and his only loss came against Alex Garcia, Chris Heatherly (7-1) has been relegated to third on this card. He faces Chidi Njokuani (10-4) in the classic striker vs. grappler matchup. Njokuani has massive edges on the feet and is the much bigger fighter in this one, but if Heatherly can get it to the ground things will turn sharply. The last bout to have odds offered on this card is an interesting featherweight tilt between Dan Moret (6-0) and Luke Sanders (6-0). Both fighters have well-rounded skills for being so young in their careers, but Sanders prefers to use his hands, while Moret slightly favors the grappling game. Today MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for RFA 13 at Several Bookmakers. Check them out: ——————– MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10pm ET) Efrain Escudero -210 Dakota Cochrane +160 Andrew Sanchez -170 Miles Marshall +130 Chidi Njokuani -280 Chris Heatherly +200 Dan Moret -190 Luke Sanders +150 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Breaking down some of the more unknown fighters on these cards is always fun, and I feel like RFA matchmaker Scott Cutbirth has done an excellent job of finding appropriate tests for these guys. In the main event I simply see Escudero as the better wrestler and overall grappler. Cochrane’s best wins came against guys who were completely unmotivated or just at the end of their careers, and even though Escudero stumbled in the UFC, he hasn’t packed it in on his MMA career yet. In fact, with Cochrane’s propensity to put himself in bad positions, I actually lean towards a submission win for Escudero. The co-main event is very tough. Marshall’s lone loss appeared to raise some questions about his cardio, but he also seemed to learn some lessons about not going TOO crazy in the opening moments of a fight. Against Sanchez, who seems to be thinking in the cage rather than fighting off of instinct, that aggression could actually give Marshall an edge. It’s a tight line to walk though, and although I lean ever so slightly to Marshall, I can see Sanchez outgrappling him later in the fight. I’d probably need a decent price of +150 or more to through a flier on Marshall here. Chris Heatherly’s record is a bit deceiving. He has a win over Dakota Cochrane and his only loss is to Alex Garcia. Watching tape on him the one thing that stuck out to me was, “If this guy submitted Cochrane, Escudero should have a field day.” Heatherly’s wrestling isn’t great on its own, and he doesn’t have the type of striking that will set up good takedown attempts. Njokuani’s ground game is still his weakness, but he’s been improving both his submission defense and takedown defense gradually. Combined with the massive striking, size, and length advantages he’ll have here, I just don’t see Heatherly getting this fight to the ground. Finally, size could play the difference in Moret/Sanders as well. Sanders is a pretty decent striker, but unfortunately he’s facing an uphill battle against an opponent who has five inches of height on him in this fight. If Sanders was a grappler that might work to his advantage, but I actually think Moret is the better grappler here as well. It’s close because neither guy has really been tested, but the lean is certainly Moret for me.