LFA celebrates decade-long history in South Dakota with a stacked fight card at LFA 182

Presented By: BETONLINE










LIVE on UFC FIGHT PASS® at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT

Tickets are available NOW at Ticketmaster.com


LAS VEGAS, Nevada — LFA CEO Ed Soares announced a massive fight card update with bouts totaling a baker’s dozen when the promotion celebrates the 10-year anniversary of MMA in the state of South Dakota later this month at LFA 182. The main event of the stacked fight card will feature a bantamweight showdown between Midwest rivals and two of the sport’s most promising prospects. This will be the eighteenth LFA event to take place in the state. RFA hosted four events in the “Mount Rushmore State” before the merger of RFA and Legacy FC that created LFA.

LFA 182, presented by BETONLINE, takes place Friday, April 26th at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The main event will feature a bantamweight showdown when NCAA Division I All-American wrestler “Merciless” Mitch McKee faces regional kingpin Jose “Nano” Hernandez. The entire main card will be available worldwide on UFC FIGHT PASS® at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

“We are excited to celebrate 10-years of MMA in the state of South Dakota with a stacked fight card at LFA 182,” stated Soares. “We brought the first sanctioned MMA event to The Mount Rushmore State back in 2014 and we are ready to celebrate that milestone with a mega event at the Sanford Pentagon on Friday, April 26th. LFA 182 includes thirteen bouts with a headliner featuring top bantamweight prospects Mitch McKee and Jose Hernandez. McKee is an All-American wrestler from the University of Minnesota, while Hernandez is a regional champion that prides himself on being a wrestler’s kryptonite. The Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is one of our most frequented destinations and this fight card is loaded with top international, national, and local talent to celebrate the sport’s incredible decade-long history in the state.”

Tickets for LFA 182: McKee vs. Hernandez are available for purchase now through Ticketmaster.com.

McKee (5-0) is one of the most decorated wrestlers to ever compete for the NCAA Division I wrestling powerhouse program at the University of Minnesota. Likewise, he is now one of the most decorated collegiate wrestlers currently competing in professional MMA. During his time competing for the Golden Gophers, McKee was a one-time All-American, four-time NCAA National Qualifier, two-time U.S. Junior Freestyle Wrestling National Champion, and currently ranks twelfth all-time for the program with 33 career pins. The man known as “Merciless” has been just as merciless in the Octagon as he was on the mats. In five career MMA bouts, he finished his first four opponents by knockout or technical knockout with the fifth victory winning the LFA Fans’ Choice Awards: Fight of the Year in 2023. That perfect 5-0 run also includes a pair of wins in the Sanford Pentagon.

Hernandez (4-1) is a man that grew up in Kearney, Nebraska, which is the town where the RFA got its start. In fact, he began his amateur MMA career after seeing the promotion host four of its first five events in the Central Nebraska city. Later, after RFA merged with Legacy FC to create LFA, the promotion returned to Kearney in September 2018. One month later, “Nano” decided to make his professional MMA debut and the rest is history. The proud Nebraskan has benefited from growing up in a wrestling hotbed with a heavy MMA presence and that influence has been transparent in his fighting style. Known as a “wrestler killer”, Hernandez has built a reputation in the bantamweight division for dismantling some of its top wrestlers. This was on full display in his last bout, when he ended the 8-fight win streak of regional champion and collegiate wrestler Alan Olivas.

LFA 182 will also feature the LFA debut of Michael Blockhus (1-0), who is one of the most decorated collegiate wrestlers to enter MMA in recent years. In fact, Blockhus will be returning to MMA just one month after competing at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. During his spectacular wrestling career at the University of Minnesota, he became an NCAA Division I All-American, a four-time NCAA Division I National Qualifier, and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten Honoree. Blockhus now joins LFA 182 headliner Mitch McKee, former UFC champion Brock Lesnar, and former Bellator champions Logan Storley and Cole Konrad as Golden Gopher greats that made the jump to MMA. The man welcoming Blockhus to the LFA Octagon is Jonathan Griffin (3-3), who is currently riding a 2-fight win streak. Griffin is an experienced MMA veteran with 15 amateur bouts and 6 professional bouts to his credit. The submission specialist trains out of CCMAF and 10th Planet Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Currently Announced Fight Card (Main Card will be available worldwide on UFC FIGHT PASS®):

Main Event | Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
Mitch McKee (5-0) vs. Jose Hernandez (4-1)

Co-Main Event | Catchweight Bout (140 lb)
Khasein Shaikhaev (6-1) vs. Michel Lima (18-5)

Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
Nikita Kulshin (5-0) vs. Cedric Gunnison (7-2)

Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
Darrion Caldwell (14-7) vs. Tarcisio Romano (11-5-1)

Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
Haris Talundžić (6-2) vs. Keyth Dawson (4-5)

Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
Michael Blockhus (1-0) vs. Jonathan Griffin (3-3)

Flyweight Bout (125 lb)
Nate Smith (7-4) vs. Christian Ynastrilla (10-4)

Women’s Strawweight Bout (115 lb)
Kendra McIntyre (2-1) vs. Katarina Legorreta (2-0)

Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
M, A, Yah II (2-0) vs. James Martin (1-0)

Flyweight Bout (125 lb)
Shad Walters (2-0) vs. Nicholas Gjelaj (1-0)

Women’s Flyweight Bout (125 lb)
Cheyanne Bowers (3-1) vs. Naomie Young (1-1)

Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
Jeff Nielsen (2-3) vs. Zeb Vincent (2-0)

Light-Heavyweight Bout (205 lb)
Tavlin Hunt (3-0) vs. Sean Krebbs (4-3)


About LFA:
LFA is a professional Mixed Martial Arts promotion that was formed by the powerhouse merger between RFA and Legacy FC in 2017. It has launched the careers of over 300 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of MMA by competing in the UFC. LFA presents live Mixed Martial Arts events on a monthly basis around the world including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo. Based in Las Vegas, NV, LFA is one of the most active and respected MMA organizations in the fastest growing sport in the world. The promotion owns and operates LFA FIGHT NETWORK™, a premium YouTube channel that features live combat sports events alongside live LFA Prelims and historical fights.

Please visit LFA.com for updates and information. Visit the official LFA YouTube channel (LFA FIGHT NETWORK™) at @LFAfights. LFA is on Facebook at Facebook.com/LFAfighting. LFA is also on Instagram at @LFAfighting and X (formerly Twitter) at @LFAfighting.


UFC FIGHT PASS® is the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports. Since launching in 2013, UFC FIGHT PASS is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. FIGHT PASS provides its members with unlimited access to live UFC FIGHT PASS Prelims; live mixed martial arts and combat sports from around the world; original series and historical programming; special features; behind-the-scenes content; in-depth interviews; and up-to-the minute reports on the world of combat sports. UFC FIGHT PASS subscribers also have 24/7 access to the world’s largest fight library, featuring more than 20,000 bouts from dozens of combats sports organizations, as well as every fight in UFC history. Fight fans can access UFC FIGHT PASS on personal computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, and Sony TVs with Android TV. For more information, please visit UFCFightPass.com.


Sanford Sports is the modern athletics arm of Sanford Health, the premier rural health system in the United States. Rooted in science and health care, Sanford Sports offers a combination of programs, services, events, facilities and partnerships intended to make active lifestyles accessible and rewarding for people of all ages and abilities. Based on the 500-acre Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sanford Sports has been changing the way athletes play for 25 years. With operations in three states, more than one million athletes use Sanford Sports facilities each year. Visit SanfordSports.com for more information.

Leave a comment


© 2023 Legacy Fighting Alliance LLC