When promotions fly under the radar in combat sports, so do the young prospect they aim to build over time. With just the right amount of noise, however, fans do begin to sit up and take notice of these promotions, as well as the prospects contractually obligated to compete for those promotions. Of course, once spectators witness the talent and the potential of the prospects themselves, the inevitable question arises.
When will they cross over to the UFC?
This question should not surprise anyone. At least once a year, an MMA fan will ask that about at least one fighter whose talents do not reside under the UFC, but most fans normally ask the question in regards to a touted champion or former champion of a rival promotion.
Few prospects make enough noise to create the same demand as those more well-known fighters.
However, Ed Soares' Resurrection Fighting Alliance played a hand in bringing two undefeated prospects into prominence in recent months. In fact, the RFA crowned a new flyweight champion in 19-year-old Roufusport prodigy Sergio "The Phenom" Pettis and a new featherweight champion in Team Alpha Male standout Lance Palmer almost two weeks ago.
Pettis scored a KO win over Dillard Pegg while Palmer took a split-decision win from Jared Downing.
Some raise the question over whether Downing should still hold the gold, thanks in part to a number of groin strikes that went uncalled during the bout. Still, Palmer's game plan proved effective enough to where he won the fight on two scorecards out of three, despite the point-deduction controversy.
Still, does that mean that the UFC should send a contract to either Palmer or Pettis at this point? After all, Pettis did dominate Pegg and unquestionably stood a strong chance of scoring a big win over original opponent Jeff Curran. Also, eliminate the groin shots from the equation and Palmer made a case towards coming back to win the fight.
Both of RFA's newly crowned champions made their cases towards a move to the UFC, but their time remains a win or two away. The two proved what they could do against solid up-and-comers, but for Pettis and Palmer to elevate to that all-important "next level" of competition, no better time exists aside from now for them to get a step-up in competition.
Until they get it, any rumors about Pettis or Palmer to the UFC will remain rumors until someone allows them the chance to cement themselves as major players in the future of the sport.