It’s fight week for Hardrock MMA 90, but Brandon Higdon is still busy matchmaking fights for the card.
After Justin Smith was unable to compete due to eligibility requirements, Raleigh Abbott (5-4) was left without an opponent. But stepping up on short notice is Justin Burgun (3-1), and the two will do battle for the vacant Hardrock MMA amateur heavyweight title.
The title was vacated when Tyler Shipp decided to drop down to the light heavyweight division. He’ll face Nick Jewell for the interim light heavyweight title at Hardrock MMA 91 later this month.
Abbott retuned from a layoff of nearly two years just last month, as he topped Brock Walker via TKO to at Middlesboro Mayhem to claim the Warrior FC light heavyweight title. He’s ranked as the No. 8 light heavyweight in Kentucky by Tapology.
Burgun comes in looking to rebound from the first loss of his career, as he was submitted by Apineru Vele in the second round at Hardrock MMA 90. None of his first three bouts lasted longer than two minutes, all of which were wins via strikes. He’s ranked as the No. 2 amateur heavyweight in Kentucky by Tapology.
“I took this fight honestly because it’s a heavyweight title fight and I need this belt for my collection,” Burgun told BluegrassMMA.
Hardrock MMA 90 takes place at Expo Five in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday night. The main event features a pro catchweight bout between Ian Lawler and Branden Bishop.