Last Friday night (Jan. 24) was my first foray into regional or "indie" mixed martial arts (MMA) and quite frankly, Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) delivered in terms of showcasing the future of the sport.
RFA 12 was held inside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, a brief stroll from the USC campus. The fights were quick (five of the 10 bouts didn't leave the first round) and featured a plethora of Black House team members who were victorious in their proverbial backyard.
The most prominent of the Ed Soares-founded team just so happened to be the man who was victorious in the evening's main event, Brian Ortega. The 22-year-old was on fire early, landing lunging punches, succeeding on multiple take downs and managing to rapidly transition out of danger against Keoni Koch.
As the fight progressed, so did Koch's game plan.
The elder brother of Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) Erik Koch took the young and undefeated prospect into deep water, but after the fully allotted 25 minutes, could not get the decision from the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) appointed judges.
While the result wasn't wrong, "T-City" showed that he still has a lot to learn while he carries RFA's featherweight strap.
The co-main event of the evening featured Pedro Munhoz against Billy Daniels and if you had asked an odds maker how this one would go ahead of time, they would have nailed the result right on the head. Munhoz was a -1000 favorite coming into the scrap.
The 10-0 RFA bantamweight champion came into the cage with nothing but finishing on his mind, pulling guard and locking in the guillotine choke a mere 41 seconds into the first frame. After having the gold wrapped around his waist, he then proceeded to cut the best promo of the night by silencing the audience in order to thank God.
Former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestant Kevin Casey impressed again in his second RFA sanctioned fight. His opponent, Eddie Mendez, seemed to have been overwhelmed by the smothering nature of "King" and shortly after the bout began, referee Jason Herzog stopped the contest after Mendez verbally submitted to some mediocre elbows from Casey.
RFA strawweights were also on display when Justine Kish took on Randa Markos. This fight turned out to be one of the more entertaining bouts on the card (does that surprise anyone in regards to WMMA?) with the action turning to full on brawl by the third frame. In the end, Kish outclassed Markos and makes a strong case for eventually being called up to the newly formed UFC 115-pound weight class.
If you want to be let in on an insider secret, look up two-time USA National Tae Kwon Do Champion James Moontasri and amaze your friends. This guy stole the show. He looked explosive against Rick Reger, showing a knack for striking. "Moonwalker" demonstrated a devastating clinch game and stunned his opponent with stiff power punches, showing near impeccable timing when on the offensive.
This was a great showing for a budding fighter on RFA's deep roster.
Last but not least the man with the best name on the card. Boston Salmon came into RFA 12 with a record of 0-0. He went up against Perceu Friza, who was cornered by Lyoto Machida. After landing a vicious kick to the body that would give Brock Lesnar nightmares, the Hawaiian went in for the kill by finishing the fight with a steady dose of ground-and-pound.
For full RFA results including preliminary action click here.