Resurrection Fighting Alliance 9 went down this past Friday at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles, airing live on AXS TV. A self-described “feeder” organization for the UFC, the event featured a number of up-and-coming fighters who are poised to make their mark in their respective divisions.
In the night’s main event, Pedro Munhoz grabbed his ninth straight victory via a split decision over MMA vet Jeff Curran, earning him the RFA bantamweight title. The Brazilian Munhoz, fighting out of the Black House camp, took home the first “name” win of his career that night, and has most likely earned the attention of some UFC talent spotters. He now advances his record to 9-0.
The back-and-forth bout saw Munhoz as the aggressor against a much more experienced opponent, avoiding Curran’s ground game and doing enough damage over the five rounds to earn the decision. Following the fight, Jeff “Big Frog” Curran announced his retirement from competition. Curran has spent over 15 years in the sport, and has participated in 51 fights during that time. He’ll now take a well-deserved rest, most likely turning his attention to coaching his team.
The night’s co-main event saw UFC and TUF alumni Kevin Casey battling to a decision victory over up-and-comer Casey Ryan. The bout was the first outing from Kevin Casey since he was cut from the UFC earlier this year, following a TKO loss to Josh Samman. The Rickson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu specialist was able to control the flow of the fight, but was unable to find a submission en route to the decision. This recent victory brings his overall record to 9-3, and will hopefully set him on a path back into the UFC.
Casey Ryan on the other hand tasted defeat for the first time that night, ending a five fight winning streak he began in 2007. This was the biggest fight to date for the Alliance MMA competitor, and he will need to bounce back in a big way to keep his career on track.
In the undercard, featherweight Gracie Jiu-Jitsu protégé Brian Ortega submitted Jordan Rinaldi, maintaining an undefeated record and earning a seventh straight victory. Ortega, who trains out of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy and Black House, showcased a well-rounded game including a picture-perfect flying knee, and the impressive third round triangle that ended the fight. With this recent performance, and his current featherweight title in the RTC, Ortega has quite possibly piqued the interest of some of the bigger promotions.
Former Olympic wrestler Steve Mocco also kept his undefeated record, advancing to 3-0 with a decision win over Lew Polley. In what was likely the night’s most yawn-inducing bout, Mocco nabbed some vicious takedowns, but failed to do anything at all with his dominant ground game.
On the rest of the card, 7-1 welterweight Alan Jouban defeated Chris Spang after a back and forth affair ended with a flurry of elbows and punches from Jouban. Meanwhile, flyweight Matt Manzanares picked up a slick second round armbar on Steve Swanson, advancing to 5-1.
In the prelims, James Moontasri defeated R.J. Clifford with a third round TKO, and the Lyoto Machida coached Perceu Friza worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Nick Jordan.