2013 for the RFA was all about establishing itself as one of the premiere pipelines to the UFC. Owned and operated by major MMA manager Ed Soares, RFA is seen as having one of the coziest relationships with the UFC in terms of a stated goal of helping fighters move to the Zuffa organization. Thus, RFA shows have become somewhat important to the hardcore fan as a viewing commodity; an opportunity to watch tomorrow's stars, today. Few potential stars are shining brighter right now than Pedro Munhoz, who continued to streak with another submission victory. Many have him pegged to be making waves in the UFC bantamweight division this year. The card also contained top prospect Brian Ortega, fighting for the RFA Featherweight title and former UFC fighters Kevin Casey and Eddie Mendez.
Check out all the highlights below, courtesy of Zombie Prophet:
Featherweight title fight: Brian Ortega def. Keoni Koch via Split Decision (49-46, 49-46, 46-49)
The Black House/Gracie Academy product, Ortega, had a close fought, back and fourth battle, but his stronger submission attempts and a clear fifth round sealed the fight for him in two of the judges' eyes.
Ortega with a nifty leglock/trip attempt in the first:
And a flying triangle attempt with another nice trip takedown:
Something like striking:
Ortega cracks Koch, hard:
And almost taps him with a brutal triangle/armbar attempt:
Bantamweight title fight: Pedro Munhoz def. Billy Daniels via Sub (arm-in guillotine) at 0:41 of Round 1
Munhoz was ridiculously on point for this fight. Daniels practically fell into the sub and Munhoz kept his technique strong and the pressure on for a good 15-20 seconds to get the tap.
Middleweight bout: Kevin Casey def. Eddie Mendez via TKO (elbows) at 3:38 of Round 1
Similar to Munhoz, Casey came out on point and put a beating on Eddie Mendez. He used his strong takedowns and crushing top game to burn the energy out of Mendez early before unleashing two crushing elbows (that may have broken Mendez's nose) to close out the fight in the first.
Strawweight bout: Justine Kish def. Randa Markos via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Two undefeated women strawweights (both sporting a 3-0 record) met on the RFA card. Kish came out looking to bust Markos up with her technical Muay Thai game. Markos looked like she was interested in trading early, but once she started getting hit she went into grappling mode for the rest of the fight. Kish showed great takedown defense in the first two rounds, and was able to keep the fight on the feet throughout. She put on a grueling pace and seemed to run out of gas late in the second. In the third Markos was finally able to get her game going and spent much of the round in top control and came within a hair's breadth of finishing via armbar.
Kish lands a big elbow over the top on Markos:
Kish opening up with her more technical striking:
Markos' round 3 armbar attempt:
Lightweight bout: James Moontasri def. Rick Reger via Tech. Sub. (rnc) at 0:28 of Round 2
Moontasri showed some great counter striking and opportunism when he caught Reger coming in with an uppercut and jumped on his back to choke him out cold.
Featherweight bout: Boston Salmon def. Perceu Friza via TKO (body kick & punches) at 3:13 of Round 1
Boston Salmon may sound like a chain restaurant, but he fights like a house on fire. After landing a hard teep to the liver that crumpled Friza he followed up with a massive barrage of hooks and uppercuts to seal the fight.
Middleweight bout: John Hackleman Jr. def. Howard LaCroix via KO (punches) at 0:11 of Round 1
Hackleman Jr., the son of famed Chuck Liddell trainer John Hackleman, showed that he just might have the makings of an interesting middleweight prospect with a one round pasting of Howard LaCroix. It's only his second pro-fight, but it's also his second first round KO.
Featherweights: Jordan Isordia def. Dmitry Gerasimov via Sub (brabo choke) at 4:04 of Round 1
Welterweights: Cameron Diffley def. Jeff Roman via Sub (rnc) at 3:13 of Round 2
That's all the results for RFA 12, be sure to stay with us, however, for UFC on Fox 10 updates, highlights, and post fight analysis.
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