The Fight Report: RFA 12

| January 19, 2014 | 3:46 pm | Reply

RFA 12The official feeder farm to the UFC, RFA is bringing two title fights at Friday’s RFA 12. This will either kickstart the careers for the winner, and shatter the dreams for the loser.  Let’s take a look at how this all plays out.

145 lbs. Title Fight: Brian Ortega vs Keoni Koch: A legitimate terror at Featherweight, Brian Ortega brings a BJJ black belt and highly functional striking game to the octagon, having many hallmarks of a championship caliber fighter.  Having beaten Jordan Rinaldi to the punch and found a late submission in his last fight, he seems poised for the next stage of his career, and will need to dispatch Koch convincingly to get to the big show.

Koch is more trainer than fighter at this stage of his career, having cut his teeth in the MMA world, not in the legimate cages of today, but the illegal backyard and barn fighting circuits of yesteryear. Now with time running out on his chance at greatness, Koch will drop to Featherweight and challenge a rising star with hopes of stealing his glory and jointing his younger brother in the UFC.

This is a tough fight to call, as Koch brings a veteran’s poise, but doesn’t have nearly the high-level experience of Ortega.  The one area that Koch could well shine here is in a combinaton of pressure fighting, takedowns and top game defense, where he could shut down Ortega but still outscore him, considering his relative passivity on the mat. This would require perfect timing and defense, as Ortega’s triangle is his best weapon, but strong work from half guard and his depth of grappling knowledge could save the day for Koch.  It’s a tight fight with a lot of potential both ways, ensuring a worthy title holder emerges from the fray.

135 lbs. Title Fight: Pedro Munhoz vs Billy Daniels: One half of the oddest MMA fight I’d seen in a decade, Munhoz earned the Bantamweight title against Jeff Curran while slipping and falling in the rain. Despite the fact neither man had any traction to even throw punches or set up takedowns, Munhoz worked Curran from bell to bell for the win, and will look forward to a dryer fight against prospect Billy Daniels.

Daniels is a well-rounded grappler working his way through the Rocky Mountain MMA scene, having battled students of the famous Jeremey Horn and other prospects from the wealth of MMA schools at altitude.  Having a wrestling and BJJ background, Daniels hasn’t found much competition up to his skill level yet, but may be biting off more than he can chew against the ultra-dangerous Munhoz here.

I feel this fight is too much too soon for Daniels, whom takes a large jump in competition against the hard-hitting BJJ ace. While I do like Daniel’s smooth defense and takedowns, Munhoz timing on counters, power at this weight class, and depth of skill make this a tough one for Daniels to pull off. Look for a heartfilled perfomance, but one where Daniels is ultimately hustled on the mat and submitted in the 3rd round.

Kevin Casey vs Eddie Mendez: Bruiser Kevin Casey will once again step into the RFA octagon, taking on a hungry young lion in Eddie Mendez.  Casey is a unique fighter, in that he’s nearly impossible to engage at full strength, but finds himself wearing down as the fight continues and becoming suspectable to offense as his cardio dissicpates.  Mendez has the skills to beat him, but I’m not sure he has the patience in his DNA to keep his best weapons in reserve until they’re best used on a fatigued opponent.  Lacking this maturity from Mendez, I see Casey and Mendez clashing, but the talented grappler in Casey hitting a takedown and snatching his opponents neck for the win.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: MMA, Resurrection Fighting Alliance

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.