Resurrection Fighting Alliance crowned a new RFA middleweight champion on Friday evening at RFA 15, held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Culver City, California. The card airing on AXS TV featured a main event for the vacant RFA middleweight title fight between Kevin Casey (7-3) and Andrew Sanchez (5-0).
Kevin “King” Casey earned a shot at the middleweight title coming off back-to-back victories in RFA–over Casey Ryan and Eddie Mendez—after leaving the UFC. The Rickson Gracie black belt took on the undefeated Andrew Sanchez, who finished both his fights in RFA by TKO. However, his top level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was not needed in this championship fight.
When the fight began both fighters were cautious on the feet in the opening minute, in a short time Kevin Casey would showcase his newly improved striking once again by using feints and head movement to get inside the range of Sanchez. The two would clinch for a brief moment, with Casey being able to land a few short strikes on the separation. The end came when Sanchez went for a single leg takedown, which Casey defended easily and landed two crisp left hooks to the chin of Andrew Sanchez, the second one put him down and out.
Kevin Casey captured his first career championship in MMA, being crowned the new RFA Middleweight Champion.
“I feel like he would be vulnerable to the strikes. He wouldn’t be expecting it, and I caught him,” Casey said post-fight.
“All the pressure that I’ve gone through, the ups and downs in my pursuit of excellence got me to where I am tonight.”
In the co-main event, Ricky Legere Jr. put his 8-fight win streak on the line in his RFA debut against Alan Jouban in what was the most entertaining fight on the card. Jouban battered Legere in the first round inside the clinch, with knees and elbows. But Legere would fight back in the 2nd, continuing his pursuit of the takedown, Legere Jr. got Jouban to the ground where he delivered heavy ground and pound from all positions, and nearly submitted his opponent with a rear naked choke from back mount.
Jouban would defend and survive, allowing momentum to swing in his favor towards the end of the 2nd. That momentum carried over to the 3rd round, where Alan Jouban dominated in the standup against Legere, landing a huge head kick and a near flying knee at the very end of the fight. Alan Jouban was awarded the split decision over Ricky Legere Jr.
Another featured bout saw James “Moonwalker” Moontasri continue to showcase his potential in RFA, winning his 3rd straight bout by knocking out Jordan Rinaldi with a right uppercut in the 2nd round. Rinaldo, out cold from the punch, remained down on the canvas for more than 5 minutes after the bout and had to be stretchered out of the cage.
Elsewhere on the card, Daniel Aguilar was disqualified by the referee in the 3rd round for refusing to engage Sam Toomer, and constantly flopping onto his back. Chinzo Macihda—the brother of UFC middleweight Lyoto Machida—won a close decision against Dmitry Gerasimov to improve to 3-2. And John Hackleman Jr.—son of legendary MMA trainer John Hackleman—suffered his first career loss, losing to Justin Jones by guillotine choke in the first round.
RFA 15 Results:
- RFA Middleweight Championship: Kevin Casey def. Andrew Sanchez via Knockout (punch)–Round 1, 2:30
- Alan Jouban def. Ricky Legere Jr. via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- James Moontasri def. Jordan Rinaldi via Knockout (uppercut)–Round 2, 1:14
- Sam Toomer def. Daniel Aguiar via Disqualification–Round 3, 4:25
- Chinzo Machida def. Dmitry Gerasimov via Unanimous Decision
- Justin Jones def. John Hackleman Jr. via Submission (guillotine choke)–Round 1, 2:01