It has become evident that other than going through The Ultimate Fighter, the best route for young prospects to take in order to get to the UFC is fighting in Resurrection Fighting Alliance. The same goes for fighters who have been cut from the UFC and are trying to work their way back. Both sets are represented on RFA 9, and especially in the main event. In that headliner, prospect Pedro Munhoz takes on longtime veteran of the lighter weight classes, Jeff Curran. Curran has most recently fought at Flyweight, but moves back up to Bantamweight here to take on Munhoz for the vacant RFA title. A win for either fighter could mean a trip back to the UFC, but that more than likely applies a bit more to Munhoz, who is managed by RFA president Ed Soares. Today, MMA Oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for RFA 9 at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– RFA Bantamweight Title Pedro Munhoz -305 Jeff Curran +225 Casey Ryan -155 Kevin Casey +115 Brian Ortega -140 Jordan Rinaldi +100 Steve Mocco -705 Lew Polley +435 Chris Spang -535 Alan Jouban +355 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I’ve been waiting to see what the line on Munhoz/Curran would be, as I feel very strongly that Munhoz is going to win this fight handily. Curran is tough and incredibly experienced, so he could very well see the final bell here, but Munhoz is a definite UFC talent and unfortunately for Curran, his 1-7 record in Zuffa promotions shows that while he’s been around forever he’s simply not at that level. I see Munhoz having an edge when it comes to striking, wrestling, and the submission game should come out as a wash. Munhoz will also be bigger, as Curran has now changed his body to allow himself to make 125lbs. The one issue of concern is that Curran is very used to going to decision, and may have a cardio edge late. However, neither fighter ever going a full five rounds mitigates some of that worry. Personally, I’ll be adding Munhoz to a parlay across UFC Fight Night 26, and I expect his next bout to come inside the Octagon. The next two fights are extremely tricky to bet. Kevin Casey is usually the better grappler in his bouts, has pretty effective takedowns, but once he gets on the ground he employs a very old school style of Jiu-Jitsu (or in layman’s terms, he pretty much just lays there). The factor that really makes this style ineffective is that his cardio is downright awful. He has gas for about 4 minutes of fighting, and then he’s spent. If he turns up the heat (or improves his cardio), he can definitely submit Casey Ryan, however if he shows up as the same as always, he’ll either lose the 2nd and 3rd rounds for a decision, or perhaps even coax a mercy stoppage out of the ref. A solid Featherweight bout between primarily grapplers Brian Ortega and Jordan Rinaldi is a tough one to read. I have a slight lean towards Rinaldi because even though Ortega is a more polished striker and very effective on the ground, I think Rinaldi can get top position and avoid being submitted. I’m not confident enough to bet this fight, and I really couldn’t argue with someone going either way on it, as it is that close. As we move further down the card, we all missed out on seeing Lew Polley last weekend on WSOF 4, so the RFA did us a favor and booked him against Steve Mocco in an absolutely dreadful style matchup for Polley, who has blown up like the Michelin Man over the past week. After missing weight by 32lbs at WSOF (he weighed in at 237 for a Light Heavyweight bout), he then weighed in at 255 yesterday. Yes, the guy who already missed weight by over 30lbs added another 20 on in the following week. This fight is going to be ugly, and despite Mocco’s neophyte status in MMA, every cent of that -705 line is deserved. Finally, a line I think is a bit high is Chris Spang being -535 against Alan Jouban. Don’t get me wrong, Spang is talented, more talented than Jouban, but it’s always interesting to see how a fighter bounces back after being cut from the UFC. Do they have renewed motivation to get back there, or do they pack it in? With Spang only being 25, you’d like to think it’s the former, as he still has plenty of time to improve and get back to the UFC, but I can’t trust such a big line on it.