RFA 12 Opening Betting Odds and Preview

RFA 12While one of the most promising alumni from Resurrection Fighting Alliance attempts to run his UFC record to 2-0 this weekend at UFC on FOX 10 (that’s Sergio Pettis, for those keeping score at home), the organization that helped developed the talented fighter looks to showcase some more unheralded talent this Friday. RFA 12 will air on AXS TV, and the event emanates from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Two title fights will be on the line to headline the event, as Brian Ortega (7-0) takes on Keoni Koch (5-0) for the vacant featherweight strap, while Pedro Munhoz (9-0) defends his bantamweight title against Billy Daniels (7-0). With glossy records and some RFA gold around their waist, the winners of both these fights could be UFC-bound like many previous champions to graduate from the organization. Also on the card, a pair of UFC veterans look to work their way back up the ranks as Kevin Casey (6-3) takes on Eddie Mendez (7-2-1, 1 NC). While these three bouts are the only ones that will feature betting lines, the rest of the televised card also features some talent to keep an eye on. If one of the name’s in the main event seems somewhat familiar, it’s because Keoni is the older brother of UFC fighter Erik Koch. A fighter who made his pro debut in 2007, getting off to a quick 3-0 start, Koch then turned his focus to coaching and has only competed twice in the past six years. It may be a bit too late for the 33 year-old Koch to make a run at high-level MMA, especially when he’ll be faced with a much younger fighter who has been much more active. Ortega, 22, began his career in 2010 and despite being primarily a grappler, has also developed some solid striking. Despite being more than a decade younger he has faced the better competition and shows improvement every time out. His last two victories have come by triangle choke, and his ability to catch the submission in training earned him the nickname “T-City”. Current RFA bantamweight champion Munhoz has been considered one of the better prospects at 135 for the past few years, and there are many who think the UFC could have already given the 27 year-old a call to step in the Octagon. Although the majority of his wins have come by submission, Munhoz has been rounding out his game at Kings MMA and is dangerous in every facet of the game. The challenger to Munhoz’s title is 21 year-old Billy Daniels. The youngster has made his name on the regional scene in Utah by submitting five of his seven opponents, but faces a giant step up in competition here. Today, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the top three fights on RFA 12 at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– RFA Featherweight Title Brian Ortega -215 Keoni Koch +165 RFA Bantamweight Title Pedro Munhoz -380 Billy Daniels +260 Kevin Casey -260 Eddie Mendez +180 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I’m really hoping the public moves these lines a bit, because I don’t see a ton of value where they sit right now. Ortega is very aggressive with strikes and submissions, which should make Koch — who has tons of experience in the practice room, but not a lot in live competition — uncomfortable. Koch does have access to some formidable training partners (not the least of which would be his brother), but once again training versus live competition are two very different atmospheres. I expect this fight to have some quick exchanges on the feet, but to primarily be fought on the ground, where Ortega is an extremely tricky grappler and should be able to get the better of Koch. An X-factor to keep in mind is that Ortega is managed by Black House — Ed Soares’ management company — and typically RFA has made competitive fights for their clients, but winnable ones. Munhoz — another fighter managed by Black House — shouldn’t have as much trouble defending his belt as Ortega may have winning his, as this is a stylistically favorable match-up for him. Daniels is a talented fighter who relies primarily on his grappling. Unfortunately, Munhoz is the better grappler here in addition to having the stronger attributes elsewhere. If Munhoz wants, he can probably strand Daniels on the feet and beat him up across 25 minutes. He could also choose to use his wrestling offensively as he did against Curran, since Daniels is less of a threat from his back than the “Big Frog”. Whatever gameplan he puts into effect, I see Munhoz leaving with the belt still around his waist. Finally, I find it hard to believe that Mendez ever got a shot in the UFC. He’s simply a fighter who wasn’t ready for that step up. Say what you will about Kevin Casey, but when he’s fighting opposition who don’t have elite wrestling and cardio, he’s great at getting the fight to the ground and maintaining top control. That’s exactly what I see happening here as Mendez is too wild with his striking to keep Casey from getting in close and securing takedowns repeatedly.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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