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AXS TV Fights

Kevin Casey, Alan Jouban and Ricky Legere Jr. are what RFA is all about



rfa15bannerRFA has become one of the best places for fighters to find their way into the UFC. Led by Ed Soares from Black House, they have an agreement with the UFC and are allowed to use an octagon. Recently, Sergio Pettis, Michael Rhodes, Brandon Thatch, and Pedro Munhoz have made an impact in the UFC. New middleweight champion Kevin Casey, along with the two co-main event combatants Alan Jouban and Ricky Legere Jr. are poised to take that next step.

Casey is known to many fight fans from his time on TUF 17. Since his loss on the TUF 17 finale he has gone 3-0 in RFA and is now their middleweight champion. On the show he was known for his high level jiu-jitsu but had some holes in his striking and cardio.He has worked on both in the RFA and the striking really showed in this fight.

His opponent, Andrew Sanchez, is more of a grappler who favors the ground and pound.In the past this is the type of fighter who would give Casey a lot of trouble. If his opponent could defend his jiu-jitsu Casey did not have a plan B. That has changed.

While he is not the smoothest striker he has shown tremendous improvement in that area. In this fight he did his work in the clinch and got the big KO win.

It started with a step-through knee to the body from Casey that landed. Sanchez tried to catch it. As they scrambled, Casey first went with a solid short right elbow that put Sanchez’ head it the perfect spot for the left hook that followed. It stunned Sanchez who kept coming but his left hand was down by his waist and the right was slightly higher when Casey came with another left hook.

For this one he was set and launched forward when he threw it. Sanchez helped the impact by coming forward with his chin up. The grazing right uppercut as Sanchez fell did not really do anything as the left hook had put him out. It was a devastating display of power from Casey.

The UFC middleweight division is deep but Casey has made a strong case that he deserves another shot inside of their octagon. He is probably no more than one or two wins away from getting that call. Do not be surprised if he gets a call to step in for an injured fighter in the near future.

While Casey capture the belt it was Jouban and Legere Jr. who stole the show. These two were easily fight of the night as they both did damage and had the other fighter in trouble. They pushed and tested each other showing that they are both well-rounded mixed martial artists as well.

Jouban is an excellent striker while Legere Jr. is a grappler. In the past this kind of matchup often lead to a boring fight usually when the grappler who hold down the striker. In today’s MMA world you need to be able to fight in all areas and both fighters showed they can.

Jouban showed that his wrestling is now closer to his striking. Legere Jr. was able to get takedowns in this fight but was rarely able to hold him for more than just seconds. In the second round he did take Jouban’s back and was close to finding the submission. Jouban defended and went on to take the third round with some dynamic striking.

Jouban landed several strikes to the head that would have stopped a lot of fighters. Both fighters showed well rounded high level techniques, strong cardio, toughness and heart. Do not be surprised if they both find their way to the UFC before the year is done.

Justin Jones looked impressive in stopping fellow exciting prospect John Hackleman Jr. in the first round. Jones hurt him in the standup with a big left hook and then finished him quickly on the ground with a guillotine choke. A few more impressive wins like that and he will find people calling for him to fight for the title.

In other action, Chinzo Machida took a hard-fought and entertaining three round UD over Dmitry Gerasimov. While Sam Toomer was awarded a DQ win over his former jiu-jitsu coach Daniel Aguiar. The official reason was his refusal to stand up from a Butt Scoot. Aguilar looked like he was auditioning for a drunk Hawaii-Five-O promo as he scooted bizarrely around the cage. That would be followed by James Moontasri’s KO of Jordan Rinaldi in the second round. Rinaldi would suffer his third consecutive loss and would be carried out in a stretcher.

Check out the full highlights from RFA 15 in video form below.

An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny

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