Like many of the other RFA fighters who had a layoff before returning to action earlier this year, middleweight prospect Casey “Spider Monkey” Ryan came back to MMA with an impressive win.
At the XFS this March, Ryan picked up a second-round TKO stoppage of veteran Matt Lagler, and in the process managed to showcase his ever-diversifying game.
“There are things I could have definitely done better that we’ve been working on, but I got to show my striking, which I haven’t got to show off in other fights,” said Ryan. “It went longer than my other fights – most of my fights never last past the first round – so I got to show that I could do that.”
“I stepped up my training camp quite a bit,” said Ryan. “I’ve added a lot more strength and conditioning and cardio work to make sure I can perform for three hard rounds.
“It’s a good opportunity to perform in front of a lot of people who haven’t had a chance to see me.”
When it comes to Kevin Casey, Ryan feels that if he pushes the pace, he’ll be able to take the fight a lot easier than if he played things cautiously.
“He’s a strong jiu-jitsu guy, but I feel like I’m a better overall mixed martial artist,” said Ryan. “I think I can outwork him and hopefully my conditioning will last all three rounds.
“He’s a muscular guy for 185. That’s a lot of muscle to carry around and muscle requires a lot of oxygen.”
With the bout due to be broadcast live on AXS TV, Ryan told MMAWeekly.com that it’s going to be the biggest opportunity of his young career and will help set up for a continued year of growth in 2013.
“I definitely think it’s a big step up for me and out of all my fights, this is the one people are going to be able to look at me and see what skills I have,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll get some good exposure from this and will keep getting good fights.”