Ed Soares, President of Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA), recently announced that the RFA will hold its first ever event in Los Angeles and that Pedro Munhoz and Keoni Koch will be headlining the card in a battle for the vacant RFA bantamweight title. On Friday, Aug. 16, RFA will present “RFA 9: Munhoz vs. Koch” live from the StubHub Center in L.A. and televised nationally on AXS TV.
“I am so excited to bring the RFA to Los Angeles and to give fans in my hometown this championship title fight between undefeated Pedro Munhoz and undefeated Keoni Koch,” said Soares. “This fight not only gives the winner the RFA world bantamweight title, he also gets to prove on live national television that he’s one of the toughest rising stars in the division.”
Tickets for RFA 9 start at $27.00 and are on sale now through www.StubHubCenter.com or the StubHub Center Box Office, www.axs.com, or by calling 888-9AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Suites are available through SHC Premium Seating at 877-604-8777 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For the RFA 9 VIP experience, a limited number of “VIP GOLD” tables are available for purchase. SILVIO’s BRAZILIAN BBQ caters to VIP GOLD tables and cocktail service is also offered. For VIP GOLD table reservations, please call 310-951-0867 or 303-521-0966 or email email@example.com; VIP tables are offered on a first come, first served basis.
In the televised main event of RFA 9, Pedro “The Young Punisher” Munhoz (8-0) squares off against Keoni “Evil Genius” Koch (5-0). This fight was originally scheduled to take place at RFA 8, but Koch had to pull from the fight due to an injury. Now the two will meet for the 135-pound RFA title in front of a packed house in L.A. and for fans across the U.S. on AXS TV.
A 26-year-old native of São Paulo, Brazil, Munhoz now calls L.A. home and fights out of the famed Black House MMA gym alongside UFC greats Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. Munhoz burst onto the MMA scene this past November after submitting Koch’s teammate Bill Kamery at RFA 5. It took Munhoz less than a half a round to submit Kamery via Heel Hook. He followed up that win with a first round Guillotine Choke submission of Mitch Jackson last month at RFA 8. Now Munhoz looks to be named the first-ever champion of the RFA’s bantamweight division, but he is fully aware of the danger Koch poses on August 16th.
“Keoni is the kind of guy I like to fight, because he has a tough mentality and comes from a great MMA team,” said Munhoz. “He wants this fight, I want this fight, and we both want to keep our records perfect, so I’m excited for RFA 9. Our title fight at RFA 9 on August 16th is going to be intense.”
The older brother of UFC star Erik Koch, Keoni fights out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Koch is a co-founder and longtime trainer at Hard Drive MMA and has defeated everyone he has faced in MMA. That includes four submissions via choke. Koch has previously competed as a lightweight and featherweight, but is dropping down to bantamweight for the opportunity to challenge Munhoz.
I’m honored to be fighting for the RFA title and against someone who is accomplished, yet humble, like Pedro Munhoz,” said Koch. “This fight is going to come down to strategy and who wants it most, because we are both highly confident and have been training a long time. I’m looking forward to going to L.A. and showing the MMA world what RFA fighters are all about!”
The co-main event of RFA 9 will feature a battle between two of southern California’s top jiu-jitsu specialists, as UFC veteran King Kevin Casey (5-3) battles Strikeforce veteran Casey Spider Monkey Ryan (5-0). Both men hold the rank of black belt in jiu-jitsu and made their professional MMA debut in 2007.
Kevin Casey, like Munhoz, trains out of Black House MMA. He is best known as a competitor on the most recent season of the hit reality series The Ultimate Fighter (TUF 17) and for being a longtime student of the famed Gracie family under Rickson Gracie. He will be making his RFA debut in front of his local crowd on August 16th.
I’m definitely honored to come into the RFA as the co-main event in my hometown,” said Casey. “RFA is where I can showcase my talent and transition to the UFC. I’m facing an unbeaten fighter, but it’s going to be a great match-up for me stylistically. I’m coming in to do some damage at RFA 9.
Casey Ryan has finished all five of his opponents in MMA, which includes a Triangle Choke victory over Paul Song in a UFC-owned Strikeforce event. He trains alongside current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, UFC light-heavyweight stars Phil Davis and Brandon Vera, as well as several other UFC fighters at Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, California. Ryan holds a black belt in jiu-jitsu and is also an instructor at Alliance MMA.
Fighting in the co-main event of RFA 9 is a huge opportunity,” said Ryan. “I’m going to be fighting close to home in southern California for the organization known for sending fighters to the UFC. I expect Kevin to force the grappling and that’s fine, but I also plan on testing his stand-up to see where it’s at.”
The RFA 9 main card also features the return of one of the most decorated heavyweight wrestlers in U.S. history, as 2008 Olympian and two-time NCAA Division I national champion Steve Mocco (2-0) returns to the RFA to face undefeated MMA fighter and K-1 kickboxing veteran James “The Beast” Wilson (2-0).
The main card will also see the return of RFA standout and The Ultimate Fighter 15 alumni Jordan All Day Rinaldi (6-1) who participated in the first-ever RFA title fight in his most recent outing. He will look to bounce back against undefeated Black House MMA standout Brian Ortega (6-0) in a featherweight bout.
An explosive welterweight battle is also on tap, as UFC and Strikeforce veteran Chris The Kiss Spång (5-2) will face Hollywood based fighter, actor, and model Alan Jouban (6-1).
The first televised portion of RFA 9 will kick off with the return of former Junior Olympian boxer turned MMA standout Matt Manzanares (6-1) against top-ranked flyweight prospect Steve Swanson (10-1). Swanson is the older brother of UFC star Cub Swanson.
The entire main card of RFA 9 – Munhoz vs. Koch will be televised live on AXS TV starting at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT on Friday, August 16th.