The upcoming RFA 9 show on Friday features many fighters who recently returned from layoffs, including debuting welterweight prospect Alan Jouban.
Following a year away, Jouban returned to MMA this past May with an impressive two-minute TKO of Rigo Oropeza for the Fight Club OC promotion.
“I was coming off like a year layoff and I was real eager to get back in there and see how much I changed as a fighter and just wanted to get going again,” said Jouban.
“(Oropeza) was a tough guy who had never been finished before and was coming off a knockout win a few weeks before. I had a good showing and got a first-round referee stoppage. I didn’t take any damage and picked up a belt along the way, so it was all I could have asked for really.”
If Jouban (6-1) has any complaints, it’s that he didn’t get in quite the amount of work he would have liked.
“I wouldn’t have minded going in there and mixing it up more to see where I was, but any time you can get in and get out uninjured, you can’t complain,” he told MMAWeekly.com.
Jouban’s performance impressed the RFA enough to offer him a contract. He’ll be making his promotional debut live on AXS TV this Friday against fellow 170-pound prospect Chris Spang (5-2).
“Chris is super-athletic, is a really good striker, comes from a good team and has big show experience, so on paper, he’s a really tough fight,” said Jouban. “As my camp has progressed, we’re honing all my skills again and tweaking everything. I’m going into this fight really confident.
“I have to go in there and take the fight to him and not let him get settled. He’s a good boxer, has good hands, so I can’t let him plant his feet and work any combos. I’m going to have to stay busy, keep him off balance and push the pace on him.”
Should Jouban prove victorious on Friday night, he might already have his next bout lined up for him, which after a recent layoff would be something he’s very much looking forward to.
“There’s another guy in the RFA named Mike ‘Biggie’ (Rhodes) who called us out, so that could that could be my next fight,” said Jouban.
“I would love to get a win in this fight and then fight again in another two, three months. I’ve got a three-fight contract with the RFA and I’d love to win all those fights and maybe get a title shot eventually.”