Ed Soares, President of Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) and MMA manager to Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, the Nogueira brothers, and more, joined MMA Fight Corner to talk about the success RFA 8 had and what’s in store for their next event, RFA 9.
“We’re showing that we have a lot of great prospects in the RFA,” Soares stated as he reflected on RFA 8. “I thought the fights were good. I thought the production was good. I thought it looked great on TV. There’s not really too much for me to complain about. There’s always a bunch of things that we can do to make this show better and I definitely think the show was good. But I also think there’s things we can do to make it much better, we’re constantly a work in progress.”
RFA 8 saw two new champions crowned. Lance Palmer became the promotion’s Featherweight Champion and Sergio Pettis was crowned the Flyweight Champ. Both men are still undefeated.
Pettis was originally slated to meet Jeff Curran in the battle for the inaugural title. On about a week’s notice, Dillard “Joe” Pegg stepped in to fight Pettis. The result, Pettis knocked out Pegg in dramatic fashion in under one minute.
It was revealed that Curran had withdrawn from the fight over a personal matter. His family’s dog was involved in an accident and Curran tweeted that he had to tend to the matter. While his reason for withdrawing is not exactly an orthodox one, Soares said every man has to do what’s best for themselves and their families.
“Who am I to judge what his family is going through at the time?” Soares asked. “Granted the reasoning for him to pull out of the fight was the dog, but there were a lot of things that came with it that had an affect on the reason why he pulled out. With him taking care of his family, and taking care of his dog for the 3 to 4 days, he was going back and forth on whether they’d have surgery and it took him away from the gym. For him to make 125 pounds, he had to be on a very strict gameplan to be able to make the weight.
“Physically he said he didn’t want to disrespect Sergio, he didn’t want to disrespect the RFA by not making weight,” Soares continued. “Was I upset? Yes, I was upset. Would I like him to fight? Yes, I’d like him to fight. But what are you gonna do man? It’s just one of those things that in this business, I’ve heard Dana [White] say it all the time and his are on a much bigger level, it’s just he knows that everyday he wakes up, he knows that bad things are going to happen. And unfortunately, in the promotion game, everyday an obstacle comes up. Some obstacles bigger than others and I think that what makes the difference between an organization that’s successful or not is being able to overcome the adversity and still pull something off.”
However, Soares indicated that rescheduling that bout is absolutely still in the plans for an upcoming RFA fight card.
“I definitely would like to make that fight happen,” Soares said. “I think that’s a fight that makes sense. You’ve got an experienced veteran and there’s a story there. You got this seasoned veteran who wants to make it back in the UFC, and he’s going to take on one of the hot, upcoming prospects. So it’s kind of like the old school versus the new school. If Jeff Curran can beat Sergio Pettis, then maybe he’s got potential to get back into the UFC at the 125 pound divsion. And Sergio’s going to be able to test himself against a seasoned veteran to see where he stands in his path to getting where he wants to go, which is in the UFC.”
Soares went on the reveal what’s next for the RFA.
“RFA 9 is going to be August 16 in Los Angeles,” Soares said. “We’re doing it at the formerly known as the Home Depot Center, but it’s the StubHub Center now. They recently renamed it to the StubHub Center on June 1st. So that’s the event that we’ve got next, RFA 9. The headliner is going to be Pedro Munhoz versus Keoni Koch for the bantamweight title. We’ve got Kevin Casey fighting on the card from The Ultimate Fighter. So it’s coming together as a pretty good card.”
Munhoz (7-0) is an undefeated fighter out of BlackHouse MMA and is from São Paolo, Brazil. At RFA 8, he defeated Mitch Jackson by way of guillotine choke in the first round. Koch, brother of UFC featherweight Erik Koch, is also undefeated at 5-0 and will make his debut with RFA in a battle for the 135-pound title.
Kevin “King” Casey competed on The Ultimate Fighter’s 17th season. Though he didn’t make it through to the finals, he was still able to fight in the finale. But Casey fell short against castmate Josh Samman, who TKO’d him in the second round and was subsequently released from the UFC.