In the world of combat sports, all fighters learn more from their losses than they do from their victories. See, with a win over someone, athletes tend to look back and feel the fight went as planned overall, even if they did admittedly have moments where they might have taken a punch or two. With a loss against someone, however, fighters take the time to truly analyze their performance and identify where they made errors so they can attempt to improve.

For those unfamiliar with Alan Jouban, take a moment to get brought up to speed. The man holds a record of 8-2, with seven of those wins coming by some sort of finish. Of his two pro losses, his most recent one came in a five-round decision against former RFA standout Mike Rhodes. Jouban showed the world what he could do in five-rounders, but he also learned where he could improve his game.

Jouban (R) (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

Jouban (R) (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

“I needed to work on my wrestling,” Jouban told The MMA Corner. “I needed to work on my takedown defense. In the past, I never had that much trouble with somebody trying to take me down, and I didn’t spend as much time in training on wrestling off the cage. And I learned that in that fight. I learned a lot of things in that fight.”

Jouban possesses a reputation for finishing fights inside the distance. In fact, before he signed with the Resurrection Fighting Alliance, Jouban went the distance only one other time, and that was in Shark Fights, when he scored a unanimous decision win over D.J. Roberson.

After learning how much he needed to work on his wrestling, Jouban switched some things up and sought out help from one of the best in the game.

“I’m at Black House full-time now with coach Kenny Johnson, who’s a great wrestling coach for MMA—very understandable and very basic for MMA guys to pick up,” said Jouban. “And that’s all I’ve been doing, is wrestling my ass off.”

When Jouban walks into the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Culver City, Calif., this Friday night for RFA 15, he will stand across the cage from a wrestler once again. This time, that wrestler is Ricky Legere Jr., who owns eight wins by submission and eight wins by some form of knockout. Five of those eight submission wins came as part of Legere Jr.’s current eight-fight winning streak. With his RFA 15 opponent being a wrestler by trade, Jouban fully expects this one to hit the ground.

“He’s going to try and put me against the cage,” Jouban said. “And I’m working my ass off day in and day out to prevent that.”

Jouban aims to be the first man in over four years to defeat Legere Jr. in a MMA bout.

“Whatever he does, he does well, being that wrestling is how I lost that last fight and his strength as a wrestler,” Jouban explained. “So, that’s one way to look at it. Obviously, I think that in a perspective, I look at it like this guy hasn’t lost in a while, but he hasn’t faced anybody like me. He’s fought a couple of tough guys here and there, but a lot of his fights were just padding the record over the past few years. Not taking anything away from him, but a lot of those wins were against so-so guys. I’m not a .500 fighter, I’m a high-level guy, and he’s going to be trying to apply his game plan against me, and I’m going to try to apply my strategy against him, but I look at it as a good win.”

When it comes to the matter of winning streaks, Jouban knows a thing or two. In between a 2011 knockout loss to Chidi Njokuani and his loss to Rhodes in October, Jouban accumulated a six-fight winning streak and looked like he could have made a move to the UFC. Questions lingered, however, about what Jouban could do against solid, accomplished wrestlers.

“I think that was the one question that maybe the UFC had with me or that some people have with me—Can Alan defeat a wrestler? Can he stop the takedown? I’ve already proven that I can knock people out, and seven of my wins have come from knockouts, but can I defend the takedown? And I think, on June 6, I’m going to get a chance to show everybody—to show the people that are questioning me—that I will defend the takedown. And if I get taken down, then I will get up and I will defeat Ricky Legere. Even though he’s an established fighter and established wrestler, I’m going to beat him,” Jouban declared.

Jouban (R) (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

Jouban (R) (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

With a win over Legere Jr., Jouban will record a third victory under the RFA banner, which for a long time now has been seen as a top platform for fighters that want to eventually step inside the UFC Octagon and test their talents against those of the best fighters in the world. To get from any promotion to the UFC in general requires an obvious degree of potential, but in the RFA, connections to a guy like Ed Soares also work wonders, especially given Soares’ success in getting members of Team Nogueira and Black House MMA noticed by the UFC and other promotions. With guys like Pedro Munhoz and Brian Ortega among the recent signees to the world’s premier MMA league after building a strong relationship with the RFA, it comes as no surprise to anyone that Jouban enjoys where he stands with the promotion. He will be excited for what comes next as he continues to build his brand while helping the RFA to build its brand.

“RFA has been great, man. I see a lot of these guys these days that are getting called to the UFC, and they’re going places and padding their records in those lesser organizations, and a part of me gets a little bit jealous because these guys are getting to the UFC in a shorter amount of time than I have, [and] with padded records because they’re fighting lesser guys, fighting guys with lopsided records,” Jouban said. “And a part of me does get jealous, but I know that once they get there, they’re probably not going to do that well. They’re not going to hang that long because they haven’t been properly prepared. They haven’t been battle-tested yet. They haven’t been put under the bright lights yet or been in a war, and that’s what the RFA does for you. The RFA prepares you for the big-show scenario—doing interviews like I’m doing now, doing multiple interviews, doing the press, fighting tough prospects.

“But you never get to pick [your opponents]. I’ve never picked my opponent. I’ve never said no to an opponent in my life, and not in the RFA either. When the RFA says, ‘Hey, that’s your opponent,’ that’s who you’re fighting, and that’s the same way in the UFC. When you first get the call to the UFC, you’re not going to say, ‘No, I don’t want to fight that guy.’ You’re saying, ‘Hell yeah, I’m jumping at the opportunity.’ So, RFA is doing a fantastic job building fighters, and not only building their confidence and their professionalism as a fighter, but getting them ready for the big show, going against these tough prospects. So I’m completely happy with them. They’ve done a lot, and another thing they’ve done for me is they’ve built my name.

“If I had been fighting in other organizations, I could have gotten the same amount of wins, but people wouldn’t know who I am. RFA’s done a fantastic job of making stars out of their fighters. They’re getting the interviews for their fighters, they’re tweeting about them, they’re putting them on the poster and they’re all being put on TV constantly. I fought several weeks ago on TV, and now I’m getting to fight [Friday] on live TV. That familiarizes the public with us as fighters, and helps us and our brand, and it’s just great. I can’t say enough good things about the RFA.”

Alan would like to thank his sponsors, as well as his training partners, coaches and the RFA for the opportunity to compete on June 6. Follow Jouban on Twitter: @AlanJouban

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.