LFA 81: Emmers vs. Barbosa Full Coverage

Coming back to California, LFA 81 took place on Friday night. Headlining the card was high ranked regional featherweights Jamall Emmers and Rafael Barbosa. The main card showcased seven different bouts across different countries and weight classes.

Quick Results – Click a fight to skip to its part:

Bout 1: Vanessa Demopoulos def. Loveth Young via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 2: Leandro Gomes def. Yuma Horiuchi via Decision, Split

Bout 3: Vincent Cachero def. Marvin Garcia via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 1:22)

Bout 4: Sam Hughes def. Lisa Mauldin via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 5: Christian Aguilera def. Glaucio Eliziario via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 6: Jacob Rosales def. Salaiman Ahmadyar via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 7: Jamall Emmers def. Rafael Barbosa via Submission, Arm Triangle Choke (RD 3, 2:39)

Full Coverage

Bout 1: Loveth Young (1-0-1) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (3-1) (Strawweight)

The first fight of the evening saw strawweights Loveth Young and Vanessa Demopolous fight. The fight was the return to LFA for Demopolous, lasting fighting in mid-2019. Young landed good punches early on.

Young landed a few more good punches to start the second round. Demopoulos pulled guard, letting Young take top position. Demopoulos almost got a triangle choke, although Young escaped and got back up. Young continued to be the better puncher, opening a cut on the left eye of Demopoulos. She pulled guard again halfway through the second round. Demopoulos was able to sweep and take top position this time. She landed lots of punches from top position. Demopoulos tried for an armbar in the final minute, with Young enduring the hold before escaping in the final second.

Demopoulos got a takedown in the first minute of the final round. Young was able to shift into top position. They stood up with three minutes to go in the fight. Demopoulos tried for another takedown, pulling guard with two minutes to go. She got on Young’s back, hitting her with some strikes. The fight went the distance, with Vanessa Demopolous getting the unanimous decision victory (29-27, 29-27 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Young 10 9 9 28
Demopoulos 9 10 10 29

Bout 2: Leandro Gomes (4-1) vs. Yuma Horiuchi (7-2) (Bantamweight)

In an international clash, Brazil’s Leandro Gomes fought Japan’s Yuma Horiuchi. Horiuchi caught a leg kick, getting a takedown in the first minute. Gomes was able to end up in the dominant position as they got up in the clinch. Gomes threw Horiuchi down two times, although they went back to striking with a minute and a half left in the round.

Gomes got another takedown in the second minute of the second round. Horiuchi got up, with the referee forcing Gomes to stand up too. Horiuchi was the more active striker, with Gomes backing up against the cage and not answering back much.

In the first minute of the final round, Gomes shot for another takedown. He didn’t complete it at first, although he eventually got a takedown. They were clearly both very tired at this point. Horiuchi had a choke for a moment on the ground, although Gomes escaped. Gomes capitalized on a head kick, getting the fight to the ground again with two minutes to go. Horiuchi slipped out of his position on the ground and forces Gomes to get stood up again. At this point it felt like both fighters lost the power to close out the fight. Horiuchi got a takedown in the final seconds, throwing some punches before the fight ended. Consulting the judges, it was a split decision. Getting two of the three decisions was Leandro Gomes (29-28 Gomez, 30-27 Horiuchi & 29-28 Gomes). The commentary seemed upset over the scorecards.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Gomes 10 9 9 28
Horiuchi 9 10 10 29


Bout 3: Marvin Garcia (12-3) vs. Vince Cachero (6-2) (Catchweight 150 lbs)

In a catchweight fight, Marvin Garica and Vince Cachera battled next. The fight was the debut in LFA for Garcia, taking this fight on short notice. Garcia got a takedown right off the bat, going into half guard. Cachero landed some elbows from the bottom. Cachero stood back up, with Garcia still applying the pressured via clinch.  They returned to stand-up after Garcia needed to put his mouthguard back in. Cachero landed a knee to the head, with Garcia trying for a takedown after that. They stood back up, where Garcia seemed visibly shook by shots. Cachero was clearly the fresher fighter as the final round was ending. He got on Garcia’s back in the final minute, landing some punches to the head.

At the start of the second round, Cachero landed a leg kick which clearly hurt Garcia. Garcia was almost crawling around the cage as the round was starting. Garcia was dropped by strikes, with Cachero landing lots of punches from the back before the referee ended it. Putting an end to his two-fight losing streak in LFA, Vince Cachero got the win. After the fight, Cachero held up a Kobe Bryant jersey before putting it in the middle of the cage.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Garcia 9
Cachero 10

Bout 4: Sam Hughes (3-0) vs. Lisa Mauldin (3-1) (Flyweight)

The next match saw undefeated Sam Hughes fight Lisa Mauldin. The crowd was behind Mauldin as she is from California. Hughes shot for a takedown in the first minute but couldn’t achieve it. She tried again a minute later. While Mauldin was stopping the takedowns, she was eating lots of strikes. Damage was starting to show on Mauldin’s face as the round was ending. Hughes got her first takedown in the closing seconds of the round.

They clinched up in the first minute of the second round, separating moments later. Mauldin landed a spinning backfist at the end of a combination. In a clinch, Mauldin landed a good knee to the body. Hughes clinch up again in the third minute, although Mauldin got out. Hughes landed many uppercut punches while in another clinch. Before the round ended, Mauldin got a takedown.

Hughes got into a clinch early in the third round, scoring an elbow to the head when exiting. Mauldin landed knees in two different clinch exchanges. Hughes got a takedown in the third minute. They were stood up due to inactivity. When they got up, a cut on Mauldin’s face was bleeding quite a bit. Hughes got another takedown in the final minute of the round, doing some ground and pound from the back. When going to the scorecards, there was no doubt that Sam Hughes would get the unanimous win, staying undefeated as a pro (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Hughes 10 10 10 30
Mauldin 9 9 9 27

Bout 5: Glaucio Eliziario (9-4) vs. Christian Aguilera (12-6) (Welterweight)

Experienced welterweights Glaucio Eliziario and Christian Aguilera fought in the next fight. Aguilera got a double leg takedown to start off the fight. He did ground and pound, although Eliziario kept moving on the bottom. Eliziario tried for a heel hook for a moment. They got back up with a minute to go in the round.

Eliziario got a takedown to open the second round. Aguilera got up within moments. Aguilera got a takedown in the second minute. He landed elbows from the position. Eliziario stayed on his back for the rest of the round. Aguilera stood up and did an interesting move: he jumped off of the cage and landed with a hammerfist punch.

Aguilera tried for another takedown to start the third round, although Eliziario put up a longer fight being being taken down. Aguilera was on Eliziario’s back. Eliziario escaped the position, getting in the top position of half guard. It was the first time in the fight that he had a dominant position. Eliziario got on Aguilera’s back, trying for a rear naked choke. Aguilera endured until the clock ran down. Going to the judges, all three judges saw Christian Aguilera as the winner (29-28, 29-28 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Eliziario 9 9 10 28
Aguilera 10 10 9 29

Bout 6: Salaiman Ahmadyar (7-1) vs. Jacob Rosales (11-5) (Catchweight 160 lbs)

In the co-main event of the evening, Jacob Rosales fought Salaiman Ahmadyar. In his last fight, Rosales lost to Jonathan Pearce on the third season of Dana White’s Contender Series. Rosales had fast and clean strikes from the start. Rosales got some attention for wearing trunks that had well-known serial killers on it. His corner was also calling out plays named after said killers. It felt like Rosales was steering the fight where he wanted. In the final minute, a left hook landed by Ahmadyar. It was the best shot he got in all fight.

Ahmadyar did a clinch in the first minute, although Rosales separated them. After Rosales landed a combination, Ahmadyar clinched up again to stop the momentum. Ahmadyar’s face was quite bruised at this point. A right hook made Ahmadyar stutter in the final minute of the second round.

Ahmadyar had a good start to the final round, trading punches with Rosales. Ahmadyar went into a clinch against the cage. Rosales was warned about grabbing the cage. They returned to striking with three minutes left in the round. Rosales tried for a takedown with two minutes to go, although Ahmadyar never went down. They returned to striking for the rest of the fight. While Salaiman Ahmadyar showcased his toughness, Jacob Rosales had the spotlight on him, getting a unanimous decision win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ahmadyar 9 9 9 27
Rosales 10 10 10 30

Bout 7: Rafael Barbosa (12-2) vs. Jamall Emmers (16-4) (Featherweight)


The main event of the evening saw two experienced featherweights Rafael Barbosa and Jamall Emmers battle. Both fighters had explosive strikes at the start of the fight. It was a close round to score. Barbosa stormed forward with combinations.

The second round was another close one, strictly being held in striking. Emmers got a double leg takedown in the final minute of the second round. They stood up in the final 10 seconds, with Emmers keeping ahold of Barbosa.

The final round started with Emmers landing the right hand numerous times. He got a takedown in the second minute, getting on Barbosa’s back immediately. He tried for a rear naked choke, then transitioned into an arm triangle which was in deep. The hold was kept in for long enough that the referee had seen enough. Getting his fourth win in a row since his failed 2018 Dana White’s Contender Series fight, Jamall Emmers is making a case for getting another shot on the show.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Barbosa 10 9
Emmers 9 10

LFA returns on the 21st with a show from the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota, USA. Headlining the card is Alex Polizzi and Jamal Pogues fighting for the vacant LFA Light Heavyweight Championship.

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