LFA 102: Souza vs. Johns Preview

LFA will showcase featherweights in the main event of their show on Friday night, as Bruno Souza and Elijah Johns will fight in a three-round bout. The fight is one of the many scheduled to happen at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA.

Here is a full preview of the card.

Preliminary Card (Facebook)

Bout 1: Andrew Claborn (0-0) vs. Archie Colgan (0-0) (Welterweight)

The sole prelim fight on the card will see Andrew Claborn and Archie Colgan make their pro MMA debuts. Colgan is getting his pro debut after a short yet successful amateur run from 2019 to 2020. Per Tapology, he competed three times, resulting in three first-round stoppage wins.

Claborn also has some amateur experience, although his record comes with some losses and not many bouts in recent years.

Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 8:00PM CDT) (UFC Fight Pass)

Bout 2: Haris Talundzic (1-0) vs. Luis Iniguez (3-0) (Welterweight)

Undefeated welterweights early in their MMA careers will kick off the card when Haris Talundzic faces Luis Iniguez.

Iniguez will be fighting in MMA after some time off from competing in the sport. His last pro MMA fight was in 2019, where he defeated Cameron Sevilla-Rivera to earn his third win. He has since fought in boxing, losing two bouts. Now he returns to MMA, where his record remains unblemished.

Talundzic won his pro debut in late 2019, defeating Adam Valcourt via decision.

Bout 3: Alberto Rodriguez (2-1) vs. Chris Mecate (1-0) (Featherweight)

Coming back after his pro debut, Chris Mecate will fight Alberto Rodriguez. Mecate has only fought for 58 seconds as a pro, as his sole pro fight currently was a quick stoppage win against Jesus Mondragon in March of 2020.

He now fights Rodriguez, who will attempt to bounce back from his first pro loss. He took the loss in February of 2020, losing on scorecards to Motaz Askar.

Mecate missed weight for the fight, coming in one pound over the limit.

Bout 4: Jimmy Meza (2-0) vs. Brandon Lewis (4-0) (Bantamweight)

Ending a near four-year absence from the cage, Brandon Lewis will fight Jimmy Meza. Lewis had a short but strong run in MMA from 2016 to 2017, earning four wins, including three via stoppage. He even appeared once in LFA, defeating Cameron Miller on a card. However, he has now been out of action since 2017. Still, only 23-years-old, Lewis steps back into the cage with a strong resume.

Meza’s entire pro career has taken place during Lewis’ time off. He made his pro debut in 2019, earning a win in less than a minute, then returned in February of 2020 to pick up a submission win.

Mezza missed weight for the bout by over four pounds.

Bout 5: AJ Cunningham (7-1) vs. Javier Garcia (5-3) (Featherweight)

A busy and strong 2020 for AJ Cunningham has brought him to LFA in 2021, fighting Javier Garcia in a featherweight bout. Cunningham competed three times in 2020, picking up a win in each appearance. The campaign boosted him up to seven pro wins and saw him bounce back from being given his first pro loss in the previous year.

Garcia steps in the cage after a year-long layoff. His last bout was a split decision win in late 2019. He has won two of his last five bouts since 2018.

Bout 6: Steve Jones (6-1) vs. Nikolay Veretennikov (7-3) (Welterweight)

Long win streaks will be tested on Friday when Steve Jones faces Nikolay Veretennikov.

Jones will be making his return to LFA. He last competed in August, where he edged out a split decision win against Tyler Ray. He has since competed again, defeating Josh Lee on another regional card. His current win streak is five fights.

Veretennikov’s record is deceiving. While he has three losses as a pro, they all came in the first four bouts of his career. He has since won six-in-a-row, including two stoppage wins in LFA.

Bout 7: Gregory Rodrigues (7-3) vs. Al Matavao (8-3) (LFA Middleweight Tournament Semi-Finals)

Gregory Rodrigues and Al Matavao are one fight away from an LFA title shot in the co-main event. They will compete in the semi-finals of a four-man middleweight tournament on Friday, with the winner going on to fight Josh Fremd at a later date.

Both fighters are returning to the regional scene after losing a fight on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”

Rodrigues had his fight in September, where Jordan Williams caught him in the first round with a head kick. He was entering the fight on a six-bout tear on the regional circuit.

Matavao’s loss was a week earlier, as Tafon Nchukwi stopped him in the second round of a fight.

Rodrigues missed weight for the fight by just over a pound on Friday.

Bout 8: Bruno Souza (8-1) vs. Elijah Johns (7-1) (Featherweight)

Featherweight prospects Bruno Souza and Elijah Johns will both headline their first LFA card on Friday evening. They both got the chance after having successful runs in the promotion.

Souza has now fought three times in LFA, picking up wins from 2019 to 2020. He earned the first stoppage win via strikes of his career in November, defeating Guilherme Santos at LFA 95. He is currently on an eight-fight run of wins.

Johns has competed in LFA since 2018. While he earned his first pro loss in his initial LFA appearance, he has since scored five victories in the promotion in the last two years. He marked down another win in the fall, defeating Luke Faultersack on scorecards.

Souza missed weight for the main event fight by over a pound.

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