LFA will crown a new champion at middleweight on Friday night, as Ozzy Diaz and Bruno Assis will battle for the vacant belt in the main event of LFA 127. Their fight is scheduled to headline a card from The Commerce Casino & Hotel in Commerce, California, USA.
Here’s a preview of the evening.
NOTE: This preview was written before the weigh-in results for LFA 127 were made available online. The lineup for the show may change before the event happens on Friday night.
Bout 1: Christopher Hernandez (1-0) vs. Elijah Leggett (0-0) (Catchweight 150 lbs)
The first three bouts of the night are all similar, in that they’re someone making their pro debut and someone else riding the momentum of their first pro win. The opening bout of the card will see Christopher Hernandez and Elijah Leggett meet at a catchweight of 150 pounds.
Leggett had a lengthy amateur run from 2015 to 2022. He is moving to professional status after putting together a strong record of nine wins and three losses. His last victory was just last month, defeating Michael Walker on scorecards.
Hernandez scored a stoppage win in his pro debut last year, defeating Johnny Faris on an LXF card.
Bout 2: Bryden Dao (0-0) vs. Riley Wiseman (1-0) (Lightweight)
Bryden Dao is set for his pro debut against Riley Wiseman in the next fight.
Wiseman made his pro debut last year on a CageSport card. He scored a late submission win in that bout, catching Octavian Trumbo with a triangle choke while there were just more than 10 seconds left on the clock.
There is little information online about Dao, as databases like Tapology do not reflect that he has competed as a pro or amateur in the past.
Bout 3: Luis Schwenke (1-0) vs. Diego Vazquez (0-0) (Heavyweight)
Up at heavyweight, Luis Schwenke and Diego Vazquez will compete on the prelims.
Schwenke made his pro debut for LFA last year, defeating Ingrid Sewa on scorecards. This came after a highly successful amateur career, scoring wins from 2015 to 2019.
Vazquez has fought as an amateur a few times, picking up two finish victories between 2019 and 2020. He also has some grappling experience, having competed in the 2019 ADCC North American Trials.
Bout 4: Lisa Mauldin (4-2) vs. Whittany Pyles (2-4) (Flyweight)
On the journey of turning around her pro record, Whittany Pyles will face Lisa Mauldin on the prelims.
Pyles started her career with three consecutive losses. She has since scored two wins in her past three appearances, including a stoppage victory over Megan Cawley last year. While a win on Friday night wouldn’t even up her pro record yet, it would get her one step closer to achieving that goal.
Mauldin is fighting for the first time in over a year. Her last appearance was at LFA 96 in late 2020, where she returned to the win column with a decision over Mitzi Merry.
Bout 5: Jasmine Pouncy (1-0) vs. Giovanna Canuto (2-0) (Strawweight)
Undefeated strawweights Jasmine Pouncy and Giovanna Canuto are expected to meet on Friday night.
Canuto has displayed grappling excellence through her two LFA bouts last year. After submitting Amanda Lovato in the first round with an armbar, Canuto returned later that year to secure a heel hook win against Kathy Solorzano.
Pouncy had a quick pro victory in October 2021, stopping Karla Almaguer in just 44 seconds with strikes.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 6:00PM PDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 6: Tommy Aaron (9-6) vs. Junior Melo (10-5) (Welterweight)
Looking to follow up on a busy 2021, Tommy Aaron will face Junior Melo on Friday’s main card.
Aaron fought a surprising five times in 2021, attaining three wins and two losses. Most of these fights took place in Combate Global, but the run also includes an LFA fight from February 2021.
Melo is fighting to bounce back from a loss he took last year to Guido Santos. That decision outcome broke a four-fight winning streak that he put together on the regional scene in prior years.
Bout 7: Karlee Pangilinan (6-1) vs. Wascar Cruz (12-9) (Catchweight 130 lbs)
Karlee Pangilinan has the chance to bounce back from his sole pro loss when he fights Wascar Cruz on Friday night.
Pangilinan attained six wins as a pro from 2018 to 2020. He joined LFA last year but lost his first bout for them via submission against Charles Johnson.
Cruz has the experience advantage heading into this weekend, having fought 21 times as a pro. He had an unsuccessful 2021, suffering three losses through four appearances.
Bout 8: Arnold Jimenez (7-2) vs. Josh Wang-Kim (4-0) (Bantamweight)
Undefeated prospect Josh Wang-Kim will get a big step-up in competition on Friday night when he faces Arnold Jimenez.
Wang-Kim has picked up four victories since turning pro in 2020. His last win was on a Cage Warriors card, scoring a second-round finish win against Jose Hernandez last year.
Jimenez is returning to LFA for the first time in nearly five years. His last appearance for the promotion was in 2017 when he lost a fight to Vince Cachero, who went on to later join the UFC roster. Jimenez has gone flawless since then, scoring five consecutive wins on the regional scene.
Bout 9: Chase Gibson (10-5) vs. Javier Garcia (8-4) (Featherweight)
Former LFA title challenger Javier Garcia will battle against Chase Gibson in the co-main event.
Garcia lost a title bout last year, dropping a unanimous decision to now-UFC fighter Bruno Souza. He bounced back later that year, scoring a decision victory against Ryan Fillingame. He has the chance to make it a winning streak on Friday.
Gibson’s last appearance was a successful LFA debut, submitting Thai Clark on a card in October 2020. That performance put him back into the win column after losing on the UFC TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series” earlier that year.
Bout 10: Ozzy Diaz (6-1) vs. Bruno Assis (12-5) (Vacant LFA Middleweight Championship)
LFA will crown a new middleweight champion in Friday night’s main event, as prospects Ozzy Diaz and Bruno Assis will square off.
Assis won his LFA debut late last year, handing Jalin Fuller his first pro loss in a unanimous decision result. Assis was given the call from LFA after he picked up quick wins in Titan FC, scoring a pair of first-round finishes over the past couple of years.
Diaz is a former Bellator fighter returning for his second LFA appearance. He is currently on a four-fight winning streak that has all come via stoppage. His sole LFA appearance was in 2020 when he stopped Logan Woods in just under two minutes with strikes. He has since scored another win, defeating Moses Murrietta on an LXF card.
LFA’s previous middleweight champ, Josh Silveira, vacated his belt recently to join the PFL roster. The winner in Friday night’s main event will become the eighth middleweight champ in LFA’s history.