LFA 128: McKenzie vs. Clay Preview

LFA will kick off a busy month of events on Friday night by crowning a new lightweight champ. In the main event of a card from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, prospects Aaron McKenzie and Lucas Clay will meet with a championship on the line.

That fight headlines LFA 128. Here’s a full preview of the card.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Zach Sulzer (1-1) vs. Jorge Apalategui (2-1) (Amateur Lightweight)

The first amateur bout on the card is scheduled to be a fight between Zach Sulzer and Jorge Apalategui.

Apalategui has fought as an amateur since 2015. While his career is quite spread out, his last victory was just two months back. That performance saw him stop Mark Leany in just 31 seconds due to strikes.

Sulzer is coming off his sole amateur win, which came in November 2021 against Mike Eide. Both fighters have shown their finishing skills, meaning Friday’s fight could end quick.

Bout 2: Cheyanne Bowers (5-1) vs. Kaeley Fenhaus (1-0) (Amateur Bantamweight)

Bantamweights Cheyanne Bowers and Kaeley Fenhaus are expected to meet on the prelims.

Bowers has been incredibly busy since beginning her amateur career early last year. She scored her fifth win just last month, earning a armbar victory against Shalie Lipp. On Friday she will be fighting for her first LFA win, returning to the promotion after taking her sole amateur loss under their banner last year.

Fenhaus is coming off her debut win, which came in February via stoppage against Stephanie DiGulio.

Bout 3: Brett Bye (1-0) vs. Jhellani Olton (2-0) (Amateur Welterweight)

Undefeated welterweights Brett Bye and Jhellani Olton are expected to meet on Friday night.

Bye is getting a quick turnaround after winning his debut last month, defeating Brady Steinhorst via scorecards. Both of Olton’s previous wins came last year, with the fights each lasting one round only.

Bout 4: Abubakar Adamu (0-0) vs. Andre Triolo (0-0) (Bantamweight)

The prelims are scheduled to wrap up with a double debut. In this fight, bantamweights Abubakar Adamu and Andre Triolo will compete.

Adamu competed as an amateur briefly, including an early 2020 appearance on an LFA card. In that fight, he defeated Eimar Hernandez on scorecards. There is little information online about Triolo.

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

Bout 5: Sarek Shields (2-0) vs. Thad Jean (2-0) (Welterweight)

In the first of two matchups between undefeated fighters on the main card, Sarek Shields and Thad Jean will face off.

Shields’ last appearance was on an LFA card just earlier this year, where opponent Jeremiah Curtright retired in-between the second and third rounds. This was his second victory since turning pro in July 2021.

Jean fought in notable regional promotions CFFC and CES last year, and is now touching down in LFA for the first time. His last win was a quick finish, stopping Thomas Majeski in the first round of a bout with strikes.

Bout 6: Mitchell McKee (1-0) vs. Jalen Jackson (0-1) (Bantamweight)

The next fight is the tale of two bantamweights early in their careers. While Mitchell McKee will be attempting to build off his first pro win, opponent Jalen Jackson is still hunting for that first victory.

McKee’s pro debut came in late 2021, where he scored a second-round finish win against Frank Posko at LFA 120. Just a few weeks later, Jackson had an unfortunate debut at Bayou FC 46, where Justin Mead submitted him in just 16 seconds via armbar.

Bout 7: Bryce Meredith (1-0) vs. Jay Viola (3-3) (Bantamweight)

Returning for his second pro fight, Bryce Meredith will meet Jay Viola at bantamweight.

Meredith, a former collegiate wrestler, made his debut at LFA 108 last year. He passed his first test as a pro with flying colors, stopping Steven Merrill in the first round with ground and pound.

He now faces an experienced name in Viola. The bantamweight fighter has competed for over a decade on the regional scene. He is attempting to break a two-fight skid after losses to notable prospects Mitch Raposo and Fernie Garcia.

Bout 8: Devon Dixon (4-0-1) vs. Richie Miranda (3-0) (Catchweight 160 lbs)

Strong pro records will collide on Friday night when Devon Dixon and Richie Miranda fight.

Dixon’s entire five-fight career up until now has consisted of fights in Titan FC. He started his run with four consecutive wins, including three of them coming via stoppage. He went to a draw in his last appearance, going three rounds against Charlie Decca in late 2021.

Miranda is coming off a successful rookie year as a pro. He fought three times in 2021, finishing all of his fights in either the first or second rounds. His last appearance was on a Cage Warriors show, where he submitted James Lynch early.

Bout 9: Jimmy Lawson (3-1) vs. Marino Eatman (5-4-1) (Heavyweight)

Heavyweights will compete in the co-main event, as Jimmy Lawson and Marino Eatman will fight.

Lawson is currently on a three-fight winning streak. While he lost his pro debut to now-Bellator fighter Said Sowma, he later strung together a trio of wins. His LFA debut was a quick victory last year, defeating Anthony Garrett in just 18 seconds at LFA 114.

Eatman will be searching for his first win since 2019, as his last three appearances have resulted in two losses and one draw. He last appeared on an XFC card, where Brett Martin beat him on scorecards.

Bout 10: Aaron McKenzie (10-2-1) vs. Lucas Clay (8-1) (Vacant LFA Lightweight Championship)

Prospects Aaron McKenzie and Lucas Clay will meet in the final bout of the evening. They’ll be looking to become the next LFA Lightweight Champion, fighting up to five rounds in total to attain the vacant belt.

McKenzie, a two-time Bellator fighter, enters the matchup with more experience on paper. His last three appearances for LFA have all resulted in wins since August 2020. His last victory came in April 2021, where he went three rounds against Brandon Phillips for a decision nod.

McKenzie was scheduled earlier this year to face Joshua Jones in a non-title fight. However, that bout didn’t happen after Jones withdrew with weight cutting issues.

Clay has been on a roll since 2019, securing four straight wins on the regional scene. He made a name for himself in the LFA last year with two wins. After starting the year off with a victory against JJ Okanovich, he returned later that year to submit Jake Kozorosky.

Two winning streaks in LFA will collide on Friday night, with one of them earning a fighter champion status.

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