LFA 144: Gafurov vs. Silva Preview

LFA’s bantamweight title will find a new home on Friday night.

Competing for the promotion’s vacant belt, prospects Muin Gafurov and Diego Silva will fight in the main event of LFA 144 from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA.

The fight headlines an incredibly busy card that features many other prospects. Among them are Christian Natividad, Jordan Heiderman, Jared Revel, Jacobi Jones, and Christian Turner. Here’s a preview of it all.

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

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Roy Magana (1-1) vs. Nicolas Colunga (1-0) (Amateur Featherweight)

The evening is scheduled to begin with an incredibly busy preliminary card. Among the 10 fights in this section of the show, four of them will be amateur bouts.

The first fight of the night is scheduled to be a featherweight bout between Roy Magana and Nicolas Colunga.

Colunga won his amateur debut just three months back, defeating winless amateur Thad Becker in July.

Magana has a win and a loss thus far. He won his debut in early 2021 via stoppage, but then lost his second fight due to submission. After a year out of the cage, Magana returns this weekend.

Bout 2: Dylan Stanke (1-1) vs. Patrick Kelly (0-1) (Amateur Bantamweight)

Local bantamweights Dylan Stanke and Patrick Kelly will appear in the next prelim.

Both fighters are aiming to come back from a loss. Stanke took his first defeat in July due to submission. He had won his debut previously. And Kelly will be trying to bounce back from an unsuccessful debut, which saw him get tapped in just 62 seconds.

Bout 3: Samantha Nabity (2-0) vs. Annabel Kelly (3-5) (Amateur Flyweight)

Searching for her third win, Samantha Nabity will square off against Annabel Kelly.

Nabity’s pro career has been going well so far. Her 2021 debut saw her pick up a third-round arm triangle choke submission. A year later, she went the distance against Holly Dight for her second victory. While there was already a year-long pause to start her career, she is only 19 years old and has no reason to be in a rush.

Kelly enters this fight with the experience advantage. She has fought as an amateur since 2018 and has a negative record of three wins and five losses. She snapped a two-fight skid in her last appearance, defeating Erin Johnson on a Cage Titans card in July.

Bout 4: Damen Moyer (3-0) vs. Brian Sullivan (4-0) (Amateur Middleweight)

The amateur portion of the card will conclude with a fight between undefeated middleweights Damen Moyer and Brian Sullivan.

All three of Moyer’s wins have come within the past six months in B2 Fighting Series. While all of the fights have come via finish in the first or second rounds, it’s also worth noting he has yet to face a fighter who wasn’t making their debut.

Sullivan has fought as an amateur since late 2019. There are fewer patterns in his record, with one win coming via submission and the others emerging via decision. The most important pattern is that he has yet to lose.

Bout 5: Andres Murray (3-6) vs. Robson Junior (3-2) (Lightweight)

Lightweights Andres Murray and Robson Junior will look to turn around recent struggles in their matchup this weekend.

In 2020, Junior had an undefeated record of three wins. However, after getting finished in both of his LFA bouts thus far, he is now on a two-fight losing streak. Following nearly an entire year outside of competition, he will get a third crack at the LFA cage.

Murray has won just one of his last six pro bouts, with five of those defeats coming via finish. His last fight was three months ago when Coty Milhausen submitted him in the first round of a fight.

Bout 6: Jeff Nielsen (1-1) vs. Ben Schauer (1-0) (Welterweight)

Hot off a successful pro debut, Ben Schauer has been booked to meet Jeff Nielsen on Friday night.

Schauer picked up a finish in his pro debut earlier this year, stopping Travis Karppinen in 63 seconds due to strikes. This fight came after a strong amateur career from Schauer, earning five wins through six appearances from 2016 to 2021.

Nielsen will be returning to LFA in this fight. He has appeared for them four times, with three of those fights during his amateur career.

Nielson lost his pro debut at LFA 120 last year, dropping a decision to Billy Elekana. He is now coming back to the promotion after beating Trevon Jackson on a recent B2 Fighting Series show.

Bout 7: Cheyanne Bowers (1-0) vs. Naranjargal Tsendayush (1-0) (Bantamweight)

Cheyanne Bowers will cross over to professional MMA this weekend when she faces Naranjargal Tsendayush.

Bowers had a quick yet successful amateur career, competing only from the start of 2021 to May of this year. During this time she picked up seven wins and just one loss. Her run finished especially strong, earning four submission wins this year before taking this booking.

Tsendayush already has her first pro win. This victory came on a regional card in Mongolia earlier this year, finishing Tsogzolmaa Dorjsuren with strikes in under two minutes.

Bout 8: Adamu Isah (1-0) vs. Mateo Gonzalez (3-0) (Bantamweight)

Undefeated bantamweight prospects Adamu Isah and Mateo Gonzalez are scheduled to face off this weekend.

Isah’s first pro fight came in April of this year at LFA 128. He needed just a round to finish Andrew Triolo, making him tap out due to strikes.

Gonzalez won his LFA debut in June with a doctor stoppage over Cody Rondeau. He already picked up two finish wins as a pro before then.

Bout 9: Brady Minner (6-2) vs. Patrick Rivera (6-3) (Welterweight)

Both looking for their third consecutive win of 2022, welterweights Brady Minner and Patrick Rivera will compete.

Minner’s two victories this year have come via finish in regional promotion DCS. The fights were against experienced opponents of over 20 fights, although they both had negative records at the time.

Rivera has succeeded on the regional scene thus far in 2022, stopping Carrese Archer with strikes and getting the scorecard nod over Shawn Brooks.

Bout 10: Ronald Coleman (2-0) vs. Chato Wiest (1-1) (Heavyweight)

The extensive prelims are scheduled to wrap up with a heavyweight fight between Ronald Coleman and Chato Wiest.

Coleman, still in his rookie year as a pro, is on the hunt for his third win. His two previous victories have come within a minute each due to strikes.

Wiest earned a win and a loss in 2021, with both fights ending in under two minutes.

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

Bout 11: Jacobi Jones (4-1) vs. Christian Turner (3-0) (Lightweight)

LFA vet Jacobi Jones will return on Friday against undefeated lightweight Christian Turner.

Jones has spent his entire five-fight pro career thus far in the LFA. He bounced back from his sole loss in June, as a cut caused Riley Wiseman to exit his bout against him in the first round.

Turner is making his promotional debut with a flawless pro record of three wins. Along with an appearance from April on PFL’s “Challenger Series,” Turner has earned a pair of wins on the regional scene.

Bout 12: Christian Natividad (4-0) vs. Israel Galvan (5-2) (Flyweight)

Flyweight prospect Christian Natividad will appear this weekend in a short-notice matchup against Israel Galvan.

Natividad was originally booked to face Jordan Harris on this weekend’s card. However, after that fight was scrapped, he was paired against Galvan.

Natividad has started his career off strong, picking up four victories between 2020 and 2021. While he has been out of the cage for more than a year now, he returns with the momentum of a strong start to his career.

Since Natividad’s last fight, Galvan has earned a total of four victories on the regional scene. He last competed in June, defeating Taylor Alfaro. He was booked to face “The Ultimate Fighter” alum Mitch Raposo last month, but weight cut issues for Raposo caused that bout to not happen.

Bout 13: Jared Revel (11-3) vs. Renato Valente (8-5) (Middleweight)

Middleweights Jared Revel and Renato Valente will meet next. Both fighters are returning to the promotion after losing in the main event of a show last year.

Revel’s last fight was in December 2021 against Josh Silveira. He had a six-fight winning streak snapped in that title bout, going five rounds but losing a unanimous decision in the end.

Valente’s most recent appearance dates back a little further, headlining LFA 116 in a non-title fight against Josh Fremd in October 2021. Valente lost that three-round fight, not getting the nod from the judges in the end.

Bout 14: Yuma Horiuchi (9-5) vs. Juan Puerta (23-7) (Flyweight)

Yuma Horiuchi will get a big challenge this weekend, facing experienced flyweight Juan Puerta.

Puerta stepped into this fight after Horiuchi’s prior booking, Felipe Bunes, withdrew from the lineup.

Puerta had an incredibly impressive 12-fight winning streak in 2021, including a victory on UFC TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series.” But that streak came to an end just last month, as he lost a decision to Iago Ribeiro at UAE Warriors 33. He will look to turn things around with a new big matchup in front of him this weekend.

Horiuchi is returning to LFA in this fight. He appeared as part of a “Road To UFC” tournament this summer but was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Thai prospect Topnoi Kiwram. Before then, Horiuchi had a four-fight LFA run that included a five-round fight against now-UFC talent Charles Johnson.

Bout 15: Jordan Heiderman (5-0) vs. Daiqwon Buckley (3-0) (Heavyweight)

Undefeated heavyweights Jordan Heiderman and Daiquon Buckley will put their flawless records on the line in Friday’s co-main event slot.

Heiderman is coming back to LFA after appearing on the latest season of UFC TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series.” He made it to the semi-finals of the bracket’s tournament but was eliminated by fellow LFA fighter Zac Pauga.

Heiderman’s pro record is a strong five wins since his 2018 debut. His last fight saw him get a disqualification finish due to opponent Chad Johnson landing an illegal soccer kick 25 seconds into their bout.

Buckley, a former NFL player, has scored three victories since his debut in late 2021. He last appeared on a Titan FC show in June, beating Dai’kwon Fuse in a split decision outcome.

Bout 16: Muin Gafurov (17-4) vs. Diego Silva (15-7) (Vacant LFA Bantamweight Championship)

Muin Gafurov and Diego Silva have the chance to become the seventh bantamweight champion in LFA history this weekend. The previous titleholder, Daniel Argueta, vacated his belt earlier this year after joining the UFC roster.

The fight will be Silva’s second chance at becoming an LFA champion. He fought the aforementioned Argueta in May but lost a split decision after five rounds. He has since bounced back with a split decision victory against Askar Askar later this year, placing him back into title contention.

Friday will be Gafurov’s first time appearing in a five-round fight. The ONE Championship alum prevailed in his LFA debut four months back, finishing Herbeth Sousa in the second round with punches. The fight put him back into the win column after losing a bout to Chad Anheliger on “Dana White’s Contender Series” last year.

All previous LFA bantamweight champions have either signed with the UFC or Bellator following their victory. A successful performance will likely open doors for a bantamweight, and also add a big win to their record.

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