LFA 137 Preview

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Legacy Fight Alliance returns to the Commerce Casino in Commerce, Calif. for LFA 137: Gibson vs. Amil on Friday, July 29. The evening’s main event will pit featherweight prospects against one another when Chase Gibson (11-5) takes on unbeaten Hyder Amil (6-0).

This week’s LFA broadcast can be streamed on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) for the main card with preliminary bouts possible to be streamed on the promotion’s Facebook page.

Main Event

Friday’s main event will feature the longstanding rivalry between Southern California and Northern California when Los Angeles’ Gibson faces off with San Francisco’s Amil. Gibson is one of the top fighters at his gym, California Mixed Martial Arts, located in Gardena. He is also a veteran of Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020, dropping a decision to rising UFC featherweight Tucker Lutz in a memorable fight that got the latter signed to the UFC. To his credit, Gibson has gone 2-0 since the Lutz fight picking up a pair of LFA victories over Thai Clark and Javier Garcia.

He will look to put his action style to the test against Amil, a man yet to taste defeat in his MMA career. Like Gibson, Amil is one of the most prominent fighters at his gym, the El Niño Training Center, and has ridden his well-rounded standup to six consecutive wins as a pro, three of which have come in the Bellator cage. After a would-be fourth Bellator fight got nixed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amil left for LFA with a likely eye on one day reaching the UFC. “The Hurricane” has responded well to the cage of scenery, finishing Robson Junior in his LFA debut in a fast-paced war of attrition before returning to fight Devante Sewell in the co-main event of LFA 129. Despite closing as a -525 favorite, Amil fought to split decision victory over Sewell to keep his unbeaten record intact.

He will enter Friday’s bout with Gibson a -135 favorite while Gibson can be had for +115 on most betting apps. Both fighters are live to leave some early openings for their opponent, so Friday’s main event could very well come down to which fighter is able to capitalize first and capitalize better than their opponent. A win over Gibson will represent the biggest of Amil’s career to date, as “El Guero” boasts the best resume of any Amil opponent to date. He has gone the distance with both Lutz and UFC 277‘s Rafa Garcia, and his versatility and experience in the cage might prove to be the difference, as while three of Amil’s six wins have come by way of KO or TKO, Gibson has been knocked out just once in his 16-fight career. Regardless of which fighter is able to get their hand raised, an LFA featherweight title opportunity could await the winner.

Co-Main Event

Two fighters with 10 wins apiece will do battle in Friday’s co-main event when Ricardo Dias (10-5) fights John Sweeney (10-3) at 135 pounds. The momentum leading into the fight seems to be on the side of Sweeney, the South Carolinian who is currently working on a four-fight winning streak between three different promotions. He trains at Upstate Karate alongside ranked UFC welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and employs a similar striking style to the fan favorite, utilizing karate with his hands at his side.

He has also fought a significantly better level of competition than his opponent with notable victories over Sewell, an opponent he shares with Amil, former Bellator prospect Keith Lee and UFC veterans Cole Smith and Leonardo Morales. Sweeney needed to overcome a good deal of adversity to make his current winning streak a reality, however, suffering back-to-back knockout losses to Phil Caracappa and Cody Durden after opening his career 6-1. A victory over Dias will make it five-straight for Dias since the Durden loss, and could put him in good standing with the UFC matchmakers.

Dias, who trains out of Kinds MMA in Huntington Beach, Calif., has primarily gone to his grappling to get the job done, though he score a knockout victory with a knee to George Garcia as recently as last spring. While he has won six of his last eight bouts, Dias is coming off a loss to Michinori Tanaka in the main event of LFA 117 and will now look to avoid sliding to 2-2 in LFA. Dias has also been never knocked out, with the knockout being a common path to victory for his opponent. Conversely, Sweeney is yet to be submitted in his 13-fight career, so it will be interesting to see if something gives between the two, or if either fighter can successfully stifle their opponent and win a decision.

Rest of the Card

The main card will feature seven total fights and include a featured fight between Jacob Rosales (13-7) and Darren Smith Jr. (21-12). Both fighters have 53 combined fights between them, something of a rarity on regional shows as of late. The fight will also be contested at a 160-pound catchweight, but while Smith has the most recent fight at welterweight between the two, Rosales will have a two-inch height advantage and three-inch reach advantage. American lightweights are also scheduled to square off when Jean-Paul Lebosnoyani (4-1) takes on New England regional favorite Caleb Hall (4-0). Moving down the main card, fight fans will also get a look at two more undefeated prospects when flyweight Cody Davis (5-0) takes on Mark Climaco (6-1) and middleweight Billy Elekana (4-0) takes on Daniel Compton (6-2). A featherweight fight between LFA vets Leandro Gomes (6-2) and Javier Garcia (8-5) will round out Friday’s main card.

Five preliminary bouts will lead into the main card. American flyweights will collide when Karlee Pangilinan fights Mefi Monterroso in the last fight of the prelims. Both fighters are entering the bout on the heels of back-t0-back losses, though one of Pangilinan’s defeats came to recent UFC debutant and former LFA champion Charles Johnson, and Monterroso has been dabbling in professional boxing. He recently dropped a unanimous decision in the boxing ring to former UFC flyweight title challenger John Moraga.

Elsewhere, three-win fighters Ammanueli Adzoh and Tyson Miller will collide at 170 pounds, after Danny Silva takes on Elijah Leggett in a battle of the unbeatens. Alandria Brown and Jasmine Pouncy, a pair of 1-1 women’s strawweight fighters will also be in action as will welterweights Jeffrey Craig and Orlando Sanders, who will be making his professional debut.

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