A1 Combat 16 Main Event Breakdown

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‘Twas two nights before Christmas, and all through America, MMA promotions were mostly silent, but not A1 Combat.”With no other MMA cards happening this holiday weekend, Santa‘s got an early present for fans of competitive violence with an assist from UFC Hall of Fame inductee Urijah Faber.

To a man, Santa Claus is going to sit down on his luxurious, albeit cold, ottoman in the back of his workshop at the North Pole this Saturday night to watch A1 Combat 16 and the A1 Combat 16 main event, while Mrs. Claus orders some chicken wings for her husband’s dinner. He’ll have plenty of milk and cookies to nosh on this Sunday night, don’t worry.

Live coverage of A1 Combat 16 begins on YouTube with the undercard at 8:30 pm ET/ 5:30 pm PT, followed at 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT on UFC Fight Pass by main card action. All told, barring any postponed fights between now and Saturday, the final version of A1 Combat’s last show of 2023 features 10 bouts.

Interim Lightweight Gold at Stake in A1 Combat 16 Main Event

Highlighting the night of festive fights is a contest for supremacy at 155 lbs. in the A1 Combat 16 main event. Fury FC featherweight Matheus Camilo (7-2 MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut) moves up to lightweight when  he meets Anthony Figueroa (4-0 MMA, 2-0 A1 Combat.) Current permanent champion Alex Sanchez (14-3 MMA, 1-0 A1 Combat) withdrew from the originally-scheduled headliner ahead of fight night amid an injury.

As per the fight contract, this championship confrontation is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close out the evening’s activities and the promotion’s 2023 slate.

A1 Combat 16 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the A1 Combat 16 main event on Saturday night, Anthony Figueroa stands as the taller man at 5-foot-10, compared to the 5-foot-9 frame of Matheus Camilo, who owns a 70-inch reach. No reach information was accessible for Anthony Figueroa at press time.

As of Thursday evening, the oddsmakers had yet to release any updated betting odds for the new main event.  If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.

Can Matheus Camilo Win on Short Notice?

Originally, Matheus Camilo’s calendar was open on Saturday night before getting the call to replace Alex Sanchez in the A1 Combat 16 main event. He’s posted a record of 4-1 over the last five contests.

At the present time, he’s on a four-fight winning streak, with three of those wins coming under the Fury FC banner. Last time out, he scored a third-round submission (triangle armbar) against Dorian Ramos (6-2 MMA) during Fury FC 83 back on Sept. 17.

That contest was a featherweight bout. Making weight for a fight on short notice will always be a daunting task, but having to do so for a fight in the division above a competitor’s normal class is even more of a challenge. Can he take the interim belt under these circumstances?

Anthony Figueroa Bookends 2023 with Appearance in A1 Combat 16 Main Event

In the other corner, Anthony Figueroa has yet to lose so far in his early career as a professional MMA fighter at 4-0. Counting amateur competitions, he’s sporting a 5-0 mark over his last five fights.

Figueroa has appeared on some notable A1 Combat cards over the past year, including his last fight during the promotion’s first anniversary show, A1 Combat 10 on April 28 from Tachi Palace in Lemoore, CA. That night, he bested Lucas Martino (3-2 MMA, 0-1 A1 Combat) by unanimous decision after three rounds.

This is his third fight under the A1 Combat promotional banner in 2023. a year which saw him fight on the first show on the calendar back in the second full weekend of January. Can Figueroa end the year on a high note? Tune in this Saturday and find out.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

We’ll have a toss-up in the A1 Combat 16 main event on Saturday night. Both of these men can give the judges some time off from tabulating the scorecards.

Matheus Camilo Has Vicious Hands

As we’ve seen countless times over the years in MMA, one punch can end a bout if it lands square and true. Matheus Camilo has that kind of power, something that Tyrek Malveux found out firsthand in June of 2022.

Right from the command to fight in the second round, he stalked Malveux, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. With a single right-handed punch, Malveux was out flat on his back in just 24 seconds.

If Matheus Camilo can replicate that one-punch power, the A1 Combat 16 main event is his.

Watch for Figueroa’s Ground Game

In the other corner, Anthony Figueroa is equally adept if the fight gets to the mat. One need look no further than the second round of his fight vs. Cesar Gonzalez from January as an example.

After trying a rear-naked choke in the first round, Figueroa connected on a right-handed punch and nearly followed it up with a takedown, but Gonzalez took him to the clinch. This only lasted a brief moment as Figueroa dumped him to the ground.

From there, Figueroa rolled Gonzalez over, applying the torque for an armbar and the win. All it takes Anthony Figueroa is one takedown right on the money. If he dumps Alex Sanchez a single time, he’ll be the new champion heading into the holiday.

Final Thoughts

With this being the only game in town as far as MMA goes on Saturday, you have no reason to miss the A1 Combat 16 main event. Roast some chestnuts over a fire and tune in for this one because it’s going to be a good fight.

Prediction: Matheus Camilo by First-Round Knockout. 

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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