LXF 13 Main Event Breakdown

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It’s a brand new year of fights. After some MMA action occurred during the UFC‘s annual winter break, the 2024 calendar of events started immediately this Saturday night.

While the UFC and ONE Championship will not resume regular cards until next weekend, fans of competitive violence must wait only six days from the start of the year to get their fix on the action. Stop one of MMA’s world tours in 2024, which sees the sport arrive in Long Beach, CA, and Thunder Studios for the first fight night of what will be many over the next 12 months.

Lights Out Xtreme Fighting, founded by former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, whose nickname is the inspiration for the promotion’s moniker, returns to live action with LXF 13. Live coverage of this card begins Saturday at 7:55 pm ET/ 4:55 pm PT for free on Fubo Sports Network and YouTube. Fubo will undoubtedly be looking to build off its recent gains, as LXF 12 in November represented a 90 percent increase in viewership. 

LXF 13 will also be available with ads on Freevee, a service of Amazon Prime Video. Barring any late postponements between now and the weekend, the final version of LXF 13 will feature seven bouts to kick the year off right.

Flyweights Get the Spotlight in LXF 13 Main Event

Highlighting the night’s activities is the first headliner of 2024 in the LXF 13 main event. The action will take place at 125 lbs. when Gilbert Nakatani (4-1 MMA, 4-0 LXF) returns to the promotional banner to fight Enrique Marte (1-2 MMA, LXF promotional debut.)

No championship is at stake here, so the LXF 13 main event is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close out the first show of the year.

LXF 13 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the LXF 13 main event on Saturday night, Gilbert Nakatani stands as the taller man at 5-foot-5, compared to the 5-foot-3 frame of Enrique Marte. No reach information was accessible online at press time.

As of Monday evening, the oddsmakers had yet to release money lines for LXF 13. For the first time in the new year, if you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening over the weekend, please wager responsibly.

Gilbert Nakatani Looking to Get Back in Win Column After Nine-Month Layoff

Gilbert Nakatani enters Saturday night’s main event having gone 4-1 so far in his young MMA career, but he’s had a long time away in-between fights. Back in March of last year, he dropped a unanimous decision after three rounds to Eimar Hernandez (7-0 MMA) during A1 Combat 9’s co-main event.

A lengthy hiatus is the last thing any fighter needs while he or she is working through the ranks and trying to get to MMA’s big leagues, but it gets worse when you consider that the loss to Hernandez came in the aftermath of a stretch where Nakatani saw three separate fights get postponed in the course of eight months’ time.

Will Enrique Marte Start 2024 Off Victoriously?

In the other corner, Enrique Marte has gone 1-2 with one fight disputed in his first four contests as a professional. Although he defeated Dylan Diks last May in Gladiator Challenge 236 (first-round TKO due to retirement) in 46 seconds last May, the result has come under scrutiny.

Tapology does not acknowledge the contest versus Diks as a Marte win due to the promotion being flagged by the website for making mismatches to inflate fighters’ records. All Gladiator Challenge fights and events have been flagged on Tapology for this reason.

Much like Nakatani, Marte has been on a hiatus of his own. Saturday’s LXF 13 main event is his first appearance inside an MMA cage since the disputed appearance in Gladiator Challenge last spring,

Since turning pro in the spring of 2021, Enrique Marte has only fought more than once in a calendar year in one instance, splitting his first two fights in May and August of 2021, respectively. His New Year’s resolution for 2024 is a simple one: Win.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

The LXF 13 main event is a strength vs. strength matchup. Both are adept at scoring the submission.  Who will win the day?

Look for Nakatani to Set Up a Submission

In looking at the tape of Gilbert Nakatani’s fights from the past, one constant is there: He’s adept at finishing the fight by getting his opponent to tap out.  One need look no further than his amateur finale against Rick Zelada.

Just 28 seconds into the fight, Nakatani connected on a right-handed punch to drop Zelada, giving him the opening he needed to go to work on a submission. Although Zelada got back up, it was to no avail, thanks to Nakatani dropping him again, locking in an upside-down rear-naked choke in the final seconds of round one.

All it will take Gilbert Nakatani to score the win on Saturday is one punch. If Nakatani gets Marte on the mat, it could be a wrap in a hurry in the LXF 13 main event.

Marte Can Punch His Way to a Win

In the other corner, Enrique Marte is a tough customer at the shop. He can bring the fireworks like it’s the Fourth of July in his own right.

During the third and final round of his battle against Jacob Rockymore, Marte wasted little time as he moved in on his opponent and unloaded with a combination of punches to knock him down and out in 29 seconds. If Marte can come out like a house on fire on Saturday night, the LXF 13 main event is his fight to win. You can book it.

Final Thoughts

Even though there will not be a championship at stake in the LXF 13 main event, it looks to be a satisfying way to kick off the new year of fights. With no other MMA on the docket this Saturday, you have every reason to watch.

Prediction: Gilbert Nakatani by First-Round Submission. 

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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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