Next Sunday, the eyes of the sports world will be on Las Vegas for the NFL‘s grand finale of its 2023-2024 season. Allegiant Stadium is the host site of this year’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
This Sunday, however, sports fans have a choice, and it should be an easy one to make. While diehard football fans will tune to ABC and/or ESPN to watch a glorified flag football exhibition for the final of this year’s Pro Bowl Games live from Orlando, fans of competitive violence will likely prefer something a little more hard-hitting for their viewing pleasure.
That’s where the world of MMA comes in. Another Sunday of fights caps off the shortest month’s first weekend. Fury FC returns to live action with another edition of its Challenger Series, emanating from Imagen Studios in Houston.
— IridiumSportsAgency (@TeamIridiumISA) January 30, 2024
What’s perhaps the best part of Fury Challenger Series 11 is the fact that the show will be live and free to all who tune in and watch. Coverage begins with the undercard Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm ET/ 11:30 am PT on the Fury FC YouTube page, continuing with the main card at 5:30 pm ET/ 2:30 pm PT on the UFC Fight Pass YouTube and Facebook accounts. No subscriptions or credit cards are required.
Lightweights Do Battle Sunday Afternoon in Fury Challenger Series 11 Main Event
All told, barring any subsequent postponed contests between now and Sunday (there are currently eight fights called off, as per Tapology, from the slate) a full 13-fight card is due to take place on fight night. Highlighting the activities is a showcase at 155 lbs. in the Fury Challenger Series 11 main event.
Undefeated Yadier DelValle (5-0 MMA, 3-0 Fury FC), a veteran of Combate Global and Bayou FC, takes on 21-fight veteran Adam Smith (11-10 MMA, 0-1 Fury FC.) As per the terms of the fight contract, this headliner is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
Fury Challenger Series 11 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the Fury Challenger Series 11 main event both men stand 5-foot-9.
Yadier DelValle Seeks to Make it 10 in a Ro`w on Sunday
Yadier DelValle has yet to lose in his MMA career. Dating back to his amateur career, he’s won nine consecutive fights. Most recently, he scored a unanimous decision victory against Michael Aswell (8-1 MMA, 8-1 Fury FC) last June during Fury FC 80.
DelValle is a man whose life outside of the cage isn’t unlike some of his fellow fighters. A few years ago, he worked various odd jobs to earn extra income between fights, including running a food truck specializing in Cuban pizza.
“In Cuba right now, it’s really rough,” DelValle told Fight Pass in 2021. “No economy, no food, no medicine, nothing. When we came here to [the] United States, we really made that pizza from Cuba. The Cuban people come here and want the Cuban pizza and they really like it.”
Adam Smith to Return for First Fight Since Surgery Sunday
In the other corner, Adam Smith has posted a record of 2-3 in his last five fights. At the present time, he’s on a two-fight losing streak.
Last time out, he dropped a first-round knockout to Evan Cutts (16-7 MMA, 3-1 Fury FC) with five seconds remaining on the clock at Fury FC 58 in February 2022. He hasn’t stepped inside the cage since due to undergoing hip replacement surgery.
This is a man who’s been put through the ringer out of the cage, having to endure four operations. Fans must wonder with a clean bill of health if Smith can pull off what would be considered a massive upset.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
The Fury Challenger Series 11 main event is another stylistic toss-up. Both men are Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts, and with no stylistic advantage, this should be a fun scrap to watch.
“The Cuban Problem” Can Get the Job Done Violently
Yadier DelValle has proven throughout his MMA career that he’s a guy who can turn aggressive at the drop of a hat. This was on full display during the second round of his lone Combate Global appearance versus Miguel Lugo.
After dropping round one on the scorecards, DelValle exchanged shots with Lugo, but it would become abundantly clear that he wanted to empty the tank and took Lugo to the ground. Upon putting Lugo on the canvas, DelValle unleashed a flurry of ground and pound shots, including some nasty elbow strikes, to score a knockout in a little over two minutes.
All it will take Yadier DelValle to run his winning streak to double digits could be one takedown.
Adam Smith Can Use the Armbar
In the other corner, look for Adam Smith to seek out an opening for an armbar. If he’s able to get DelValle on the mat, like he did vs. Benji Silva in Submission Underground a few years ago, it could be a wrap.
After the standard five-minute period failed to produce a winner, the match proceeded to overtime, where Smith won the coin toss. In his half of the extra session, he locked up an armbar in only two seconds’ time.
Due to Smith’s quick work in landing the submission, Silva had no chance to try and match the submission, resulting in one of the quickest victories you’ll ever see in combat sports.
If Adam Smith has a sliver of daylight on the mat, he can close the show with an armbar on Sunday.
There’s no other MMA show going on this Sunday, so you may as well log onto YouTube and watch the Fury Challenger Series 11 main event. Expect some fireworks here.
Prediction: Yadier DelValle by Unanimous Decision.