A1 Combat 19 Co-Main Event Breakdown

Image for A1 Combat 19 Co-Main Event Breakdown

Sometimes when you navigate through fight week, the scheduled card is by no means the final version of the event’s itinerary. The promotion encounters circumstances beyond its control and it’ll have to make adjustments to the night’s planned slate of contests. This has happened in the run-up to Friday’s A1 Combat 19.

While three title fights are still scheduled to take place on the evening in the professional MMA ranks from Wheatland, CA’s Hard Rock Live, there’s been an alteration made to the A1 Combat 19 main event. When Friday’s event was initially announced, the scheduled co-headliner was to be for the promotion’s vacant middleweight title between Kevem Felipe (8-6 MMA, 1-0 A1 Combat) and Jason Butcher (15-5 MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut.)

Jason Butcher Out, Handesson Ferreira In

Late Monday, however, this changed. A1 Combat announced on its social media channels that Jason Butcher would no longer be able to make his promotional debut as scheduled due to suffering an illness.

In Butcher’s stead, Handesson Ferreira (18-5-1 MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut), a veteran of Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA and the PFL, accepted the offer on short notice in order to preserve the 185-lb. championship for Friday night.

The A1 Combat 19 co-main event is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round.

A1 Combat 19 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the A1 Combat 19 co-main event on Friday evening, Kevem Felipe stands as the taller man at 6-foot-1, compared to Handesson Ferreira’s frame of six feet even. Felipe also owns a three-inch reach advantage (74 inches to 71 inches) over Ferreira.

Felipe Looks to Build Off Submission Win in A1 Combat 19 Co-Main Event

A universal storyline going into this middleweight title fight is the fact that both of these men will have fought fairly recently. For Kevem Felipe, his last fight occurred in the promotion’s first show of 2024, A1 Combat 17, on Jan. 19.

That evening, he scored a first-round submission (rear-naked choke) over Tony Charles (3-3 MMA, 0-1 A1 Combat) at a contracted catchweight of 195 lbs. After the fight, he talked to MHC Media’s Michael Hernandez about his victory.

“I’m feeling great,” Felipe began. “Best performance. I don’t know if it was the best of my life. I have a lot of other good performances, but I’m ready to do my best. I’m ready to impress the world, everybody who watches me. I’m ready to kill.”

Having a change in opponent is never easy for any fighter. It’s even harder for Kevem Felipe to find out that he’s getting a new adversary just days before the A1 Combat 19 co-main event.

He’s spent the entirety of his training camp preparing to fight Jason Butcher and he now has to pivot to a seasoned veteran in Handesson Ferreira on just a few days’ notice. What kind of adjustments have had to be made to Felipe’s preparation ahead of the restructured co-main event? Only time will tell.

Handesson Ferreira Aiming for Second Win This Month

In the other corner, Handesson Ferreira is the fresher fighter of the two in the A1 Combat 19 co-main event, having just stepped inside the cage on March 2. Counting his bareknuckle MMA appearances, he’s gone 3-2 in his last five fights.

At the present time, he’s on a two-fight winning streak, one that was extended last time out just a few short weeks ago versus former UFC fighter Karl Roberson (9-5 MMA) during Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA: dos Santos vs. Belcher on the Kick streaming service via unanimous decision from Orlando.

This is his first appearance in traditional MMA in over a full year, having fought at welterweight in Russia last March against Boris Medvedev (18-2 MMA), losing by way of first-round knockout. He’s a veteran fighter and has had to take short-notice fights before.

Can he score the victory on just a few days’ notice? Watch the A1 Combat 19 co-main event and find out.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the A1 Combat 19 co-main event looks to be a toss-up. Both men come from kickboxing backgrounds, but who will win the day on Friday night

Felipe Slick with Subs

Although Kevem Felipe is a kickboxer by trade, he’s also an adept fighter when it comes to the ground game. One need look no further than his last fight vs. Charles for proof.

During the first round of the catchweight fight, both fighters exchanged shots, but the former landed a spinning backfist to knock the latter down. With Charles on the mat, Felipe pounced on him, landing some ground and pound before taking Charles’ back to execute a rear-naked choke submission with under 30 seconds left in the round.

If Kevem Felipe is able to open up the fight with a concussive strike, he can gain control of the A1 Combat 19 co-main event and score a submission.

Handesson Ferreira Can Work Quickly

In the other corner, it would behoove Handesson Ferreira to land the first blow of the A1 Combat 19 co-main event, because if he manages to get in the first shot, it could be game, set, and match before you get back from the fridge with that sandwich and a bowl of potato chips.

His 2018 fight versus Paul Bradley is a textbook example of this. Right after the command to fight was given, Ferreira stalked Bradley before moving in with a kick to the liver to drop him.

He had that fight in the bag thanks to a barrage of unrelenting ground and pound strikes. The referee almost couldn’t run fast enough to wave the fight off in 20 blistering seconds.

Look for Handesson Ferreira to try to get out of the starting blocks quickly in the A1 Combat 19 co-main event this weekend. This one may be over as quickly as it begins.

Final Thoughts

For a contest put together on just a few days’ notice, the A1 Combat 19 co-main event looks to be a dynamite affair. Again, have that fridge run finished before the fight starts. You might not have the opportunity to make that fridge run during the fight.

Prediction: Kevem Felipe by First-Round Submission.

Share this article

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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *