A1 Combat 19 Featured Bout Breakdown

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It doesn’t happen in most MMA promotions based out of North America, but you’ll see it happen on Friday night if you’re a spectator with tickets for A1 Combat 19 in Wheatland, CA. Most often, when you think of fighters competing at strawweight, you’ll think of women competing at a championship maximum of 115 lbs.

Atypical of some other MMA organizations, A1 Combat will hold a strawweight championship fight between two male contenders this weekend. It’s the start of a tripleheader of title fights in the professional ranks.

A1 Combat 19 begins this Friday at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT on the promotion’s YouTube channel with the amateur undercard, continuing at 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT on UFC Fight Pass. As of late Tuesday, Friday night’s show was nearly a sellout, so the only way to watch if you don’t have tickets is through these streams.

Strawweight Championship on the Line in A1 Combat 19 Featured Bout Friday

The promotion’s strawweight championship fight will pit two competitors moving down from 125 lbs. in hopes of becoming the first male champion in A1 Combat history at 115 lbs. Namiki Kawahara (7-5-2, 1 NC MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut),  who won the DEEP Strawweight Championship in 2020 and is a veteran of ONE Championship, will fight Anthony Do (8-7 MMA, 0-1 A1 Combat), himself a veteran of ONE and Lights Out Xtreme Cagefighting.

As per the terms set forth by the fight contract, Friday’s A1 Combat 19 featured bout is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round.

A1 Combat 19 Featured Bout Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the A1 Combat 19 featured bout on Friday night, Namiki Kawahara stands as the taller man at 5-foot-7, compared to the 5-foot-4 frame of Anthony Do. No reach advantage information was accessible at press time.

Currently, the oddsmakers have Namiki Kawahara installed as a -200 favorite on the money line, with Anthony Do countering as a +150 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend in MMA, please wager responsibly.

Can Kawahara Stop the Skid?

Namiki Kawahara has posted a 2-3 record in his last five fights, but he’s hit a rough patch of late. Currently, he’s on a two-fight losing streak going into the A1 Combat 19 featured bout this weekend.

Most recently, he sustained a unanimous decision loss to Danial Williams (6-3 MMA, 3-2 ONE Championship) during ONE 156: Reloaded on April 22, 2022, meaning that the A1 Combat 19 featured bout is Kawahara’s first appearance in MMA in nearly two years’ time.

Not only is Kawahara hungry for a win, he’s been out of action for close to 24 months as of this writing. Thus, the age-old question is asked again:

How much ring rust does Namiki Kawahara have? What kind of training regimen has he done in this lengthy interim and will the hiatus between bouts prove detrimental toward his championship aspirations in his first such fight on American soil after fighting for titles in Asia?

For the answers, you’ll have to tune into the A1 Combat 19 featured bout and see how he does this Friday night.

Anthony Do Also Looking to Stop Skid of His Own

There’s an old adage that goes “Misery loves company”. In the other corner of this fight, Anthony Do is under a similar predicament ahead of the A1 Combat 19 featured bout this weekend.

At the present time, he’s gone 1-4 over his last five fights, but Do is currently on a three-fight losing streak. Most recently, he was defeated by TKO at the end of the first round against Victor Rosas (7-2-1, 1 NC MMA) on Aug. 25 during LXF 10 after it was determined by the doctor that he couldn’t continue in the fight due to sustaining a cut above his eye and a broken nose/

While Do has had a layoff himself, it’s been shorter compared to that of his adversary. He’s had seven months between fights, while Namiki Kawahara has been away from the cage in 23 months.

Anthony Do is a man who could use a victory on Friday night in the A1 Combat 19 featured bout, so can he put it all together and get back in the win column for the first time since May of 2021?

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Friday’s A1 Combat 19 featured bout is another one of those strength vs. strength matchup. Which one of these men will emerge victorious?

Kawahara Has a Vicious Ground Game

Should Namiki Kawahara assume control of this featured bout at strawweight, he can take it to the mat. From there, it’s his world. He did the same in 2020 in DEEP against Haruo Ochi.

In the second round of the fight,  Kawahara took Ochi down and softened him up with punches, before taking Ochi’s back to land more shots to the head, finally sinking in the rear-naked choke with 17 seconds left on the clock.

All it will take for Namiki Kawahara to secure the victory is grabbing hold of Anthony Do’s back. If he dumps his opponent once, he’ll be in the wheelhouse.

Anthony Do Slick With Submissions Himself

In the other corner, Anthony Do is adept on the ground in his own right. Just take a look at the tape of round two of his 2021 fight vs. Liang Hui.

That night, Hui took Do down, but the latter became the aggressor, immediately going for a triangle choke. It was only a matter of time before Anthony Do applied the needed torque to finish the job in under four minutes’ time.

If Anthony Do finds himself on the receiving end of a takedown, he can reverse the script to better his own cause.

Final Thoughts

Although a men’s strawweight championship is rarified air for an American MMA promotion, this looks to be a great fight on Friday in the A1 Combat 19 featured fight. Give this one a watch.

Prediction: Anthony Do by Second-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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