Fury FC 89 Main Event Breakdown

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Sunday Night Football has been around for years, since 1987 to be exact, followed in 1990 by Sunday Night Baseball. Not everyone will be tuned to ESPN this particular Sunday to watch the game between the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves from Park on Battery Avenue in Atlanta at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT.

No, on this Sunday night, fans of competitive violence have a special treat in the form of Sunday Night MMA. Fury FC returns to its usual Sunday timeslot when Fury FC 89 takes place from Imagen Venues in Houston.

Live coverage of Fury FC 89 begins Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm ET/ 11:30 am on the official Fury FC Facebook page with the prelims, followed at 5:30 pm ET/ 2:30 pm PT with main card action. As always, the main card will be shown gavel-to-gavel on UFC Fight Pass throughout the world.

Featherweight Championship Up for Grabs in Fury FC 89 Main Event Sunday Night

All told, barring any postponements between now and fight night, a stacked 16-bout slate will be held to wrap up the weekend. Highlighting the night’s activities is the battle for the Fury FC Featherweight Championship in the Fury FC 89 main event.

Former titleholder  Nate Anderson (11-4 MMA, 3-1 Fury FC) meets Michael Aswell (8-1 MMA, 8-1 Fury FC). Sunday’s Fury FC 89 main event is an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close out the show.

Fury FC 89 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the Fury FC 89 main event on Sunday evening,Michael Aswell stands as the taller man at 5-foot-8, compared to the 5-foot-7 frame of challenger Nate Richardson, Aswell owns a two-inch reach advantage (70 inches to 68 inches) over Richardson.

Richardson Looks For Championship Years After Escaping Warfare

Nate Richardson comes into the Fury FC 89 main event this Sunday having gone 3-2 in his last five fights. At the moment, he’s on a two-fight winning streak.

Last December, he scored a fourth-round knockout during the Fury FC 84 main event, but he needed to leave his home country of Liberia when conflict erupted during his childhood, as he told in 2020.

“As a kid, you just remember the good times,” Richardson began. “I didn’t have toys as much, but I just got to play with my friends a lot. Soccer was a big part of my life there. That’s pretty much all you do year round. Eventually, the civil war happened.”

Upon Richardson and his family escaping Liberia and some time spent in the Ivory Coast, he found a permanent home in Minneapolis, where his fight camp is based.  He’s a man who had to leave the confines of home to save his life and has now become a seasoned combat sports veteran with stints in the LFA and GLORY Kickboxing. 

Another championship victory on Sunday night in the Fury FC 89 main event would be the latest chapter written in an incredible story. All that’s left to do is to get in the cage and beat a tough opponent in the form of Michael Aswell, something that’s much easier said than done.

Michael Aswell Ready For Highest Profile Bout

In the other corner, Michael Aswell has posted a record of 4-1 in his last five fights. Most recently, he scored a fourth-round TKO due to a doctor’s stoppage during a nontitle fight against Josh Altum (5-3 MMA, 2-2 Fury FC) in the Fury FC 85 main event.

Recently, Aswell was a guest on the MMA Interesting Prospects YouTube channel, where he discussed his thoughts on why Fury FC didn’t award him with a championship opportunity sooner.

“I guess the promoter just wanted to take his time and try to build me up,” Aswell mentioned. “I know that I’m young and I think he was just trying to make sure that I wasn’t rushing anything, wasn’t trying to make too many quick steps. I told him that I believed I was ready and if I had to just win a couple more times or if I had to– whatever he needed me to do, I told him that I was going to do it.”

Michael Aswell is a man who’s conquered Fury FC almost as much as he possibly can. Think about it: He captured the Fury FC Featherweight Championship during his time as an amateur in the promotion before going 8-1 as a professional. A featherweight title in these pro ranks is the last item that remains on Aswell’s checkbox.

If he captures the pro featherweight championship, the sky is the limit for Michael Aswell.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the Fury FC 89 main event looks to favor Michael Aswell, a grappler, compared to Nate Richardson’s boxing and kickboxing background. Who will win the day?

Nate Richardson’s Striking Could Write the Story

Nate Richardson is a boxer and kickboxer, so it stands to reason that he’ll strike his way to victory on Sunday night. As little as one punch could put Michael Aswell away. His 2015 fight vs. Courtney Buck is a prime example.

During the third and final round, Richardson regularly pieced Buck up with leg kicks along with left hooks and jabs. Buck was outclassed during this round, meaning that it was only a matter of time before Richardson folded him like a lawn chair in a tornado with a crisp punch.

If Nate Richardson outpaces Michael Aswell on strikes, it’ll be a productive night for him this weekend.

Michael Aswell Can Wear a Guy Down

In the other corner, look for Michael Aswell to tire Nate Richardson out in the Fury FC 89 main event. He exhausted Josh Altum in his last fight back in January.

While Aswell and Altum traded strikes late in round three, Aswell turned up the volume in the fourth period, where he teed off with a barrage of strikes before using his grappling defense to his advantage. Upon returning to his feet, Michael Aswell continued to mix up his strikes, forcing Altum to cover up.

A now-gassed Altum went down at the end of the round, after which the fight doctor intervened and waved off the fight between periods. If Michael Aswell can repeatedly unload on Nate Richardson, he’ll be the one leaving the arena as the champion.

Final Thoughts

With Fury FC 89 being the only game in town as far as MMA is concerned on Sunday night, you may as well watch the main event. The winner will pick up a resume-defining victory.

Prediction: Michael Aswell by Fourth-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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