LXF 17 Main Event Breakdown

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Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman made his living in the city of San Diego from 2005 to 2010. Upon a trade between the New York Giants and then-San Diego Chargers on draft day in 2004 involving that year’s No. 1 overall selection, quarterback Eli Manning, who famously spurned the Chargers after drafting him, San Diego acquired what would prove to be the No. 12 overall selection the next year.

With that pick, Merriman was drafted out The University of Maryland. In recent years, the three-time AFC Pro Bowl selection turned his attention from the gridiron to the cage, along with making an appearance during an April broadcast of Impact! Wrestling. 

Saturday night, Merriman, whose nickname on the football field was “Lights Out”, brings his Lights Out Xtreme Cagefighting promotion to where his professional career began, as Casino Pauma in nearby Pauma, CA serves as the host venue for LXF 17. Live coverage can be seen gavel-to-gavel on Lights Out Sports TV beginning at 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT with a full night of MMA action for your viewing pleasure.

Lightweight Gold at Stake in LXF 17 Main Event Saturday

At the top of the bout order is a battle for supremacy at 155 lbs. Incumbent LXF Lightweight Champion and LFA/ Bellator alumnus  Tommy Aaron (12-8 MMA, 3-1 LXF) returns to the promotion after an attempt to become a two-division titleholder earlier this year when he takes on challenger Jordan Bailey (8-6 MMA, LXF promotional debut, a veteran of Peak Fighting and Cage Warriors.

Like all LXF title fights, the LXF 17 main event is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show. In accordance with California State Athletic Commission policy as of Jan. 1, 2024,  all MMA fights run by local/ regional promotions will be three rounds in length. No exceptions were made for title fights.

LXF 17 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the LXF 17 main event on Saturday night, champion Tommy Aaron is the taller contestant at 5-foot-11, compared to the 5-foot-9 frame of challenger Jordan Bailey. The champ owns a three-inch reach advantage (72 inches to 69 inches) over the challenger.

Currently, no betting lines have been released for LXF 17 on Saturday night. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend in MMA or combat sports, please wager responsibly.

Tommy Aaron Looks to Return to Win Column in MMA Saturday Night

Tommy Aaron has gone 3-2 in his last five MMA fights. Most recently inside the cage, he saw a bid to attain double-champ status get foiled with a first-round knockout loss to Mirali Huseynov (8-3 MMA, 1-0 LXF) this past February during LXF 14’s main event on Fubo Sports Network.

In the interim, Aaron made an appearance in bare-knuckle boxing, scoring a second-round knockout of Richard Brooks in BKFC‘s KnuckleMania IV in late April. He’s been active of late, having appeared in five fights in MMA and bare-knuckle boxing over the course of the past year.

How will Aaron handle the quick turnaround, having fought only less than two months ago? Only time will tell.

Bailey Faces First Opponent Since Last August in LXF 17 Main Event

In the other corner, Jordan Bailey has posted a record of 2-3 in his last five fights. Last time out, he saw a two-fight winning streak snapped thanks to a first-round knockout by Perry Stargel (9-6 MMA) in Peak Fighting 31 on Aug. 26, 2023.

A key storyline in this fight is the discrepancy of the layoff between these two men. While Tommy Aaron has been out of action since KnuckleMania IV on April 27, making the LXF 17 main event his first fight in exactly seven weeks (49 days)’ time, Jordan Bailey will not have fought in 294 days when the cage door closes on Saturday night.

How will not having fought in almost 10 months affect him going into the LXF 17 main event? Tune in and find out.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Expect a classic strength vs. strength fight in the LXF 17 main event. Who will emerge victorious?

Watch for Aaron’s Left Hand

Tommy Aaron can put the fight away with a single shot. One punch did the trick in his fight against Richard Brooks at BKFC KnuckleMania IV seven weeks ago. Midway through round two, after already having knocked Brooks down earlier in the fight, Aaron scored with a combination before he moved in and unleashed a strong left-handed punch to knock him down a second time.

There was a bit of a delay as the judges debated whether or not Tommy Aaron landed an illegal punch to a downed Richard Brooks but after further review, the telecast replays showed that Aaron stopped midway through his delivery of a subsequent punch after a legal knockdown and only slightly grazed Brooks’ arm. Thus, the TKO victory stood up.

Again, one punch is all he’ll need in the LXF 17 main event.

Bailey Can End The Show Quickly

In the other corner, Jordan Bailey is adept at scoring the submission. His fight vs. Alex Trinidad is a prime example.  During round 1, after Trinidad completed a throw, Bailey quickly executed a single-arm guillotine choke, getting Trinidad to tap out in 42 seconds.

If Jordan Bailey even gets the slightest opening, look for him to exploit it advantageously on Saturday night.

Final Thoughts

This is shaping up to be a whale of a fight this weekend. Stay up late if you’re on the east coast for the LXF 17 main event.

Prediction: Tommy Aaron by Second-Round KO.

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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.