When it’s all said and done, two men will walk out of LFA 14 with gold around their waste, an impressive addition to their resume as they try to climb the ranks.
The headliner will crown the organization’s inaugural middleweight champion as Brendan Allen (7-1), a former Legacy FC fighter who’s riding a five-fight winning streak with five stoppages, takes on Eryk Anders (7-0), a former University of Alabama football player who’s 7-0 with six stoppages since turning pro in 2015.
LFA 14 takes place tonight from Arena Theatre in Houston and airs live on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET.
In the co-headliner, a flyweight champ will be crowned. Jerome Rivera (7-0), a submission specialist who defeated Zac Riley at LFA 10, takes on Roberto Sanchez (6-0), a longtime Legacy FC fighter who was recently featured on “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.” He’s won his past five fights via submission.
For Anders, he recognizes what’s at stake and the importance of a big finish to win an LFA title belt.
“It’s a really special opportunity,” Anders said. “LFA is a big feeder into the UFC. Usually their title holders get a shot at the UFC. So (if) I go out there, do what I’m supposed to do, end the fight in devastating fashion as I’m accustomed to doing, there’s no doubt I’ll get that opportunity in the near-future.”
Allen, though, has other plans in mind and doesn’t care about Anders’ past as a college football standout.
“This is MMA; this isn’t football,” Allen said. “I’m going to go out there, make it look easy, solidify that I’m the best 185-pounder on the roster.”
Sanchez-Rivera is an intriguing contest in that both men possess excellent wrestling and jiu-jitsu. It’s not if, but a matter of when this fight will hit the mat, and both men expect it.
“I don’t think anyone at 125 can match me on the ground,” Sanchez said. “It doesn’t matter who you put in front of me. I try to take them to the ground and grapple with them. For the most part no one wants to grapple with me. They try to stand back up. We’ll see what he does.”
Said Rivera: “I try to wrestle people. I try to beat people up with the ground-and-pound and stuff like that. I feel like that’s the difference in my jiu-jitsu game, and I feel like my ground-and-pound will make a difference when we hit the ground.”
To hear more from the four title contenders, check out the videos above and below.
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