The “505” has been thin of outside promotions in the local fight scene. Though the constants of King of the Cage, Fresquez Productions, and the Jackson’s MMA Series have continued to be the staples of our region’s fight scene, it has been a while since an out-of-town promotion has come into the State to make a big splash with a marquee fight card. The State has hosted the UFC and Bellator in the past as well as welcoming in regional powerhouse promotions Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC) and Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) during their time running independently.
Since hosting the two regional promotions, LFC and RFA have merged to become a nationwide player in the MMA business forming Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA). The show has proven itself to be one of the best promotions currently active as it has seen success all across the country including in the Southwest market of Colorado, Texas, and Arizona. The promotion has featured a healthy dosage of New Mexico athletes as well making them one of the most viable options for local fighters to climb the perennial ranks en route to the UFC. The promotion has been one of the best “feeder” leagues in the sport providing a significant number among the ranks of the UFC’s roster.
On Friday, January 25th, the LFA show will come to Albuquerque inside the Legend’s Theater at the Route 66 Casino. The promotion hosts great events that feature action packed fight cards along with a solid production if you happen to catch the fights on AXS TV.
One of the fighters who has reaped the rewards of the successful LFA promotion is Clovis-based Harvey “Fightbot” Park representing Force Of 1 MMA. Park will headline the show in a lightweight bout against Missouri’s Jaleel “The Realest” Willis. The bout could hold title implications as the current champion in the Lightweight division is a familiar foe of Park, Austin Hubbard of Denver, Colorado. Hubbard and Park fought through a three-round war back in May of 2018 in what many consider to have been a closer fight than the unanimous decision result would indicate. A win in the main event could thrust Park back into title contention where he could have the opportunity of redemption to get back a loss from Hubbard.
In the co-main event of the evening, two veterans of New Mexico MMA will square off as Force of 1 MMA’s Abel “The Silent Assassin” Cullum will take on former UFC/WEC contender Damacio “The Angel of Death” Page. The match-making is intriguing as Cullum just came off a loss at the hands of Steve Garcia only a few months ago, and Page hasn’t been in action in over a year.
Still, this fight is a treat for the fight fans invested in the local scene for more than a decade as this the match-up could have happened years ago while both fighters were hot commodity’s in the region as Page was knocking people out in the WEC and Cullum was strangling opponents as the King of the Cage World Champion.
It seems like each time Page connects with an opponent on the regional circuit, their head is usually bouncing off the mat seconds later. The pairing isn’t just favorable for Page though, as he has struggled against submission grapplers his entire career and Cullum has made his name legend in this State for his grappling wizardry as soon as fights hit the mat. Cullum will look to quickly right ship after the aforementioned loss to Garcia just six weeks ago. Both fighters have Legacy and RFA experience, respectively.
Former UFC Flyweight and a true standout in the local scene, Joby Sanchez will also get back into action at this event where he is scheduled to battle Demetrius “Coco” Wilson. Former King of the Cage Champion and one of New Mexico’s most experienced and battled-tested veterans, Donald Sanchez will face-off Fernando Padilla. Other local match-ups include rising prospect Josh Moreno taking on Maycon Mendonca, FIT NHB’s Sherwin Price taking on Flavin Pilgrim, JacksonWink’s Henry Barahona will be paired with Natan Levy, and a rematch between locals Ricky Esquibel and Javier Cepeda.
The main card is scheduled for AXS TV at 8PM on January 25th. The card and line-up is subject to change and tickets are already available viawww.holdmyticket.com or by purchasing them directly from any of the fighters on the card. Stay tuned to SWFight for more event coverage, a finalized fight card, and in-depth breakdowns of the match-ups for LFA 58.