LFA 43 headliner Brendan Allen (via Mike Jackson/MikeTheTruth.com)

LFA 43 Preview: Get to know Brendan Allen, Jake Heffernan and the rest of the main card combatants

Friday night at LFA 43, fourteen talented up-and-coming fighters will have the chance to strut their stuff on AXS TV. Get hyped for the show with notes and clips on all 14 main card talents who will be stepping inside the cage in Beaumount, Texas to audition for a shot in one of MMA’s big leagues.


LFA 43 Main Event @ 185 lb:

Brendan Allen (8-3, #184 World)
Larry Crowe (10-6, #279 World)

Brendan “All In” Allen, 22 years old, fighting out of Slidell, Louisiana. Allen’s 8-3 record looks solid but is even better than it appears at first glance. Allen has only fallen short against elite parties Trevin Giles, Eryk Anders, and Anthony Fluffy Hernandez – going all 25 minutes with the latter two men. Otherwise Allen has crushed some good fighters including Chris Harris (then 9-1) and former top prospect/still-developing Brave CF talent Sid Wheeler. Whether by sub (5) or TKO (3), Allen prefers to get his work done on the ground – check out the following video to see him paint the canvas with Jon Kirk’s plasma at LFA 3:

Larry “Tae Kwon” Crowe, 34 years old, fighting out of Houston, Texas. Crowe went 6-4 in the old Legacy FC promotion before winning his first LFA bout with a decision over Bilal Williams. Crowe’s resume includes 185 pound title challenges at LFC 21 and LFC 39 that saw him fall short to Bubba Bush and Leo Leite, respectively. Crowe will try to play spoiler here as a big underdog against the young stud prospect. If he manages to take out Allen, it seems logical to expect it would take a finish from the Silverback Fight Club striker. Anything is possible, as Crowe has pulled finishes off five times already in Legacy action including this gnarly head kick of Ike Villaneuva:


LFA 43 Co-Main Event @ 145 lb:

Jake Heffernan (6-0, #520 World)
Peter Stanonik (6-3, #15 Texas)

Jake Heffernan, 28 years old, fighting out of Texas. The undefeated “Grinder” out of Gracie Barra Woodlands gained LFA’s attention when he submitted hyped Ithaca Wrestling standout Derek Brenon at a Paramount MMA Colorado regional show in March. Heffernan showed the ability to hang on the mat with an elite ammy wrestler in that bout, along with solid finishing skills. MMA-Today scout Shawn Bitter expects Heffernan to score the takedown early and often at LFA 43 – we’ll see if he can conjure up another finish like this:

Peter Stanonik, 29 years old, fighting out of Wyoming. Like Heffernan, Stanonik earned this co-main event shot by taking out a prospect in undefeated Kendrik Williams at LFA 23. The Muay Thai stylist Stanonik certainly has shown the ability to finish a fight by KO, with five in his six victories. He’ll need to try to keep it on the fight against the smothering game offered by Heffernan; otherwise Stanonik could fall prey to the sub, which is how he lost to veteran Rey Trujillo at Fury FC 22 in February. Check out Stanonik’s big win in his promotional debut at LFA 23, which saw him smoke Williams with a wicked left hook for the clean KO:


LFA 43 Undercard Preview

145: Cameron Graves (6-2, #19 Texas) vs. Jordan Titoni (6-2, #4 Colorado)

Cameron Graves, 24 years old, fighting out of Texas. Graves will make his LFA debut seeking the biggest win of his career after falling short to Rey Trujillo and Dimitre Ivy in his two bouts against established journeymen. There isn’t much out there on Graves, but here’s his biggest win to-date versus Jose Ceja, in which he shows off strong footwork, takedown defense, and heavy hands en route to a TKO stoppage following a round of action:


Jordan Titoni, fighting out of Factory X Muay Thai in Denver, Colorado. Titoni enters his second LFA bout on the strength of a five fight win streak including four finishes. While Titoni is also stepping up to his biggest challenge yet versus Graves, he does own a solid regional win Sean Tobin that saw him easily overpower the BAMMA vet on the mat. Titoni pulled the same trick in his most recent bout from May against previously undefeated Flavian Pilgrim – check out the video to see how Tirloni neutralized the flashy striker and patiently worked to the Mata Leon finish. No doubt Tirloni intends to produce a similar story when he fights Graves this Friday at LFA 43:


W115: Itzel Esquivel (2-2) vs. Desiree Yanez (1-0)

Itzel Esquivel, 21 years old, fighting out of Houston, Texas. Esquivel has found herself matched in very tough bouts in her latest two LFA appearances that saw her finished by Nicolle Caliari (via sketchy early TKO stoppage) and by upcoming Contender Series prospect Maycee Barber (legit). Esquivel fared much better in her LFA 7 debut versus Brandi Narvaez, where she ended up on bottom but managed to pull out the armbar submission:

Desiree Yanez, fighting out of Blitz Sport MMA in Texas. This will be Yanez’s second pro fight and LFA debut. In her first pro outing at XKO 40, Yanez found herself on bottom early thanks to wild aggression from Carmella James. But Desiree kept her cool and used superior jiu-jitsu skill to get on top and pound away for most of three rounds en route to the late Mata Leon (RNC) submission. Given Esquivel’s propensity to end up on her back during her three LFA fights, Yanez may be well served working a similar game plan as she did back in March:


265: Jeremy Hardy (5-3, #249 World) vs. Joel Moore (3-0, #6 Texas)

Jeremy Hardy, 30 years old, fighting out of Texas City, Texas. “The Nightmare” is a towering, sculpted heavyweight who certainly looks the part of future contender. Hardy has thrived versus regional heavyweights but has had a hard time putting his skills together in losses to talented fighters like UFC’s Rashad Coulter and ex-LFA champ Richard Odoms. With four KOs in five wins, Hardy has a habit of checking his opponent’s chin integrity but has yet to show the kind of cardio that you expect from a world class big guy. Here’s video of Hardy uppercutting and kneeing Dale Mitchell to Bolivian (trademark M. Tyson) at Legacy FC 50:


Joel Moore, former 300 pounder fighting out of Texas. Moore is a hulking 6’3″ beast of a man who has a couple of KOs over the same winless fighter and an openweight decision win in his pro debut versus Juan Torres. Incidentally, a recent decision win over Torres also marks Hardy’s only career win on the scorecards. In his latest, the undefeated big man powered through a double leg before smashing his way to a TKO win at Fury FC 12:


160: Gleidson Cutis (6-3, #349 World) vs. Nico Escheverry (4-1, #26 Texas)

Gleidson “Poney” Cutis, 29 years old, Rio de Janeiro-born Texan. After a shaky 3-2 start in his native Brazil from 2011-13, Cutis reinvented himself with three submissions on the US regional scene in 2015-17 including two on AXS TV main cards. After being top-controlled to a decision by grinder Darren Smith Jr. at ACB 72, “Poney” will return to AXS with this bout versus the talented but unproven Escheverry. With all of his recent wins by submission, it’s pretty evident what the BJJ player’s plan A is. Gleidson pulled off the extremely rare leg grapevine sub in his previous LFA bout:


Nico Escheverry, 27 years old, fighting out of Texas. The Fury FC regular comes in on a two fight winning & finishing streak but has yet to face anyone of note, even on the regional scene, aside from a 2013 ammy loss to Sage Northcutt. Escheverry has used his ground game to score his last two dominant wins, including a GNP TKO of Manuel Gomez at Fury FC 22 in February. Note how Escheverry focuses on control and fastidiously advances to dominant position before he unleashes the fight-ending flurry of punches and hellbows – we’ll see whether or not his skills play against the talented Brazilian like they did against regional foes:


155: Kolton Englund (5-2, Fury FC champ, #604 World) vs. Justin Prescott (5-1, #359 World)

Kolton Englund, 24 years old, fighting out of Huffman, Texas. This event is filled with  Fury FC regulars, and Englund established himself as one of the top dogs in that promotion with a title-winning submission of Rey Trujillo at Fury FC 16. England’s only losses have come inside the Legacy cage, including a fight versus Gage Duhon in which he lost by TKO after the referee missed a Duhon tapout. England showed his ability to grind en route to the round 4 armbar finish versus Trujillo; since then he’s been on the shelf after a series of planned bouts fell through. Check out how Englund explodes into the sub to cap that contest from late 2017:


Justin Prescott, Alabama-born and fighting out of Louisiana. Prescott started his pro campaign in 2014 with a third round submission loss to Michael McDonald – no, not THAT Michael McDonald of UFC/Bellator fame. A different one. Since that inauspicious start, “Pancake” Prescott has flattened a five-high stack of foes including otherwise undefeated Willis Boudin, longtime Louisiana regional ruler Lanny Dardar, and Tennessee prospect Ryan Collins. All five of those wins have come by first round finish, so expect there to be fireworks if Prescott has his way in this one. Not much footage available from recent times, but here’s Justin’s submission win over Will Cruthirds in his third pro contest:


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