LFA 49: After international stint, Andy Main excited to compete again on home soil

Friday, New Jersey's Andy Main returns to the Northeast as he takes on former CES MMA title challenger Saul Almeida

You may know him from The Ultimate Fighter, Road FC, or Pancrase. Maybe you even know him from his extensive regional career under the Ring of Combat and CFFC banners. Fighting in the United States for the first time in over four years, Andy Main will add another notable promotion to resume Friday night.

Competing for the UFC‘s unofficial feeder league, Main will look to pick up a win for the Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA). Hoping to rebound from a loss suffered this past September at Road FC 36, the 29-year-old is completely focused on the goal at hand. In fact, for the past ten years, Main has had his sights set on opportunities such as this one.

“When I was younger, I was always very competitive,” Main said in an interview with MMA Today. “I participated in a lot of different things. I was actually a skateboarder, snowboarder and I picked up jiu jitsu as kind of a side hobby in between seasons. You know, I fell in love with it, started competing a lot because I was always into competition. I like to test myself.

“About a year later, I had my first amateur fight. That was when I was 18 and then I went pro when I was 19. I’ve been active ever since. I was on The Ultimate Fighter only a year after I went pro. Since then I’ve been all over the world.”

It’s no secret some fighters get coddled on the way up through the ranks. It’s a lot rarer for a surging competitor to jump straight into the water. From the start, Main dove in the deep end.

His first fight as an amateur was actually against a future UFC bantamweight contender.

“My first fight was against Jimmie [Rivera] and now he’s actually one of my training partners,” Main said. “It wasn’t supposed to be against him. I don’t like to get after promoters too often, but definitely that was a setup. Realistically, Jimmie was 3-0 in MMA, 4-0 in kickboxing. He’d been everywhere and had been training and competing for a long time. I was competing in jiu jitsu competitions. Very little striking, very little wrestling.”

“I was supposed to be fighting another guy like me who was really green. Last minute they changed it and they told me, ‘Well that fell off so we’re going to let you fight this guy for a title.’ I was like, ‘Why would I be fighting for a title? It’s my first fight.’ They talked me up, saying they’ve seen me grapple and I was alright, I’ll choke him out. That didn’t work out the way I expected.”

Main didn’t just compete against Rivera, he made it to the third round with the soon-to-be UFC talent. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me, to be honest,” Main said. “I wasn’t training at an MMA school at the time. That’s what got me to realize I need to get with a really high level team.”

The fight against Rivera seemed to pay off. In Main’s next fight, he finished the fight in ten seconds of the first round with an explosive knockout.

On Friday night, Main is hoping to do the same against former CES MMA title challenger Saul Almeida.

“He’s been around a long time, and he’s got a lot of experience,” said Main, about Almeida. “But, if you look at my last couple fights, they all have a lot of experience so, I’m used to that.

“The only issue with him is he’s taller and finding sparring partners is a bit harder because I have to go up a weight class to get guys his size. Most of the guys I spar with are shorter than me and I’m used to having a reach advantage. I have to know that I can get hit back where I’m normally not able to get hit back in certain positions.”

Predicting the big one, UFC 229

While Main is a fighter, he is also a fan. At UFC 229, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on Conor McGregor in one of the most highly anticipated fights in the mixed martial arts history.

When asked, Main gave his two cents on how he sees the fight playing out.

“I have trained with Khabib and I know how dominant that dude is with his wrestling and everything like that,” Main said. “He’s just not a fun person to be in there with. There’s certain people where it’s like, ‘Man I don’t want to get hit by that guy.’ With him, it’s like you don’t want him to wrap one of his arms around you. Like, if he gets a hold of anything, you’re going for a ride.”

“That being said, judging by his last couple fights, I think Conor is a completely different animal than the strikers that he’s been fighting. I don’t know how the fight goes down. Man, I think it goes one way or another: either Conor gets brutalized for five rounds or Conor knocks Khabib out in under two minutes. I don’t think there’s any in between.”

Andy Main fights this weekend at LFA 49 airing live and free at 9pmET on AXS TV. Be sure to follow him on Instagram and Twitter for all his latest fight news and updates!


Love World MMA?  The Geek Guide covers LFA 49 & every major fight on Planet Earth:

MMA Geek Guide 9/12 – 9/17/18: Results/Recaps/Clips of UFC Moscow, LFA 49, Combate 22, and all the rest!


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