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LFA 56: Lightweight strap up for grabs Print E-mail
Written by Ben Pherson   
Thursday, 06 December 2018 16:38

Legacy Fighting Alliance is back! The national promotion returns to Minnesota on Friday night with LFA 56 at Mystic Lake Casino in Shakopee.

The show's main card, as always, will be broadcast live on AXS-TV. Tickets are on sale now, but premium seating is once again nearly sold out. Follow the link in the ad above to track down the remaining tickets. The undercard is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., and the main card starts at 8 p.m.

LFA is set to put another title on the line in its return to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The organization's lightweight strap is up for grabs when Austin Hubbard (9-2) meets Killys Mota (11-0) in the evening's main event.

Bobby Lee is the only Minnesotan on the main card. He squares off against Demarques Jackson in a catch weight (165 pounds) bout that is the co-main event.

Here is our LFA 56 fight-by-fight breakdown, including comments from LFA matchmaker Jeremy Bjornberg and predictions from the never-lovable Hawkeye Fighter:



Weight: 170.

Records: Fleck is 1-0, while Legus is making his debut.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Fleck looked sharp in his debut, fighting for Eric Anderson down in La Crosse. He took out Minnesota's Jonah Ruby with

a first-round TKO. He trains at the Academy here in Minnesota and he's been working very hard for this one, I know that. He knows it's a big spot for him and a big step up to the big show. We'll see how he performs under the lights. Legus is a new guy, and he's training under one of our former champs in Mitch White. Mitch is a stud, so I expect big things from this guy. He speaks very highly of him. You never know what you'll get in a debut."


Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Mitch White product? I'm in. Legus by second-round submission.


Weight: 185.

Records: Lemaire is 5-1, while Klein is 3-0.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "LeMaire trains at MAP in Grand Forks, N.D. I don't know a ton about him, but he came very highly recommended from some people I trust up there. Well-rounded skills. Klein is with Pura Vida in Wisconsin, and Jake Klipp's guys are always ready.  Klein has a wrestling background. LeMaire is more of a striker, but this will be a big step up in competition for him. He's been knocking a lot of guys out ... all of his wins are by KO/TKO."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: One of the tougher fights for me to predict. If LeMaire hits him, he can finish. But Klein's wrestling is probably enough for him to grind out a decision win.


Weight: 115.

Records: Byers is 3-1, while Lippert is 3-2.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Byers come to us from Glory, and everyone they send here is solid. Lippert is with Fearless MMA out of Wisconsin, training under Patrick Delgado. Lippert has some quality wins over a few of the Midwest's standout female fighters. She just recently beat Katie Koenig and she has a win over Nikkoleen Attewell. Byers is really though, though. She beat Brittany Nieman at LFA 41 and she hasn't lost since 2015."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Tough one, but I'm going Byers by decision.


Weight: 160.

Records: Schafer is 3-1, while Landrus is 4-0.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "This is a fun one, two Minnesota kids. Schafer has fought for us before. Just a really tough brawler. Hits very hard. Landrus has great wrestling and good ground skills, and I know he's looking forward to showing off his improving ground game. Both guys have bright futures, and a win here could move either one into title contention or one step closer to a pro debut."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Landrus wins, third-round TKO.


Weight: Heavyweight.

Records: Wiest is 2-0, while Petersen is 1-0.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Petersen is another elite Minnesota wrestler, a Lakeville kid and just an absolute beast. Team is built like a tank. He's got crazy power, and he's just fun to watch. He's still green, but he'll beat a lot of guys on just natural ability. Wiest is a military guy from North Dakota. I don't know much about him, but I've watched tape. And he looks game. It'll be Petersen's toughest test to date."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Petersen rolls again, dude is a freak. Second-round KO.



Weight: 175.

Records: Davis is 3-1, while Bauman is making his debut.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Bauman is an elite wrestler. He is a former Gophers wrestler, and obviously he's a former Minnesota state champion. He's very smooth in there. He was a tough guy to match as an amateur because of his credentials. As an amateur, he did a good job of not just relying on his wrestling. Davis is by far the best fighter Bauman has ever faced. It's really a very tough pro debut. Davis is a Bellator vet, and his lone pro loss was to David Michaud. His ground skills are amazing. He submits just about everyone. Bauman will have the reach advantage and the wrestling advantage, but I don't think he wants to go to the ground with Davis. A fight of the night contender for sure."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Sick, sick fight. Bauman ... unanimous decision.


Note - this is a swing bout for TV

Weight: 135.

Records: Wannemacher is 4-2, while McPadden is making his pro debut.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "I love this fight. It's one of my favorite fights on the card. Sean has been looking for a pro debut for a while. He's had a tremendous amateur career, and he's a very well-rounded fighter. He fights with a fast pace, and he's always looking for the finish. Sean seems to be even better after he gets hit a few times. Jesse has fantastic hands. He's a great boxer, and his ground game has come a long way. He has no desire to be some kind of gatekeeper for a young buck like McPadden, so I'm sure he will come out looking for a big KO. His boxing is very crisp, so he doesn't need to go swinging for the fences to get the KO. I'm pumped for this one. It's a fight to watch for sure."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Strube, second-round submission.

MAIN CARD (8 p.m., AXS-TV)


Weight: 185.

Records: Gidron is 4-1, while Schiro is 2-0.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Most of the main card fights were put together by LFA's Mark Bieri. They are bringing a lot of their top prospects to Minnesota this time, guys who could be fighting in the UFC before the end of 2019. So I don't know much on some of them, other than that they're very good and people the LFA wanted to see in big fights. Schiro is from Chosen Few out of Madison. He has a great ground game, and he's finished both of his pro fights via submission. He also had a very strong amateur career and still a young buck. Gidron is here from Michigan. It sounds like he as a wrestling background."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Schiro survives first two rounds and then finishes via submission in the third.


Weight: 145.

Records: Zalaal is a perfect 5-0, while Merrill is 5-3.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Zalaal is slick and dangerous ground fighter. He's really fun to watch on the ground. Four of his five pro fights, he's finished on the ground via submission. He's already 2-0 in LFA, winning by submission over Daniel Soto at LFA 39. Merrill stepped up on somewhat short notice. He's a vet and has fought for LFA previously and really fought for most of the top promotions in the Midwest."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Zalaal, first-round submission.


Weight: 205.

Records: Murray is 4-1, while Cunningham is 6-1.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Alton is always fun to watch. He suffered his first loss to Bevon Lewis over the summer, but he bounced back with a win over Minnesota veteran BJ Lacy. Cunningham has knockout power in his hands and legs. He's a vicious dude. Interestingly enough, Murray also is coming off a win over BJ Lacy, which also was the bounceback fight following his first loss. That loss came under the LFA banner. Just like Cunningham, he's a great striker, can finish the fight anywhere. Don't blink!"

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Cunningham is my dude, he's down to finish this one, second-round KO.


Weight: 170.

Records: Loosa is a perfect 6-0, while Thomson is 8-4.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Loosa is from Switzerland and trains in Florida I've heard. He's been out of the fight game for a few years, but before he took time away, he was an absolutely devastating striker. Powerful hands and feet, a real knockout artist. Thomson is an Iowa guy. He's got a wrestling background, and he's already fought some very, very tough competition. He's a vet, so I'm sure he will bring it."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Loosa, first-round KO.


Weight: 165.

Records: Both Jackson and Lee are 9-2.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "Bobby is a very tough wrestler from Minnesota. I think moving up in weight will help him. He struggled to make 155, but he'll be more comfortable at 170. This one is at 165. Jackson is a stud. He's already fought for LFA, Bellator and Titan. He's got wins over some really strong competition. He sets a fast pace, and he can handle being on the ground or on the feet. Bobby's striking is improving, but wrestling is still his bread and butter. It's a big one for Bobby for sure."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Man, I want to see Bobby have his hand raised. But Jackson is a monster. He gets an early finish in the third round via TKO.


Weight: 155.

Records: Hubbard is 9-2, while Mota is 11-0.

Bjornberg's thoughts: "It's fitting that 'Kill' is in Mota's name, because the guy is a killer. I don't know where you go with him. He's got great, fast hands, and he's so slick on the ground. He's very deserving of this title shot, and I think we'll see him in the UFC very soon. Hubbard is no joke, though. He's training out of Colorado and he's ranked No. 1 out of Colorado's lightweights. His lone loss was to a fighter Minnesotans know well in Eric Wisely, and that was via decision. Hubbard has great wrestling, he's strong and he can grind you down."

Hawkeye Fighter prediction: Mota is too much. He wins via second-round submission.