The MMA weekend keeps kicking this Friday night as St. Louis plays host to LFA 114 from The Factory at The District, featuring (barring any late postponements for any reason) a 14-fight card – headlined by a battle for new supremacy at 145 lbs.
LFA 114’s main event will pit Bruno Souza (9-1 MMA. 4-0 LFA) against Javier Garcia (7-3 MMA, 2-0 LFA), with the fight’s winner becoming the sixth different man (counting interim championship reigns) to hold the title at 145.
As with all championship fights in MMA, the LFA 114 main event in St. Louis, this weekend will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the evening’s proceedings.
Bruno Souza Looks to Ride Momentum of Nine-Fight Winning Streak into LFA 114 Main Event
After dropping a unanimous decision to Joao Carlos da Silva in his first professional MMA fight a little more than five years back, Bruno Souza is currently on a nine-fight winning streak heading into the LFA 114 main event this weekend.
Most recently, he picked up a split decision win against Elijah Johns on March 19 in the LFA 102 headlining bout, a win that bolstered his stock as he looks forward to the next level in the sport.
Back in January, Cageside Press broke down Souza’s fighting acumen and praised his effective movement on the feet and with the hands, along with his proclivity to regularly throw combinations and mix up his strikes.
A key storyline to follow in this main attraction is one of whether Souza is going to be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together once again and deliver a complete performance, something that he’s done continually throughout his nine-fight winning streak.
Javier Garcia Aims for More Consistency
In the other corner, Javier Garcia has posted a 3-2 record in his last five MMA appearances and is currently on a three-fight winning streak going into LFA 114 main event.
Most recently on April 19, he locked in a third-round submission (triangle choke) against Timothy Teves in LFA 104 during a contracted catchweight at 150 lbs. for his second win in as many months after not fighting at all during the 2020 calendar year.
While Javier Garcia has been consistent in his recent MMA fights, a key plot for the Garcia camp going into LFA 114 will be whether or not the consistency will persist, as he’s been a fighter of streaks during his career as a competitor– and a win on Friday night will equal the longest winning streak of his career, four fights– dating back to his amateur days from July of 2015 to the early part of his professional career in September of 2017.
Prior to his current three-fight winning streak, Javier Garcia suffered through a two-fight losing streak, and before that, he alternated wins and losses by submission.
One big question going into this weekend’s action is whether or not the tide will turn.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, this LFA 114 main event looks to favor Bruno Souza, a former world karate champion, a black belt in karate, and continental karate champion in South America, with Garcia being a wrestler out of the CSW Gym in Fullerton, CA/
Going into the LFA 114 main event on Friday night, Javier Garcia is the taller combatant at 5-foot-10, with Bruno Souza standing 5-foot-7. What Souza lacks in height, he makes up for in reach, holding a one-inch advantage (70 inches to 69 inches) in that category over Garcia heading into this fight.
Watch Souza’s Footwork
Souza’s background as a karate champion is particularly evident when looking at the film of his last fight vs. Johns.
That night, he was able to come out quickly and was able to throw strikes as he was mobile on the feet before fighting off a guillotine choke early in the first round.
He was able to keep Elijah Johns guessing throughout the fight, so if Souza’s footwork is on-point in this fight and if he’s able to keep Javier Garcia guessing as to what his next move is, this could be a long evening in the LFA 114 main event this Friday.
Garcia’s Submission Prowess Might be Souza’s Undoing
On the other hand, Javier Garcia has been known to get the win via submission, as was the case during his fight during Combate 11 against Donte Stubbs in 2017.
That night, Garcia had Stubbs on the ropes a few times, trying for an armbar submission late in the opening round before abandoning that and trying for a rear-naked choke at the end of the round before the clock ran out on him– again trying the armbar late in the second round, to no avail.
Finally, in round three, Garcia was able to land the takedown and tried several submission holds before finally sinking in a rear-naked choke, forcing referee Herb Dean to intervene and end the fight.
If Javier Garcia’s grappling is on-point here, look out, because this could be a short fight.
The LFA 114 main event looks to be a classic strength vs. strength matchup, one which could be decided upon which of the two fighters is the first to make a critical error.
Whoever capitalizes on his opponent’s mistake has a great shot at walking out of St. Louis on Friday night as the winner.
Prediction: Bruno Souza by Unanimous Decision.
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Featured Image Credits to LFA