With no meaningful NFL game to watch this weekend, sports fans across America will be left with a void as far as how to spend their time off from the job for the first time since the weekend after Labor Day.
Fear not, because MMA is here to save the weekend. Your weekend of fights begins on Friday night as the LFA returns for the first of two consecutive weeks with an event, starting with LFA 123 from Hammond, IL, and the Horseshoe Hammond Casino.
Nontitle Showcase at Bantamweight in LFA 123 Main Event on Friday Night
Barring any late postponements on the card between now and this Friday evening, COVID-19-related or otherwise, the final version of LFA 123 will feature a seven-fight card, highlighted by the LFA 123 main event, a nontitle bout at 135 lbs. between two undefeated combatants.
Daniel Argueta (6-0 MMA, 3-0 LFA) will collide with Mairon Santos (12-0 MMA, LFA debut). Being a non-title bout, the LFA 123 main event this Friday night will be an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round.
LFA 123 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the LFA 123 main event on Friday night, Daniel Argueta stands 5-foot-7. Unlike many of the fight previews and breakdowns that you’ve read in the past from Overtime Heroics, no further height information or reach advantage details could be found online as of this writing in advance of the LFA 123 main event.
Ultimate Fighter Alum Daniel Argueta Looks to Take Next Step Toward LFA Bantamweight Title in LFA 123 Main Event
Daniel Argueta enters the LFA 123 main event this Friday night having gone undefeated in his entire professional MMA career, with the lone blemish coming against Ricky Turcios during the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter television series.
As bouts that take place on The Ultimate Fighter are exhibitions, these fights do not count toward a competitor’s overall professional record.
His most recent pro fight resulted in a first-round submission of Rodney Mondala (armbar) in LFA 116 last October.Prior to The Ultimate Fighter’s most recent season airing, Argueta spoke to the press about how he received a rude awakening when his MMA career was in its infancy.
“You know, I thought I was bad to the bone when I was in college, and I was wrong,” Argueta began. “My first day training MMA with Cub Swanson and Juan Archuleta, they beat the hell out of me. That was actually also the first time I didn’t get a job because three days later, I had to go into an interview with two black eyes.”
Argueta need not worry about being scheduled for a job interview right now since this Friday’s LFA 123 main event serves as an audition for him as he looks to take the next step toward a shot at the LFA Bantamweight Championship down the road against Richard Palencia.
But he has to take it one step at a time, one fight at a time, especially because his opponent is also undefeated.
Mairon Santos Looks to Make Good During LFA Debut in LFA 123 Main Event
In the other corner, Mairon Santos has posted a 12-0 record during his MMA career and enters his LFA promotional debut in the LFA 123 main event this Friday having scored a second-round knockout due to punches against Paulo Roberto Aquiles in Showtime Fights 4 nearly a year ago.
In his combat sports career, Santos has only failed to come up with the win twice. A grappling fight versus Tiago Ramos saw him lose via escape time in Submission Circus 3 back in July of last year and his lone amateur MMA fight against Leandro Ze Pequeno ended in a draw after three rounds in 2018.
What matters now is one simple question: will 13 prove to be a lucky number for Mairon Santos in the LFA 123 main event on Friday? Tune in and find out.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the LFA 123 main event on Friday night seems to favor the balanced approach deployed by Mairon Santos, compared to Daniel Argueta’s background in judo.
Look For Argueta’s Submission Prowess in LFA 123 Main Event
One aspect of Mairon Santos’ fight game that could be effectively exposed in the LFA 123 main event is his grappling defense.
Looking at the tape of his fight against Rodney Mondala, Daniel Argueta immediately dumped him to the ground at the start of round one and landed elbow strikes as a means of softening him up for a possible submission attempt, eventually advancing to the full mount.
From there, Argueta scored with another elbow strike and took the back mount, applying torque on Mondala’s arm, leaving his opponent no choice but to tap out and go to sleep back in October.
If Mairon Santos gives up as little as a single takedown in the LFA 123 main event on Friday night, it could very well be all over inside the first round.
Santos Can Go the Distance If Need Be
In the other corner, Mairon Santos can fight to the distance if and when necessary, something that Baba Boundjou Nadjombe found out firsthand in ARES FC 1’s opening bout in December of 2019.
That night, Santos was able to effectively mix up his offensive gameplan throughout the match, accumulating some ground control time in the first round on the top mount after a takedown, displaying quickness on his feet before landing a high kick in round two– always pressuring Nadjombe to make him second-guess on offensive attacks of his own.
If Mairon Santos is able to keep Daniel Argueta guessing and pressure him, he can take him into deep waters in the LFA 123 main event, go the distance and win it.
The LFA 123 main event is a battle of the unbeaten and a battle of desire. We’ll know on Friday night which of these two fighters wants it more– and the winner of this fight will have undoubtedly and truly earned it.
Prediction: Mairon Santos by Unanimous Decision.
Featured Image Credits to LFA Fightiing