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LFA 132 Main Event Preview and Breakdown: Gomes vs. Costa

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Your MMA slate for Friday isn’t over when Bellator MMA signs off from London after the Bellator 281 main event because there’s still another show on the docket before you turn in for the evening.

The LFA returns to live action this Friday evening for the second time in as many weeks to close out its May slate as the promotion returns to Brazil for LFA 132 in Rio de Janeiro at Quali Stage on UFC Fight Pass at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT.

Barring any postponements between now and Friday night, LFA 132 will feature a full 12-fight card, highlighted by a showcase at 155 lbs. in the LFA 132 main event of the evening.

All-Brazilian Showdown Slated For LFA 132 Main Event on Friday

Italo Gomes (10-2 MMA, LFA promotional debut) will do battle with Melquizael Costa (17-4 MMA, LFA promotional debut) on Friday night in the LFA 132 main event.

LFA CEO Ed Soares recently sweetened the pot ahead of the headliner, promising that Friday’s winner would be given top contender status at 155 lbs.

As this is a nontitle bout, the headliner will be a maximum advertised length of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.

One additional note: Both of the fighters in the LFA 132 main event hail from Brazil.

LFA 132 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the LFA 132 main event on Friday night, Melquizael Costa stands as the taller man at 5-foot-10, with Italo Gomes countering with a 5-foot-9 frame.

However, unlike most fight previews and breakdowns that have run on this site, no information as far as the reach advantage on the tale of the tape could be found online ahead of this headlining bout.

Italo Gomes Looks To Ride Momentum of Two-Fight Winning Streak Into LFA 132 Main Event

Italo Gomes comes into the LFA 132 main event on Friday night having gone 3-2 in his last five MMA bouts and is currently on a two-fight win streak.

Last time out, he scored a first-round knockout from a slam and punches against Claudiere Freitas back in November of last year in Brazilian Fighting Series 3, a rebooking of a canceled fight from Oct. 30, 2021 in the Watch Out Combat Show promotion’s WCOS Challenge 1 upon Gomes being unable to compete due to injury.

In fact, canceled fights have been somewhat of a constant for Italo Gomes in recent times.

Italo Gomes’s Inactivity Between Fights

Between the outset of the 2021 calendar year and now, Gomes has seen seven bouts get postponed for various reasons.

  • Italo Gomes vs. Taffarel Brasil: Feb. 21, 2021: Fight postponed before the card took place.
  • Italo Gomes vs. Lucas Valory: Aug. 6, 2021: Fight postponed before the card took place.
  • Italo Gomes vs. Claudiere Freitas: Oct. 30, 2021: Fight postponed upon Gomes being unable to compete due to injury and was rebooked for Nov. 21, 2021.
  • Italo Gomes vs. Henrique Marques: Feb. 6, 2022: Fight postponed upon Gomes testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Italo Gomes vs. Erivan Pereira for the Brazilian Fighting Series Lightweight Championship: April 24, 2022: Fight postponed upon being rebooked for Brazilian Fighting Series 10.
  • Italo Gomes vs. Rodrigo Lidio: May 13, 2022: Fight postponed before the card took placed, Gomes rebooked to fight Costa in LFA 132 main event.
  • Italo Gomes vs. Erivan Pereira for the Brazilian Fighting Series Lightweight Championship: May 29, 2022: Rebooked fight from April 24 postponed due to Gomes accepting LFA 132 main event on May 13.

In between all seven of those postponements, Italo Gomes has only been able to fight twice since the start of the 2020 calendar year, so how much ring rust is going to be there for him in the LFA 132 main event on Friday night?

If there’s a clear-cut case of a home game in MMA, the LFA 132 main event would have to be it for Gomes, who’s fought on the regional circuit in Brazil throughout his career.

Friday night’s main event looks to be the biggest fight of his life, and the fact that Gomes will be competing in Rio de Janeiro, where he lives and bases his training camp out of, will make the fight that much bigger.

Melquizael Costa Aims to Extend Winning Streak to Six in LFA 132 Main Event on Friday Night

In the other corner, Melquizael Costa has gone 5-0 in his last five MMA appearances, most recently stopping Angel Rodriguez by second-round submission due to a rear-naked choke back in March in Predador FC 42 for that promotion’s featherweight title in the main event of the evening.

However, Costa was the victim of a now-infamous incident almost four years ago, when he fought Rafael Barbosa on the regional circuit in Brazil.

During the third round of the fight, Barbosa secured an anaconda choke on a takedown, with Barbosa winning the fight, but the match referee did not examine Costa for one minute and 30 seconds after the contest.

Costa nearly died from the choke in the process.

Due to the graphic nature of the footage of the incident in question, it will not be shared here.

“I saw in the video that I went out and my eyes were open,” Costa began. “You might think I’m awake, but I was already out. I moved a couple of times, but I was having seizures, My corner and his corner yelled that I was out, but the referee would only stop the fight if I was out. And I was! Every referee touches the fighter to see if they are out, but he never touched me. My opponent stopped the fight. Otherwise, I would be dead.”

Melquizael Costa is a man who almost came face-to-face with his own mortality a few years back and he now awaits the biggest fight of his career in the LFA 132 main event, doing so in hostile territory, so can he silence the hometown crowd here?

Tune in and find out.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the LFA 132 main event on Friday night looks to be a toss-up, as both men have been known to score the victory by submission throughout their careers, but Italo Gomes has a slight edge here, as he owns a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Look For Gomes to Attack Right Away

If there’s one constant for Italo Gomes throughout his fighting career, it’s his ability to attack early on in a bout, as he did against Elvis Carlos in Jungle Fight 102 less than a month before the pandemic began in February of 2020.

Although the fight was scheduled for three rounds, Gomes needed less than half of the first to get things done.

About a minute into the first round, Carlos and Gomes engaged in a clinch, with Gomes driving Carlos to the cage mat and Gomes eventually taking top mount.

From there, Gomes was able to establish control of the match, softening Carlos up with shots to the head for an eventual submission attempt.

Italo Gomes finally rolled Elvis Carlos over to apply the necessary torque to lock in the armbar in a little more than two minutes for the win.

If Gomes gets going offensively early on in the LFA 132 main event on Friday night, this one could be done and dusted in a hurry.

Melquizael Costa Can Be Just as Nasty With Subs

In the other corner, Melquizael Costa has been known to be equally as aggressive with his submission attempts than Italo Gomez, if not more, as the footage of his fight against Angel Rodriguez indicates.

During the second round of a scheduled three, Costa went to work with a flurry of punches to Rodriguez’s head, taking him down and scoring with a vicious burst of ground and pound shots, nearly knocking him out in the process.

From there, Costa switched to the grappling game, taking Rodriguez’s back and landing more ground and pound shots to the head to try and soften him up before punching his way back to the clinch and taking Rodriguez down for the second time.

At this point, Costa was in total control of the fight, landing one final burst of ground and pound shots before sinking in a rear-naked choke to record the victory.

If Melquizael Costa is able to take Italo Gomez down in the LFA 132 main event, look for him to systematically wear Gomez down and score the submission.

Final Thoughts

As chronicled during the film study, the LFA 132 main event looks like it could very well be a ground battle.

Whoever takes his opponent down first has a good chance to come away as the winner.

Prediction: Melquizael Costa by Unanimous Decision.

Featured image credit to LFA

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about MMA since the spring of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and an even better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.