On a Saturday night, the usual protocol for an MMA fan is this: You sit down on the couch, you get your food and drink, you turn on ESPN+, and you select the option to stream that weekend’s UFC event.
This weekend, however, Dana White‘s promotion is dark for the Memorial Day holiday, but that doesn’t mean that the sport is dark because UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber is offering the entertainment that MMA fans crave.
A1 Combat Returns With A1 Combat 2
About one month removed from A1 Combat 1, a card marred by a scuffle between the original main event fighters at the official weigh-in the day before, A1 Combat returns with three championship fights over two nights this holiday weekend.
Much like A1 Combat 1 at the beginning of May, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Wheatland, CA, will play host to A1 Combat 2 and A1 Combat 3 this weekend.
It all begins this Saturday evening with a championship doubleheader, culminating in the battle for supremacy at bantamweight in the A1 Combat 2 main event.
As with all MMA championship bouts, the A1 Combat 2 main event on Saturday will be an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
The winner of this fight will become the inaugural A1 Combat Bantamweight Champion.
A1 Combat 2 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the A1 Combat 2 main event of the evening on Saturday night, Payton Talbott stands as the taller man at 5-foot-10, compared to the 5-foot-9 frame of Hector Fajardo.
Additionally, Hector Fajardo owns a 70-inch reach, with no such information available for Payton Talbott.
Hector Fajardo Preps For Biggest “Home Game” of MMA Career in A1 Combat 2 Main Event on Saturday
Hector Fajardo, a veteran of Combate Global, has posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights, but he’s been on a losing streak of late, having dropped his last two bouts.
These losses have come via unanimous decision to Leodegario Muniz, most recently on Aug. 13 of last year in Combate Global: Last Latina Standing.
“The key to the fight for me, like I said, is I stay ready year-round,” Fajardo said. “I took this on 10 days’ notice; I made my weight in 10 days. My opponent, not so much. That was the first tell, on everything, was the weight cut. He didn’t make the weight, it looked like it was very difficult, and as a pressure fighter, his strength kind of became a disadvantage.”
Not only does the A1 Combat 2 main event offer Hector Fajardo the chance to claim a championship, but it also gives him the chance to claim the title in front of his hometown fans, as his training camp is based in Sacramento just a 41-minute drive away from Wheatland.
If ever there were a “home game” for an MMA fighter, Saturday night’s headliner would have to be it for Hector Fajardo.
Can he give the hometown crowd a happy ending this weekend? Watch the A1 Combat 2 main event and find out.
Undefeated Payton Talbott Brings a 100 Percent Finish Rate Into A1 Combat 2 Main Event
In the other corner, Payton Talbott has gone 5-0 in his last five MMA appearances, and dating back to his amateur career; he’s gone 7-0.
He scored a third-round knockout over Billy Brand just before Valentine’s Day in Firepower 4 on Feb. 12. For the Talbott camp, the A1 Combat 2 main event has two storylines.
First of all, much like Hector Fajardo’s 2020 fight against Shane Torres in Combate Americas, Payton Talbott is also facing an opponent change this Saturday.
Initially, he was slated to have fought Joseph Dorado for the bantamweight championship this weekend, but this pairing was scrapped by A1 Combat before the show for undisclosed reasons.
Secondly, Payton Talbott has never seen his fights go to the scorecards to this point in his MMA career, and he credits one fighter in particular as an instrumental figure in his pursuit of a career as a combatant.
“I got started by, I think I was watching Conor McGregor highlights, and it was kind of just something that I wanted to do just to fill a gap in my life, and I just ended up loving it,” Talbott said in a 2019 interview.
Talbott could become the next Conor McGregor one day in the future, but can he keep his undefeated run and 100 percent stoppage rate going on Saturday night?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the A1 Combat 2 main event on Saturday night looks to favor Hector Fajardo, a black belt in judo, compared to Payton Talbott’s balanced MMA background.
Watch For Fajardo’s Ground Game
One aspect of Hector Fajardo’s fight game that shows up on tape is his ability to excel on the mat, evident in his 2019 fight against Jose Avalos.
During the second round of a scheduled three, Avalos shot for a takedown, but Fajardo was able to land elbow shots from the bottom position to try and soften him up for a submission attempt.
From there, Fajardo was able to wrap his legs around Avalos’ head as Avalos was trying to stand back up, applying the needed torque to lock in the inverted triangle submission for the victory.
If this fight gets to the ground, Hector Fajardo could have the upper hand.
Payton Talbott’s Punches Can Be Vicious
In the other corner, Payton Talbott has been known to punch his way to a victory, as he showed during his second amateur MMA fight against Joseph Lee.
During the third and final round, Talbott repeatedly teed off against Lee with strikes, and although Lee attempted to get the fight back to the feet, Talbott just took him right back to the ground.
Talbott very nearly locked in a submission, but Lee fought it off.
Despite Joseph Lee’s submission defense, it was already much too little and way too late, as Talbott took the back mount and unloaded on Lee with repeated ground and pound shots to the head, forcing the referee no other option but to call the fight in Talbott’s favor.
If Payton Talbott comes out firing on all cylinders in the A1 Combat 2 main event, it could be game, set, and match in a hurry.
On a Saturday night with no major MMA to speak of, A1 Combat delivers the goods with two championship fights, and this main event could be the most appealing fight of the weekend, so be sure to tune in.
Prediction: Payton Talbott by First-Round TKO.
Featured Image Credits to A1 Combat