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A1 Combat 4 Main Event Preview: Wallace vs. Lopez

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The final MMA event of July takes place on the month’s final evening as Urijah Faber’s A1 Combat will return to live action on Sunday with A1 Combat 4 and the A1 Combat 4 main event. While A1 Combat 4 takes place this Sunday night, the dates are already set for the promotion’s next two events.

A1 Combat 5 will take place on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the start of your Labor Day holiday weekend, with A1 Combat 6 set to happen on Saturday, Oct. 22. Wheatland, CA’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento will be the site of A1 Combat 5 on Labor Day weekend, with A1 Combat 6 on Oct. 22 originating from Commerce Casino in Commerce, CA.

A1 Combat Middleweight Championship At Stake in A1 Combat 4 Main Event Sunday Evening

Live coverage of A1 Combat 4 will be streamed on the UFC‘s subscription-based service, UFC Fight Pass, Sunday beginning at 5 pm ET/ 2 pm PT, with Stockton, CA’s Stockton Civic Auditorium serving as the card’s host venue.

Barring anything unforeseen occurring between now and Sunday, A1 Combat 4 will feature an eight-fight professional card, topped by a title fight at 185 lbs. in the A1 Combat 4 main event of the evening.

Inaugural A1 Combat Middleweight Champion Buddy Wallace (17-9-1 MMA, 1-0 A1 Combat) puts his belt at risk when he meets challenger Joaquin Lopez (6-2 MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut) on Sunday in the A1 Combat 4 main event.

As with all title bouts in MMA, the A1 Combat 4 main event will be an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the evening’s activities in Stockton and the month’s activities in the sport.

A1 Combat 4 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into Sunday’s championship fight, challenger Joaquin Lopez stands as the taller man at 6-foot-1, compared to the 5-foot-11 frame of champion Buddy Wallace. Both men are level in reach (73 inches apiece) ahead of the contest.

Inaugural A1 Combat Champion Buddy Wallace Dealt With Opponent Change Ahead of A1 Combat 4 Main Event

Buddy Wallace enters this fight having gone 2-2-1 in his last five MMA appearances and is currently riding a two-fight winning streak.

Just before Memorial Day in May, he became the first fighter to ever hold an A1 Combat championship upon locking in a second-round submission (bulldog choke) versus Aaron Phillips (6-3 MMA, 0-1 A1 Combat) during A1 Combat 2’s co-main event.

This victory was the first for Buddy Wallace in close to three years’ time, as he hadn’t fought since June of 2019 before the May 28 bout. Joaquin Lopez was not Wallace’s original opponent for Sunday’s headliner, as he was first booked to fight Ivan Batinich (5-1 MMA) in the main event.

Prior to the show, this fight fell apart and Wallace was rebooked to meet Lopez, who coincidentally fought Batinich in his most recent fight on May 28. How much will the change in opponent affect Buddy Wallace in the A1 Combat 4 main event? Tune in and find out.

Joaquin Lopez Ready To Avenge Loss From May 28 in A1 Combat 4 Main Event

In the other corner, challenger Joaquin Lopez has posted a 3-2 record in his last five contests and is aiming to right the ship on Sunday, as he dropped a unanimous decision loss to the aforementioned Ivan Batinich on May 28 during the CFS 4 co-main event for that promotion’s middleweight championship.

Prior to that fight, Lopez was interviewed for the Dragon House MMA YouTube channel, where he mentioned that he dabbled in amateur boxing early on in his career as a fighter, appearing in over 100 fights before turning pro in the squared circle. Despite his pugilistic aspirations, he’s since had a mantra of being ready for just about anything in the cage.

“I’m down to go to the ground, too,” Lopez said. “It doesn’t matter. We can take it standing, on the ground, I’m down for whatever.”

This is a man who was booked to appear on the original Bellator 242 in May of 2020 before the promotion suspended its cards due to the coronavirus. Could a decent performance on Sunday give him a shot he was deprived of two years ago? Only time will tell.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

The main event on Sunday looks to be a toss-up, as both of these men have been known to get the finish, so it may very well be a matter of which fighter establishes control of the contest.

Watch For Buddy Wallace’s Punches

One aspect of Buddy Wallace’s fight game that’s shown up on video is his ability to score the victory through punches, as was the case against Mike Morales back in 2017 during GKO 10.

During the first round of a scheduled three, Wallace, who had been piecing Morales up with punches through the course of the period, landed a takedown and immediately grappled with his opponent, mixing in some ground and pound shots.

Although Morales tried to get back to his feet, these efforts were in vain, as Wallace eventually landed a flurry of ground and pound from the back mount, giving him the victory by knockout. If Buddy Wallace can land punches in bunches, he’ll retain the title on Sunday.

Joaquin Lopez Can Punch In His Own Right

In the other corner, Joaquin Lopez can throw decent punches, as well, and crisp punches from him could be the key, much like back in March against Luis Correia.

Round two of that fight only lasted for a short time, but it was explosive for as long as it lasted, with Lopez absorbing a punch to the head from Correia, along with a leg kick to knock him down.

Lopez then returned fire by checking a leg kick to send Correia down, and once he got back up, Correia was worn down by numerous punches, forcing the referee to intervene. If Lopez is able to land crisp punches, the phrase “And new” will be heard after the main event on Sunday.

Final Thoughts

With there being no other MMA action taking place on Sunday, it would behoove you to watch this card. This A1 Combat 4 main event looks to be an appealing way to end July in the sport, so tune in.

Prediction: Joaquin Lopez by First-Round TKO.

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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.