There’s still more MMA action to be had on Friday night as UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber‘s A1 Combat returns for its second show of the year, A1 Combat 8. Live coverage of the event begins at 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT on UFC Fight Pass from Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, CA.
If the words Tachi Palace sound familiar to you, it’s because the venue was scheduled to host the original UFC 249 in April 2020. It would have been the first UFC event back after a month-long hiatus from competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The California State Athletic Commission, along with other athletic commissions around the country, banned combat sports as a preventative measure against the virus in the pandemic’s earliest days. UFC 249 was ultimately canceled due to pressure from The Walt Disney Company and ESPN.
Faber To Be Inducted Into Tachi Palace Hall of Fame Ahead of A1 Combat 8 Main Event
A1 Combat 8 is noteworthy for another reason. On fight night, the first-ever Tachi Palace Hall of Fame class will be enshrined.
Among the inductees in the class of 2023 is A1 Combat’s very own Urijah Faber. Previously, Faber was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame as part of its 2017 class in the Modern Era Wing. Faber would briefly end his retirement from competition in July of 2019 with a first-round TKO of Ricky Simon.
All of us at Overtime Heroics would like to congratulate Urijah Faber on his upcoming enshrinement.
Flyweight Gold At Stake in A1 Combat 8 Main Event
After a contracted catchweight at 165 lbs. takes place, the A1 Combat Flyweight Championship will be at stake in the A1 Combat 8 main event. UFC veteran Joseph Morales (11-2 MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut) will square off against Bellator MMA and ONE Championship alumnus Anthony Do (8-5 MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut.)
Like all other bouts in A1 Combat, the A1 Combat 8 main event will be an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
A1 Combat 8 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the A1 Combat 8 main event on Friday evening, Joseph Morales is the taller gladiator at 5-foot-6, compared to the 5-foot-4 frame of Anthony Do. Morales owns a 68-inch reach, with no such information for Do.
As of late Thursday afternoon, the oddsmakers have Joseph Morales installed as a -270 favorite, with Anthony Do as a +210 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Joseph Morales Brings Veteran Experience to A1 Combat 8 Main Event
Joseph Morales enters the A1 Combat 8 main event on Friday night having gone 3-2 in his last five MMA appearances. He’s currently on a two-fight winning streak, with both of those wins coming in UK-based promotion Cage Warriors since being cut from the UFC’s active roster in 2019.
Last time out, he scored a split decision victory against Sidemar Honorio (13-8 MMA) on March 4, 2022, during Cage Warriors 133 on Fight Pass. This was his second MMA bout since getting released from the UFC.
While in the UFC, he appeared in only three fights upon getting called up from Atlantic City-based Cage Fury Fighting Championships in 2017. For the 28-year-old Morales, the A1 Combat 8 main event is rarified air.
Friday’s title fight is his second bid at championship gold since turning pro in MMA in December of 2014. Six and a half years ago, Morales scored the Global Knockout Flyweight Championship against Josh Paiva with a unanimous decision victory.
Can Morales trek back to Sacramento with another championship in the A1 Combat 8 main event? Tune in and find out.
Anthony Do Looks To Get Back On Track
In the other corner, Anthony Do has posted a 3-2 record of his own going into the main event on Friday, suffering a loss in his most recent fight at the hands of Paris Moran (7-2 MMA) in Fury FC 64 last June. This contest is huge for Anthony Do and his camp.
The A1 Combat 8 main event serves as his first MMA appearance in his home state of California (his camp is based in Sunnyvale, almost three hours away from Lemoore) since Aug. 4, 2018. That night, he submitted Fritz Aldin Biagtan in URCC 34, the latter’s most recent MMA fight.
In Do’s last four fights, he’s had to travel to Tokyo, Singapore (twice over), and Houston. No matter how far your travels take you, you can always go home again.
Will home cooking be on the menu here?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the A1 Combat 8 main event looks to favor Joseph Morales, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, compared to Anthony Do’s status as a kickboxer. It’s setting up to be another strength vs. strength matchup, so who’s going to be stronger on this day?
Morales Can Come From Behind
If Joseph Morales finds himself in a bind early on, he can overcome it, as he did against Roberto Sanchez in his lone UFC win. Although Sanchez was able to secure the top position and accumulate ride time, Morales grappled with him and eventually got back up to his feet.
At that point, he dropped Morales with a right-handed punch, peppering him with hammer fists from back mount, applying the torque to lock in a rear-naked choke to win the fight. Should the situation call for it, Morales’ ground game will tell the tale in the A1 Combat 8 main event.
Anthony Do Can Punch His Way to A Win
In the other corner, watch Anthony Do’s fists. If one punch lands square and true, the A1 Combat 8 main event could be a wrap. Ryo Hatta found this out the hard way in 2018.
During the third and final round, he began by dodging a takedown attempt before knocking Hatta down a couple of times. Upon landing a few punches on the ground, Do walked away from Hatta, forcing the referee to call for the latter to stand up.
Although Ryo Hatta stood up, Anthony Do continued his onslaught. Hatta was spent about two minutes into the round. One punch to the head from Do was all that the official needed to see to wave off the fight in Pancrase that night.
If Anthony Do can land punches in bunches, the fight will be his.
Get all of your errands done before the title fight begins. Once it starts, you’re not going to want to miss a single frame.
Prediction: Joseph Morales by Unanimous Decision.
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