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A1 Combat 11 Main Event Breakdown

4 days ago


This Saturday sees MMA’s top promotion, the UFC, go dark. Just because there isn’t any edition of UFC Fight Night  to watch doesn’t necessarily constitute there being any MMA to watch period.

Rather, the opposite is true this week. While the UFC experiences a rare bye week this Saturday night, UFC Hall of Fame inductee Urijah Faber is taking a little bit of a road trip.

For the past year, “The California Kid” has been putting on shows throughout the Golden State with his A1 Combat promotion. Saturday, a light holiday weekend in the sport ends with A1 Combat 11 and the A1 Combat 11 main event.

As always, A1 Combat 11 will be streamed live on the UFC’s subscription-based platform, UFC Fight Pass, at 11 pm ET/ 8 pm PT. Absent of any late postponements between now and fight night, A1 Combat 11 features 10 fights.

Flyweight Championship At Stake in A1 Combat 11 Main Event

Topping the night’s itinerary is a championship doubleheader. Immediately following the co-main event of the evening for the promotion’s interim welterweight championship, supremacy at 125 lbs. is on the line in the A1 Combat 11 main event.

Incumbent titleholder Joseph Morales (12-2 MMA, 1-0 A1 Combat), a UFC alum, defends his strap for the first time against challenger Daniel Barez (16-5 MMA, A1 Combat promotional debut). Unlike championship bouts in most other MMA promotions, the A1 Combat 11 main event is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.

A1 Combat 11 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the A1 Combat 11 main event on Saturday night, both of these men stand level at 5-foot-6. Champion Joseph Morales owns a two-inch reach advantage (68 inches to 66 inches) over Daniel Barez.

Usually at this point in the breakdown, we would mention who has the edge on the money line by the oddsmakers. At this time, no such information has been made available.

If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening over the weekend, please wager responsibly.

Joseph Morales Eager to Defend Championship in A1 Combat 11 Main Event

Joseph Morales comes into the A1 Combat 11 main event on Saturday having posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights. At present, he’s on a three-fight winning streak.

Back in the first week of February, he scored a third-round submission due to a triangle choke against Anthony Do (8-6 MMA, 0-1 A1 Combat during the A1 Combat 8 main event on Fight Pass. Morales, also a veteran of UK-based Cage Warriorsturned his attention back to the regional circuit following a 1-2 stint in the UFC between August of 2017 and November of 2018.

With “Bopo” having won three fights in a row heading into the A1 Combat 11 main event this weekend, could  a fourth consecutive win and a successful defense of his flyweight championship be enough to convince Dana White to give him another crack at the UFC? Since there’s no UFC Fight Night this weekend, it stands to reason that he could be watching.

Whether or not Morales ends up getting another chance at major MMA remains to be seen.  It all depends upon his performance over the weekend.

Daniel Barez Rides Momentum of Four-Fight Winning Streak Into Championship Bout

In the other corner, Daniel Barez enters the A1 Combat 11 main event having gone 4-1 in his last five contests. As of now, he’s on a four-fight winning streak.

Most recently, he finished Soslenis Carvalho (14-14 MMA) three months ago in just a minute and 33 seconds during UWC 41’s main card on UFC Fight Pass. Barez, an alum of Dana White’s Contender Series in its 2021 season, failed to secure a UFC contract during his appearance, but he said in an interview with MMAJunkie back in February that White could be seeing him again.

“I don’t want to build any castles in the sky because then I create false expectations,” Barez began, translated from his native Spanish. “I’m going to keep winning fights. If it comes, great, and I’m going to work hard for it to happen. But if it doesn’t come then at least I tried it.”

If Daniel Barez wins here, that’d be five fights in a row where he will have gotten his hand raised after the final bell. A five-fight winning streak is almost impossible for Dana White to ignore after the A1 Combat 11 main event.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Saturday’s A1 Combat 11 main event looks to be another one of those fights that’s a toss-up. Both Joseph Morales and Daniel Barez have been known to score the victory inside the distance.

Look for Morales to Try and Defend Barez’ Ground Game

Joseph Morales is a decent grappler, as illustrated in his February win vs. Anthony Do, but he can also stifle his opponent’s ground game. His Aug. 1, 2021 victory against Kevin Wirth is a textbook example of that.

During the first round of the fight, Morales found himself on the receiving end of a takedown from Wirth and stayed down for a while, but he managed to drag Wirth as a means of transitioning to the clinch. At that point, Morales worked to secure a takedown of his own, but Wirth popped right back up.

As the round neared its end, Morales knocked Wirth down with a single punch and tried to go to work offensively on the ground. Even though he had top position, Morales only had brief spurts of ground and pound.

If Joseph Morales pacifies Daniel Barez in the A1 Combat 11 main event, look for his defense to create offense.

Can Barez Have a Quick Night’s Work?

In the other corner, Daniel Barez will be aiming to finish the fight in a hurry. One need look no further than his Feb. 24 fight vs. Carvalho to see how soon he can get the win.

Right from the command to fight, Barez scored with calf kicks and quickly forced Carvalho to change up his stance. Upon the fight’s resumption from an eye poke, the two men exchanged shots, but Barez moved in for the kill, landing a quick jab before sending Carvalho down with a shot to the body.

Daniel Barez ended the bout with a flurry of ground and pound shots, If he lands punches in bunches, he’ll become the new flyweight champion after the A1 Combat 11 main event.

Final Thoughts

Not only are these men battling it out for a championship on Saturday night, they could also be fighting for a spot on Contender Series later on in the summer. Who will impress Dana White more inside the cage in Sacramento?

Prediction: Daniel Barez by Unanimous Decision.

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