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MMAyhem at The NERD
The LFC returns with an ambitious lineup of events that will challenge the fighters and excite the fans. Six dates scheduled in a seven-month period! All the cards will take place at The NERD on the historic Fremont street in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is a thrilling time for management, both teams, those fortunate enough to attend, and for those watching the live stream around the world. In the abstract, it looks like business as usual for a combat sports league, fighters doing what they signed on to do, but the reality is much different. There is definitely a possibility that some outcomes will alter reputations, futures, and status in unexpected ways. So many fights packed into a short amount of time, unheard-of in the LFC, is going to wreak havoc on bodies, rankings, and egos. The old saying about “styles make fights” is an inescapable truism that may take some women by surprise.
Doubtlessly, these women are all professionals, but even the most battle tested warrior is not immune to the uncertainty that comes with facing a new, hungry opponent who is looking to make a name for herself by knocking off an established pro from her perch. Those who are consumers of all that the LFC has to offer, know that oversized egos are a central feature of some LFC fighters. This brave new direction for the league is bound to set things ablaze. There is an air of ‘last one standing in the cage’ that this new path has engendered. The stakes, regardless of whether a title is on the line or not, or whether it is rookie vs. pro, have soared now; the potential for disappointment is higher than ever.
Imagine the new-found stress the coaches are about to experience. As it is, competition between Leon Hater and Joe Kane is not something they take lightly; now, they must bring all they have to the fore with less time to prepare than usual. That in itself, as a sideshow, is worth watching. Which coach will prove the wiser, the most adept at getting the best from his fighters? We shall find out soon enough.
Parks vs. Garcia: Returning to Fremont Street
#LFC26: Booty Camp Fight Preview – Main Event
In a match between a former champion and a fighter who comports herself like a champion, we have Monica Garcia [0-0] vs. Allie Parks [0-0]. Both fighters are coming off tough losses and find themselves in need of a win.
Garcia lost her title by split decision to Roxy Michaels [0-0] at LFC25 [0-0], in a match that saw Garcia give a tireless effort in vain. A methodical Michaels started slowly but built up her aggression as the fight wore on. Michaels weathered the sheer power of Garcia and managed to fight offensively for a smaller opponent. Will this disappointing loss affect Garcia going forward, specifically against a fearless veteran like Parks? My guess is, no. She is much too confident and experienced to let the loss of a title take away from her talents.
At LFC 25, Parks found herself locked in a battle of attrition against the always game Shelly DaSilva [0-0]. There was no separation between these two wrestlers, even when Parks was fouled by an obvious eye gouge. That action led to DaSilva capitalizing when Parks stepped away to complain to the referee. DaSilva rode out the second half of the round on Parks’s back, and thus secured a victory in what had been a close fight.
Parks made her wrestling debut on Fremont Street and returning there for LFC 26, she says, “Fremont Street is always fun! I’m so excited to be back and come full circle with my fighting career!” Allie is very pumped for her match against a former champion and says, “fighting Monica is just going to prove that I should be champion when I beat her on April 4th at The NERD.”
In spite of a current three match losing streak; Parks won by submission over what many consider the strongest fighter in the LFC, Jesse Santos [0-0]. It is this win that holds the key to her next fight. She is very comfortable fighting at close quarters throughout the match, biding her time, looking for that opening. However, it is improbable that Monica will sacrifice her chances by becoming an easy target. No, she most likely will not do that. What she will do is charge forward from the opening in an exciting, natural display of ferocity. Fans, get ready for an action packed fight that is sure to go down in the history books!
Hexx vs. Ink: Works of Art
#LFC26: Booty Camp Fight Preview – Match 4
Is it possible that Jolene Hexx [0-0] and Bella Ink [0-0] are going to compare their various tattoos in the cage? Will the judges award artistic points for the best skin-design? Probably not. These two are in the cage for one thing and one thing only: to take each other out and be done with it as quickly as possible.
Jolene has not lost in the LFC since her debut nearly four years ago, when she fought against the now former champion, Feather Hadden [0-0]. Her record shows a draw with her arch rival, Andreaa Vladoi [0-0], that was later avenged twice. The current European champion is not someone who intends on giving her opponent even a breath of air; her Krav Maga fighting style enables her to adapt to any opponent’s style and strike from all angles. She faced a rugged first timer at LFC25 [0-0], C.J. Kellerman [0-0], who doggedly tried to impose her will on Jolene; however, ‘The Valkyrie’ responded by easily submitting the aggressor in the second round, keeping her aura of invincibility intact.
Will newcomer Ink, a boxer, come out and take the fight to Hexx? The Las Vegas resident, who super excited about joining the LFC, may have to, if she is going to find any success in the cage versus an unflappable and formidable foe who is fluent in trash talk. An arsenal in Jolene’s game (that always frustrates her competitors) is getting in their heads. On the positive side, there is no way that the LFC is going to rush someone who is not cage-ready or blatantly outclassed in a match. Jolene has yet to face a boxer, that aspect, regardless of rules, makes this an interesting match-up.
Mazzato vs. DaSilva: Grinding it Out
#LFC26: Booty Camp Fight Preview – Match 3
Four of the five fights at LFC 26 are full of uncertainty. Three of them feature a veteran fighter against a rookie, and the other one pits a former champion with a very capable opponent. However, the only unknown in the match between Shay Mazzato [0-0] and Shelly DaSilva [0-0] is whether Shelly will resort to tactics so dirty that a disqualification is inevitable. Such as she has done in the past or will she play by the rules? What is certain, is that both women will fight with everything they have. This one will be a test of not only the physical but of the mental side of the fight game.
Mazzato is winless in the LFC, but the daunting caliber of her three opponents will leave fans wondering if matchmakers have treated her unfairly. She took on the greatest fighter in LFC history, Feather Hadden [0-0], and even in losing, escorted the champion into retirement. Shay then fought for the vacant title against Monica Garcia [0-0]. Mazzato, outweighed by 40 pounds, fought bravely and never backed down. Her last fight, at LFC25 [0-0], was against the powerful Jesse Santos [0-0]. This was no doubt a beat down, but to her credit, she survived it with her honor in tact.
Shelly has made an art form out of being bad, difficult, and downright nasty. It is easy to guess that Shelly only adheres to her rules and will not hesitate to lash out at anyone who disagrees with that philosophy. There is not enough space in this preview to list her misdeeds, so I will concentrate on only the positive: Shelly will not give up. That is an admirable quality that counters her shenanigans. Aside from a disqualification against [Audrey Monique} for biting her eye, Shelly’s other three fights, full of nonstop action, went to the scorecards. She is comfortable grinding it out and capable of going the distance.
What this fight promises, is two women who know how to endure and know what it takes to fight all the way up to the closing seconds. We can expect an all out display of not only bravado, but of sacrifice. The fact that Mazzato is finally battling against someone close to her size is very intriguing. Will that be enough to win the day? Lots of fans want to find out.
London vs. Repp: Both Sides of the Cage
#LFC26: Booty Camp Fight Preview – Match 2
Teri London [0-0] is in the unenviable position of facing a new fighter, Jenn Repp [0-0], that is coming into the cage with plenty of momentum. London is a steady performer in the cage and on the way to the cage, via her showy entrances. All three of her wins have come in the first round, and her two losses have ended by submission; going the distance is just not part of her game, yet. Her last win (at LFC25 [0-0]), came against a powerful fighter who is always dominate in the cage, Jenny Valentine [0-0]. The pace was quick, the blows unreserved, and the finish was memorable: a full body cradle hold that made Valentine succumb by submission.
Former cage official, Jenn Repp, used to locking fighters in the cage, will now be on the inside, as the door gets bolted behind her, and the pressure of the spotlight is now cast on her. Repp was fast-tracked on to the black team after she came to the rescue of Monica Garcia [0-0] at LFC25 [0-0], when an unruly fan groped the former champion on her way into the cage. Taking a close look at her resume reveals a fearless woman of varied skills. The struggles she has met have given her life-story a purpose. Currently, she is bikini bodybuilder in excellent shape. A base for the challenges of the LFC is set. In addition to her work within the movie industry, on both sides of the camera, and you have someone able to transition from one aspect of a job to another. Will that agility translate to the sport of MMA? We’ll have to wait and see.
London cannot afford to make a misstep, and she cannot come into the cage underestimating the rookie. However, I don’t expect she will overlook Repp. The newcomer, well, let’s wait and see if she can traverse the new career path she is on. If you look closely, at the end of London’s last fight, Repp, standing outside of the cage, is looking right at Teri with a predatory stare, as if wanting in on the action. Jenn said to Mike Larkin, of the Steve and Mike Show, “if not me, who? If not now, when?” Suddenly, seemingly fated, SHE is here NOW, at LFC 26, ready to prove that she belongs.
#LFC26: Booty Camp Fight Preview – Match 1
Some fighters, especially fan favorites, can have a disappointing run of things, yet still remain loved as much as they were before all the set-backs. Jenny Valentine [0-0] fits the mold of a fighter who cannot get her footing in the LFC but remains popular. One of her three losses garnered a spot on the “Top Five Most Controversial Finishes” in the LFC, when she knocked out Riley Norris [0-0] with an illegal, but memorable, punch to the face. The other two losses: a much taller Cali Cat [0-0] knocked her out, and Teri London [0-0] submitted her in some of the greatest fights in LFC. Now, for the first time in her career, she is facing an opponent who is actually her size, Jessica Vattiera [0-0].
Vattiera, making her LFC debut, is 5’1″, and at 125 pounds is 15 pounds lighter than Valentine. Should Valentine be concerned about facing someone smaller and possibly quicker than her? Will the new-comer live up to the hype? Is this the perfect opening for Valentine to finally notch a win? It is hard to say, but Valentine needs to check what Vattiera’s ancient sounding nickname means. ‘Sekhmet’ is an Egyptian word that means “warrior goddess”; a mythological goddess depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians.
Most likely, Valentine will not take Vattiera lightly, but I did hear her tell Mike Larkin, of the ‘Steve and Mike Show,’ that she plans on wearing “something less lacy and more edgy” for the match. That is perfectly fine, but what Valentine really needs is to bring 100% commitment/concentration to the fight if she wants to finally register a win.