Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) CEO Ed Soares recently announced that the promotion will crown its inaugural lightweight champion in July when the promotion makes its first visit to North Carolina.
The main event of LFA 17 will feature the inaugural LFA lightweight world title fight between the final RFA lightweight champion Thiago Moisés and regional kingpin Robert Watley. LFA 17 – Moisés vs. Watley takes place Friday, July 21st at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“LFA will crown its first lightweight champion at LFA 17 in North Carolina,” stated Soares. “Thiago Moisés is one of the most dominant champions in RFA history and Robert Watley has won multiple regional titles on the east coast. I am excited to see these two proud champions face off for the inaugural LFA lightweight title on July 21st.”
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Moisés (9-1) is one of the most dominant champions in RFA history. This is a promotion that has sent champions such as Sergio Pettis, Pedro Munhoz, and Brian Ortega to the UFC. The 22-year-old Brazilian dominated in all four of his RFA fights, but his title winning performance at RFA 35 is perhaps the most memorable. Moisés utilized an ultra-rare Helicopter Armbar to submit David Castillo to capture the vacant title. Highlights of the submission went viral and he was subsequently nominated for “Submission of the Year” at the annual World MMA Awards in Las Vegas. Moisés then defended his title twice and was featured on Dana White: Lookin’ For A Fight during his first title defense. He is now looking to add the inaugural LFA lightweight title to his ever-growing list of accomplishments.
Watley (7-1) is widely considered the top lightweight prospect on the east coast. The Maryland native is currently riding a seven-fight win streak that has wreaked havoc along the eastern seaboard to the point that movie buffs are now looking to amend the famous quote from Wedding Crashers: “Crabcakes, Football, and MMA. That’s what Maryland does!” Watley is looking to win a third MMA title in four consecutive title fights. However, this will be the most prestigious title that he has vied for and he sees the LFA title as his proof that he his the undisputed top lightweight prospect in the sport. The surging Baltimore battering ram put the “harm” in Charm City and now looks to do the same further south as he heads to North Carolina to fight for the inaugural LFA lightweight tile.
The co-main event of LFA 17 will feature a heated border war and long-awaited rematch between top bantamweight prospects from North Carolina and Virginia, when Dylan Cala (5-1) looks to avenge the lone loss on his record against longtime rival Tony Gravely (9-4). Cala is a highly-touted prospect from “The Tar Heel State”. He is looking to defend his home turf and even the score against the only man to defeat him. That man would be Gravely, who is an NCAA Division I wrestler who grew up just north of the border in Virginia.
In the women’s bantamweight division, Alexa Conners (4-1) returns to the LFA Octagon after an exciting and triumphant performance at LFA 8. That bout served as the first televised MMA fight to take place in her home state of South Carolina. The 26-year-old now heads north of the border where she will welcome one of Brazil’s top female prospects to the Carolinas.
Talita de Oliveira (5-1) has competed five times in her native Brazil and once in Europe. Her most recent bout was a first round win in Poland, which took place one day after Conners’ most recent bout at LFA 8. The 30-year-old Brazilian submission expert is now set to make her North American debut against one of the division’s top American prospects as she faces Conners at LFA 17.
LFA 17 will also feature the promotional debut of Nathan “Mayhem” Maness (8-0), who is one of the top bantamweight prospects in the country. The 25-year-old regional champion is widely considered one of the south’s most promising talents. After the first two opponents he signed on to face withdrew due to various reasons, the third scheduled opponent is expected to be named soon.
Currently Announced LFA 17 Main Card
(Televised on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT):
Main Event | Lightweight Title Bout (155 lb)
– Thiago Moisés (9-1) vs. Robert Watley (7-1)
Co-Main Event | Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
– Dylan Cala (5-1) vs. Tony Gravely (9-4)
Women’s Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
– Alexa Conners (4-1) vs. Talita de Oliveira (5-1)
Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
– Nathan Maness (8-0) vs. TBD