Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) CEO Ed Soares announced on Tuesday that the promotion will be bringing a featherweight world title fight to Oklahoma to kick off a busy August schedule.
The main event of LFA 18 will feature the return of LFA featherweight champion Kevin “The Angel of Death” Aguilar. He will put his title on the line against LFA featherweight #1 contender Justin “Darth” Rader in one of the most highly-anticipated featherweight title fights of the year. LFA 18 – Aguilar vs. Rader takes place Friday, August 4th at the FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“LFA is bringing a featherweight world title fight to Oklahoma at LFA 18,” stated Soares. “Kevin Aguilar is the LFA featherweight world champion and one of the most exciting prospects in the sport. He won the title with one of the best knockouts of the year at LFA 4. Aguilar will defend his title for the first time against Justin Rader, who is a world-class grappler and the #1 contender. Rader earned his shot at the title with his big win at LFA 15.”
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Aguilar (12-1) has long been considered one of the top pound-for-pound prospects in MMA. In February, the final Legacy FC featherweight champion strengthened that argument by capturing the inaugural LFA featherweight title against his longtime rival Damon Jackson with one of the most talked about knockout victories of the year. The proud Texan trains alongside LFA welterweight champion Derrick Krantz in Longview, Texas, but will have his first title defense on the road. Aguilar will put his title on the line when he heads into enemy territory to face one of the most revered fighters in the state of Oklahoma.
“I’ve been training nonstop and getting ready for defend my title. Now I get to show everyone what I’ve been working on,” Aguilar explained. “I’m looking forward to fighting in enemy territory, because that is the life of a champion. I will win over the crowd with an exciting fight. Justin Rader is a world-class grappler and I’m excited that he signed the paperwork. He has earned his shot. I have been training harder than I have ever trained before and I can’t wait to defend my title at LFA 18.”
Rader (7-2) is one of the most decorated grapplers to hail from a state that is synonymous with grappling. The proud Oklahoman is a two-time IBJJF no-gi jiu-jitsu world champion as a black belt, he is a 2013 ADCC Submission Grappling World Championship bronze medalist, and he was the runner-up in the Oklahoma high school wrestling championship in 2005. Rader also holds the distinct honor of being Rafael Lovato Jr.’s first black belt in jiu-jitsu. Rader will now look to add the biggest piece of hardware to his massive trophy case when he vies for the LFA featherweight title.
“I’m fighting The Angel of Death. His nickname says it all,” Rader exclaimed. “Kevin Aguilar is without a doubt, the best fighter I have ever faced. He is extremely dangerous, seasoned, and his fight demeanor is second to none. He stays at home and doesn’t force anything. The best opponents always pull the best out of me. I just fought a little over a week ago, so to be able to turn around and fight for the title four weeks later is a great opportunity. When opportunity knocks, I answer.”
The co-main event of LFA 18 will feature a high-stakes middleweight showdown between two of the most popular middleweight prospects in the promotion. Brendan Allen (7-2) returns to the LFA Octagon after engaging in a five-round war with Eryk Anders for the inaugural LFA middleweight title in the main event of LFA 14. He came up short on the judge’s score cards, but won over a large new fan base due to the entertaining title contest that is a front-runner for “Fight of the Year”. Allen now looks to bounce back into title contention when he faces Chris Harris (9-1) in the co-main event of LFA 18. Harris is coming off a dominant win over Cortez Coleman in the co-main event of LFA 15 last month. He utilized his impressive striking skills throughout the contest and is eager to do the same next month in the co-main event of LFA 18.
LFA 18 will also feature a special attraction at welterweight. Rafael “Jackal” Justino (2-1) will make his LFA debut just six days after his younger sister Cris “Cyborg” Justino fights for the UFC women’s featherweight tile at UFC 214. He will meet UFC vet and wildly popular media personality Mike “The Truth” Jackson (0-1) who holds the impressive distinction of being one of only a handful of fighters to make their professional MMA debut in the UFC.
Currently Announced LFA 18 Main Card
(Televised on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT)
Main Event | Featherweight Title Bout (145 lb)
– Kevin Aguilar (12-1) vs. Justin Rader (7-2)
Co-Main Event | Middleweight Bout (185 lb)
– Brendan Allen (7-2) vs. Chris Harris (9-1)
Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
– Braden Smith (8-1) vs. Chancey Foxworth (6-4)
Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
– Rafael Justino (2-1) vs. Mike Jackson (0-1)
Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
– Tyler Shinn (8-3) vs. Chris Kelades (9-3)
Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
– Daryl Wilson (6-1) vs. Jarrod Card (16-8-1)