LFA CEO Ed Soares announced on Wednesday that the promotion will head east at the end of July with a welterweight world title fight that will headline the promotion’s first event to take place at a U.S. military facility. The live nationally televised event will be part of the 100th Anniversary celebration of Joint Base Langley-Eustis.
The main event of LFA 46 will bring the top two welterweight prospects in the world to southeastern Virginia. The headliner will see undefeated LFA welterweight champion James Nakashima defend his title against undefeated U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Kyle “Gunz Up” Stewart. LFA 46 – Nakashima vs. Stewart takes place Friday, July 27th at the Felker Field Hangar at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Newport News, Virginia. The main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“I am excited to bring an LFA world title fight to Joint Base Langley-Eustis on July 27th,” stated Soares. “James Nakashima has been one of the most formidable fighters in our promotion’s history. He will defend his title against #1 contender and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Kyle Stewart. Nakashima and Stewart train about 30 minutes from each other and this has been a fight MMA fans have been wanting to see for a long time. It will finally happen with the LFA welterweight title on the line at LFA 46. This will also be part of the 100 Year Anniversary celebration for Joint Base Langley-Eustis, and I can’t wait to show the troops what the LFA is all about!”
Tickets for LFA 46 – Nakashima vs. Stewart are available for purchase NOW at Eventbrite.com.
Nakashima (8-0) has long been regarded as a special talent. Those prodigious abilities were finally realized by the masses when he was crowned LFA welterweight champion this past fall. His wrestling pedigree, shrewd striking ability, and willingness to learn every aspect of martial arts has made him the undefeated welterweight champion that he is today. The Illinois native and University of Nebraska wrestling standout has taken the 170-pound division by storm since making his professional MMA debut for RFA in 2015. He has defeated opponents that have a staggering combined record of 54-17 with half of those wins coming against undefeated fighters. Now sitting at 8-0 with the LFA welterweight title around his waist, Nakashima is eager to get back in the cage after healing up some injuries. The John Crouch protégé, who trains at The MMA LAB in Arizona, is once again eager to test himself against the best. That next challenge will come against fellow undefeated prospect and #1 contender Kyle Stewart.
Stewart (10-0) has been on a collision course with Nakashima since making his own professional MMA debut in 2015. The U.S. Marine Corps sergeant has amassed his own undefeated record, while training with Trevor Lally at Arizona Combat Sports just 30 minutes away from Nakashima. The decorated war veteran who saw action in Afghanistan, while serving multiple tours overseas, has successfully brought his combat skills to the cage where he is considered one of the top two welterweight prospects in the world. The other would be Nakashima, the man Stewart has long had his eye on since their careers began three years ago. The reality of them finally meeting in the Octagon became even more real when Stewart won his LFA debut last year. Stewart made a final statement for a title shot when he handed fellow top prospect Jaleel Willis his first loss in the main event of LFA 33 this past February. Next up for “Gunz Up”, Nakashima for the title, in front of his fellow soldiers and veterans at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.
LFA 46 Main Card
- Main Event | Welterweight Title Bout (170 lb)
– James Nakashima (8-0) vs. Kyle Stewart (10-0)
- Co-Main Event | Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
– Alexandre Bezerra (20-5) vs. Mike Pope (7-3)
- Middleweight Bout (185 lb)
– Dashawn Boatwright (3-1) vs. Matt Semelsber (3-1)
- Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
– Ahmet Kayretli (7-2) vs. Shaun Spath (4-1)
- Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
– Damon Minor (3-1) vs. Michael Lawrence (5-4)
- Women’s Flyweight Bout (125 lb)
– Salina Rowland (0-0) vs. Whittany Pyles (0-1)
- Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
– Cody Maltais (3-1) vs. Thomas Blair (3-1)
LFA 46 will serve as the third LFA event to take place on the east coast. It will also be the first time that LFA has traveled to “The Old Dominion” of Virginia before or after the merger. The entire main card of LFA 46 will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.