Veteran’s Day will see the penultimate Legacy Fighting Championships event, as AXS TV will show Legacy FC 62 live starting at 10pm ET. On a weekend where everything is (rightly) focused on a massive and monumental UFC event, Legacy’s offering may possess one thing the UFC can’t match. Rafael Lovato Jr. is the most accomplished submission grappler competing this weekend. He has combined those skills with a somewhat surprising striking acumen to become Legacy middleweight champion just three fights into his MMA career. At Legacy FC 62, Lovato Jr. will attempt to defend his belt for the first time against Cortez Coleman, and could get the call to join the UFC with a win. He would instantly be one of the most dangerous grapplers in the UFC’s middleweight division. Even at 33 he has several years remaining in his career, as the lifespan of top middleweight fighters now reaches well into the late-30’s. Of course, the immediate focus for Lovato Jr. needs to be on Coleman, who brings his own three-fight win streak into this bout, and has a previous win over UFC veteran Cody Donovan. While he has never been stopped by strikes, Coleman has been submitted twice in his six career losses, and that would seem to be the area Lovato Jr. could exploit most easily. One of Lovato’s top BJJ students will be competing in the co-main event of this card as well. Justin Rader — a former ADCC bronze medalist — will look to move to 5-2 in his MMA career against undefeated Mike Maldonado. Rader’s previous losses in MMA have come to fighters who have a big advantage over him on the feet, but Maldonado also prefers the ground game, which may not be a wise path for him to pursue in this fight. Frank Trigg interviewed two of the fighters competing in the main and co-main events. Check them out: Cortez Coleman: ‘Rafael Lovato Jr’s never been punched the way I’m gonna punch him’ Justin Rader: ‘I feel great at 145 pounds’ MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the top two fights at Legacy FC 62 today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Check them out: ———- Legacy FC 62: Lovato vs. Coleman NOVEMBER 11, 2016 Firelake Arena | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Main Card AXS TV, 10 p.m. ET Middleweight Title Cortez Coleman +220 Rafael Lovato Jr. -300 Mike Maldonado +180 Justin Rader -260 ———- Brad’s Analysis: Matching Lovato up with Coleman is a safe, but smart, move by Legacy. Coleman is a Bellator veteran with a decent looking record who has been in the cage with some quality opponents. He doesn’t really have much to threaten Lovato with however, and the majority of his wins come against .500 level opposition. It wouldn’t shock me to see Lovato test out his striking a bit more in this fight, but I expect that once the finish doesn’t come easily on the feet, he’ll switch into grappling mode and but Coleman away inside of two rounds. To say that Justin Rader has been a bit of a disappointment thus far would probably be a bit of an understatement. Losing to a prospect the quality of Ricardo Ramos isn’t bad, but following it up by getting flattened in less than 30 seconds by a .500 quality regional fighter was eye-opening. A win over Aaron Roberson kind of got him back on track in his last fight, and this matchmaking is sound (especially on short notice) for him to pick up another win, as Maldonado is a lesser grappler and hasn’t competed in nearly three years. It’s hard to trust Rader yet, but this would be another very surprising loss, if it were to happen.