LFA 22 takes place at the 1STBANK Center in Bloomfield, Colorado this Friday (September 8th, 2017) at 9 p.m. (ET) live on AXS TV. The vacant middleweight title left by Eryk Anders is up for grabs as Factory X standout Ian Heinisch battles Markus Perez.
Heinisch (8-0) is coming off an impressive LFA debut in April where he submitted Lucas Rota in the first round at LFA 10. The 29-year-old will be competing in his second title fight as he captured the SCL middleweight title in 2015. Heinish is ranked No. 2 in the FloCombat North American Prospect Rankings behind fellow LFA standout Brendan Allen. Perez (8-0) will be making his North American debut and is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over UFC veteran Ildemar Alcântara in February. The Gracie Fusion product has won four of his nine career bouts by stoppage.
TUF 25’s Gilbert Smith battles Benjamin Smith in the nights co-feature. Smith (12-6) retired on TUF 25 following his loss to Dhiego Lima. However, when the opportunity came up to compete one more time in his home state of Colorado, he took it. The 35-year-old will be looking for his first win since October 2015, when he defended his RFA welterweight title against Bristol Marunde. Benjamin Smith (15-4) is stepping in on short notice as a replacement fighter for Andrew Kapel. He’ll be looking to avenge his recent loss to Gilbert Smith which took place at RFA 26.
Also featured on the card is Jackson/Winklejohn prospect Maycee Barber, who takes on Mallory Martin. Barber (1-0) is coming off an upset win over Itzel Esquivel at LFA 14 and made the jump to the pros despite making her amateur debut in January. The 19-year-old is training with the likes of Ray Borg and Michelle Waterson ahead of this matchup. Martin (1-1) was slated to face Tiffany Masters at Invicta FC 24 in July, but Masters ended up getting picked up for DWTNCS, and the fight was called off. The 23-year-old has gone the distance in both of her professional fights.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the following bouts on the LFA 22 card today at Several Bookmakers…
Main Event | Vacant Middleweight Title | 185 lbs
Ian Heinisch -210
Markus Perez +160
Here’s my interview with Ian Heinisch:
Co-Main Event | Catchweight | 190 lbs
Gilbert Smith -215
Benjamin Smith +165
Here’s my interview with Gilbert Smith:
Main Card | Catch-weight | 140 lbs
Chris Gutierrez -190
Mario Israel +150
More LFA 22 Interviews:
Here’s my interview with Maycee Barber:
Here’s my interview with Mallory Martin: