LFA 53 Gets New Main Event
By Press Release
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – LFA CEO Ed Soares announced today that there has been a switch at the top of LFA 53 in Arizona. LFA flyweight champion Maikel Perez has withdrawn from his title defense in the main event of LFA 53 due to injury. Top prospect Brandon Royval will now step in to face fellow LFA top contender Casey Kenney for the LFA interim flyweight title.
The main event of LFA 53 will bring a high-stakes interim title fight to the Valley of the Sun. The headliner will see LFA’s top two flyweight contenders square off when Brandon Royval faces Casey Kenney for the interim strap. LFA 53 – Royval vs. Kenney takes place Friday, November 9th at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. The main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
“LFA flyweight champion Maikel Perez was forced to withdraw from his first title defense due to injury,” stated Soares. “Casey Kenney will now face fellow top contender Brandon Royval for the LFA interim flyweight title next week when LFA returns to the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona at LFA 53.”
Tickets for LFA 53 – Royval vs. Kenney are available for purchase NOW at ComericaTheatre.com.
Royval (8-3) burst on to the global scene with a spectacular LFA debut last year. The submission machine chained together nearly a dozen submission attempts before submitting Rakan Adwan with an armbar less than two minutes into the opening frame of his first nationally televised fight at LFA 5. The jiu-jitsu ace continued making fans by unleashing his diverse offensive arsenal in his last three fights for LFA. Royval submitted Demetrius Wilson via Triangle Choke at LFA 22. He then defeated former LFA title challenger Jerome Rivera via TKO at LFA 39. However, it was the third and most recent win in that streak that was most impressive, when the 26-year-old won a Unanimous Decision over the highly-touted Charles Johnson last month at LFA 48. Now he looks to capture LFA gold at LFA 53.
Kenney (9-1-1) was identified as one of MMA’s most promising flyweight prospects shortly after making his professional debut in 2014. This foresight took hold last year when he won a regional flyweight title and was signed by LFA. After making his LFA debut at LFA 11, the Tucsonan competed twice in front of UFC President Dana White on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Casey returned to LFA this past January. The 27-year-old picked up a dominant Unanimous Decision victory over Kendrick Latchman at LFA 31. He followed up that win with another Unanimous Decision over three-time UFC vet Roman Salazar at LFA 44. The win over Salazar was a statement fight at bantamweight. The statement was made and now he is going back to flyweight to challenge for LFA gold at LFA 53.
The co-main event of LFA 53 will feature the return of U.S. Marine Corps SGT Kyle “Gunz Up” Stewart (10-1). Stewart is a decorated war hero, achieving the rank of Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps while serving multiple tours in Afghanistan. The wildly popular Arizonan skyrocketed to the top of the welterweight rankings by winning his first ten professional fights in MMA. That earned him a shot at the LFA welterweight title this past July at LFA 46. The 29-year-old lost a competitive five-round decision to current LFA champion James Nakashima that night and is eager to get back into title contention with a big win in front of his home crowd at LFA 53.
The man looking to play spoiler in the co-main event of LFA 53 is Oklahoma native Braden Smith. Just like Stewart, the 22-year-old Sooner experienced similar immediate success to his MMA career. Smith was signed to LFA last year after winning seven of his first eight fights, which included multiple regional titles and a win in Legacy FC shortly before it merged with RFA to form LFA. Smith submitted three-time Bellator vet Manny Meraz in his LFA debut at LFA 15. The win came via D’Arce Choke in the first round. Smith dropped his second bout with the promotion at LFA 18, and again like Stewart, is looking to get back to his winning ways at LFA 53.
Main Card (Televised on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT):
Main Event | Interim Flyweight Title Bout (125 lb)
– Brandon Royval (8-3) vs. Casey Kenney (9-1-1)
Co-Main Event | Co-Main Event (170 lb)
– Kyle Stewart (10-1) vs. Braden Smith (8-2)
Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
– Kamuela Kirk (8-2) vs. Kevin Croom (19-10)
Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
– Joey Miolla (10-3) vs. Andrew Tenneson (6-1)
Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
– Le’Ville Simpson (8-3) vs. Harvey Park (9-2)
Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
– Tom Ni (2-1) vs. Kevin Natividad (6-1)
In 2017, RFA and Legacy FC merged to form LFA, the premier developmental organization in Mixed Martial Arts. The combined forces of LFA launched the careers of over 150 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of MMA by competing in the UFC. In May 2018, the promotion joined the London Trust Media Holdings group of companies.
LFA 53 will be the fifth LFA event to take place in the state of Arizona. All of these events have taken place in the Grand Canyon State’s capital city of Phoenix. The entire main card of LFA 53 will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.