One note before we begin concerning a shake-up in the Bellator MMA commentary team:
Welterweight fighter Paul Daley (36-2) has been dismissed as analyst for Bellator MMA’s international telecasts, this after making disapproving remarks concerning Michael “Venom” Page on-air back in November during Bellator London in the main event of the evening at SSE Arena in Wembley.
MMAFighting.com first reported the story Tuesday morning, a day after Bellator MMA confirmed Daley’s dismissal as a broadcaster to the Website.
The mixed martial arts calendar picks up in earnest starting this weekend with a doubleheader of action.
This Saturday night on ESPN+ pay-per-view, No. 4 Lightweight contender Conor McGregor (21-4) faces No. 5 Lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (36-13), the winningest UFC fighter of all-time, in a five-round Welterweight showcase fight to headline UFC 246 in Las Vegas.
More on that show later on in the week.
Friday, Legacy Fighting Alliance makes its 2020 debut on UFC Fight Pass with LFA 80 from Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, NM at 10 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. PST. LFA 80 marks the first of five shows in the first three months of the calendar year from the promotion.
Highlighting the 12-fight LFA card, which includes 10 professional fights, is a three-round non-title main event in the LFA’s Featherweight division, as 10-3 Steve Garcia Jr. battles 10-4 Jose Mariscal in the headliner.
Heading into the first LFA main event of the decade, Steve Garcia is the taller competitor at six feet even, five inches taller than Jose Mariscal at 5-foot-7.
Garcia has posted a 3-2 record in his last five fights, entering this main event on a three-fight winning streak. Most recently, he stopped Desmond Torres by first-round knockout in the Aug. 20, 2019 episode of Dana White’s Contender Series on ESPN+.
In the other corner, Mariscal has gone 4-1 in his last five contests, most recently scoring a first-round knockout against Vladimir Cerbadji in HFC 40 on Sept. 20, 2019.
The Tale of the Tape
According to Tapology, Steve Garcia Jr. has a 73-inch reach heading into this fight, with no such information accessible for Jose Mariscal.
Prediction: Steve Garcia Jr. by unanimous decision.
Other professional fights on Friday night’s main card
Jerome Rivera (8-2) vs. Kendrick Latchman (8-5) [Flyweight, co-main event]
Jordan Wright (9-0) vs. Gabriel Checco (11-4) [Middleweight]
Chris Brown (5-1) vs. Carrington Banks (8-2) [Lightweight]
Edwin Cooper Jr. (2-0) vs. Sean William Cerveny (4-0) [Featherweight]
Toninho Gavinho (9-4) vs. Josh Marsh (5-2) [Featherweight]
Josh Streacker (6-3) vs. Tyler Ray (5-1) [Welterweight]
LFA 80 at a Glance
Card: Friday, 10 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. PST, UFC Fight Pass
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