LFA Head Ed Soares Believes LFA Brazil Events the First of Many to Come

By Marcelo Alonso Jul 22, 2021

If Legacy Fighting Alliance CEO Ed Soares has his way, the promotion will be making a habit out of traveling to Brazil.

The two editions of the LFA in Rio de Janeiro, LFA 111 and LFA 112, were both successful in Brazil, according to Soares. Broadcasted live nationwide on the Combate channel, and in other markets on UFC Fight Pass, the cards drew solid audiences thanks to the high level of the fights. When the weekend came to a close, 13 of the 23 fights ended inside the distance, which included high-flying finishes and slick submissions as well.

As LFA 112, a one-night welterweight grand prix, continued, the brackets were aligned for the two impressive finalists to take the stage for the vacant belt. Unfortunately, that final between Carlos Leal Miranda (14-3) and Gabriel de Souza Bonfim (11-0) fell through when Bonfim suffered concussion-like symptoms following his knockout win over Brenner Alberth Barreto.

With the Brazilian Athletic Commission not clearing Bonfim to compete, the organization went to its two alternate victors of Wendell Giacomo and Quemuel Ottoni. Both welterweights were not medically cleared to compete either, so the LFA was forced to slot in Uyran Carlos – a man who lost earlier in the night to Giacomo – in the finals. Leal prevailed by a three-round unanimous decision to win the title, and if Leal is not signed by another promotion following his two impressive wins, the LFA has plans for him.

After the tournament event, Soares spoke with Sherdog, who revealed that Leal’s first title defense may be against the aforementioned Bonfim.

“Let’s see if Leal will be able to defend or will go straight to Bellator or UFC,” the LFA chief admitted. “If he stays, for sure that final against Bonfim is on my radar. Everybody wanted to see that fight.”

Very happy with the LFA’s success in Brazil, Soares guaranteed that the league's first international cards would not be its last.

“It was a dream that came true,” Soares gushed. “[Nova Uniao founder Andre] Pederneiras gave me 100 percent of [his] support. It was a wonderful experience. My plan is to do one more edition this year, and for sure, between six and 10 next year. I love that experience in Rio, but my goal is [to] bring LFA to other cities too.”
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