LFA brings Championship Doubleheader to Brazil at LFA 126

February 16, 2022 9:45 am.










LAS VEGAS, Nevada — LFA CEO Ed Soares announced today that the promotion will return to Brazil in March with a championship doubleheader at LFA 126. The featherweight and welterweight titles will both be on the line after previous champions Bruno Souza and Carlos Leal signed with the UFC and PFL respectively. This will be the third LFA event to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after the promotion’s international expansion took place last summer.

LFA 126: Bilharinho vs. Barbosa takes place Friday, March 11th at Complexo Ribalta in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The main event will feature a featherweight title fight between top prospects Jonas “Shiva” Bilharinho and Rafael “Coxinha” Barbosa. The co-main event will also feature a championship bout, when LFA standouts Gabriel “Marretinha” Bonfim and Quemuel Ottoni battle for the welterweight title. The entire main card will be available worldwide on UFC FIGHT PASS® at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

“We are excited to feature two LFA title fights when we return to Brazil at LFA 126,” stated Soares. “Jonas Bilharinho and Rafael Barbosa are two of the top prospects in the world. Bilharinho is coming off a highlight reel knockout win on Dana White’s Contender Series, while Barbosa has two wins inside the LFA Octagon including one on Dana White: Lookin’ For A Fight. They will fight for the vacant featherweight title. Then in the co-main event, Gabriel Bonfim and Quemuel Ottoni will fight for the vacant welterweight title after they both won fights in the inaugural LFA Welterweight Grand Prix last summer.”

Bilharinho (9-1-1) is one of the most exciting prospects in the sport. The highly-touted Brazilian is coming off an electrifying Wheel Kick knockout this past November on Dana White’s Contender Series. The win came against LFA standout Canaan Kawaihae, who had accepted the fight with Bilharinho, shortly after it was announced he would be fighting for the LFA featherweight title in August. Now Bilharinho will get the next shot at LFA gold, which is a position he has already been in. The man often referred to as the “Brazilian Conor McGregor” was set to fight for the title in the main event of LFA 85 in April 2020 before the COVID-19 lockdown postponed the event. Now he will look to finally capture the title in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro at LFA 126.

Barbosa (14-4) makes his return to the LFA Octagon after shaking up the division in 2019. The man known as “Coxinha” used his world-class karate skills to do so. Barbosa started by winning his LFA debut with UFC President Dana White sitting cageside. His win over Cameron Graves at LFA 63 was featured on the Season 4 premiere of Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight. In fact, White heaped praise on Barbosa during the build up to the fight, “Barbosa is 10-1…he’s 21-years-old though. This kid has so much more time to learn and grow.” That growth continued in the main event of LFA 68, where he scored a beautiful standing elbow knockout win over former LFA title challenger Nate Jennerman. Now at the age of 24, Barbosa looks to claim LFA gold in his home country.

The co-main event of LFA 126 will feature the promotion’s top two 170-pound contenders as they vie to become the LFA’s seventh welterweight champion. Bonfim (11-0) and Ottoni (11-3) both won fights at LFA 112 in the inaugural LFA Welterweight Grand Prix, which highlighted the LFA’s historic two-event debut showcase in Brazil last summer.

Bonfim defeated Brenner Alberth via TKO in the third round of their semi-final bout in a fight that won LFA Fight of the Year. However, the punishment dished out between the two undefeated prospects prevented Bonfim from continuing in the tournament. He will now get his chance at LFA gold in the co-main event of LFA 126.

Ottoni competed earlier that night in an alternate bout at the LFA 112: Welterweight Grand Prix. He defeated Junior Marques via Unanimous Decision in another grueling contest, which also prevented him from fighting in the tournament final when Bonfim could not continue. Now the man, who is widely known in MMA as the only man to defeat UFC star, LFA great, and GLORY champ-champ Alex “Poatan” Pereira, will also get his well-deserved title shot.

Currently Announced Fight Card (Main Card Available worldwide on UFC FIGHT PASS®):

Main Event | Featherweight Title Bout (145 lb)

  • Jonas Bilharinho (9-1-1) vs. Rafael Barbosa (14-4)

Co-Main Event | Welterweight Title Bout (170 lb)

  • Gabriel Bonfim (11-0) vs. Quemuel Ottoni (11-3)

Lightweight Bout (155 lb)

  • Ismael Bonfim (16-3) vs. Andrey Augusto (12-2)

Heavyweight Bout (265 lb)

  • Andre Vieira (5-0) vs. Eduardo Neves (4-0)

Light-Heavyweight Bout (205 lb)

  • Rodolfo Bellato (7-1) vs. Thiago Vieira (11-4)

Flyweight Bout (125 lb)

  • Inaildo Santos (8-0) vs. Mateus Brauns (7-1)

Featherweight Bout (145 lb)

  • Gabriel Braga (6-0) vs. Jose Delano (9-2)

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 260 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of MMA by competing in the UFC. In 2018, the promotion joined the Imperial Family Companies group (formerly London Trust Media). In 2019, the promotion announced a broadcast partnership with UFC FIGHT PASS®. In 2021, the LFA expanded internationally by hosting multiple events in Brazil.

Please visit LFA.com for bout updates and information. LFA is on Facebook at Facebook.com/LFAfighting. LFA is also on Instagram at @LFAfighting and Twitter at @LFAfighting.

About LFA:
LFA is a professional Mixed Martial Arts promotion that gives rising stars and top contenders the opportunity to prove their talent to fans and leaders in the industry. LFA was formed by the powerhouse merger between RFA and Legacy FC. LFA presents live Mixed Martial Arts events on a monthly basis around the United States including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix , Denver, Dallas, and Minneapolis. Based in Las Vegas, NV, LFA is one of the most active and respected MMA organizations in the fastest growing sport in the world. (The Octagon, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, UFC®, and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC. All rights reserved).

UFC FIGHT PASS® is the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports. Since launching in 2013, UFC FIGHT PASS is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. FIGHT PASS provides its members with unlimited access to live UFC FIGHT PASS Prelims; live mixed martial arts and combat sports from around the world; original series and historical programming; special features; behind-the-scenes content; in-depth interviews; and up-to-the minute reports on the world of combat sports. UFC FIGHT PASS subscribers also have 24/7 access to the world’s largest fight library, featuring more than 20,000 bouts from dozens of combats sports organizations, as well as every fight in UFC history. Fight fans can access UFC FIGHT PASS on personal computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, and Sony TVs with Android TV. For more information, please visit UFCFightPass.com.

The Imperial Family Companies maintains a diversified portfolio with one common theme: bringing power to the people. The IFC is proud to partner with the LFA management team to showcase the greatest talents of tomorrow. Learn more about the IFC at ImperialFamily.com.

With a hall of 3,000 meters of floor space, a full stage and parking with capacity for 600 cars, our mission is to provide the best in event venues in Rio de Janeiro. Our space allows us to accommodate up to 3,000 people in different formats such as: auditorium, round tables and exhibition fairs with up to 90 stands. The perfect space for holding events, whether corporate, concerts, shows and even special events. For more info visit ribalta.com.br.


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This post was written by Ryan Bevins