Bruno Souza continued to climb in the featherweight division and Gregory Rodrigues made a statement to reach the middleweight tournament final at the top of LFA’s latest card Friday.

At LFA 102 at Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, Okla., Souza outworked Elijah Johns with a split decision in the headliner. And in the co-main event, Rodrigues picked up a brutal knockout of Al Matavao in the 185-pound tournament semifinals to reach the final against Josh Fremd.

Check out results from the fights below.

Elijah Johns vs. Bruno Souza

In a fight of shifting momentum, Bruno Souza (9-1) got past Elijah Johns (7-2) with a split decision in the main event. Souza picked up a pair of 29-28 scores. Johns got a 29-28 of his own.

Johns and Souza came out banging early with big punches and kicks. Johns tried to get inside, but Souza worked kicks. A minute, Johns took Souza to the canvas, but Souza quickly attacked with a guillotine choke and used that threat to get back to his feet.

In the second round, the momentum seemed to shift in Souza’s favor. Johns struggled to land takedowns and Souza used that to find success on the feet. By the end of the middle frame, Johns’ face was plenty marked up and bloody, and Souza’s face didn’t seem to have a mark on it.

Early in the final round, Johns again worked for a takedown, but couldn’t finish it and settled for a clinch on the cage for 90 seconds. He didn’t do much damage, but he kept Souza’s offense at bay. When Souza finally broke loose, Johns went after a takedown again – and finally got it. Souza did his best to not allow Johns to land a ton of offense, but by position alone Johns was winning the round. Once Souza got back to his feet he managed to sneak in a choke that looked deep until Johns popped his head out with a minute left. Souza had another choke attempt late, but couldn’t finish.

The win was the ninth straight, for Souza, a product of Lyoto Machida’s team, all since dropping his pro debut. Johns, a Fortis MMA product, had a five-fight winning streak snapped.

Al Matavao vs. Gregory Rodrigues

In LFA’s middleweight tournament semifinal, Gregory Rodrigues (8-3) got things done against Al Matavao (7-4) – but maybe not the way that was expected. Although Rodrigues held a notable size advantage, Matavao came out swinging for the fences. But less than a minute in, Rodrigues took Matavao to the canvas to work his renowned jiu-jitsu. Matavao used a cage-grab to avoid a takedown, but after a warning was taken down with ease by Rodrigues. A moment later, another takedown put Rodrigues right on his head – a scenario in which many fighters have been put out cold.

Matavao survived the round and came out fast again in the second. But Rodrigues landed a big bomb of a left hook on the feet and put Matavao on the canvas. The gritty Matavao got back up, but continued to eat punches from Rodrigues until his back was against the fence. Then another big right uppercut put Matavao on his back side, and the fight was mercifully waved off.

With the win, Rodrigues advanced to the middleweight tournament final to meet Josh Fremd for LFA’s 185-pound title later this year.

Brandon Lewis vs. Jimmy Meza

Brandon Lewis (5-0) and Jimmy Meza (2-1) beat each other up for 15 minutes, and both walked out of the cage a little worse for the wear. Meza, in particular, appeared to have either hurt his arm or ribs, and Lewis was cut up plenty on his face. But after taking turns hurting each other for three rounds, Lewis stayed unbeaten and squeaked out a split decision win with nods from two of the three judges, 30-27 and 29-28. A dissenting judge had it 29-28 for Meza.

Chris Mecate vs. Alberto Rodriguez

With no fans in attendance, Alberto Rodriguez (3-1) could hear play-by-play voice Ron Kruck say his win over Chris Mecate (1-1) was an upset. Rodriguez ran over and yelled, “That’s no upset.” From an odds-perspective, it was – Rodriguez was a +340 underdog. Rodriguez had to eat a right kick to the ribs a minute in, but he fired a right hook at the same time and landed cleanly. Mecate hit the canvas, and Rodriguez, a Chicago police officer, pounced with punches on the mat to get the finish at the 1:12 mark of the opening round.

Luis Iniguez vs. Haris Talundzic

To open the main card, Haris Talundzic (2-0) held off Luis Iniguez (3-1) to win a unanimous decision. After a solid first round from Talundzic with takedowns, Iniguez seemed to get through late in the second round with body shots. Perhaps sensing Talundzic could be hurt, he tried a knee to the body with short time left in the frame, but couldn’t do enough to put Talundzic in trouble. In the final round, Talundzic may have staved off any rally from Iniguez by landing more takedowns and keeping Iniguez from doing more damage on the feet.

LFA 102 results

MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Bruno Souza def. Elijah Johns via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Gregory Rodrigues def. Al Matavao via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:02 – middleweight tournament semifinal
  • Nikolay Veretennikov def. Steve Jones via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Javier Garcia def. A.J. Cunningham via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Brandon Lewis def. Jimmy Meza via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Alberto Rodriguez def. Chris Mecate via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:12
  • Haris Talundzic def. Luis Iniguez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)


  • Andrew Claborn def. Archie Colgan via knockout (elbow) – Round 3, 3:49