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Combat sports: Espinosa, Lewis, Pico make weight

All three Albuquerque-based MMA fighters scheduled to fight on major cards on Saturday weighed in successfully on Friday.

Albuquerque (Luttrell-Yee) flyweight Jordan Espinosa (14-6) weighed in at 126 pounds, an allowable one pound over the limit, for his fight on a UFC card in Raleigh, North Carolina. His opponent, Alex Perez (22-5), weighed in at 125.5 pounds.

Middleweight Bevon Lewis (6-2), who trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink MMA, weighed in at 186 pounds — an allowable one pound over the limit — for his fight on the UFC Raleigh card. His opponent, Dequan Townsend (21-9), weighed in at 185 pounds.

Featherweight Aaron Pico, Lewis’ Jackson-Wink teammate, weighed in at 145.8 pounds, an allowable eight-tenths of a pound over the limit, for his fight on a Bellator card in Inglewood, California. Pico’s opponent, Daniel Carey, weighed in at 144.9 pounds.

Saturday’s UFC card will be streamed on espn+, the network’s subscription streaming service. Espinosa’s fight is on the main card, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Lewis’ fight is on the undercard, scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

The UFC Raleigh main event matches heavyweights Curtis Blaydes (12-2) and Junior dos Santos (21-6).

The Bellator card, including Pico’s fight, will be streamed on DAZN, a subscription service, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The Bellator main event matches Julia Budd (13-2) and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (12-2) in a fight for the Bellator women’s featherweight title.

FRESQUEZ IS BACK: Albuquerque promoter Lenny Fresquez will stage his first boxing card in almost seven years on March 7 with a show at Isleta Resort & Casino, with unbeaten Albuquerque super flyweight Matt Griego in the main event.

Griego (10-0, eight knockouts) is scheduled to face Ronnie Baldonado (15-2, nine KOs) of the Philippines in a 10-round bout.

Fresquez, Holly Holm’s longtime promoter and now her agent, last promoted a boxing card when Holm defeated Mary McGee by unanimous decision in May 2013. It was Holm’s final boxing match before deciding to focus full time on MMA.

Before turning his attention to MMA, Fresquez promoted 58 pro boxing cards in New Mexico — as listed by boxrec.com — in more than 25 years in the business. On Friday in a news release, he invited any and all boxers who performed on his past cards to attend the March 7 event as his guest.

Also on the card, as listed on boxrec.com, are New Mexicans Antonio Martinez (11-5-4, six KOs), Clinton Chavez (3-0, two KOs), Donald Sanchez (5-2, three KOs), Jordanne Garcia (4-1-1, no KOs) and Santiago Giron (1-1, one KO).

AMATEUR BOXING: In Sofia, Bulgaria, Los Angeles’ Anthony Herrera lost by unanimous decision to Bulgaria’s Daniel Arsenov on Friday in a flyweight (114-pound) semifinal bout at the Strandja international amateur tournament.

Herrera is Albuquerquean Abraham Perez’s competition for a possible Olympic berth this summer. Perez, who twice defeated Herrera in winning the USA Boxing Olympic Trials last month, lost his second-round bout in Sofia on Thursday.

By virtue of his two victories in the Strandja tournament, Herrera will come home with a bronze medal.

The Strandja is being used by USA Boxing as its final tool in determining the U.S. team that will compete at an Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Buenos Aires this spring. How much weight Herrera’s success in Sofia carries, as opposed to Perez’s U.S. Trials title and his two victories over Herrera, remains to be seen.


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