Joseph Holmes is a long, orthodox athlete with snapping straight punches, who faces Ryan Leininger at Legacy Fighting Alliance on the main card. Looking back, when he faced Michael Manno at ARK-LA-TEX KONFLICT Fight 9, Holmes managed distance properly. He effectively used his frame to land body kicks from range, and worked behind his jab. A seasoned strategist, he waits to implement consistent feints after the first round. His activity and shot selection will set a difficult pace to match at LFA 96.
Since Holmes employs a well rounded game, Leininger will need to match his aggression with urgent reactions, and shut down clinch attempts immediately. That’s not to say Leininger doesn’t have power, because he’s shown himself to be a potent first round finisher with his boxing and Thai clinch work.
How do their records compare?
Now that both athletes have lost their first professional bout, pressure will be relieved and focus will be to perform. Even though their records reflect similarly, they don’t in terms of experience. Consequently, Leininger has a substantial amateur record, and with the experience gained, athletes tend to perform better in the pocket. Not to mention having UFC fighter, and prominent coach, James Krouse helping out at camp is bound to garner improvements.
LFA 96 – Paths to Victory
Despite the length and possible reach advantage, Leininger is a nightmare to deal with on the feet. Most notably, the young American showed a full arsenal of strikes against Sean Franks at the 2019 show, DCS 51. Surely distance management will be the story of this bout.
Since both athletes have wicked striking games they prefer to implement, the first to impose and maintain their distance of choice will likely succeed. As stated above, Holmes’ shot selection will pose problems from the outside, but Leininger’s affinity inside the clinch could change the course of the fight. For instance, when Franks wilted from Leininger’s pressure, it came after a lot of patient striking — but ultimately his knees from the clinch were the most damaging. Fight fans have this fight circled for a reason, find out who comes out on top on this winter card!
Don’t miss the action here, Friday December 4th, 9PM ET.
Freelance Writer – Sports MMA