Prospects to Watch at LFA 108: Title hopefuls, NCAA star’s debut, and flyweight standouts

Bryce Meredith during his University of Wyoming wrestling days. Credit: Claire Knerr, U. of Wyoming

It seems like every week, Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) has an event chock-full of the best prospects in the sport of MMA. This week’s offering, LFA 108, is no different.

From a middleweight tournament championship headliner to the MMA debut of one of the higher-profile collegiate wrestlers to transition to MMA in recent memory, LFA 108 is loaded with emerging talent on which to keep an eye.

Josh Fremd (7-1)

  • Name: Josh Fremd
  • Nationality: USA (Pennsylvania)
  • Division: Middleweight
  • Age: 27
  • Record: 7-1 MMA, 3-0 LFA

When it comes to middleweight prospects, few are more violent than LFA title hopeful Josh Fremd (7-1).

The 6’4″ Pennsylvania native has been red-hot since returning to the cage in 2020 after a series of unfortunate injuries had kept him sidelined since 2018. The then-4-1 middleweight signed with LFA and made his promotional debut at LFA 89 in August of 2020.

There, he defeated Lamar Gosey (3-1) with a vicious knockout, stopping him with knees and punches in under two minutes. Making a quick turnaround, Fremd built on his momentum with a first-round stoppage of Antonio Jones (7-4) at LFA 93 in October.

On the strength of his back-to-back knockout wins, LFA booked Fremd as one of four middleweight tournament hopefuls set to compete for the promotion’s vacant title. Fremd stopped Bruno Oliveira (8-3) with punches in the first round of his opening matchup, advancing to the tournament finale this Friday.

Friday, Fremd will face his second consecutive Brazilian opponent in Gregory Rodrigues (8-3). While the fight is obviously significant for Fremd in that a win would capture him the LFA middleweight title, Rodrigues’ status as a Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) veteran makes a victory over him an even more terrific feather in the cap of the highly ambitious Fremd.

For more on Fremd, check out this extensive feature from October 2020.

Bryce Meredith (Debut)

  • Name: Bryce Meredith
  • Nationality: USA (Wyoming)
  • Division: Bantamweight
  • Age: 26
  • Record: 0-0, Professional Debut

There’s nothing quite like an MMA debut, and the MMA debut of a collegiate wrestler as decorated as Bryce Meredith (0-0) doesn’t come around too often.

Meredith, 26, began his collegiate career at North Carolina State University, then transferred to the University of Wyoming. Wrestling at 141 pounds for Wyoming, Meredith earned All-American honors and placed second at the NCAA tournament following the 2015-2016 season. It was a stellar season for Meredith, who also racked up a Big 12 Wrestler of the Week award and was ranked throughout the majority of the year.

In the 2016-2017 season, the two-time NCAA tournament finalist built on his momentum. The three-time All-American was just the seventh Wyoming wrestler in history to compete at the NWCA All-Star Classic, finished second at the Big 12 Championships, and another All-American distinction. Meredith was also named to the NWCA All-Academic team, to boot.

In 2018, he became the Big 12 champion and again reached the finals of the NCAA tournament, where he came up just short to one of the sport’s brightest stars in Yianni Diakomihalis.

Ahead of his MMA debut, Meredith has trained with a terrific camp in The MMA Lab, which sports a dazzling array of notable, high-level fighters. Speaking about his debut on social media, Meredith wrote, “I honestly just love chasing adventures/ feelings/ etc. and stepping into the cage is one of the wildest things we can do as a human. The jump into the unknown makes me so incredibly excited!”

It’s not common that a wrestler of Meredith’s caliber makes the jump to the cage, so buckle up.

Archie Colgan

  • Name: Archie Colgan
  • Nationality: USA (Colorado)
  • Division: Welterweight
  • Age: 25
  • Record: 1-0, 1-0 LFA

Interestingly enough, Bryce Meredith isn’t the only Wyoming wrestler competing on the LFA 108 card. Welterweight prospect Archie Colgan’s (1-0) time as a Cowboy overlapped with Meredith’s (2015-2017), and the two will share the card this Friday.

Colgan, 25, successfully made his professional debut at LFA 102 after a stellar 3-0 amateur career. He stopped Andrew Claborn (0-1) in the third round of their preliminary matchup by TKO in what was a dominant affair for the Colorado native.

Colgan’s positional dominance on the ground, his takedown ability, and his ever-increasing aptitude inside the cage are impressive, to say the least. He’ll face one-fight Bellator and two-fight LFA veteran Keith Phathaem (2-2-1) for his second pro fight, and with a win, should place himself squarely on the radar of MMA fans as a prospect of note at 170 pounds.

For more on Colgan, check out this feature on his career from earlier this week.

Clayton Carpenter

  • Name: Clayton Carpenter
  • Nationality: USA (Arizona)
  • Division: Flyweight
  • Age: 24
  • Record: 3-0, 1-0 LFA

One of seven undefeated prospects competing on LFA 108, Clayton Carpenter (3-0) has made a name for himself as one of the most promising flyweight up-and-comers on the scene.

A product of The MMA Lab, Carpenter has an impressive resume across the combat sports. His jiu jitsu is terrific, as he is an IBJJF World champion in both gi and no-gi competitions for his rank; his boxing is technical and effective, as evidenced by his status as a Jr. National Golden Gloves champion; and his a four-time national Muay Thai champion.

With a background in multiple martial arts reminiscent of Bellator super-prospect Aaron Pico, Carpenter has always been subject to high expectations. So far in his MMA career, he has delivered. Now 3-0 after a 6-1 amateur career (the lone loss of which was a split-decision), Carpenter has looked better and better each time out.

He will face Nick Clem (3-1) at LFA 108 on the show’s main card, and with a win, he should earn himself a sizable step up his next time out. Still, Carpenter is young in his career. He will likely continue to develop over the next two years or so before making the jump to the big show.

Rodney Kealohi

  • Name: Rodney Kealohi
  • Nationality: USA (Hawaii)
  • Division: Flyweight
  • Age: 26
  • Record: 5-1, 1-0 LFA

While Carpenter is a flyweight prospect to keep an eye on for the future, Rodney Kealohi (5-1) is a name fans may see sooner rather than later.

The Hawaiian, 25, trains out of the renowned JacksonWink MMA camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bucking mainstream stereotypes of flyweights’ finishing abilities, Kealohi has not seen the judges’ scorecards once throughout his uber-exciting pro career to date.

He made his LFA promotional debut at LFA 102 in October of 2020, stopping then 5-1 Mefi Monterroso (5-3) with a knee to the body and punches just thirty seconds into the first round.

Kealohi will face a stiff test in fellow standout prospect Mark Climaco (5-0) at LFA 108, but with an impressive victory, could very well endear himself to the sport’s biggest promotions in need of a flyweight prospect.

Mark Climaco

  • Name: Mark Climaco
  • Nationality: USA (California)
  • Division: Flyweight
  • Age: 23
  • Record: 5-0, 1-0 LFA

It is rare that we here at MMA-Prospects will highlight both fighters competing against one another in a matchup, but that simply goes to show how talented both flyweight prospects are in this one.

Mark Climaco (5-0), 23, is undefeated through ten fights as both an amateur and a professional. Training out of the illustrious American Kickboxing Academy alongside some of the biggest names in the sport, Climaco has looked experienced beyond his years in the cage.

Against opposition with a combined record of 11-1, Climaco has been better each time out. He made his LFA debut at the super-stacked LFA 101: The Undefeated card this past March, and in 2018, he scored a first-round TKO under the Bellator banner.

Facing Kealohi, Climaco will have the chance to raise his stock even higher at LFA 108. The winner of this bout will likely place himself squarely on the radar of top organizations’ flyweight wish lists.