Saturday night, Nov. 7th, at the Legacy Fighting Championships, the Pro Houston MMA scene took a giant leap forward.Â Houston has had pro fights before, a packed Houston Arena Theatre was treated to what many where calling the best night of local fights in the history of this city.Â â€œIâ€™ve been coming to fights for the last 9 years here in Houston, and this is by far the best card and most exciting fights Iâ€™ve ever watched locallyâ€ said Shannon Kelly of Hockley.Â Every fight had potential to be the fight of the night, and every fight lived up to its potential.Â The night was filled with excitement and controversy, the two key elements that not only make for a great night of fights but also create a buzz that helps to spark (and maintain) interest within the MMA community.
The great thing about the fighters on this card was that all of them wanted to put on a good show and make the fans feel like they got their moneyâ€™s worth.Â Even Chad â€œRoboâ€ Robichaux, the eventual winner of the main event and the new 135lb Legacy FC champ, showed interest.Â â€œHow is it going out there?Â Are the fights good?Â Are the fans enjoying it?â€ he asked as I passed him in the fighter dressing room midway through the card.
Photos courtesy of FighterPortraits.com
The excitement happened early and often, and it seemed like there were moments in each fight that had the crowd cheering.Â The opening fight set the tone withÂ Humberto Deleon squaring off against Andy Sandoval.Â Midway through the first round, Deleon managed to get Sandoval in an arm bar.Â The crowd gasped as a close-up on the overhead screen showed Sandovalâ€™s arm looking like it could break at any moment.Â Somehow, he managed to escape and finish the round, but found himself in the same position early in the second and had to tap.Â The night was punctuated with a swift victory for Robo, taking just 1:46 to finish Lewis McKenzie in the first round via a rear naked choke.Â With the win, Robo joins the short list of Pro Houston MMA fighter ready to take the leap to the national stage.
The controversy came during the Ken Battle vs. Jason Carter fight.Â The fight lasted just 33 seconds with Battle getting the victory via referee stoppage due to strikes. Â Battle refused to stop punching Carter and the referee had physically restrain him in the center of the ring to get him off of Carter.Â To his credit, Carter bounced to his feet and had a confused look on his face as if he felt like the fight should not have been stopped.Â The crowd booed at the end of the fight, but it is hard to tell if they booed Battle for not stopping or the decision by theÂ refereeÂ to stop the fight.
Itâ€™s hard to pick a fight of the night.Â Our own poll has it as a two way race between the Jace Pitre vs. Jesus Rivera match and the McKenzie vs. Robo main event.Â The Pitre/Rivera fight was an all out slug fest, going the distance and ending in a split decision victory for Rivera.Â Both fighters showed great chins and displayed outstanding kickboxing and striking skills.Â The McKenzie/Robo fight was a main event the lived up to the hype, with Robo making short work of McKenzie on his way to an 8-0 record.Â McKenzie looked game as the fight started, but proved to be no match for Robo on the ground.
The folks at Legacy (Mick Maynard and Ragan McDaniel) have set the bar extremely high for themselves.Â â€œIâ€™m very happy with last nightâ€™s event and am very excited about the future of Legacy Fighting Championship.Â We want to provide the premier MMA experience for all fansâ€ said Ragan McDaniel, Production Director for Legacy Fighting Championship and President of B3 Sports Management.Â Itâ€™s going to be interesting to see if they can keep this momentum going on their next pro card.
There were 9 fights on the card, but a total of 10 winners.Â The first 9 winners were the fighters who had their hand raised by the referee, and the 10th winner was the MMA fight scene (and its fans) here in Houston.
Photos courtesy of FighterPortraits.com
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You can catch Legacy FC on the web at http://www.legacyfightingchampionship.com/