Saturday night at the Arena Theater in Houston Texas, Mick Maynard and the crew over at Legacy FC once again took the Houston MMA scene to a higher level. The crowd was on its feet from the opening bell and very rarely did they get a chance to sit down.Â Several fighters made their professional debut; some enjoying victory while others tasting defeat for their first fight as a pro.Â Â The night even included an appearance byÂ fan favorite and Houston’s own UFC star Mike Swick, who was cornering for his fellow Bushi Ban fighters.Â Between fights, the ever gracious Swick took time toÂ pose for pictures with fans and sign autographs. â€œLast night had it all in my opinion. Subs, KOâ€™s, TKOâ€™s, split decisions, unanimous decisionâ€™s, legendary wars, new champs and of course controversyâ€ Maynard said, appropriately summing up the nights events.
Scotty Juarez (Silverback MMA) made his professional debut and started the night off with a TKO win over the bigger and much older David McClung (BVMMA).Â Next up, Jason Carter (646 MMA) fought in what he called “a redemption fight” for himself, after losing his pro debut to Ken Battle (Hoger MMA) in the first Legacy FC card.Â Carter got his redemption and played the role of spoiler, earning a unanimous decision victory over 4ozâ€™s Dominic Rodriguez, who made his debut at the tender age of 40 years old.
Greg Bellomy (Gracie Barra) won the TCD.net Submission of the night with a beautiful anaconda choke of Leo Torres (Silverback MMA). There were several unhappy people in the crowd and it was apparent that many of them felt the fight was not stopped quickly enough. Torres appeared to be out for several seconds before the referee seemed to notice.Â Many sitting cage side could be heard yelling to the ref that he had lost consciousness and shortly after, the referee twice checked Torresâ€™ arm for resistance before calling the fight.Â This fight was also Bellomyâ€™s pro debut.
Continuing the action, Jeff Rexroad (Metro Fight Club) ended the night quickly for Bushi Banâ€™s Danny Taylor with a flurry of strikes to gain the TKO victory in his first pro fight. Up next was another debut, however, Artenas Young (Hoger MMA) saw his much anticipated debut spoiled by Brian Lightfoot (Gracie Barra Texas). Lightfoot used his reach advantage to keep Young on the outside and never seemed to be in danger of being hurt as he cruised to a split decision win.
Johnathon Harris (Submission Boxing Academy) only needed two rounds to get the timing of Muay Thai G.R.I.Pâ€™sÂ Tony Conception before landing a knockout blow that electrified the crowd and earned him the first ever TCD.net Knockout of the night. Â Â Patrick Hutton from RSKA and RJ Knepp from 646 MMA went the full 3 rounds with RJ earning a split decision victory. This fight was billed as a stand up brawl, but RJ shocked many by taking it to the ground early and often.
Ray Blodgett (Elite MMA) showed the Houston MMA scene why he should be next in line for a title shot as he displayed great all around skills against a very tough opponent in Arron Barringer (Hoger MMA).
Billed as a super fight, BJJ Black belt Marcelo Azevedo (Gracie Barra Texas) squared off against Â Muay Thai specialist Charles Byrd (Saeksonâ€™s Muay Thai).Â A game Byrd did his best to keep the fight standing, but that was short lived.Â Soon after the two first clenched, Azevedo wasted no time taking the fight to the ground and submitting Byrd with a rear naked choke and ending the fight at 2:04 in the first round.
Humberto Deleon from Bushi Ban showed why he is the top 125lbers in the state as he quickly submitted Brian Garmon from Silverback MMA with a beautiful armbar to earn the 125lb title. In 22 fights Humberto has landed 18 armbar submissions! Deleon is top of the food chain talent in his weight class and should be ranked nationally.
Jesus Rivera from 4oz and Ray Trujillo from Metro Fight Club put on the fight of the night. From the opening bell it was very obvious that this was going to be an intense battle of two strikers with iron chins. For five rounds these two warriors battled with neither giving an inch. Each time one seemed to be on the brink of breaking, the tide would change and they would swing right back into action. The crowd never had a chance to rest as this fight never let up. The fight ended just as it began, with the two fighters standing toe to toe swinging away. Ray Trujillo earned the unanimous decision win in one of the best fights in recent memory. Ray won the 155lb title but the true winners were all the fans who attended Legacy FC. This fight easily won the TCD.net fight of the night award.
Mike Bronzoulis (Metro Fight Club) and Levi Forrest (Gracie Barra The Woodlands) capped the night with an outstanding, if not highly controversial, title fight as the two seasoned professionals went toe to toe for the right to be called the Legacy FC 170lb title holder. Neither fighter seemed likely to back down as both put it all on the line in an effort to earn the victory and the coveted belt.Â Levi showed greatly improved striking as he won the stand up battle against Mike, who was thought by many to be the better all around striker.
The controversy in this fight centered on whether referee Joe Solis was standing up the fighters too soon due to inactivity on the ground.Â Bronzoulis supporters felt that he was clearly active and working from the top, often delivering strikes to Forrest as he continued to work for better position, only to have the fight stopped and stood back up.
Either way, they both battled it out for 5 tough rounds, with Forrest earning the decision victory in what was a great fight by any standard.Â Rumors of a rematch are already circulating.
Setting the Standard
Houston once again showed that if you bring us great fights you will receive a great crowd. Mick delivered a great card, the fighters delivered great fights and the fans in Houston reciprocated by being loud and supportive for most of the night. This was only the second Legacy FC event ever, and it will no doubt be a difficult to top. From Bellomyâ€™s sick anaconda choke to the Rivera/Trujillo war, this card had it all.
Griffen/Bonnar is considered by many to be the #1 fight for the UFC and has become the standard by which all other UFC fights are measured for greatness. Tonightâ€™s Rivera/Trujillo fight equaled that in heart, skill, and pure passion. This fight will forever be etched in the minds of Legacy FC fans, and will no doubt be the standard by which all future pro fights in Houston will be judged.