Written By: Barry Laminack
Photos By: Justin Trapp (AthletePortraits.com)
This past Saturday on October 22 at the Verizon Wireless Theatre, Legacy Fighting Championships amateur series made it’s debut at the Verizon Wireless theatre. A change a venue was the only thing that was different about the promotion’s amateur card, as the action and quality of the fights remained at the same high level we’ve all come to expect for Mick, Collin and the crew.
The guys at LFC didn’t just pack the house, they packed the card with 14 fights providing fight fans with a full slate of MMA action. There were 2 title fights on the card as well as a couple of featured fights that showcased some of Houston’s up and coming talent. There was also some controversy, but nothing earth shattering. We’ll get to that in just a second, but first, let’s talk about all of the positives that happened Saturday night!
Value, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I can’t think of a card this year that has had more finishes than this one did. 9 of the 14 fights went the distance, so in that respect fight fans got great value for their ticket dollar. Most of the fights were entertaining and provided plenty of action for fight fans.
Fight of the Night
Adrian Yanez defeated Nico Echeverry in our choice for our Made to Win fight of the night. Yanez was too much for the ACS stud but Echeverry wouldn’t go away quietly. Yanez was slick on the ground. He had great transitions and looked comfortable both on top and working from the bottom. Echeverry showed what I expected of him and that was really good wrestling and a relentless attack. Yanez would catch Echeverry standing flatfooted with his hands down several times in the fight and even rocked Echeverry on more than one occasion. When it was all said and done Yanez would win the fight via unanimous decision. I will say that I can’t recall seeing anybody more excited to be in the cage for making their debut more than Nico was. He looked like I would if I had just won the lotto! It was GREAT to see the pure joy on his face.
Submission of the Night
In other action Charles Lloyd picked up our Made to Win Submission of the night honors by forcing another ACS up and comer by the name of Omar Khosravi to tap to a rear naked choke at the 1:18 mark in the 3rd round. Khosravi had his nose broken early in the fight but would power through it and continue to battle until succumbing to the bigger and stronger Lloyd.
Legacy match maker Collin Cantrell mentioned on our live broadcast that he’d like to see the winner of this fight take on the winner of the Ontiveros/Jackson fight, so be on the look out for a Lloyd vs Ontiveros matchup in the near future.
KO of the Night
Jonathan Stern and Zack McKay looked like they were on their way to winning fight of the night honors until Stern dropped McKay with a vicious right hand that would lead a TKO victory and earn him our Made to Win Knockout of the Night. McKay had some beautiful throws in this one and Stern came out strong, almost finishing the fight early with a guillotine. McKay is from Houston and should bring an interesting dynamic to the 125lb division here in Houston. Stern is from Dallas but I hope we get to see him fight here again as he looks to be a real contender in the division.
Ontiveros Denies “The Truth”
One of the most anticipated match-ups of the night was between the striking duo of Charles Ontiveros and Mike “The Truth” Jackson. Both guys came in with something to prove and promised that they would give the fans a stand up war. Jackson looked to have changes his style somewhat, keeping his left hand up much more than normal. He also appeared ready for the onslaught of kicks that Ontiveros would bring as he was able to check many of them. However, Ontiveros landed a right hand off the forehead of “The Truth” that dropped Jackson to the mat. Jackson recovered quick and was able to get his hands up and cover his head in defense as Ontiveros pounced and initiated a nasty onslaught of ground and pound. Jackson seemed to be doing a good job of covering and moving his head back and forth avoiding the punches but Ontiveros’ aggressiveness and activity seemed to convince the ref. that he needed to stop the fight, so he did. Ontiveros looks to be a force on the Houston MMA amateur scene. I can’t wait to see him step up and face some of the top talent at 170.
Garcia Defeats Englund
The first title fight of the night was really a “half” title fight; let me explain. Kolton Englund was originally supposed to fight Brandon Boyd, but the two camps had some mis-communication regarding what weight the fight would take place at so in the end that fight was scratched. Eric Garcia (who had his 155lb title fight fall through as well) agreed to fight Englund at 155 for the title. Englund had already weighed in at 150 but also agreed to take the fight. Did I mention this all went down AT WEIGH INS? Anyway, Garcia cut from OVER 170lbs down to 157 for the fight, but because he didn’t make 155 (and because it was a title fight) if he won he would not get the 155lb title. However, if Englund won he would get the title since he was at (or in the case below) the 155lb maximum.
As for the fight itself. It was a really good fight. Englund more than held his own against the stronger Garcia. Garcia was able to dictate the pace and tone of the fight, but it was Englund who was dictating where the fight took place as his did a great job of stuffing most (not all) of Garcia’s take down attempts. Garcia would go on and win the fight via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28). He (Garcia) told us live on the air after the fight that midnight weight cut really affected him.
Cortino New Champ
The main event of the night was a bout that featured the then current 135lb Legacy Amateur Series champion Manny Lozoya taking on hot prospect Romiro Cortino. Cortino hadn’t fought since his debut back in February at the House of Blues when he defeated Vincent Serrano via TKO in the first round. Lozoya was coming off a loss to Jacob Silva, where he dropped down to 125 and looked out of gas because of it. Both guys came out looking to finish early. Lozoya was the faster of the two fighters but Cortino was stronger and even though Lozoya had the edge in speed was quick in his own right and was able to get in and out of the pocket quickly.
Early in the fight Cortino landed a very nice one/two combination that broke Manny’s nose, causing the champ to bleed. Lozoya would hang tough until Cortino caught him with a big right hand and dropped the champ. Cortino pounced and a few seconds later the referee was stopping the fight and we saw a new 135lb Legacy Amateur Champion.
The finish to the Mike Eaglin vs Angelus McFarland fight sparked some controversy as well. Eaglin was on his back and McFarlnad had his right arm trapped with his legs as if he was going for a crucifix. McFarland then go Eaglin’s left arm and had a Keylock that he was trying to finish. At the point referee Joe Soliz stepped in and stopped the fight. Eaglin didn’t tap but it looked like Soliz was saying that he heard him grunt. There are differing opinions on if the fight should have been stopped or not. On the live broadcast AJ and I both felt it was stopped too soon, however AJ made a good point in that since it’s amateurs and his right arm was trapped so he couldn’t tap with it as easy Soliz probably had to consider (even more so than normal) any verbal que he got from the fighter.
Legacy Continues To Deliver
All in all it was a great show and the fighters really put their heart and soul into each and every fight. There really wasn’t a stinker of a match at all. The crowd was on their best behavior as well, even when a mistake was made as to who won between Mark Carlisle and David Cruz. It was originally announced that Carlisle won but then later corrected to Cruz. All in all another great night for Houston MMA.
- Kody Williams def. Alex Stephens by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)
- Alex Chhang def. ChrisTornero by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Quentin Kiper def. “Shen” Castro by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)
- David Cruz def. Mark Carlisle by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
- Brandon Hurrington def. Ken Banks by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Ryan Hollis def. Alex Ramirez by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)
- John Paul Moreno def. Tyler Flores by Split Decision. (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Jonathan Stern def. Zach McKay by TKO (punches) RD 1
- Adrian Yanez def. Nico Echeverry by Unanimous Decision
- Charles Lloyd def Omar Khosravi via Submission (RNC) at 1:18 in the 3rd
- Angelus McFarland def. Mike Eaglin at 2:20 in Rd 2 by Submission (Americana)
- Charles Ontiveros def. Mike Jackson by TKO (punches) in Rd 1
- Eric Garcia def. Kolton Englund by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28,29-28)
- Ramiro Cortino def. Manny Lozoya by TKO (punches) at 2:53 in rd 2
Enjoy the pictures courtesy of our good friend and partner Justin Trapp (AthletePortraits.com)
Kody Williams vs Alex Stephens
Alex Chhang vs Chris Tornero
Quentin Kiper vs Visuaksena ”Shen” Castro
Mark Carlisle vs David Cruz
Ken Banks vs Brandon Hurrington
Alex Ramirez vs Ryan Hollis
Tyler Flores vs John Paul Moreno
Zach McKay vs Jonathan Stern
Nico Echeverry vs Adrian Yanez
Charles Lloyd vs Omar Khosravi
Raymond “Angelus” McFarland vs Mike Eaglin
Mike Jackson vs Charlie Ontiveros
Eric Garcia vs Kolton Englund
Ramiro Cortino vs Manny Lozoya