HOUSTON, TX, September 18, 2011 – So what did you think of HDNet’s Legacy Fighting Championship 8 on Friday Night? We gave quick results and pictures up yesterday here on TXMMA but we haven’t really talked about it yet with a busy weekend taking pics at the Martial Arts Mania tournament here in Houston and plenty of other stuff going on.
Seeing as how my fantasy team is tanking it on me right now in our TXMMA Fantasy League, here’s time better served in the form of the top headlines from Friday’s LFC8 event and what can be expected from these fighters in the near future.
► Jorge ‘Macaco’ Patino Wins Title in Split Decision; ‘Twinkle Toes’ Up Next?
The main event saw Jorge “Macaco” Patino earn his first professional MMA title after he edged out a close split decision over fellow UFC veteran Pete Spratt. The fight sure was a close from bell-to-bell with the two trading strategically-placed shots on the feet for the majority of the fight. Many feel Spratt did just enough in that arena to win out a decision over the decision but ground action in the third and fifth rounds spearheaded by Macaco may have been the crux of the fight that lead to his victory.
After the bout, it was mentioned on the live broadcast that none-other than HDNet color commentator and longtime veteran Frank Trigg may have an interest in fighting the new champion in a catch-weight bout for the promotion. I mentioned this to Macaco the day after the event and he seemed game to the idea of fighting Trigg but not at a catch-weight as 170 is his weight and that’s where he has a belt. With that being said, it looks like we’ll have to wait and see what the next move is for the Legacy 170 champion.
► Andrew Craig Validates Status as Houston’s Top Prospect in Co-Main Event
Perhaps the night’s most resilient performance goes to undefeated Team Tooke fighter Andrew Craig, who reaffirmed his status as the most “big league ready” prospect out of the Houston area with a win over WEC/Bellator veteran Eric Schambari. The fight would start out in the favor of the Las Vegas native early on, with Schambari powerfully getting Craig down to the mat and taking his back early on. Facing a perilous situation, Andrew was able to maintain his composure before punishing the out-of-towner for his efforts for the rest of the bout.
With this win, one has to wonder what’s next for 6-0 Andrew Craig. He’s beaten some tough fighters already despite only being a pro since just mid-last year. Quite honestly, it’s conceivable that he’s run out of opponents here locally. I mean, Artenas “Machine Gun” Young would have been a nice opponent but he’s on a streak of his own and headlining Shark Fights 20 in just a few weeks. There was a nice prospect in Dallas by the name of J.J. Holmes but unfortunately, J.J. is coming off a tough few months with two losses in a row. Who else is there? Feel free to chime in if I overlooked anybody at top heap of 185 in Texas but at this point, Craig’s next step may come in the big leagues. If there’s any justice in the world, that’s exactly what can be expected to happen in the next few months.
► Steven Peterson Impressive Once Again; Bout with Jens Pulver Next or Will He Seeks a Legacy Title?
Steven “Ocho” Peterson performed like the wearer of the emblem tattoo’d on his chest in this latest fight. Starting the fight with a bang, the NDMMA fighter flew through the air with a quick superman punch that started a chain of events that would end in a fatal guillotine choke that would end the fight at 1:40 of round one over the now 7-5 Steve Garcia.
Prior to the fight, Steven mentioned to us a possible bout (at 145) with former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver or a Legacy 135 Title Fight in December (presumably a vacated belt with Chad Robichaux retiring) as his next move should he win against Garcia. Now that he’s won Friday’s fight, we’ll see if it’s one of those options or something different for him.
After beating Garcia, Alex Russ, and Douglas Frey in his last three bouts, it should be exciting times in the future for the youngster from North Dallas MMA as he’s on to the next one.
► Jeff Rexroad Notched 3rd Victory in a Row; Paradigm Coach/Teammate Lee King Notches 15th Career Win
Jeff Rexroad survived a tough first round by John “Maniac” Malbrough and finished the bout in the second after some impressive defensive work on the ground involving the rubber guard. The submission victory now brings the former Marine and current Houston Police Officer to 4-1
In his last three bouts, “The Executioner” has beaten the likes of Alex Morono, Ricardo Talavera, and John Malbrough. Those wins coupled with the departure of his Paradigm teammates Brian Melancon and Mike “The Greek” Bronzoulis have now put Jeff Rexroad’s name in the discussion for those fighters within Legacy that could challenge for the 170 title. Is a bout with the new champ Macaco in the cards. We’re not sure of that but I wouldn’t rule it out at this point.
Elsewhere on the undercard, Rexroad’s Paradigm teammate Lee King scored a dominating first round stoppage of Mark “Kan’t Get Right” Garcia in the first round. Longtime coach and friend Mike Altman was in the stands watching as King quickly worked to get on top of his opponent on the ground and knock him out with striked on the ground. Very impressive for Lee and looking forward to seeing him fight in Legacy again.
► Justin Reiswerg Dominant Once Again
Fighting in the night’s opener instead of on the televised card like his last showing, Justin Reiswerg came out like a man possessed against his older and more seasoned opponent, Kenneth Battle. After a short time spent on the fight, Reiswerg wasted no time in taking his opponent down and establishing the mount. It was all over from as Battle lost the war courtesy of some relentless ground and pound from Justin that caused the referee stoppage for the first-round victory.
Now 4-1, it’s time for Justin Reiswerg to take a step up in competition and fight some top contenders here in Texas.
He’s in a tough spot because Adam Schindler (Bellator) and Daniel Pineda, the two highest-ranked fighters in the city, are both training partners and also angling for national opportunities. From there, the next logical options would probably be Ray Blodget and Levi Forrest. Either of those two would definitely present Reiswerg with an exciting challenge. Outside of those guys, another Texas fighter I think would present Justin with an exciting opponent is San Antonio’s Gilbert “Pitbull” Jimenez.
► Tae-Kwon Crowe Lives Up to his Nickname
Larry “Tae Kwon” Crowe proved that things can end quickly in MMA with that devastating head kick knockout of “Hurricane” Ike Villanueva.
Facing one of the area’s known striking experts in the experienced boxer, Crowe showed off skills of his own in taking down his opponent and providing offense on the ground and on the feet before the lighting quick finish in front of the nationwide audience.
Now at 5-1 overall, the former 240Ibs fighter from Cy Springs is quietly making his way up the ladder of contention. His last two bouts have ended spectacularly and this win marks his fourth in a row. What do you guys think should be next for Larry? Is it time to take on more seasoned vets (e.g. Jon Kirk) or should he fight other top prospects/contenders like Bubba Bush?
► Top Prospect Alert – Bubba Bush
Speaking of which, Bubba once again reaffirmed his status as a top middleweight and absolute monster on the mats with a convincing victory over dangerous hard-hitter Josh Foster. Fresh off a courageous performance in a loss to Andrew Craig, “The Fighting Aggie” came back and controlled the bout from beginning to end in with his trademark takedowns and ground and pound.
Long story short, Bubba has once again proven himself to be a beast. Time spent training with Saul Soliz is only going to make him better all-around too.
Bubba’s potential is scary but who should he fight next?
It’s likely that current 185 champ Andrew Craig could find himself in the UFC (or Strikeforce, etc.) sometime soon. When that happens, Bush may find himself as one of the top contenders at 185 alongside “Tae-Kwon” Crowe. One would think that would certainly be a match many people locally would like to see.
What do you guys think?
► Top Prospect Alert – Cody Williams
Beaumont’s “Wolverine” Cody Williams also turned in an impressive performance to bring his overall record to 2 wins and 0 defeats. This was certainly a statement maker for the young man as he absolutely ran through his 7-fight veteran opponent with the first round KO.
Based on Friday’s performance and that of his pro debut this past April at IXFA (along with his 6 amateur wins), the sky’s the limit for the Mike Berryhill / ATT-trained product. He’s strong as an ox for this weight class and is said to have cardio for days.
We’re not sure who his next opponent will be but I can’t wait until he’s up there taking on the likes of Angel Huerta, Steve Garcia, and some of the other top Houston veterans. By the looks of things, he’ll be getting there pretty soon.
► Morono and Gutierrez Put on a Striking Clinic
They did not disappoint as the two showed off their Muay Thai process for three straight rounds of action that saw Gracie Barra’s Alex Morono come out the winner by unanimous decision.
It’d be nice to see both these guys back soon and keep building on Friday night’s performance. At 3-1, Alex is steadily moving towards contender status so his name would be one to watch on future cards as he takes on more top-notch opponents. As for Evert, I’m sure the MTW fighter will also be back in short order against another tough test as well. One fighter I’d like to see either fighter match himself against is a returning Craig Gardner.
► Yet Another MMA Judging Controversy
Not to take anything away from the ever-improving Rashon “Sho-Nuff” Lewis but much of the aftermatch following the HDNet-card opening bout centered around the opinion that his opponent Ricardo Talavera was robbed of a surefire decision going the other way.
If you’re a fan and watched the fight yourself, please chime in through our comments section and let us know what you thought of this fight so we can get a consensus either way.
“At 170 pounds, Paradigm Training Center’s Rashon Lewis took an undeserved split decision over fellow Ricardo Talavera. Talavera took Lewis’ back in the first frame and threatened with a rear-naked choke, and then locked up a brabo choke in the second round, controlling proceedings. Chance Williams had a realistic 29-28 Talavera scorecard. Patrick Patlin saw it 29-28 Lewis, while Joe Soliz had an insulting 30-27 Lewis card.” – Sherdog
“The crowd booed as Lewis was declared the winner in a highly questionable decision.” – MMARising
“In the opening bout of the evening, Houston-native Rashon Lewis shockingly took home his second career victory as he narrowly edged out 36-year-old Ricardo Talavera by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29). The scores would indicate that the bout was hotly-contested between the two welterweights, but Talavera clearly won, at the very least, two out of the three rounds decisively. Talavera not only dominated the first by threatening Lewis’ back, but he was able to lock in a D’Arce choke in the second round that put Lewis mere seconds away from unconsciousness. Regardless, the judges found a way to award Lewis the victory.” – BloodyElbow
What’s Next for the Legacy Fighting Championship?
The working form of the card (which is sure to develop further) is posted here but as of now, the card featured three title bouts including: Armando Servin (Prevalsky Boxing) vs Eric Garcia (Team Tooke) at 155, Ricky Turcious (Gracie Barra) vs Joe Trevino (4OZ) at 125, and Ramiro Cortina (Silverback) vs Manny Lozoya (Bushi Ban) at 135. Plenty of Houston’s up-and-coming young talents should also fill out the card as always for the event.
As for HDNet’s Legacy Fighting Championship 9, word is that the event can be expected to take place on December 16th but we’ll confirm for sure when that date is solidified.
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