HOUSTON, TX, November 13, 2012 – Mick Maynard’s Legacy Fighting Championship returns to the national spotlight this Friday night when AXS TV Fights presents Legacy Fighting Championship 15 live from Houston’s Arena Theater.
Led by undefeated Robert Drysdale (4-0) going after his fifth win against hometown favorite Chris “Celtic Tiger” Reed (4-1), this card should excite in that it includes some other up-and-coming young prospects as well – both on the main card and on the local undercard.
Below is the entire lineup for Friday night’s Legacy 15 main card fights scheduled for AXS TV’s Friday Night Fights.
Afterwards, make sure to check out our undercard analysis and fight predictions here on TXMMA.com as well.
Legacy Fighting Championship 15 – Quick Card
205 – Robert Drysdale vs. Chris Reed
155 – Nick Gonzalez vs. Ray Blodget
135 – Saul Elizondo vs. Angel Huerta
185 – Jon Kirk vs. Bubba Bush
135 – Cody Williams vs. Thomas de Almeida
170 – Patrick Hutton vs. Charlie Ontiveros
125 – Marcus Dupar vs. Matt Schnell
170 – Shawn Machado vs. Mike Bronzoulis
125 – Ryan Hollis vs. Will Spidle
135 – Daniel Delgado vs. Domingo Pilarte
135 – Colin Wright vs. Gerzan Chaw
170 – Kaileb Cummins vs. Levi West
155 – Alex Black vs. Mark Garcia
Legacy Fighting Championship 15 – AXS TV Fight-by-Fight Preview and Predictions
Main Event Preview – Robert Drysdale (4-0) vs. Chris Reed (4-1)
“Slow and steady is what wins the race.”
That has been the storyline so far in reference to Robert Drysdale’s maturation from worldchampion BJJ competitor and submission grappler to bona fide top level MMA athlete.
Training out of his own facility in Las Vegas, Drysdale has simultaneously played coach and sparring partner to established MMA stars like Forrest Griffin and Vitor Belfort but hasn’t jumped directly into deep waters himself, instead choosing to take it one step at a time as he’s improved his own skills to become more of a well-round athlete as opposed to a grappling specialist as he has been known to be (and rightfully so) since debuting in MMA back in July 2010.
So far he’s batting 1.000 going 4-0 with 4 submissions in the first round. He’ll look to make it five when he takes on Reed this Friday night.
Speaking of “The Celtic Tiger,” 44 year old Chris Reed will assuredly come is as the crowd favorite in his hometown of Houston, TX no matter what his opponent’s pedigree and worldwide status is.
A former police officer and currently a City Manager down in South Houston, Chris has long made himself known to the community both inside the cage and out – where he is involved in variety of community affairs and charity efforts. All that aside though and Chris has an impressive MMA record of his own that he’s looking to add to with his biggest win yet. A wrestler and ground-and-pound specialist by tendency, Chris is likely counting on his punching power and takedown defense to be a good asset to him in this fight. He’s also coming in knowing he has nothing to lose and might just be going there to simultaneously have fun while giving it all he’s got – ala Rocky Balboa in that last 2006 film.
Like Duke said in that film, “building some hurting bombs” and “calling on is good ol’ fashion blunt force trauma” might be in order here if he plans on pulling the biggest upset in Legacy FC history in this one.
While a Chris Reed win over Robert Drysdale would be the stuff of legend in the lone star state, conventional wisdom states that this isn’t a movie and real-life is a bit more stingy on storybook endings than in cinema. Rest assured Chris Reed will give it his best and may even put up a better fight than all of Drysdale’s previous opponents but this one ends like the rest.
Robert Drysdale over Chris Reed by submission, RD1.
Main Card Preview – Nick Gonzalez (17-11) vs. Ray Blodget (7-1)
To me this seems like one of those fights that have a ton of variables to consider and could play out in a number of different ways. Before we get to that though, let’s briefly go over the history of each of these combatants.
34 year old Ray Blodget has been around for awhile, taking his first pro fight against Robert Lindsey way back at Lonestar Beatdown 1 in November 2006 (great fight, BTW). Since that time he’s amassed an overall record of 7-1 and is a former Legacy FC lightweight champion with his only loss being to current UFC fighter and now-teammate Daniel Pineda. As far as attributes and tendencies go, Ray is well-rounded and skilled in all aspects of the game. He also has exhibited a tendency to brawl in the past, though that’s been curved in recent fights where he’s paid more attention to executing a carefully crafted game plan instead of just going for broke.
Facing him will be Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez – a fighter who has been around even longer than his opponent. Fighting since the dawn of Texas MMA way back in 2001 at Saul Soliz’ Renegades Extreme Fighting shows, Nick has seen it all in MMA and has fought a who’s who of fighters from around the state in his tenure. His main strength is that he’s a great boxer with exceptional footwork and that’s a tough guy that won’t go away unless you make him go away. Still chasing his dream of making it to the UFC after almost 30 fights, it’s also curious to note that he’s actually three years younger than his opponent at 31 years of age even though he has significantly more ring/cage time.
I’ve very curious about this fight given that it’s a very interesting matchup. The questions that come to my mind all have to do with the mindset of each fighter also. Blodget was originally scheduled to fight a top Texan grappler in Carlos Diego Ferreira so this is a pretty big switch in terms of now fighting a striking specialist. Meanwhile Gonzalez is taking this fight on short notice which could lead to questions about his conditioning – especially in a fight with someone like Ray who’s used to being in wars and deep waters (…not that Nick isn’t himself, but it a question to ask).
If it were a technical striking match – which it very well could be given that both guys are confident in that area, I’d probably pick Gonzalez. If it turns into more of a chess match on the ground, Ray would likely have the edge in terms of potentially finding a submission or controlling position for the decision. …So it all depends on where this fight takes place and how each fighter counters the attributes of the other. Something tells me this one might turn out to be a war and like I said, anything could happen and I’m not excited to pick this one at all.
Nick Gonzalez over Ray Blodget by split decision.
Main Card Preview – Saul Elizondo (5-2) vs. Angel Huerta (6-1)
Ultra-popular fan favorite Angel Huerta returns for the first time since April in this one as he looks to rebound from the first loss of his career against South Texan veteran Saul Elizondo.
Those who’ve followed Angel since his April 2008 debut have come to see the karate-based stylist as one of the most dynamic and exciting strikers to enter the Houston MMA Scene in recent years. That fact is evident in that all but one of his fights have ended in technical knockout fashion. Look past though and what you’ll see is a fighter that’s worked hard to supplement his natural and lifelong bred talents with the ancillary skills needed for MMA – like wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. He’s working hard to make it to that top level and the outcome of this fight will go a long way in determining whether or not he gets there.
Putting a stop to the re-ascent of Huerta falls on the capable hands of Saul Elizondo, a submission specialist from the Rio Grande Valley. Out of his 5 wins, all but one ended in a submission victory for the 27 year old. He’s coming a close and controversial decision win in his last fight against Randy Villarreal at STFC 21 so he’s not wholly unfamiliar with facing strikers either.
A lot of people say that the general level of competition in bigger markets like the thriving Houston region is much greater than those of rural areas. That’s less of an opinion than it is a reality given the access fighters have to a multitude of resources in these areas. Add to that the fact that Huerta is used to fighting under the spotlight himself and should be motivated to come back strong after his last fight and this fight should be his. Unless he gets caught in a leg lock or something, I just don’t see any other way Elizondo would beat him.
Angel Huerta over Saul Elizondo by TKO, RD1.
Main Card Preview – Jon Kirk (16-11) vs. Bubba Bush (4-2)
The last time we saw Bubba Bush in the cage was in a losing effort when he lost to Artenas “Machine Gun” Young by disqualification (hits to the back of the head) in a fight he was handedly in control of and by all accounts on his way to winning. That changed course in a matter of seconds (or inches for that matter) and he instead was dealt his second loss with his first being to now UFC fighter Andrew Craig.
It was after that fight that I thought, “Man, I’d hate to be the next guy to face Bubba Bush.”
That task now falls to “El Jaguar” himself, Jon Kirk.
A remnant from the old days of Houston MMA, Jon has been fighting since 2005 and has battled through to where he is today, still fighting in a more modernized day in age in the sport. Throughout it all Kirk has always proved himself to be a tough guy willing to take on all comers but he does have three losses in his last three fights and is certainly in the twilight of his career.
Bubba Bush on the other hand is one of the new breed – a fighter who could very easily have been undefeated at 6-0 rather than 4-2 if it were for a slight change in circumstances.
Look for Bubba Bush to establish his dominance in this fight. He’ll probably test himself on the feet for a few moments but eventually he’ll go to his bread and butter, take Kirk down, and do work until he locks up a submission or pounds him out on the ground.
Bubba Bush over Jon Kirk by submission, RD1.
Main Card Preview – Cody Williams (4-3) vs. Thomas de Almeida (5-0)
Beaumont’s Cody “Wolverine” Williams returns in this one looking to come back from his Legacy FC 14 submission loss to Steven “Ocho” Peterson against undefeated Brazilian Thomas de Almeida.
As a pro, Cody has certainly been up and down, alternating wins and losses since he won his first two fights back in 2011. His main strengths have always been his killer instinct and athleticism but he’s not devoid of technical skill either as I do believe he’s continuously gotten better and better while taking on generally tough competition all throughout. The key for him is finding that balance between aggression and letting the game come to him. He’ll always be dangerous but once he finds that, he’ll be all the better for it.
In this one, Cody will be taking on de Almeida, who despite being undefeated at 5-0 has questions of his own due to the fact that he hasn’t faced any “real” competition if his past opponents’ combined record is of any indication. Rest assured that this Legacy debut should be a step up for him in that regard as the rest of the world gets to find out who this guy really is.
Speaking with those close to his camp though, what he should be is a guy that’s ready to take the next step. From what we hear, he has been training with Gold Team / Chute Boxe in Brazil since he was a child. A striker by specialty with some ancillary skills in BJJ, he sounds an awful lot like his opponent here but we also hear “He’s used to getting hit and hits like Macaco, all at 135 lbs.”
Sounds like we have the makings of a “knockout of the night” type of fight no matter which way this goes down.
Somebody gets finished and this one won’t last to a decision. Is that a good enough prediction? I wish it were but we must choose. Just like I’ve predicted in CW’s previous fights (of which I’ve never predicted wrong), his best chance here will probably be early – when he can use his strength, speed, and ferocity to blitz and overwhelm his opponent. The longer it goes, the better change de Almeida has at methodically taking over the fight or catching Cody on the ground – though it’s probably closer there than some people would presume. Cody early, de Almeida late – that’s my general prediction and it’s up to them to make it come true either way but we’ll err on the side of Texas (admitted homer pick) and say Cody finally comes through and picks up his first televised victory.
Cody Williams over Thomas de Almeida by KO, RD1.
Main Card Preview – Patrick Hutton (3-5) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (2-0)
Charlie Ontiveros finally makes his televised debut in this one and the national audience should be excited as this kid has to be one of, if not the most exciting prospect to come of out of this region as far as fighting style goes.
He’ll be taking on experienced boxer Patrick Hutton in this one who is a late replacement for an injured Rashon Lewis.
Do you remember playing Street Fighter II when you were younger? Did you ever play Balrog against Ryu? It’s like that. Except a lot of striking / counterstriking across the screen until Ryu (Ontiveros) presses down, right, hard kick and finishes this fight with a barrage of strikes until his opponent’s power meter goes down from yellow all the way to red. *cue doves being released in the background*
Charlie Ontiveros over Patrick Hutton by TKO, RD2.
Main Card Preview – Marcus Dupar (2-1) vs. Matt Schnell (1-0)
Tim Credeur-trained Matt “Danger” Schnell returns for his sophomore Legacy appearance in this one when he takes on fellow Louisiana native Marcus Dupar.
Schnell recently debuted with a split decision win over Ryan Hollis at Legacy this past September following his MTV reality show stint and standout 10-2 amateur career. He’ll be looking to show even more this time around as he looks to make waves in the developing Legacy flyweight division.
Taking on “Danger” will be Gracie Barra’s Marcus Dupar, a 2-1 pro who’s proved himself to be fairly well-rounded and never afraid to mix with up with anybody.
Simply based on amateur pedigree, Matt Schnell will be walking into this fight as a huge favorite regardless of Dupar’s greater experience as a pro. Of all their wins combined, Schnell’s win over Hollis has to be the most impressive in terms of proving him battle-ready. Look for him to use the momentum and lessons learned in that fight to pick up his second win.
Matt Schnell over Marcus Dupar by submission, RD2.