HOUSTON, TX, February 25, 2013 – So another Houston MMA Fight Week is once again upon us with Legacy Fighting Championship 18 scheduled for the Arena Theatre in Southwest Houston this Friday night. The event seems to have flown under the radar compared to some of their other pro shows in recent past but make no mistake about it, the promotion’s first Houston show of the year aims to deliver with an action-packed card from top-to-bottom.
At the top of the card, Legacy FC 18 features a gargantuan main event featuring Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis making his first defense of the belt since winning it last August against promotional newcomer Ricky “Ice Cold” Shivers. Lewis is well-known to local fans and impressed even more when he knocked out Jared Rosholt to win it but Shivers will be headed into this bout as somewhat of an unknown after having spent the majority of his MMA career toiling in Alaska. Having recently moved to Houston last year, the Gracie Barra black belt will now look to endear himself with local fans by taking out the Legacy heavyweight champion.
Aside from Lewis, another Legacy champion also returns at Legacy FC 18 in two-division title holder Jorge ‘”Macaco” Patino. The Gold Team leader will be back in the Legacy cage for the first time since last May to defend his lightweight title against Longview, TX native Derrick Krantz. Coming into the fight with a 2-fight win streak and three submission wins in 2012, “D-Rock” will undoubtedly face his most formidable challenge yet in the highly-experienced BJJ black belt and legendary vale tudo expert. We’ll dig into this fight more in our TXMMA predictions coming later this week but if the old adage of “styles make fights” holds true with these two, this should prove to be a very exciting fight indeed.
In the third fight of the evening, grappling circuit veteran Rafael De Freitas (otherwise known as ‘Barata’) makes his Legacy debut against WEC-veteran and former Chuck Liddell housemate Antonio Banuelos. With almost 30 fights under his belt everyone knows what Banuelos is all about. He’ll looks to try his hand in the flyweight division as a means to break back in to the big leagues with this one while De Freitas will try to make a strong impression of his own in his Legacy debut by knocking off the longtime veteran.
Four other fights complete the Legacy FC 18 main card set to air LIVE this Friday night on AXS.tv.
In the middleweight division, Larry “Tae Kwon” Crowe returns for the first time since December 2011 when he takes on relative unknown Matt Rogers. A Florida native said to be training under noted trainer Saul Soliz at Metro Fight Club, Rogers is a longtime veteran of the game that hasn’t fought in almost nine years. He also lost his last two bouts as well making this one look highly dubious on paper but he’s said to be a solid striker so this may prove to be an exciting fight nonetheless as he takes on the notoriously powerful and hard-hitting striker in Crowe.
The fifth bout of the evening will feature a “young lion vs. old lion” type of matchup with 3-0 pro Charlie Ontiveros taking on his most significant challenge yet in Todd “The Maniac” Moore. Those of you that have been following the Texas MMA Scene for some time might know Todd from way back in 2004 when he fighting for Renegades Extreme Fighting. Since then he’s made a living in the sport fighting in orgs like WEC and Strikeforce while even going as far as the Land of the Rising Sun to take on Shinya Aoki in the DREAM promotion. As far as “American Bad Boy” Charlie goes, he doesn’t have nearly as much experience but is a veteran of the highlight reels with his high-flying fan-friendly style. He’ll be looking to prove he’s much more than a flash in the pan in this one as he takes on his most significant test yet – the kind of fight he’s been clamoring for since turning pro in July of last year.
Fresh off Ronda Rousey’s rousing debut at UFC 158, women’s MMA will also be making history of the Texas-kind as well when Jennifer Scott and Lauren Taylor step into the cage this Friday. These two will face off in the very-first women’s fight in Legacy’s history in the second main card bout of the evening. This bout will feature an interesting contrast in styles as the boxing-based “Superstar” (Jen Scott) takes on the ground-oriented Gracie Barra fighter in Florida-based Lauren Taylor.
Last but not least, welterweight prospect Alex Morono will be looking to re-establish his blue chip prospect status when he takes on veteran opponent Brandon Farran in the opening main card bout of the evening. Alex last fought just over a year ago picking up a TKO win over Rashon Lewis at Legacy FC 10 and has only one loss on his record (against current champ Jeff Rexroad). Plenty of locals consider Morono to be one of the most gifted talents in the area both standing and on the ground so we’ll see if he validates that in this bout against Farran, his most experienced opponent yet.
Here’s the entire card below including the local undercard. Stay tuned here to TXMMA.com throughout the week up-to and including the event for the best in Legacy Fighting Championship 18 Event Coverage.
Main Card (AXS TV)
265 lbs.: Derrick Lewis (8-2) vs. Ricky Shivers (10-5-1) <TITLE>