By Felix Rodriguez and Mike Calimbas, Staff Writers
DALLAS, TX, April 9, 2013 – The Legacy Fighting Championship has quickly become one of the most respected fight promotions in the country and they will look to add to that reputation with their nineteenth event happening this Friday, April 12th at the Allen Event Center in Allen, TX.
Legacy FC 19 will feature a diverse mix of Texas’ homegrown talent and well-known veterans in diverse stages of their career all looking to notch a win on AXS TV. The show features former UFC fighter and current Legacy champion Will Campuzano taking on undefeated challenger Allan Nascimento in a flyweight title fight while highly-touted Robert Drysdale makes his return in the co-main event against NorCal veteran D.J. Linderman. The main card also features some fast rising locals looking to make their own way up the ladder towards national recognition so meedless to say, area fight fans in the DFW area and those watching LIVE nationally on AXS TV are in for a treat.
Here are our preview and predictions for the LFC 19 main card with the same for the undercard following later in the week. Make sure to add your own predictions in the comments section and follow along with our event coverage via our Official TXMMA Facebook Page!
Legacy Fighting Championship 19 – Main Card Preview and Predictions
125 lbs.: Will Campuzano (11-4, Champion) vs. Allan Nascimento (7-0) <TITLE FIGHT>
Legacy FC 19’s main event will pair the dangerous Muay Thai skills of Will Campuzano against the well-versed submission skills of Allan Nascimento with the flyweight title on the line.
Will Campuzano won the belt at LFC 16 taking out another highly-touted youngster in Jimmy Flick. Meanwhile, the undefeated Allan Nascimento has used his jiu-jitsu to submit five of his seven opponents and also has a TKO and a corner stoppage on his resume. He was last seen in Legacy at LFC 12 scoring a third-round submission over veteran Terry Acker. Meanwhile, the flyweight champ has been on a tear, finishing all three of his opponents since being released by the UFC and deciding to drop down a weight class to flyweight – where he remains undefeated.
This is sort of like a classic striker versus grappler match with a few intriguing twists given that both are reasonably well-rounded as well. Campuzano showed he can keep the fight standing against opponents who prefer the ground, like Jimmy Flick, and he’s never lost to a non-UFC veteran. Nascimento has destroyed his opposition so far, but hasn’t faced the same quality of opponents that Campuzano has so his strength of schedule leaves something to be proven.
Felix: Nascimento is the real deal, but Campuzano will catch him with strikes from the clinch as he fishes for a takedown in Round 2. Campuzano by TKO.
Mike: Allan is slick on the ground, especially with those leglocks, but he was having some trouble in his last Legacy fight with Terry Acker before pulling off the victory in the last round. Will is WAY more vicious than Acker and won’t be gotten in the same way. Should be another finish for him. Will by TKO.
205 lbs.: Robert Drysdale (5-0) v. DJ Linderman (13-4)
So far the biggest challenge in Robert Drysdale’s MMA career has been the weight scale. The undefeated jiu-jitsu ace has finished all of his opponents by submission in the first round, but came in nearly five pounds overweight for his last match against Chris ‘The Celtic Tiger’ Reed. His next opponent, D.J. Linderman, is arguably the stiffest challenge Drysdale has ever faced in MMA. Linderman is 3-2 in his last five fights. He last saw action against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson under the World Series of Fighting Banner. The seasoned veteran has competed in multiple promotions including Bellator, Cage Warriors and Shark Fights. If this one gets to the ground, it is likely D.J. will be in for a short night. Or will he?
Felix: I predict death by Drysdale! Drysdale by Submission, Round 1.
Mike: Your prediction is strong and while I wouldn’t go that far, I will say Robert is the prohibitive favorite on the ground. Duh! Be that as it may, D.J. is a strong wrestler used to fighting big guys like Robert so maybe he can keep it on the feet long enough to make it interesting. That’s what I’m hoping for anyways just so we (the viewing public) will see Drysdale test in other facets of MMA. In the end, I do agree with you though and Drysdale is kind of like a Demian Maia in the sense that he isn’t “just a BJJ guy.” He can take down wrestling specialists too. Drysdale by submission, RD1.
135 lbs.: Matt Hobar (6-1) v. Nelson Salas (4-0)
Matt Hobar and Nelson Salas will be battling for Lone Star pride and local bragging rights. More significantly, they are both likely to fighting for a future title shot in the hotly-contested bantamweight division as well – likely opposite Houston’s Angel Huerta unless something unforeseen comes along.
Matt Hobar is tall for a bantamweight at 5’10 and has shown himself to be a well-rounded athlete through his seven professional fights. He’s also a very pedigreed wrestler who isn’t afraid to strike. He shot two birds with one stone during his last fight by getting back on the win column and avenging his lone defeat against Steven Peterson at Legacy FC 16. Meanwhile, Nelson Salas brings a 4-0 professional record and a nasty cage demeanor. The undefeated fighter has split his victories between two submissions and two TKO wins. He also has a win over the aforementioned Huerta so that’s to be considered as well. How he handles his height and reach disadvantage will be the key to this match’s outcome.
Felix: Hobar will use range and distance to pick Salas apart throughout three rounds. Hobar by unanimous decision.
Mike: Nelson Salas is a tough character and showed he can battle through adversity in that May 2012 win over Huerta. Be that as it may, he hasn’t fought anyone else on Matt Hobar’s level and Matt has shown he can handle the long fight as evident by his war against Peterson. Don’t get me wrong, Nelson is skilled but I think Hobar is too good everywhere to get put in danger in this fight. He may even finish it inside the distance as well. Matt Hobar by submission, RD3.
145 lbs.: Chris Jones (8-1) v. Rey Trujillo (13-9)
Chris “Lionheart” Jones and Rey Trujillo will be the main card’s second pairing of proud Texans. Jones is a Dallas native who has notched seven consecutive victories since his last loss way back in 2008. “Lionheart” will actually be making his Legacy debut in this one but has fought under the bright lights of Bellator and is no stranger to stiff competition in the past, holding wins over Chris Pecero and Steven Peterson. Meanwhile, the 32 year-old TRU has long been a fan favorite at Legacy events and has a bevy of highlight reel knockouts to his credit – including a huge one at Legacy FC 10 over Munil Adriano. Given both of their reputations, this one has all the makings of a barn-burning brawl. Definite Fight of the Night candidate for sure!
Felix: “Lionheart” and Trujillo will swing for the fences but Jones will connect quicker and more often, earning the judge’s nod. Jones by unanimous decision.
Mike: Judges? We don’t need no stinkin’ judges. Tell those guys in their fancy suits to go on their bathroom breaks for this one. Going by record alone you would have to say that Chris Jones should be the big favorite but I’ve seen Rey hit people very hard too many times. IF this one stays on the feet, then I’d have to go with Trujillo by knockout in a very exciting fight.
170 lbs.: Charles Byrd (5-3) v. Roy Spoon (7-5)
Despite his Muay Thai base training under Saekson Janjira, Charles Byrd has developed into a fighter who is reasonably comfortable standing or on the ground. His last Legacy fight did not go as planned with him on the receiving end of a Derrick Krantz rear naked choke at Legacy 16 but hey, Krantz has proven himself to be pretty good so that isn’t necessarily an indictment on him. Byrd can definitely bounce back from that and that’s what he will be looking to do against the Dallas Jawbreaker, Roy Spoon. The big man will be looking to bounce back from a two-fight skid against some equally tough opposition in Hayward Charles and Josh Lee.
It’s anybody ballgame on what to expect in this one but a reasonable person would be led to believe that these two guys will look to eschew ground fighting and give the fans a rousing stand up affair.
Felix: Spoon will get off first and not let Byrd establish his range or find his rhythm. Spoon by unanimous decision.
Mike: Roy is a hard-hitter but Charles Byrd should have the technical edge in kickboxing and rule this one with leg kicks. That’s my best guess anyways. I’ll go with Charles via unanimous decision here.
135 lbs.: Steven Peterson (8-3) v. George Pacurariu (4-1)
Steven Peterson is a Bellator, Legacy, and XKO veteran who has already fought two other athletes competing in this card. His Legacy resume includes wins against Mat Hobar and a thrilling omoplata finish over ATT Beaumont’s Cody Williams. Peterson has never been finished and poses a major threat when challenged on the ground. Meanwhile Geo Pacurariu will be making his Legacy debut against Peterson. He’s not as well-known as his counterpart yet since he’s only fought in Texas three times and hasn’t fought on a televised card as of yet but this guy is pretty skilled. He can fight on the feet AND on the ground. The question is – will he be better than Peterson in either facet?
Felix: Peterson will have the taste of defeat fresh in his mind and will fight smartly to get things to the ground and sink in the winning RNC in deep waters. Peterson by Submission, Round 3.
Mike: This is a sleeper fight for me. We’ve all seen a lot of Peterson but I also saw what Pacurariu was able to do at the Fight Game event way back in December 2011 and he was pretty good then. I haven’t know what he’s done since but surely he’s improved under the tutelage of Sayif Saud at Octagon MMA. Be that as it may, I’ve still going to go with empirical evidence and pick the more experienced Peterson in this one. He won’t want to lose to someone from the same gym 2x in a row.
145 lbs.: Hunter Tucker (6-0) vs. Kevin Aguilar (6-0)
More times than not, losing is an inevitable part of competition, and by the end of this match one of these two undefeated fighters will be introduced to the “L” column. Hunter Tucker has finished six consecutive opponents. He will look to make it five submission wins in a row when he faces Kevin Aguilar on Friday night. Aguilar has no interest in adding to Tucker’s streak and will be looking to protect his own consecutive victory streak fiercely and secure his second Legacy FC win in a row after besting veteran Nick “Ghost” Gonzalez in San Antonio. Simply put, this will be an intriguing match between two ascending fighters and it should be a fun one to see!
Felix: Although Tucker has fewer fights, he has fought for the bigger promotions and has the better submission game of the two. Tucker by Triangle, Round 2.
Mike: I’ve heard good things about Hunter Tucker out of Jackson’s MMA but his biggest win so far is over a currently .500 fighter in Javier Obregon (Travis Lutter). Meanwhile, Kevin “Angel of Death” Aguilar has a win over a seasoned international vet in Nick Gonzalez along with Rey Trujillo, Matt Hunt, and some others in smaller promotions. PLUS he’s from Texas. I am overwhelmingly going Aguilar in this fight by unanimous decision.