By TXMMA Staff | Cover Photo : Artenas “Machine Gun” Young | photo: www.mikecalimbas.com
First professional MMA card of 2014 on tap for Houston MMA with LFC 27; Pro MMA Event Preview
HOUSTON, TX, January 6, 2014 – The first event of Houston MMA is upon us with Legacy Fighting Championship 27 taking place in just a few weeks’ time at the Arena Theater on Friday, January 31st. As usual the main card will be aired on AXS TV with the Friday Night Fights timeslot featuring a planned 6 fights as of today. Another six fights are planned for the preliminary undercard making it 12 overall for LFC 27 and some of those prelim fights are definitely worth paying attention to. Here’s the full lineup for LFC 27 as of today before we look ahead to the matchups on this fight card and preview what we’re looking forward to most:
Legacy Fighting Championship 27 – Main Card
- 170 lbs.: Tim Means (16-5-1) vs. Artenas Young (10-6)
- 125 lbs.: Henry Cejudo (4-0) vs. Elias Garcia (4-0)
- 185 lbs.: Larry Crowe (7-3) vs. Terrance Ferguson (2-1)
- 145 lbs.: Alex Black (6-3) vs. Charles Cheeks III (6-2)
- 135 lbs.: Domingo Pilarte (3-0) vs. Caio Machado (3-0)
Legacy Fighting Championship 27 – Prelims
- 170 lbs.: Steven Rodriguez (2-1) vs. Kamarudeen Usman (2-1)
- 170 lbs.: Rashid Abdullah (3-7) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (4-1)
- 145 lbs.: James Gonzales (1-2) vs. Jeremy Mahon (4-4)
- 185 lbs.: Trevin Giles (0-0) vs. Angelus McFarlane (0-1)
- 170 lbs.: Julius Holmes (0-0) vs. Aaron Reeves (0-0)
- 155 lbs.: John Gorrell (0-0) vs. John Hayden (0-0)
Legacy Fighting Championship 27 – Fight Card Preview (Main Card, AXS TV)
135 lbs.: Domingo Pilarte (3-0) vs. Caio Machado (3-0) The fight card starts off with a battle of undefeated fighters pitting Houstonian Domingo Pilarte (3-0) against Brazilian counterpart Caio Machado (3-0). By all accounts this should be a very interesting battle between the two prospects. Pilarte in particular is someone to watch out for based on training reputation alone as its been said that he hits like a mule for his weight class and has the grappling chops to boot with 2 out his 3 pro wins coming by way of submission and with grappling tournament success along the way. Consider him about as well-rounded as they come. And this fight will either prove to be his biggest stepping stone yet or a monumental setback considering how carefully he’s chosen his fights (no opponents, but timing of fights) over the last few years since turning pro way back in July 2009. Meanwhile his opponent Caio Machado is another curious case to observe. Admittedly we don’t know much about him other than the fact that he’s amassed an undefeated record thus far while fighting in Central Brazil. Like Pilarte he’s also looking at over a year off since his last fight so this one should be a test of his own evolution as well. Look for whoever wins this one to be a true contender in the Legacy bantamweight division.
145 lbs.: Alex Black (6-3) vs. Charles Cheeks III (6-2) The second fight on the Legacy FC 27 main card is one of the more intriguing fights of the night with Houston MMA veteran Alex Black (5-3) taking on Charles Cheeks III (7-2). Starting with Black, he’s a fighter on somewhat of a comeback trail, winning his last four straight after losing 3 out of his first 4 pro fights to some tough, experienced opponents. After winning his last few on some regional shows, Alex is now aiming to make another run at the big leagues with his highest profile fight yet on the LFC 27 main card. He’ll be facing someone who might prove to be his toughest opponent yet in the North Dakota native, Charles Cheeks. This fighter has fought most of his bouts up north with his latest being a decision win this past December for IFC but he does hold one Houston MMA win over former Legacy 155 lbs. champion Ray Blodget. That win was a glimpse at the fighter he might be with Ray known to be a tough fighter around these parts. Will Alex be able to use his dynamic striking and BJJ skill to win this one or will Cheeks be able to outwrestle and out position him en route to his second win in Houston?
185 lbs.: Larry Crowe (7-3) vs. Terrance Ferguson (2-1) Up next at LFC 27 is the always-entertaining Larry Crowe (7-3) taking on Terrance Ferguson (2-1). “Tae-Kwon” Crowe was supposed to be taking on DFW’s Evan Thompson before the RCJ Machado rep was moved to compete on the LFC 28 card scheduled for DFW in February. Instead Larry now gets Ferguson, a fellow Houston area resident (Katy) who’s been trying to get back onto a notable fight card for some time. Crowe will be hoping to notch his second win in a row against Terrance with hopes of climbing back up the ladder towards 185 lbs. title contention after losing out to current champ Bubba Bush for that same title halfway through last year. Meanwhile Terrance hasn’t had nearly as much pro experience as Larry has by this point but the Gracie Barra trained grappler does possess the tougher ground credentials on paper so look for him to try to upset the apple cart and be the one who comes out of this bout with the momentum.
125 lbs.: Henry Cejudo (4-0) vs. Elias Garcia (4-0) The co-main event at Legacy Fighting Championship 27 features wrestling Olympian Henry Cejudo (5-0) once again slotted to fight South Texas native Elias Garcia (4-0) in the flyweight division. Though he’s been reasonably impressive thus far in his MMA career Henry has also had trouble making the 125 lbs. limit to compete in the flyweight division. First it was his LFC 24 clash with Ryan Hollis where the bout ended up being contested at a 130 lbs. catchweight. After that win he was supposed to fight at LFC 25 as well (first against Garcia, then against Humberto Deleon before finally settling at Saul Elizondo) but ended up not even making it to weigh-ins due to a failed weight cut. He gets his chance at redemption here when he faces “Smash” Garcia, a fellow undefeated pro who’s most notable win so far came against former MTV reality TV star Matt “Danger” Schnell. Weight issues aside and Cejudo has shown to be quite the specimen in the MMA cage so far. A win over Garcia in this one will only push him further along in his drive towards general MMA success and the UFC.
170 lbs.: Tim Means (16-5-1) vs. Artenas Young (10-6) Finally we arrive at the main event of the evening at LFC 27 with “Dirty Bird” Tim Means (19-5-1) taking on “Machine Gun” Artenas Young (10-6). A former UFC fighter who went 2-2 in the octagon before abruptly getting cut, Tim Means quickly found success upon his Legacy debut at LFC 23 when he knocked out respected veteran Pete Spratt via elbow. As for Young, he too is a grizzled veteran at this point in his career after five years in the sport. Though he hasn’t been in the UFC, the CA-born Houston-based Young is also well-traveled and has fought some tough fighters in his time, most recently besting Jonathan “Hulk” Harris by decision at LFC 25. Stylistically the matchup between Means and Young is intriguing and should be fan-friendly. Both are strikers with “Dirty Bird” finishing most of his opponents by KO/TKO and Artenas is of similar ilk- not necessarily a knockout fighter historically but someone who prefers to finish his opponents standing up. More importantly, he’s only been finished once in his pro career and that way back in 2010 so Means will have a tough test in front of him. By all means Tim should be the prohibitive favorite in this one but Young has been in this underdog spot before. Can he pull off the upset? Stay tuned to TXMMA.com as we preview the Legacy Fighting Championship 27 Prelims, also coming soon!