|LFA 2 provides a night of highlight-reel finishes at Mystic Lake|
|Written by JAKE KRIER|
|Monday, 23 January 2017 06:45|
With the Legacy FC and RFA merger still fresh, the new promotion, Legacy Fighting Alliance, made its maiden voyage to Minnesota on Friday night for LFA 2.
Now that the talent pool has essentially been combined between the two former organizations, fans can expect even better fights from the "NCAA of MMA," and the fighters sure did not disappoint at Mystic Lake Casino.
On a night that saw 11 of the 16 total fights fail to reach the final horn, finishes came aplenty for the fans in attendance. And that’s what they come to expect as those who fight for LFA can use the platform as a catapult to the UFC like many have before.
Perhaps the next recruit to join the ranks of a higher promotion was on hand Friday night. Lazar Stojadinivoc, a product of Florida’s American Top Team, may just be the next to receive a UFC call-up following his lopsided victory over the returning Mike Richman.
Winner of eight straight now, Stojadinivoc dominated the former Bellator fighter in Richman’s first fight back from his two-year
suspension for PED use. Richman was bloodied in the second round yet survived the onslaught, but the Minnesota native never quite seemed to find his range on way to the 30-27 deficits across the board.
In the co-main event, someone quite familiar with the UFC, Chico Camus, won his third consecutive unanimous decision since getting pink-slipped from the company. He outworked Darrick Minner and nearly got the late finish with his heavy dosage of ground-and-pound.
Prior to the co-main and main event, the televised main card featured five finishes in a row. Ben "The Baker" Neumann concocted yet another submission victory over Damion Hill.
Neumann used his size advantage over the former featherweight on way to a third round rear-naked choke.
In a lightweight feature fight, Bobby Lee proved once again that he has the tools and drive to reach the big leagues, finishing Matthew Marsh and improving his unbeaten record to 6-0. “The Ginga Ninja” blanketed Marsh before stepping over his head to lock in a kimura finish.
In his post-fight interview, the Becker product called for an LFA title shot by the end of 2017.
What many believed would vie for "Fight of the Night" honors even before Billy Christianson and Brandon Jenkins stepped foot into the cage lived up to the hype.
Jenkins took everything "The Kidd" threw at him and ended up finishing Christianson with a TKO via knee to the face. The striking battle was amazing from start to finish.
Mitch White threw his hat in the ring as one of Minnesota’s top young prospects, defeating Lloyd McKinney with a slick guillotine just 24 seconds into the fight. A long layoff from the fight game for McKinney was welcomed by White taking his neck in a hurry.
Perhaps the biggest shocker of the evening came in the main card opener, with Linsey Williams being choked out by Gabby Romero. After a 6-0 start as an amateur, Williams suffered the first defeat of her career when Romero took her back early in the fight and slowly worked toward the rear-naked choke finish.
In the lone professional non-televised bout, Ben Locken fell victim to a second straight armbar defeat. Chris Mickle, a veteran of the sport who even has a loss to Jose Aldo back in the WEC days, pulled guard and quickly grabbed a hold of Locken’s arm for the subsequent tap.
Sean Strube earned his eighth victory in the amateur ranks, topping Kazim Khan. After getting dropped, Strube quickly recovered and submitted Khan with a beautiful heel hook. Though he picked up the win, Strube’s post-fight celebration of jumping off the top of the cage left the promising bantamweight with an injured knee.
The battle of undefeated heavyweights did not last long, as former Wisconsin Badger Calyn Hull used his superior wrestling to easily take down Phillip Rowland on way to a rear-naked choke one minute into their bout.
Giving fight fans an early candidate for round of the year, Vanyu Xiong and Brad Pitan went tit-for-tat, both dropping each other in their opening stanza. Xiong shied away from using his patented kicks and used his hands more this time around to get the second-round TKO.
Just as wild was Yamah Sadozai and Ryan Schafer’s battle. Sadozai hurt Schafer on the feet multiple times, but the Manny Gamburyan doppelgänger’s cardio was tested by Schafer in round two, nearly losing him the fight. However, a clutch takedown clinched the final round and the win for Sadozai in round three.
Undefeated light heavyweights David Gunn and Alexander Brown exchanged big shots that had Gunn rocked early courtesy of a Brown overhand right. Gunn cleared the cobwebs and wrestled Brown to the canvas before choking him out for the win.
Former Division I wrestler Joel Bauman extended the unbeaten start to his MMA career with his first knockout finish. He tried getting fancy early in the bout against Adam Valcourt, but once Bauman went back to a basic one-two, he flattened the opposition.
Ben Ross topped Jason Wong by majority decision in their welterweight scrap. The varied scorecards came as a result of Wong being penalized for excessively grabbing the cage.
Finally, in the card’s opener, Helen Peralta swept the judges’ scorecards, picking up a trio of 30-26 marks. A dominant second round where she dropped Bri Brassaw highlighted the 4-1 flyweight’s win.
LFA is scheduled to return to Mystic Lake Casino on May 19.
2-20-17, Mystic Lake
PRO MAIN CARD (AXS-TV, 8 p.m.)
145 — Lazar Stojadinivoc def. Mike Richman by unanimous decision (30-27 on all three).
135 — Chico Camus def. Darrick Minner (29-28, 29-28, 30-26).
170 — Ben Neumann def. Damion Hill by submission due to rear-naked choke at 2:31 of third round.
155 — Bobby Lee def. Matthew Marsh by submission due to kimura at 3:40 of first round.
155 — Brandon Jenkins def. Billy Christianson by TKO at 1:41 of second round.
135 — Mitch White def. Lloyd Mckinney by submission due to guillotine choke at :24 of first round.
115 — Gabby Romero def. Linsey Williams by submission due to rear-naked choke at 3:15 of first round.
155 — Chris Mickle def. Ben Locken by submission due to armbar at 1:36 of second round.
AMATEUR MAIN CARD
135 — Sean Strube def. Kazim Khan by submission due to heel hook at 1:06 of first round.
265 — Calyn Hull def. Phillip Rowland by submission due to rear-naked choke at 1:00 of first round.
145 — Vanyu Xiong def. Brad Pitan by TKO at :20 of second round.
165 — Yamah Sadozai def. Ryan Schafer by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
205 — David Gunn def. Alexander Brown by submission due to rear-naked choke at 2:34 of second round.
180 — Joel Bauman def. Adam Valcourt by KO at 2:10 of first round.
170 — Ben Ross def. Jason Wong by majority decision.
125 — Helen Peralta def. Bri Brassaw by unanimous decision (30-26 on all three).