One of the reasons that Legacy FC was putting on its fiftieth show has been their ability to find talented and exciting fighters. They have consistently provided the UFC with many fighters since their first night of numbered shows back in November of 2009.
In the early days, it was Brian Melancon, Andrew Craig, Derrick Lewis and Jared Rosholt among the Legacy fighters taking the step up to the UFC. Then it was current UFC champion Holly Holm and possible future ones in Thomas Almeida, Henry Cejudo and Ray Borg.
They have also introduced us to the force of nature and hair that is Sage Northcutt. He was in the audience as was Dana White, and Matt Serra who were shooting another episode of “Looking for a Fight”. During the broadcast on AXS TV, we saw Ken Shamrock and NFL star Adrian Peterson stop by to talk with commentators Ron Kruk and Pat Miletich.
However, it was Dana White’s presence that had the fighters attention throughout the night. The fighters knew the right performance on this night could fast-track them right into the UFC. It was exactly what happen to Northcutt on the pilot episode of “Looking for a Fight”. Now, just a few months after White and Serra making fun of the pretty-boy looks of Northcutt he was just a week away from his third fight in the UFC.
While each fighter walking into the cage on Friday could dream of a UFC career they first had to fight. And as usual for Legacy FC they put on a show for Dana White and the other luminaries.
The AXS TV portion of the card kicked off with the heavyweights and the big boys did not disappoint. Dale Mitchell had some early success with his powerful overhand right but Jeremy Hardy quickly found his timing and went to work. Hardy mixed in some knees in the clinch to go along with a big right hand of his own to get the first round TKO finish.
On Inside MMA after the show the Legacy FC leader Mick Maynard mentioned that Hardy would likely find himself in the UFC very soon. The UFC is always looking for viable heavyweights and Hardy looked the part on this night.
Another fighter Maynard mentioned as someone who could make the step up to the UFC was flyweight Roberto Sanchez who dominated a tough David Acosta before submitting him in the third round. The Team Alpha Male member Acosta was gritty and tough but Sanchez was several steps ahead of him in this fight.
On the ground, Sanchez showcased a tsunami like ground game that simply overwhelmed Acosta. It was a lesson on how to work once the fight goes to the ground. He blended submission attempts and strikes into a non-stop attack until he finally locked in the rear-naked choke and getting the tap.
While the UFC flyweight division is getting stronger it still has plenty of room for a talented and tough fighter like Sanchez.
A pair of lightweights in Justin Reiswerg and Ray Blodget locked up first round submission wins. Blodget used a guillotine choke to tap out Jared Chaffee in the co-main event, while Reiswerg employed a rear-naked choke to get the win over Jonathan Harris.
Another lightweight Rey Trujillo took a tough UD from Charles Cheeks III. It was a close back-and-forth battle that many, including Miletich, felt like Cheeks won.
The main event between veterans Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos and Artenas “Machine Gun” Young was the only other fight on the AXS TV card that went the distance. After an extensive layoff, Santos took the hard fought win. While the UFC is an unlikely destination for Santos at this point in his career he can still make some noise in the MMA world.
Another fighter who I think could get a call from the UFC is the featherweight Alex Black, who defeated a dangerous Michael Rodriguez via a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Black showed a little striking before going to work with his strong submission game. He is a solid all-around fighter who would fit in the tough and talented UFC featherweight division. I would not be surprised to see him on a UFC card in the near future.
While you could make the case that Dana White’s presence in the audience inspired the fighters to go for finishes. Those who have been watching Legacy FC for a while know that this is the norm for them. At Legacy FC 49 only one fight on AXS TV went to the judges.
Legacy FC, led by Maynard, has shown a strong eye for true fighters who know how to put on entertaining fights and have championship potential. If you want to know who some of the future stars of the octagon then you need to be watching Legacy FC.
And, if you like exciting combat sports action with fighters going for finishes then you should be tuning into AXS TV every week.
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