Fighting for the first time in the U.S., Brazilian import Markus Perez (9-0) kept his professional record perfect, claiming the vacant RFA middleweight belt with a first-stoppage of a previously unbeaten Ian Heinisch (8-1).
The bout served as the featured contest of Friday’s LFA 22 event, which aired on AXS TV from 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo.
Heinisch wasted little time at the opening bell, shooting inside and scoring a quick takedown. Perez patiently worked his way back to the feet, where a slick little transition saw him lock in an arm-triangle choke as he brought the fight back to the ground. Heinisch appeared to slip free from the choke in a well-timed escape, but Perez held on to the move as he was rolled to the bottom and finished the arm-triangle from his back at the 2:14 mark of the opening round.
Gilbert Smith wins in final fight</h3?
In the night’s co-feature, two-time cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter” Gilbert Smith (13-6) fought for the final time as a professional, earning a second-round submission win over late replacement Benjamin Smith (15-5).
It was Benjamin who actually surprised with an early takedown, powering through a lateral drop and moving immediately to side control. Gilbert eventually turned to his knees and exposed to back in order to move to his feet, where he looked to reverse the position. Benjamin countered by looking to isolate an arm, but Gilbert felt comfortable as he moved through the hold and switched around to the back. Gilbert switched out to an armbar in the closing seconds but couldn’t quite get into position before the bell.
Benjamin tried again for a quick takedown in the second, but Gilbert was up to the challenge and defended the long-range effort. The two moved into the clinch for a bit before Gilbert eventually changed levels and scored a takedown of his own. Gilbert dominated the positioning until the final minute, when Benjamin pushed up and tried to scramble free. Instead, Gilbert latched on to a guillotine choke and fell back, making an adjustment before getting the tap with 44 seconds left in the frame.
Gutierrez edges Israel
Gutierrez was crisp on his feet to start, moving well as he chopped the leg and occasionally sneaking a kick up high. Isreal was a touch slower in response but did work to return fire, also favoring low kicks. Israel did score a brief takedown late in the frame but couldn’t keep the fight on the floor. Still, he seemed to gain momentum as the round played out.
The two continued to strike in the second. Gutierrez seemed the quicker man, but Israel was the one pushing forward and firing in right hands. Both men moved well on their feet, but the offensive output but was relatively tame.
In the third, Israel finally did get the fight to the floor but found himself defending an earnest armbar attempt and then a quick guillotine before the two scrambled back to the feet. Again, it was Israel who threw the heavier punches, but Gutierrez never did stop moving, making him a difficult target to catch. The fight proved tough to score, but Gutierrez took home a split-decision win, 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.
LFA 22 results include:
- Markus Perez def. Ian Heinisch via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:14
- Gilbert Smith def. Benjamin Smith via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:16
- Chris Gutierrez def. Mario Israel via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Derek Brenon def. Boimah Karmo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Brandon Royval def. Demetrius Wilson via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:00
- Maycee Barber def. Mallory Martin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Jonathon Wyderko def. Juan Gonzalez via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:52