LFA 27 highlights: Ryan Spann brings the power with a fight-ending right

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Friday’s LFA 27 fight card concluded with three straight knockout stoppages. Check out the highlights.

In the headliner, which aired on AXS TV from Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Okla., Robert Watley (9-1) notched the first defense of his lightweight belt after stopping challenger Daryl Wilson (7-2) with third-round ground and pound.

In the co-headliner, Ryan Spann (12-5) dazed fellow light heavyweight Myron Dennis (15-7) with a big right hand, which set up the first-round stoppage.

Also on the card, lightweight Alex Hernandez (8-1) made a successful promotional debut with a dominant performance over Derrick Adkins (10-5) that resulted in a third-round TKO win.

Check out all of the finishes above.

And for more on LFA 27, including a full event recap, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 27 results: Watley grinds out Wilson to retain, Spann picks up quick win

Robert Watley said it himself: To him, a fighter isn’t a true champion until defending their belt.

After what he did in the lightweight headliner of tonight’s LFA 27, which aired live on AXS TV from Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Okla., Watley can now proudly call himself a champion.

In his first attempt to defend the belt he claimed from Thiago Moises back in June, a strategic Watley (9-1) paid close attention to his corner and left no breathing room for an out-of-options Daryl Wilson (7-2). As Watley’s elbows rained down on Wilson, who’d spent the vast majority of the title bout in the same defensive position, the referee had no choice but to step in at the 4:32 mark of Round 3.

Right off the bat, Watley wasted no time in trying to take Wilson down. And, while the challenger put up a bit of a fight, it worked. Wilson kept Watley in his guard, but the champ kept his posture and managed to get just enough space to land some shots on the challenger’s face. As Wilson attempted some aggression from the bottom, Watley kept the challenger crunched up against the cage – with the occasional elbow thrown in the process.

As the final minute approached, the champ made an attempt to get Wilson’s back, but failed. The scramble ended with the two back on their feet but, by the end of the first frame, Wilson had Watley on the ground again in a sign of what was to come.

Watley came out aggressively in Round 2, setting up a takedown with punches right away. The picture was somewhat familiar: Watley picked his shots from the top, all the while keeping posture, while Wilson used his legs to alleviate the pressure. Halfway through the frame, the two were back on the feet, and Wilson found some momentum as he was the one pressuring the champ against the cage.

Wilson’s offense consisted mostly on knees to the legs and body of Watley, who attempted the reversal. A single leg attempt by Wilson was stuffed by Watley – who once more saw himself on top position, smothering Wilson with hip pressure and short elbows to end the round.

Once more, as the third round began, Wilson was unable to stop Watley’s takedown. Despite Wilson’s active legs, Watley managed to stay on top – from where he launched a lot more elbows than in the previous rounds. Wilson covered up and tried to scramble, but ultimately achieved nothing, while a cool Watley kept on raining down the blows. With little more than 30 seconds left in the round, the referee had seen enough.

Watley, whose sole pro MMA loss came in his debut, is now on a nine-fight streak. The younger Wilson, who a classy Watley said on his post-fight speech would go on to be a champion one day, had a five-fight victorious streak snapped.

‘Superman’ Spann goes full Thor on Dennis

A beef that started outside the LFA cage got one violent ending inside of it, courtesy of Ryan Spann’s massive right hand.

Spann (12-5) and fellow light heavyweight Myron Dennis (15-7) had engaged in a social media back-and-forth since an original booking between them fell through in April. But what had so far been a conversation gave place to a monologue in tonight’s co-headliner, which Spann basically controlled from the start.

A solid initial burst by Dennis was quickly halted by Spann, who took him down. Dennis managed to scramble back up but, after a while against the cage, he was once more tossed to the ground by Spann. Again, Dennis stood up, but Spann wouldn’t relent control, pressing him against the cage and blocking any offense with his hip.

A little past the halfway mark of Round 1, Dennis’ wide smile showed he’d got the fight back where he wanted: on the feet. Unfortunately for him, that backfired in a major way when a massive right hand landed clean on his face. A rocked Dennis stumbled a little, but Spann followed up with shots that prompted the ref to step in.

“I might be ‘Superman,’ but I can drop the hammer like Thor,” Spann told AXS TV’s Phoenix Carnevale afterward.

Spann, who’s now two fights removed from a loss to Karl Roberson, used the conventional “closed mouths don’t get fed” wisdom to ask for a stab at the belt. He also clarified that, social media jabs aside, there’s no disrespect for his opponent.

Alexander Hernandez sets the tone in LFA debut

If it was a statement that Alexander Hernandez (8-1) wanted, the 25-year-old lightweight can consider the job done.

The LFA debutant took no notice of Derrick Adkins (7-2), dominating the fellow lightweight from the initial seconds of the first round up until the 1:53 mark of the third. Adkins was never entirely out but, considering the amount of punishment he’d been taking with very little response, the ref decided he had seen enough.

LFA 27 results include:

  • Robert Watley def. Daryl Wilson via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:32 to retain lightweight title
  • Ryan Spann def. Myron Dennis TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:08
  • Alex Hernandez def. Derrick Adkins via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:53
  • Kendrick Latchman def. Tyler Shinn via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Ed Cline def. Levi Queen via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3, 2:11
  • Kyle Driscoll def. Ken Coulter via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

For more on LFA 27, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Champ Robert Watley on life after the belt Daryl Wilson trying to take at LFA 27

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Life, Robert Watley will tell you, hasn’t changed much since he became an LFA titleholder

“It’s a cool milestone,” Watley told AXS TV’s Phoenix Carnevale. “But it isn’t who I am. It’s just part of what it is that I do.”

Even after a unanimous decision over Thiago Moises at June’s LFA 17 brought him the promotion’s lightweight belt, Watley remained “just Rob.” But there have been a few things here and there. The gym where he teaches striking, for instance, has gotten some added influx of people trying to train under a world champion.

“Some kid called me ‘Master Rob’ the other day,” Watley said with a laugh. “I was like, ‘No, no, no. Don’t do that. Just Rob.’”

Not to mention the other thing that usually happens whenever fighters become champions: getting one big target on their backs. Not that it’s a problem; if anything, this is exactly the type of thing that keeps Watley motivated to keep improving.

Which he does with some old school, nerdy inspiration.

“I’ve got to continue to bring things to the cage that are going to surprise people and that will keep me on top of the game,” Watley said. “Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, I grew up on all of those films. So of course I’m nerding out. I’m like, ‘I’ve got to take it back to old school, I’ve got to bring some things that nobody’s doing anymore.’”

Tonight, Watley (8-1) will get to test his evolution, as he looks to defend his 155-pound title for the first time. The champion headlines LFA 27 at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Okla., opposite Oklahoma’s own Daryl Wilson (7-1).

A former wrestler who wanted to keep competing, Wilson had his first amateur fight a few months after he started training MMA – and it was already for a title. He kept an active pace of amateur fights all through 2013 and 2014 before making his pro debut in 2015.

As Watley, himself, assessed, Wilson is a finisher – as a matter of fact, he comes into the bout tonight off a quick knockout over Jarrod Card, which followed another knockout and a submission win.

And that’s exactly the type of result that the challenger wants to keep going tonight.

“I would like a head-kick knockout,” Wilson said. “But it is what it is. Really, I don’t know. I’ve pictured so many ways that it’s hard to really pinpoint one. I’ve just got to start working and somebody’s going to open up and something’s going to land.”

For more on LFA 27, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 18 highlights: Check out this nifty 1st-round face-plant

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Friday’s LFA 18 event had a title and a handful of stoppages, including a memorable one early in the night.

LFA 18 took place at FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Okla., and the main card aired on AXS TV.

In the main event, featherweight champion Kevin Aguilar (13-1) retained his bout with a unanimous-decision clean sweep of Justin Rader (6-3) while scoring 50-45 tallies across the board. It was “not an overly exciting fight,” as cageside commentator Pat Miletich put it.

However, there was plenty of action earlier in the fight, including Daryl Wilson (7-1) knocking out and face-planting lightweight veteran Jarrod Card (16-9-1) in 64 seconds.

Additionally, in the co-main event, Brendan Allen (8-2) rallied to tap out middleweight Chris Harris (9-2) with a second-round triangle choke, and in a main-card welterweight bout, Chauncey Foxworth (7-4) bullied and beat down Braden Smith (8-2) for a third-round TKO win.

Check out all of the highlights above.

For more on LFA 18, including a full event recap, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 18 results: Kevin Aguilar retains featherweight title with decision over Justin Rader

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Justin Rader had two things in mind in his quest to become LFA’s featherweight champion against titleholder Kevin Aguilar: kicks and takedowns.

The kicks were mostly there throughout for Rader (6-3). The takedowns, not so much, and Aguilar (13-1) retained his 145-pound title with a unanimous decision victory in the LFA 18 main event – despite some solid moments from the challenger throughout the five-round fight. Aguilar won with scores of 50-45 across the board.

LFA 18 took place at FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Okla. The main card aired live on AXS TV.

Rader worked kicks early, including one to the head 40 seconds in, not seeming to care if it might lead to an Aguilar takedown. Aguilar landed a counter jab that put Rader on his butt. But back on the feet, Rader contineud to fire away with kicks, keeping Aguilar from getting inside. But with less than two minutes left in the round, Rader went after a single-leg takedown and it led to Aguilar landing heavy hands to the head. Rader landed a left hook on the way out, then had to get on his bike as the round came to an end when Aguilar tried to chase him down.

In the second round, Rader was all about the kicks again – sometimes flashy, sometimes just workmanlike. Late in the round, he again tried for a takedown, but it was easily stuffed. And just before the horn, Aguilar hurt him with a left hand that put him on the canvas with just a few seconds left.

About 90 seconds into the third, after eating a right hand, Aguilar planted his shin on Rader’s head. After that, it seemed a little eaiser for him to land some heavy punches. And when Rader shot for a takedown midway through the frame, just like before, Aguilar stuffed it and made him pay. With five seconds left in the round, Aguilar drilled Rader in the face with another kick – but Rader survived it to see a fourth frame.

Rader tried to roll into a takedown right away in the fourth, but it wasn’t there. But 45 seconds later, it finally was. Rader got the takedown he seemed to want all fight – but couldn’t keep the champion there, and it was right back to the middle. Just past the midway point of the fourth, Aguilar landed a massive kick of his own to the body. Rader worked through it and landed a right hand moments later.

In the fifth, Rader had to take some punishment to get it, but was able to get his second takedown about 90 seconds in. He just couldn’t keep things there, and Aguilar quickly got back to his feet. The champ cruised the rest of the round on his way to a sweep on the judges’ scorecards.

Brendan Allen and Chris Harris

Allen taps out Harris in second round

Brendan Allen had to rally against Chris Harris in the co-main event, but he did it in a big way.

In the second round of their middleweight fight, Allen (8-2) came out swinging. Harris (9-2) fired back. But when the fight hit the canvas, Allen locked up a triangle choke. He couldn’t keep it and tried for an armbar. Harris survived initially, but Allen went after it again.

The second shot at it included Allen getting Harris’ arm into the equation, and soon Harris had to tap at the 1:22 mark of the second round.

After a decision loss to Eryk Anders in a middleweight title fight in June, Allen said he thought LFA’s upcoming vacant 185-pound title fight (Anders vacated the belt to go to the UFC) had the wrong fighters. Ian Heinisch meets Markus Perez Echeimberg for the belt at LFA 22 in September.

“I thought Chris Harris was the best in the division, outside of myself,” Allen said. “I feel like I just fought two title fights in a row. That dude’s much better than Ian Heinisch.”

UFC vet Kelades grinds out Shinn

Chris Kelades, right, and Tyler Shinn

In his first fight since a four-bout stint in the UFC, Chris Kelades got back in the win column with his first victory in more than two years.

Kelades (10-3) took a unanimous decision from Tyler Shinn (8-4) in a 130-pound catchweight fight. Kelades took a pair of 29-28 scores and a 30-27.

Shinn got an easy takedown 25 seconds into the fight and moved to side control. It took Shinn another 45 seconds to jump to mount, though he gave it up quickly. Kelades got back to his feet midway through the round, but Shinn brilliantly worked for a choke. He had it tight, but Kelades popped out and was able to get on top and took over the second half of the frame with ground-and-pound.

That’s how it went the rest of the way. For 10 minutes in the second and third rounds, Kelades asserted his control on top on the ground and worked enough ground-and-pound to stay busy and avoid a standup on his way to the win.

Foxworth dominates Smith for late TKO

Chauncey Foxworth

Chauncey Foxworth had to fend off some fairly vicious leg attacks from Braden Smith, but it was mostly smooth sailing for him in their welterweight bout, all the way to a late TKO.

Smith (8-2) worked for a takedown early, but couldn’t get it. When Foxworth (7-4) landed some big punches three minutes in, Smith had even more reason to want to look for a takedown. He couldn’t get it, and instead pulled guard – but it was Foxworth who got on top on the canvas and worked ground-and-pound with Smith along the fence. Smith tried for a toe hold in the final 30 seconds, but Foxworth made him pay with more punches.

In the second round, Smith struggled on the feet – then again pulled guard and got into even more trouble. But on the ground, he went after Foxworth’s leg again and cranked hard. Foxworth survived and teed off on Smith’s head and body. And in the third, it was more of the same – just absent any significant submission attempts from Smith. Finally, Foxworth was able to get full mount and pounded Smith till he got the stoppage with 29 seconds left in the fight.

Wilson KOs overzealous Card in 64 seconds

Daryl Wilson and Jarrod Card

Jarrod Card was at a big height and reach disadvantage against Daryl Wilson, but that didn’t play much of a part in working against him.

Card (16-9-1) rushed in with his hands down and his head straight up a minute into the first round, and Wilson (7-1) made him pay with a knockout just 64 seconds into their lightweight fight. When Card came forward strong trying to throw a left, Wilson peppered his left out, then threw a big right hook that planted Card on the canvas. It took Wilson only another couple punches to get the stoppage.

LFA 18 results:

  • Kevin Aguilar def. Justin Rader via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) – to retain featherweight title
  • Brendan Allen def. Chris Harris via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:22
  • Chris Kelades def. Tyler Shinn via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Chauncey Foxworth def. Braden Smith via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:31
  • Daryl Wilson def. Jarrod Card via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:04
  • Derrick Adkins def. Kyle Driscoll via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jose Martinez def. James Warren via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 3

For more on LFA 18, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 18 announced with Aguilar-Rader title fight and journalist/ex-UFC fighter Mike Jackson

The lineup is taking shape for next month’s LFA 18 event, which features a title fight and an MMA journalist/recent UFC competitor.

Officials today announced the event takes place Aug. 4 at FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Okla., and the main card airs on AXS TV.

In the headliner, reigning featherweight champion Kevin Aguilar (12-1) meets Justin Rader (7-2).

Aguilar, a 28-year-old Texan, was the final Legacy FC champion, and following a merger with RFA and the creation of LFA, he beat Damon Jackson via knockout to win the inaugural belt. He now has four straight four wins, three of which have come via knockout.

He meets Rader, a 30-year-old Oklahoman and longtime Legacy FC fighter who’s currently riding a three-fight winning streak. He recently scored a decision victory over Emmanuel Rivera in his promotional debut at LFA 15.

In the LFA 18 co-headliner, recent title challenger Brendan Allen (7-2) meets fellow middleweight contender Chris Harris (9-1)

Also on the card is MMA journalist/photographer Mike Jackson (0-1), who suffered a February 2016 submission loss to Mickey Gall at UFC Fight Night 82; the bout earned the winner a matchup with former WWE start Phil “CM Punk” Brooks. The boxer and kickboxer, who runs mikethetruth.com, takes on welterweight Rafael Venancio Justino (2-1), the older brother of upcoming UFC title challenger Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.

The latest LFA 18 fight card includes:

For more on LFA 18, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie