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.
Allen taps out Harris in second round
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
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
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
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