Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
A lukewarm LFA 15 headlining affair got an eye-popping finish thanks to newly-crowned heavyweight champ Richard Odoms.
After almost an entire five rounds spent mostly in clinches against the fence, Odoms (13-3) managed to grab hold of Jared Vanderaa’s (5-1) right arm and quickly twist it into a kimura hold that forced him to tap at the 2:45 mark of the final round of the title headliner.
The 42-year-old Odoms became LFA’s first heavyweight champion, while Vanderaa, 17 years his junior, suffered the first loss of his career after finishing his first five opponents.
LFA 15 took place at FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The seven-fight main card aired on AXS TV.
The action started early, with hard punches and low kicks exchanged right away. A minute in, however, the heavyweights were fighting for control against the fence. Apart from small bursts of action, clinch battles against the cage were basically the main pattern of Round 1 – which, ultimately, saw an advantage to the more incisive, harder-throwing Odoms.
The second round started off the same way, with the heavyweights switching positions against the fence. Vanderaa displayed a bloodied eye halfway through the round, and went on to eat a solid knee that made matters worse. Although the strikes weren’t exactly abundant through the round, Odoms found reasonable success when they were thrown.
As the victor of the first two rounds, Odoms came out the more confident man into the third. He immediately pressed Vanderaa against the cage, but the two switched positions a few times before the ref broke them apart, asking for more action. The two tired-looking men exchanged very briefly before Odoms once more pushed Vanderaa against the fence. The two proceeded to switch positions in the clinch, but no significant strikes were landed. For the first time in the fight, however, Odoms wasn’t superior.
The fourth round was off to a more exciting start, including a flashy – albeit ineffective – spinning kick by Odoms. Both men seemed exhausted, but Odoms showed a wider offensive range. Vanderaa, in turn, relied on power. An eye poke paused the scrap briefly, but soon they were back against the fence. The most significant action of the fight came when, after a few failed attempts, Vandeeraa was finally able to take Odoms to the ground. He got Odoms’ back and twice threatened a rear-naked choke but Odoms was able to reverse and spend the remainder of the round on top.
Odoms landed a solid right in the first minute of the fifth round, but Vandeeraa was able to survive and, at points, throw some leather of his own. Odoms kept the pressure and moved forward – even if that meant eating some punches in the process. Just when it seemed like a decision was inevitable for the two exhausted men, Odoms surprisingly grabbed ahold of Vanderaa’s right arm and quickly twisted it into a kimura to force the tap at the 2:45 mark of Round 5.
Harris dominates in route to clear-cut call over Coleman
Constant pressure, paired with solid low kicks, made for a breezy night for middleweight Chris Harris’ (9-1) in LFA 15’s co-headliner. Cortez Coleman (13-8) reacted until the end, consistently countering Harris’ combos, but was clearly outstruck in a scrap that lacked in highlight-reel material. Harris is now back on a victorious path after his first professional loss, at January’s Bellator 171.
The middleweights started off on a careful note, mostly gauging the distance. Harris seemed to pick the low kick as his weapon of choice, while Coleman bet on his hands. Harris eventually started taking chances with higher kicks, but Coleman defended them. While Harris was clearly the aggressor, there was not a lot of action, with no significant strikes landed on either side.
Harris walked into the second round the more confident man, putting the pressure and landing some solid punches. Coleman replied, with some power of his own, but the volume was mostly on Harris’ side. As the round wore on, Harris’ hand seemed to have an easier time finding Coleman’s face. Coleman’s counters, in turn, seemed increasingly less effective. By the final minute, Harris was unleashing longer combos, capped off by low kicks that Coleman didn’t seem particularly keen on defending.
The bigger offensive volume didn’t seem to wear too much on Harris, who kept pushing the pace on Round 3. Although Coleman reacted, countering most of what came his way, Harris was once again the aggressor, shooting short combos with varied levels of success.
The two engaged on a wilder exchange in the last seconds of the bout, but the outcome came to no surprise: a clean 30-27 sweep across the board for Harris.
Moret scores last-second submission, Smith pulls major comeback
As far as comeback wins go, welterweight Braden Smith’s (8-1) is as good as it gets. Smith was dropped early by Manny Meraz (9-4), who relentlessly chased him on the ground, but kept his cool in order to sink in the D’Arce choke that ended the bout 2:11 into the first round. It was Smith’s fourth submission win a row, and the sixth overall in his career. Meraz, in turn, is now back on the losing column after a see-saw of results in his last seven fights.
Dan Moret (12-3) was well on his way toward a decision win over fellow lightweight Derrick Adkins (9-4), but a last-second arm-triangle saved the judges the trouble of tallying their scores. And the term “last-second” here is not an exaggeration: Moret’s arm triangle forced the tap at the 4:59 mark of the bout’s final round.
Moret is now back on a victorious track after a loss to Raoni Barcelos that ended a previous four-fight streak. Friday’s win was the seventh finish of his 12-win career.
Kendall Carnahan (5-1) didn’t make it easy, but it was the gritty Tyler Shinn (8-3) who walked away victorious from their closely contested bantamweight affair on Friday. Shinn, who hadn’t been in a professional MMA fight since January 2015, looked visibly relieved as the result was read. He’s now on a two-fight streak – which follows back-to-back losses, both split decisions. Carnahan suffered the first loss of his pro run, which previously constituted solely of finishes.
Emmanuel Rivera (6-1) was the harder-hitting man in the main card’s only featherweight bout, but it wasn’t enough to keep his record unblemished against the driven Justin Rader (7-2). After winning the first round and surviving a serious scare on the second, Rader came into the third on a mission. The determination paid off, and “Darth” Rader is now riding a three-fight streak.
Chibwikem Onyenegecha (4-0) opened up the main card in exciting fashion, serving some serious punishment to Stephen Skoch (3-3) on the feet to put a first-round end to their catchweight bout. Onyenegecha has now TKO’d the four men he’s encountered in his perfect professional career.
Official LFA 15 results included:
- Richard Odoms def. Jared Vanderaa via submission (kimura) – Round 5, 2:45 – to claim inaugural heavyweight title
- Chris Harris def. Cortez Coleman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Braden Smith def. Manny Meraz via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 2:11
- Dan Moret def. Derrick Adkins via submission (arm-triangle) – Round 3, 4:59
- Tyler Shinn def. Kendall Carnahan via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Justin Rader def. Emmanuel Rivera via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
- Chibwikem Onyenegecha def. Stephen Skoch via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:40
For more on LFA 15, check out the MMA Events section of the site.
Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie