LFA 52 Results & Clips: Featuring subs from Chris Gutierrez, Jimmy Flick, and Puna Soriano
Belton, Texas – After a three week hiatus Legacy Fighting Alliance returned with LFA 52, featuring some of the top fighters in the US Southwest and a cracker of a bantamweight main event pitting WSOF alum Chris Gutierrez vs Combate Americas vet Ray Rodriguez. Follow along for results & clips from all the LFA 52 action as the fights go down!
LFA 52 Results:
135: Chris Gutierrez (12-2-1, #85 World) Sub1 Ray Rodriguez (13-5, #140 World)
Factory X Muay Thai’s Chris Gutierrez ventured to hostile territory for this LFA 52 main event clash versus Ray Rodriguez and issued a clinical ground performance that had his man tapping out inside one round. Rodriguez pressed the clinch in the opening minutes but Gutierrez skillfully off-balanced him to the mat. “The Judge” briefly threatened with a kimura, but WSOF alum Gutierrez stood up out of the attempt and began dominating his man from top position. Before long, Gutierrez was fighting for an RNC that Rodriguez had no answers for. The tap came with just seconds left in round 1, as Rodriguez saw his eight fight win streak turn to dust. Meanwhile Gutierrez stayed perfect in LFA and reasserted himself as one of the top bantamweights fighting outside MMA’s major leagues with his first career submission win.
130: Jimmy Flick (12-4, #185 World) Sub2 Cee Jay Hamilton (13-7, #196 World)
After Cee Jay Hamilton’s original opponent Jonathan Martinez received a UFC call-up, Jimmy Flick stepped in on late notice fresh off a win on his local Oklahoma regionals scene two weeks ago. Flick got off to a rough start as he simply didn’t have a solution for Hamilton’s superior hand and foot speed. The one-time Contender Series entrant Hamilton rocked Flick with a left head kick just under two minutes in but returned to patient kickboxing rather than hunting a finish. Round 2 saw Hamilton continue to toss up head kicks and successfully defend Flick’s takedown tries early, until the persistent Oklahoman finally got on top in the second half of round 2. Flick advanced to mount with 80 seconds to work and secured the upset with an arm triangle choke that Hamilton couldn’t manage to squirm out of! What a short notice showing from Flick, who picked up a second straight LFA finish after triangle choking UFC alum Johnny Bedford back at LFA 16.
185: Puna Soriano (5-0, #198 World) Sub1 Jhonoven Pati (4-2, #20 US Southwest)
Hawaiia’s Puna Soriano owns absurd power and showed it when he busted up the eye of Texas’ Jhonoven Pati with the first strikes he landed. The next punch sent Pati reeling backward, which gave Soriano a chance to slam his foe to the mat. Pati fired back with jump knees and wild swings as the crowd oohed and aahed. The violent slugfest continued as neither man showed much regard for his face and exhibited utter disdain for his opponents’. After both guys demonstrated serious chin, Soriano found the mark with a brutal left cross that collapsed Pati into a heap! Pati did his best to survive, but Soriano fought hard to finish with an RNC to cap this very impressive LFA debut. Soriano could probably pay a little more attention to his face defense and cardio, but the man brings A+ power to the cage at middleweight and almost certainly will be a player in the big leagues with the chin that he showed off in this one.
Punahele Soriano and Jhonoven Pati went at it for about 3 or 4 mins! Crazyness, ended with this shot from Soriano, into a #RNC! #LFA52 #LFA #MMA #Fights #Fighting #Submissions #Choke https://t.co/mkKcJFYb37— wildmatt (@wildmatt) October 20, 2018
265: Vernon Lewis (6-3, #183 World) TKO3 Jeremy Hardy (6-4, #198 World)
Rollercoaster of a heavyweight slobberknocker here that saw 6’5″ specimen Jeremy Hardy use a sharp punch to stun fellow AXS TV Fights regular Vernon Lewis early on before jumping on top and working from half guard against the cage. Lewis spent energy cagewalking, only to get stuck in the clinch and tossed back to the mat in the final seconds of round 1. Hardy appeared to own superior fitness and hand speed early on as Lewis ate shots and ended up pushed back against the cage. Back in the center, Lewis threatened with big swings but found the mark sparingly as Hardy retaliated with rights. A nice straight shot stunned Lewis and briefly sent him stumbling back toward the cage. But before long proven tough guy Lewis was back in the center, huffing & puffing and trying to slip a bomb through Hardy’s defenses. After 10 minutes of futility, Lewis finally found his shot with a crushing body kick early in round 3 before laying it all on the line and putting Hardy out with puinches for a standing TKO! Bigtime comeback from Vernon Lewis, who improved to 3-1 in LFA/LFC competition and sent a message to the LFA heavyweight division in the process.
W115: Itzel Esquivel (4-2, #130 World) UD3 Vanessa Demopoulos (1-1)
Scrappy 15 minute contest here as Esquivel & Demopoulos were both happy to exchange punches center-cage in the opening minute before spending much of the bout in grappling exchanges. Things got rough early on for Esquivel when she reversed a Demopoulos takedown and ended up on top in guard. The professional pole dancer Demopoulos methodically hooked up a scary looking triangle choke that had Esquivel fighting for air for a couple of minutes. As soon as Esquivel finally worked out of it and back to the feet, Demopoulos knocked her back down to the ground with a standing hammerfist and jumped on top for the rest of round 1! Both women were rocked early in round 2, with Esquivel ending up on top but Demopoulos immediately fishing for a leg lock. Following an illegal upkick that went unpunished, Demopoulos got to her feet only to pull guard again. A smooth transition had Esquivel briefly in armbar trouble, but she defended well and found a spot to drop a few opportunistic ground shots. Back on the feet with 90 seconds to work, Esquivel started to tee off on Demopoulos including a great head kick in the last minute of round 2. With Demopoulos fading after a high-octane start, Esquivel landed the bulk of punches and managed to come out on top each time her opponent shot for a takedown. The scrambling and submission attempt festivities continue to the final bell, with Demopoulos having less and less success over time. Still, a really nice pro debut from Vanessa Demopoulos, who showed plenty of talent and tenacity in her first serious MMA challenge. She just didn’t have enough to take out the superior conditioning and more technical skills that Itzel Esquivel brought to the table.
135: Armando Villarreal (4-1,#51 US Southwest) UD3 Jose Johnson (6-5, #384 World)
Armando Villarreal cruised through round 1, taking Jose Johnson down to the mat at will and ending up in back mount fishing for an RNC. Things took a brief turn south for “La Lumbre” in round 2 when Johnson took the back following an overeager takedown attempt. But it wasn’t long before Villarreal reasserted his superior wrestling and spent most of late round 2 and early round 3 on top. After falling behind 20-18, Johnson injected serious drama into the proceedings when he scrambled and rocked the tiring Villarreal with a serious of crackling elbow strikes. When Villarreal tried to retaliate with a last ditch takedown, Johnson locked in a dangerous looking inverted triangle/kneebar combo before nearly sinking an RNC! The resurgent Johnson spent his final burst of adrenaline working for triangle chokes and leglocks but just couldn’t find the comeback finish. Credit Armando Villarreal with the 29-28 win; gritty, grueling stuff from these two fighters and an awesome way to start this LFA 52 card.
LFA 52 Prelims:
W115: Desiree Yanez (2-1) KO-Punches Fatima Mallett (2-3) – unbroadcast prelim
W125: Hailey Cowan (1-1) TKO1 Shay Wittington (0-5) – unbroadcast prelim
125: David Miramontes (4-3) Sub1-RNC Robert Casper (1-5)
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