It wasn’t the easiest of title defenses, but Legacy FC flyweight champion Will Campuzano (12-4) retained his belt with a unanimous-decision win over a previously undefeated Allan Nascimento (7-1).
The bout served as the headlining contest of Friday’s Legacy FC 19 event, which took place at Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas. The night’s main card aired on AXS TV.
The opening round saw spirited attacks from both competitors, as each took turns in dominant positions both on the feet and in scrambling attacks on the floor. The shorter Campuzano worked hard to keep the action in tight to negate the reach disadvantage, but Nascimento answered with sharp elbows from the pocket. Both landed flush during the frame, but each showed quick recovery in an entertaining opening stanza.
In the second round, Campuzano scored an early takedown and spent much of the round in top position. Nascimento eventually found the space to look for a heel hook, but Campuzano pulled his leg free and powered through a sweep that took him again to top position, where he finished the frame.
Campuzano again scored an early takedown in the third, but Nascimento was far more active in trying to attack the leg from his back. While there were a few tense moments, Campuzano pulled free each time and landed several heavy punches from top position, including one that opened a cut under his opponent’s left eye that somehow went untreated between rounds.
Campuzano again worked himself to top position in the fourth, and he seemed to be taking control of the momentum with heavy punches to a turtling Nascimento’s head. Unfortunately for Campuzano, a few of the punches landed illegally to the back of the head, and he was deducted a point. Campuzano again took control of the positioning on the restart, but the deduction kept him from claiming a round.
Campuzano started quickly in the final frame, and a wilting Nascimento was again forced to his back. To his credit, Nascimento remained lively from the canvas and continued to attack limbs. However, Campuzano alertly pulled free from every hold and once again held top position throughout the round. Punches came in spurts from Campuzano, and he held on for the decision win, 49-45, 48-46 and 48-46.
Campuzano now boasts a four-fight win streak.
In the night’s co-feature, four-time Bellator MMA veteran Georgi Karakhanyan (21-3-1) earned a unanimous-decision win over longtime MMA veteran Din Thomas (25-9), but the result didn’t come nearly as easy as some MMA pundits expected.
Thomas entered the fight with a fresh cut over his left eye, and the wound appeared to alter his approach to the fight. Cautious on the feet, Thomas instead favored the grappling game. Unfortunately, it didn’t favor him through the opening two rounds, as Karakhanyan consistently worked to top position and worked in ground-and-pound blows while controlling the action.
The two finally decided to trade strikes on the feet in the third, and while Thomas was effective in spurts, Karakhanyan appeared to be both quicker and more powerful with his attacks. Thomas’ cut did finally open in the closing minutes, but it hardly mattered, as Karakhanyan had already claimed the fight with his early work.
After the fight, Karakhanyan revealed he had been feeling ill throughout the day and admitted he was a bit disappointed in his performance. Still, he maintained hope his current seven-fight win streak will be enough to earn a call from the UFC.
In light heavyweight action, submission ace Robert Drysdale (6-0) kept his undefeated record intact with another first-round submission win, this time over D.J. Linderman (13-5).
After some initial exchanges on his feet, Drysdale used an overhand punch to move into a clinch and score a clean takedown. From there, Drysdale transitioned to mount and teases a potential armbar before transitioning to the back when Linderan looked to roll. From there, the rear-naked choke was quickly locked in place, and Linderman tapped out for the first time in his career.
Legacy FC 19 results include:
- Will Campuzano def. Allan Nascimento via unanimous decision (49-45, 48-46, 48-46) – to retain Legacy FC flyweight title
- Georgi Karakhanyan def. Din Thomas via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Robert Drysdale def. D.J. Linderman via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:48
- Matt Hobar def. Nelson Salas via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- George Pacurariu def. Steven Peterson via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:42
- Reynaldo Trujillo def. Chris Jones via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:59
- Kevin Aguilar def. Hunter Tucker via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:24