Rexroad needed but a small window of opportunity, and Lucas
Pimenta provided it for him.
Rexroad submitted the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with a
modified triangle choke to become the interim
Legacy Fighting Championship welterweight titleholder in the
LFC 14 headliner on Friday at the Arena Theatre in Houston. The
surprising tapout came 3:17 into round two, as Rexroad snapped the
Brazilian’s eight-fight winning streak.
Patino protégé, Pimenta had Rexroad in serious trouble in the
first round, as he waylaid him with stinging punches on the feet
and well-disguised takedowns. At the end of five minutes, the Texan
was a battered mess, his left eye on the verge of swelling shut.
The damage did nothing to dissuade him.
Pimenta secured another takedown midway through round two, only to
fall asleep inside the Rexroad guard. The Paradigm Training Center
representative neutralized the grappler from the mission control
position, snaked his arm underneath Pimenta’s free limb and
delivered the fight-ending choke. Rexroad has won his last five
bouts, three of them via submission.
In the co-main event, surging flyweight Joshua
Sampo notched the most significant victory of his 10-fight
career, as he cruised to a unanimous decision over
Ultimate Fighting Championship castaway Antonio
Banuelos. Sampo swept the scorecards by matching 30-27
Banuelos was a never a factor in the 15-minute battle. Sampo
threaded jabs, knees and leg kicks through his defenses with
surprising ease, mixing in a first-round takedown and mount for
good measure. As the bout neared its conclusion, Sampo’s efforts
resulted in a cut near Banuelo’s left eye, blood streaming down his
Sampo topped Banuelos.
A longtime training partner of UFC hall of famer Chuck
Liddell, Banuelos has lost back-to-back bouts for the first
time in more than a decade as a professional.
Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Steven
Peterson recorded his sixth win in seven appearances, as he
American Top Team’s Cody
Williams with a second-round omaplata in a 140-pound
catchweight affair. The end came 4:46 into round two.
Peterson weathered a number of encounters with his foe’s potent
right hand, two of them resulting in knockdowns. To his credit, the
22-year-old kept his composure, regained his wits and made his move
when the opportunity presented itself. By the start of the second
round, it became clear Williams was a spent force. Peterson scored
with a takedown and grinded away with a series of short elbows.
Later, after another takedown, Peterson transitioned to the
omaplata, chicken winged Williams’ opposite arm and exerted enough
pressure to coax the tapout.
Elsewhere, 2009 NCAA Div. I wrestling champion Darrion
Caldwell made a successful professional mixed martial arts
debut, as he cruised to a unanimous decision against the
overmatched David Armas.
All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for
Peterson overcame serious abuse
to tap Williams.
A Power MMA Team member, Caldwell struck for takedowns in all three
rounds and mounted his foe on two separate occasions. He threatened
Armas with a rear-naked choke in round one, but the former North
Carolina State University superstar did most of his work from side
control and half guard. Outside of a right hand inside the first 10
seconds of the bout, Armas did virtually nothing from an offensive
Finally, Bellator veteran Derrick
Krantz needed a little more than a minute to submit Brandon
Farran in a welterweight showcase. Krantz elicited the tapout
71 seconds into round one.
Farran stuck Krantz with a quick right hand and landed a takedown
during their initial exchange. However, his decision to move
towards an ill-advised foot lock proved disastrous. Krantz
transitioned to his back, minus the hooks, and locked in the choke.
With that, Farran was a beaten man. Krantz now has 12 first-round
finishes among his 13 professional victories.
In other action, Lester
Batres stopped Jonathan
Harris on a series of third-round knees and punches 2:11 into
round one of their welterweight duel; Gladiators Academy
Schnell captured a split decision over Ryan Hollis
at 125 pounds; Charles
Ontiveros took a unanimous verdict from Anthony
Tatum in a welterweight showdown; Terrance
Ferguson submitted Patrick
Hutton with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their
180-pound catchweight encounter; and Kaileb
Cummins coaxed a tapout from Patrick
Greene with a guillotine choke in round three of their