LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) and the two promotions that merged to create it, RFA and Legacy FC, were well-represented when the UFC traveled down under to Australia over the weekend.
Four former fighters competed, which included three on the main card that was televised on pay-per-view. The four fighters included Lando Vannata, Ricky Simón, Montana De La Rosa, and Jonathan Martinez. All four fighters were victorious and one of the wins resulted in a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.
“I am always excited to watch our former fighters do well in the UFC,” stated LFA CEO Ed Soares. “I was fortunate to be there live in Australia to witness what LFA has set out to do. We develop top prospects, so when they get to the UFC, they continue to dominate against the best in the world.”
RFA standout “Groovy” Lando Vannata made the most of a last-minute opportunity by securing one of the biggest wins of his career. After the UFC lost its main event on Saturday morning, due to an injury to middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, the UFC quickly elevated Vannata’s bout with Brazilian lightweight Marcos Mariano to co-main event status. The flashy Albuquerque based striker showed a new wrinkle to his game by dominating with wrestling and grappling. Vannata put an end to things by submitting Mariano with a Kimura from north-south at the end of the first round.
Former LFA bantamweight champion Ricky Simón ran his UFC record to 3-0 with a masterful performance against jiu-jitsu ace and top-ranked bantamweight Rani Yahya. The Portland based powerhouse battered his Brazilian opponent with strikes throughout the contest, while stuffing all ten takedown attempts from the world champion jiu-jitsu black belt. The dominant effort earned Simón a lopsided Unanimous Decision with scores of 30-27, 30-27, 30-25. The win should propel Simón comfortably into the UFC bantamweight rankings.
The main card also saw LFA fan favorite Montana De La Rosa run her UFC record to 3-0. The Fort Worth based flyweight dominated her fight with previously undefeated Australian prospect Nadia Kassem. After showing off her wrestling chops in the first round, De La Rosa went right back to work on the ground in round two. The Texan locked in an armbar midway through the round, which forced a verbal submission. De La Rosa has now won all of her UFC fights via submission and tied the longest active UFC win streak in the women’s flyweight division at three. The win also earned her a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.
Jonathan Martinez got things moving in the right direction in the first fight of the night. The Legacy FC product picked up his first UFC win with an entertaining encounter with Chinese bantamweight Wuliji Buren. “Dragon” stayed one step ahead of Buren with opportunistic reversals in what turned into a technical chess match on the ground. The Texan was pulled from an LFA card in October to make a short notice UFC debut in Canada instead. Now the world got to see what he can do with a full camp to prepare for an opponent.
LFA returns this Friday, February 15th with LFA 60 – Anglickas vs. York. The main event will feature a light-heavyweight title bout between Lithuanian prospect Julius Anglickas and former Oregon State football player Clayton “C-4” York. The event will take place at the Seven Flags Event Center in Clive, Iowa, which is in the Des Moines metro area. The main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Main Card (Televised on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT):
Main Event | Light-Heavyweight Title Bout (205 lb)
– Julius Anglickas (5-1) vs. Clayton York (5-0)
Co-Main Event | Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
– Anthony Baccam (12-6) vs. Trey Ogden (11-3)
Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
– Luis Saldaña (12-6) vs. Carl Wittstock (10-4)
Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
– Jonathon Thomson (9-4) vs. Darrius Flowers (6-3-1)
Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
– Jordin Hinman (7-4) vs. Dakota Bush (5-1)
Heavyweight Bout (265 lb)
– Patrick Martin (6-4) vs. Byron Stevens (2-0)