High Fives: A New Champion, Submissions Galore and a Vanquished ‘Thunderbeast’

By: Guy Portman
Jun 10, 2019
UFC 238 drew most of the attention during the weekend of June 7-9, but there was no shortage of mixed martial arts action to be found elsewhere. The Legacy Fighting Alliance buoyed the regional scene with LFA 69 in Cabazon, California, and featured some emphatic finishes. Meanwhile, Invicta Fighting Championships returned to the stage with Invicta 35 in Kansas City, Kansas, and played host to a pair of thrilling confrontations. Both events were held on Friday.

NEW CHAMPION … LFA 69 was headlined by a flyweight title tilt that pitted the Cuban champion Maikel Perez opposite Mexican challenger Brandon Moreno. In the fourth round, Moreno backed his adversary to the cage with punches. A former Olympic wrestler, Perez tried to clutch onto Moreno’s left leg but ate a right uppercut in the process. When Moreno pulled his leg clear, the badly hurt Perez fell to his knees before flopping to his back. Moreno followed him to the ground. Having achieved full mount, he dished out ground-and-pound until the referee stepped in at 1:54 of Round 4. In his first appearance since parting ways with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Moreno upped his record to 15-5. The setback saw disposed Perez slip to 6-2.

SUBMISSION SUCCESS … Brazil’s Arthur Estrazulas clashed with America’s Steve Kozola in a lightweight feature at LFA 69. Early in the first round, Kozola unleashed a barrage of punches that appeared close to stopping his dazed counterpart. The tables turned later in the frame when Estrazulas took the American’s back on the mat, secured a body lock with his legs and set up a rear-naked choke, eliciting the tap from the “Thunderbeast” 2:32 into Round 1. Victorious in his promotional debut, Estrazulas moved to 11-4. Kozola dropped to 9-3.

ARM-TRIANGLE TRIUMPHDesmond Torres fought fellow American Jose Medina in an LFA 69 flyweight showcase. In the third stanza, Torres found himself in top position on the floor having trapped his opponent on his back. After latching onto Medina’s left shoulder and driving it against the side of his head, Torres transitioned to mount and then side control. He kept tightening the arm-triangle choke until Medina succumbed at 1:23 point of Round 3. Torres improved to 7-1, while Medina suffered his first career setback and dipped to 4-1.

DOMINANT DISPLAY … Invicta 35 featured a strawweight contest between Japan’s Kanako Murata and Brazil’s Liana Ferreira Pirosin. The bout was approaching the two-minute mark when a scramble on the canvas culminated in Murata taking her adversary’s back and working for a rear-naked choke. The maneuver forced Pirosin to submit 2:10 into Round 1. Murata, now 10-1, extended her winning streak to six fights, while Pirosin fell to 7-3.

BRUTAL BEATDOWNKaitlin Young faced off with New Zealand’s Faith McMah in an Invicta 35 featherweight feature. In the third round, Young forced her opponent to the side of the cage with a barrage of heavy punches. McMah had no answer for the onslaught of blows, giving the referee no choice but to call a halt to the beatdown 3:52 into Round 3. Young moved to 10-9-1 with the win. McMah fell to 6-4.

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