Merciless forward pressure, hyperaggressive standup and effective grappling carried the former Hoosier Fight Club titleholder to a unanimous decision over Kevin Wirth in the Legacy Fighting Alliance 92 headliner on Friday at Hartman Arena in Wichita, Kansas. Askar (11-1, 2-0 LFA) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 marks from the judges, as he rebounded from his Feb. 7 knockout loss to Saidyokub Kakhramonov.
Wirth (8-2, 2-2 LFA) spent almost the entire fight moving backward and playing defense. Askar floored him with an overhand right in the first round, opened a cut near his left eye in the second and paired his takedowns with ground-and-pound and positional control at various times in the fight. He tied a bow on his latest victory midway through Round 3, when he executed a high-amplitude takedown, settled in half guard and continued to pile up points with short punches and elbows.
In the three-round co-main event, former Jungle Fight champion Antonio dos Santos Jr. made a triumphant return from a three-year layoff with a unanimous decision over Professional Fighters League and Bellator MMA alum Andre Fialho at a 180-pound catchweight. All three cageside judges scored it for dos Santos (9-4, 1-0 LFA): 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.
Fialho (10-4, 0-1 LFA) had issues with output and cardio. Nevertheless, the Sanford MMA export staggered dos Santos with a left hook in the second round and chased a possible finish on the feet before completing an ill-advised takedown that allowed his counterpart to recover. Fialho ran out of gas in Round 3, where he was met by a dogged clinch, standing elbows and power punches from close range. Dos Santos scrambled into half guard in the final minute to seal the deal in a successful promotional debut.
Now operating out of the MMA Masters camp, dos Santos will carry a three-fight winning streak into his next assignment.
Meanwhile, Dakota Bush returned to the cage for the first time in more than a year, as he submitted Brian Del Rosario with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their lightweight showcase. Del Rosario (5-4, 0-1 LFA) conceded defeat 2:38 into Round 1, then briefly lost consciousness.
Bush (7-2, 4-2 LFA) punched into clinch range, delivered a takedown inside the first minute and did what he does best. The Smith Pit standout floated between side control and half guard, then climbed to full mount and forced Del Rosario to surrender his back. From there, Bush set his hooks to secure his position, snaked his arms around the neck and forced the tapout.
The 26-year-old Bush has rattled off three wins in four appearances.
In other action, Team Quest’s Ricky Furar (5-2, 1-1 LFA) was awarded a technical knockout when Jacob Thrall (6-4-1, 1-2 LFA) suffered a knee injury 1:08 into the third round of their bantamweight pairing; Jackson-Wink MMA export Rodney Kealohi (5-1, 1-0 LFA) dispatched Mefi Monterroso (5-2, 0-1 LFA) with a knee to the body and follow-up punches 30 seconds into the first round of their flyweight encounter; Team Alpha Male’s Viecheslav Borshchev (2-0, 1-0 LFA) took a unanimous decision from Ali Zebian (4-2, 0-1 LFA), drawing 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28 marks from the judges; and Arizona Combat Sports prospect Christian Natividad (2-0, 2-0 LFA) cut down Jose Holguin (0-1, 0-1 LFA) with punches 29 seconds into the first round of their bantamweight clash.