Chidi Njokuani Shreds Cristhian Torres in Gory Legacy Fighting Alliance 91 Main Event

By: Brian Knapp
Sep 11, 2020
Chidi Njokuani made Cristhian Torres bleed, then made him pay.

The former Tachi Palace Fights champion was flawless in his Legacy Fighting Alliance debut, as he brought down Torres with a brutal knee strike to the body and follow-up punches in the second round of their LFA 91 headliner on Friday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Njokuani (19-7, 1-0 LFA) drew the curtain 4:10 into Round 2.

The discrepancy in speed, power and skill was clear from the outset. Njokuani uncorked ferocious kicks to the body, mixed in a few jabs and opened multiple cuts on the Sanford MMA product. Torres (15-11, 1-1 LFA) returned fire with ill intent but never could pin down the moving target. A cut above his right eye worsened in the early stages of the second round, where Njokuani targeted the wound with a stepping elbow. He later floored Torres with a head kick and backed it up with a sustained burst of punches, turning the canvas into a slippery crimson mess in the process. Once the two men returned to their feet, Njokuani drove a knee into his fading counterpart’s solar plexus and closed him out with punches.

The win was Njokuani’s first in nearly three years and put an end to his two-fight losing streak.

Meanwhile, MMA Lab export Kyle Stewart put away Tim Caron with punches in the second round of their middleweight co-main event. Caron (10-3, 0-1 LFA) succumbed to blows 4:00 into Round 2, as he suffered his second setback in three outings.

Stewart (13-3, 4-1 LFA) set the tone with sweeping power punches, a hearty clinch and a trip takedown in the first round. His aggression had Caron on his heels and set the stage for what was to come. Stewart targeted the lead leg with kicks in Round 2, bullied into the clinch behind a multi-punch combination and struck for a takedown. He then progressed to full mount and cut loose with punches and hammerfists until referee Vance Swerdan had seen enough.

The 31-year-old Stewart has recorded back-to-back victories since he was released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2019.

Elsewhere, Dana White’s Contender Series alum Jamal Pogues leaned on repeated takedowns, stifling positional control and intermittent ground-and-pound, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over Tim Hiley in a three-round light heavyweight showcase. All three judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Pogues (8-3, 1-1 LFA).

Hiley (7-3, 2-2 LFA) saw a brief window of opportunity come and go at the end of the first round, where he reversed into top position, transitioned to the back and threatened with a rear-naked choke until time ran out. From there, Pogues dominated. The Joe Stevenson protégé employed a frustrating clinch complete with foot stomps and put his stamp on the match with roughly a minute remaining in Round 3, as he took the undersized Hiley for a ride and executed a powerful high-amplitude takedown.

Pogues has won four of his last five fights.

In other action, Kelly Clayton (2-2, 1-0 LFA) dispatched Hailey Cowan (5-2, 5-2 LFA) with a guillotine choke 46 seconds into the second round of their women’s bantamweight pairing; Nick Maximov (5-0, 1-0 LFA) submitted Johnny James Jr. (1-2, 0-1 LFA) with a rear-naked choke 4:01 into the second round of their light heavyweight encounter; Nate Togbah Richardson (8-2, 2-1 LFA) took a unanimous decision from Darius Estell (6-3, 0-1 LFA) in a three-round featherweight scrap, drawing 29-28 scores from all three judges; Josh Quinlan (3-0, 1-0 LFA) wiped out Peter Keepers (0-1, 0-1 LFA) with punches 1:29 into the second round of their welterweight affair; and Edwin Chavez (3-0, 2-0 LFA) submitted Keilen Fantroy (0-1, 0-1 LFA) with a rear-naked choke 4:00 into the first round of their catchweight clash at 150 pounds.
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