Zviad Lazishvili Throttles Ricky Steele, Nets Bantamweight Title in LFA 90 Headliner

By: Brian Knapp
Sep 4, 2020
It took Zviad Lazishvili less than four minutes to dismantle Ricky Steele.

The unbeaten Georgian captured the vacant Legacy Fighting Alliance bantamweight championship, as he submitted Steele with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their LFA 90 headliner on Friday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Lazishvili (6-0, 2-0 LFA) closed the deal 3:42 into Round 1.

Steele (6-1, 0-1 LFA) went nowhere despite five-inch height and reach advantages. Lazisvhili corralled the SBG Idaho product along the fence, secured a takedown and immediately scrambled to the back. From there, he pestered Steele with punches, hunted for openings and cinched the choke, setting his hooks once his arms were in place. The tapout followed soon after.

Meanwhile, surging Black House export Maycon Mendonca cut down Devin Smyth with punches in the second round of their welterweight co-main event. Mendonca (10-4, 4-3 LFA) brought it to a close 4:21 into Round 2, as he extended his run of consecutive victories to four.

Smyth (9-3, 0-1 LFA) struck for a takedown in the first round, settled in half guard and applied his ground-and-pound before the two men returned to their feet. He more than held his own in the initial standup exchanges with Mendonca, as he snapped back the Brazilian’s head with a right hand and connected with a spinning backfist. However, Smyth did not enjoy the middle stanza. Mendonca doubled over the Murcielago MMA rep with a spinning back kick below the navel and pressed him backward with jabs and leg kicks. He then countered a spinning backfist from Smyth with a scorching right hand, followed him to the mat and knocked him senseless with punches and hammerfists.

The godson of former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder Rashad Evans, Smyth has lost back-to-back bouts.

Elsewhere, Team Alpha Male prospect Allan Begosso remained undefeated and did so in spectacular fashion, as he wiped out Sean McPadden with punches in the first round of their bantamweight showcase. McPadden (4-1, 3-1 LFA) bowed out 48 seconds into Round 1.

Begosso (4-0-1, 1-0 LFA) needed no time to warm up, firing punches with ill intent from the start. McPadden waded into danger, ran into a devastating left hook and collapsed backward. Sensing the finish was near, Begosso pounced with punches and let his hands go until referee Vance Swerdan had seen enough.

The heavy-handed Begosso has rattled off four straight victories since he battled Mauricio Donoso to a draw in his March 12, 2016 debut.

In other action, Ignacio Bahamondes (10-3, 1-0 LFA) eked out a split decision—28-29, 29-28, 30-27—over Chris Brown in a three-round welterweight encounter; Mo Miller (4-0, 1-0 LFA) submitted Mando Gutierrez (4-1, 1-1 LFA) with a rear-naked choke 4:26 into the second round of their bantamweight tilt; Tabatha Ricci (3-0, 1-0 LFA) laid claim to a unanimous verdict over Kelsey Arneson (0-1, 0-1 LFA) in a three-round strawweight affair, earning 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 scores from the judges; Dan Argueta (5-0, 2-0 LFA) took a unanimous decision from Jackson Filho (4-2, 0-1 LFA) in a three-round featherweight scrap, drawing 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 marks on the scorecards; and Alden Coria (3-0, 1-0 LFA) submitted Calvin Harbaugh (2-2, 1-1 LFA) with a rear-naked choke 2:20 into the first round of their bantamweight pairing.
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