Bubba Bush was far too much for Rakim Cleveland and ended it quickly at Legacy FC 28. | Andy Hemingway/Sherdog.com
Bubba Bush made it look easy Friday in his first defense of the Legacy Fighting Championship middleweight title.
Bush and Rakim Cleveland squared off in the main event of LFC 28 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, and while the bout was marred by an unfortunate low blow, the outcome never seemed to be in question.
Bush was all over Cleveland from the opening bell, tripping the challenger to the ground in the first 20 seconds of the bout and immediately hunting for submissions. Cleveland escaped off a failed armbar attempt and landed a pair of heavy hammerfists which would prove to be his best offense of the fight, as the Des Moines, Iowa, resident spent the rest of the round on his back following another Bush takedown.
Cleveland had to recover from a gruesome kick to the groin early in round two -- the result of Bush kicking inside with his right leg while Cleveland went to the body with the left -- only to be floored by Bush again. This time, “The Fighting Texas Aggie” gave Cleveland no chance to escape, moving from side control to full mount to back mount, where Bush cinched up a fight-ending rear-naked choke after 93 seconds.
After the bout, Bush made mention of the groin strike when asked how he felt about the win.
“Not as good as I’d have liked,” Bush admitted. “I apologize to Rakim. I know those nut shots change everything. It certainly wasn’t intentional, but I know it changes the fight, so I feel bad for him. I don’t know if he feels beaten or not.”
In the co-main event, undefeated featherweight Damon Jackson moved to 8-0 with an impressive second-round submission of Greg Jackson pupil Hunter Tucker. Jackson twice came close to finishing with rear-naked chokes in round one, but both times Tucker fought off the local favorite’s hands. True to his nickname, “The Leech” stayed attached to Tucker in the next round and eventually slipped his left arm underneath Tucker’s chin to force a tap at the 3:24 mark.
Muay Thai convert Cosmo Alexandre laid waste to Rey Trujillo in their lightweight tilt. The Blackzilians representative felled Trujillo with a knee to the jaw from the Thai plum and then polished off the wounded Texan with a trio of hammerfists. Referee Steve Armstrong called a halt to the contest at 3:38 of the opening round.
Matt Lozano used an effective, counter-based game plan to neutralize Damacio Page in the first round of their bantamweight bout, but Page’s punching power turned things around in the following frame.
The brick-fisted WEC veteran dropped Lozano to his seat with a clean right hand before swarming with nearly 20 unanswered punches and forcing referee Aladin Martinez to intervene. The finish came at 3:31 of round two, giving Page his second stoppage win in three fights.
What began as a standup duel between 135-pounders Eli Tamez and Nelson Salas gradually transitioned to a grappling match over the course of 15 minutes. Both men landed heavy leather in a busy opening round, though the best shot came in the form of a late Tamez left hand. “Tomahawk” maintained the momentum with a takedown, which kept him atop Salas for much of round two, and then reversed a Salas takedown to remain on top with grinding ground-and-pound in round three. In the end, all three judges scored the bout 30-27 for Tamez, who improved to 7-0 as a professional.
Evan Thompson and Allen Nelson opened the main card in a lukewarm middleweight bout of three three-minute rounds. Thompson, a kickboxing titlist and brother of UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson, used an 11-inch reach advantage to outpoint Nelson on the feet and earn scorecards of 30-27 across the board.