ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Legacy Fighting Championship awarded two titles at Legacy FC 36 on Friday at the Route 66 Casino, as Cody East won the heavyweight crown with a first-round technical knockout against Vernon Lewis in the headliner and Damacio Page took flyweight gold with a brutal knockout against Brian Hall in the co-main event.
East took control of his bout early, firing combination after combination as he controlled the cage and pushed the tempo. Lewis landed several body kicks, but East did a good job of blocking head shots and kept moving forward. East was the lighter and faster fighter, delivering several shots while avoiding most of the counters. A straight right pushed Lewis against the cage. A knee came next and was followed by a barrage of unanswered head and body shots that brought about the stoppage 3:26 into round one.
In the co-feature, Page remained undefeated at 125 pounds with a one-punch knockout against Hall. A Bellator MMA alum who had never before been finished, Hall dropped Page with an early left hook. “The Angel of Death” recovered quickly, grabbed Hall’s legs and worked for a takedown. Page attempted a few more takedowns before turning his attention elsewhere. Seeing Hall’s hands lowering to defend takedowns, Page threw a double jab fake with his left and then connected with an overhand right that knocked the 32-year-old unconscious 1:48 into the first round.
Meanwhile, former King of the Cage champion Donald Sanchez took a unanimous decision -- 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 -- from Charles Cheeks III, a college football player and wrestler from Houston. Sanchez dominated all three rounds with his standup. Cheeks scored one takedown near the end of the first round, but Sanchez immediately returned to his feet and stopped all other attempts the rest of the way.
The other flyweight battle on the card went the distance, as Jordan Espinosa earned a 29-28 unanimous decision over Rafael DeFreitas. Espinosa edged the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace in the standup in the first round and for much of the second. DeFreitas worked his takedowns throughout the fight, his efforts proving fruitful over the last minute of round two and the entirety of round three. However, Espinosa avoided his submissions and walked away with the decision.
Elsewhere, Clint Roberts scored a first-round technical knockout against Lenny Lovato. The game Lovato came out aggressively with leg kicks and hooks, as he tried to set up his takedowns. Roberts stuffed each attempt and utilized flying knees and head kicks to slow his opponent’s momentum. Toward the end of round one, a head kick floored Lovato. Roberts dropped down to finish him, with referee Bobby Wombacher calling for the stoppage 4:15 into the first round.
Finally, Norma Rueda Center took a unanimous decision over six-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion and 2013 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Michelle Nicolini. The 32-year-old Nicolini took the first round with a takedown and a few submission attempts. However, she fatigued over the final two rounds, and the pace slowed to a crawl. Center, who wrestled collegiately at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., claimed rounds two and three but did not let her hands go until the last minute of the fight.