The sickening sound of shin meeting skull told the audience all it needed to know.
CSW’s Curtis Millender knocked out Matthew Frincu with a head kick in the first round of their Legacy Fighting Alliance 24 headliner on Friday at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Frincu (11-3) bit the dust 38 seconds into Round 1, his four-fight winning streak at an end.
Millender (13-3) waited for his pitch and did not miss it. The 29-year-old Californian fired a right high kick over Frincu’s defenses, the concussive blow sending the Australian prospect crashing to the canvas in a dazed and defenseless state. No follow-up shots were necessary, as referee Ryan Brueggeman arrived on the scene to assess the damage.
Knocking on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s door, Millender has rattled off five straight wins.
In the bantamweight co-main event, Black House export Vinicius Zani extended his winning streak to four fights with a clear-cut unanimous decision over Joey Miolla across three rounds at 135 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Zani (11-4): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Miolla (9-3) executed takedowns in all three rounds but failed to consolidate them with damage or positional control. Zani zeroed in on the legs, body and arms with persistent kicks, mixing in short standing elbows to the head, right hooks to the midsection and close-quarters knees when opportunities arose. Miolla had issues with his wrecked lead leg for much of the third round, where he lacked the wherewithal to turn the tide in his favor.
Meanwhile, MMA Lab prospect Mackenzie Dern kept her professional record intact, as she submitted Mandy Polk with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their women’s flyweight showcase. Polk (3-4) bowed out 2:55 into Round 1, suffering her second consecutive defeat.
Dern (4-0) was relentless and did the majority of her work on the feet. The 2015 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World championships gold medalist abandoned takedowns in favor of a heavy dose of overhand rights, stiff jabs and leg kicks. Dern floored Polk with one of those overhands, swarmed with punches and moved to the back of her kneeling counterpart. Soon after, the choke was in place and the fight was done.
In other action, Bellator MMA veteran LaRue Burley was awarded a unanimous decision over Maicon Mendonca in a three-round encounter at 155 pounds, sweeping the scorecards with 29-28 marks across the board; Cory Sandhagen put away Luiz Antonio Lobo Gavinho with punches 3:00 into the first round of their featherweight affair; Glen Baker knocked out Kevin Natividad with punches nine seconds into the first round of their clash at 135 pounds; Keoni Diggs submitted Nick Chasteen with a kneebar 1:53 into the third round of their lightweight tilt; and Manny Villareal took a split decision from Anthony Martinez in a three-round pairing at 155 pounds.