Damon Jackson Dethrones Leonard Garcia, Claims Legacy FC Featherweight Crown

By Brian Knapp Jul 18, 2014
Damon Jackson left tire marks on Leonard Garcia.

Jackson submitted the “Bad Boy” with a first-round arm-triangle choke and took by force the Legacy Fighting Championship featherweight crown in the Legacy FC 33 headliner on Friday at the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas. Garcia (18-12-1, 3-1 LFC) asked out of the match 92 seconds into round one, his reign atop the 145-pound division over.

The undefeated Jackson (9-0, 3-0 LFC) landed a takedown inside the first 20 seconds, advanced to full mount soon after and forced the Ultimate Fighting Championship castaway to surrender his back. He then slid into position for the fight-ending arm-triangle, softened Garcia with knees to the body and finished the choke in half guard.

Jackson joins Chan Sung Jung and Mike Thomas Brown as the only men who have submitted Garcia. He has finished all nine of his professional opponents, four of them inside one round.

In the welterweight co-main event, promising Blackzilians prospect Kamarudeen Usman stopped World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Marcus Hicks with second-round ground-and-pound. Hicks (10-4, 0-1 LFC) -- who had not fought in more than two years -- wilted 5:00 into round two.

Usman (5-1, 3-0 LFC) barely gave “The Wrecking Ball” room to breathe. The decorated amateur wrestler smothered Hicks in the clinch and executed takedowns with little resistance. On the floor, the elbows and punches flew, as Usman punished his counterpart from top position. Hicks finally ran out of steam near the end of the second round, as a late volley of hammerfists brought the bout to a merciful close.

Meanwhile, King of the Cage alum Victor Reyna put away the previously unbeaten Evan Thompson with first-round punches in a middleweight showcase. Thompson (4-1, 4-1 LFC) succumbed to the blows 81 seconds into round one.

Reyna (5-1, 2-0 LFC) closed the distance with surprising ease, short circuiting the karateka’s eight-inch reach advantage. Trapped along the fence, Thompson had no means of escape. A series of clubbing right hands to the head drove him to the mat, and Reyna closed him out with follow-up punches.

Elsewhere, Bellator MMA veteran Steven Peterson leaned on a steady diet of clinches, takedowns and positional control in capturing a one-sided unanimous verdict from Johnny Ray Rodriguez in a featured catchweight confrontation at 140 pounds. Peterson (11-4, 5-2 LFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27 marks.

Rodriguez (4-3, 2-2 LFC) seemed helpless at times. Peterson neutralized him in close quarters, dragging the Jackson-Wink MMA export to the canvas repeatedly. Once there, he transitioned between half guard and side control, throwing in the occasional punch or elbow while bleeding the clock with his top game.

Peterson was not the only Octagon MMA representative to go the distance, as takedowns and dominant topside grappling carried stablemate Eli Tamez to a unanimous decision over Kory Vialet in a bantamweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Tamez (8-0, 4-0 LFC).

Violet (4-2, 0-1 LFC) enjoyed some success standing, particularly with his jab, but he could not stay upright. Tamez struck for takedowns in all three rounds, overwhelming the boxer on the ground. He did his best work in round one, where he briefly advanced to mount before settling on Vialet’s back. Tamez fished diligently for the choke, and while the finish never materialized, the tone had been set.

Elsewhere, Team Takedown’s Andrew Parker kept his perfect professional record intact, as he submitted Melvin Jordan with a rear-naked choke in their featured welterweight encounter. Jordan (2-2, 2-2 LFC) conceded defeat 2:31 into round one.

Parker (5-0, 1-0 LFC) grounded his adversary at will, mixing in a belly-to-back suplex at one point. The 27-year-old Texan eventually transitioned to Jordan’s back, set his hooks and secured the choke, the tapout following a brief struggle.

In preliminary action, Brad Mitchell (4-1, 2-0 LFC) eked out a split decision against Darius Yancy (3-4, 0-1 LFC) in their lightweight duel; George Pacurariu (7-3, 2-2 LFC) took out Kashiff Solarin (3-8, 0-1 LFC) via rear-naked choke 3:36 into round two of their scrap at 135 pounds; and Keeton Gorton (1-0, 1-0 LFC) submitted Robert Ricks (0-1, 0-1 LFC) with a rear-naked choke 48 seconds into the second round of their flyweight clash.

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