Damon Jackson found himself in a dogfight but came out on the other side with his hand raised.
Takedowns, crisp counters and steady diet of kicks to the legs, body and head carried Jackson to a unanimous decision over a game Levi Mowles in the Legacy Fighting Championship 61 headliner on Friday at The Bomb Factory in Dallas. All three cageside judges sided with Jackson (10-1-1): 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.
Mowles (4-1) raised his stock in defeat. The 21-year-old Venus, Texas, native bludgeoned Jackson with two- and three-punch combinations, leaving him with significant damage to his nose and one of his eyes. In his first appearance since being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Jackson found refuge in his takedowns, even though he failed to consolidate them with damage. Mowles seemed to have momentum on his side midway through round three but slipped while throwing an ill-advised kick. Jackson jumped into his guard and eventually climbed to full mount. He spent the waning moments threatening with a guillotine choke.
The original headliner, a bantamweight title bout between champion Steven Peterson and Mark Delarosa, was cancelled when the challenger failed to show.
In the women’s strawweight co-main event, 2015 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Mackenzie Dern tapped Montana Stewart with a first-round rear-naked choke. Stewart (5-3) bowed out 3:25 into round one, her five-fight winning streak snapped.
After flirting with the standup, Dern (2-0) struck for a takedown, moved immediately to mount and went to work on an armbar. Stewart escaped to top position but only wandered into deeper trouble. Dern transitioned from a triangle to an omoplata, torqueing the shoulder and pinning the arm to the body. That left Stewart’s neck exposed to the choke. Dern snaked her arms in place while still executing the omoplata and brought it to a close. Somewhere, Masakazu Imanari smiled.
Meanwhile, Abdul Razak Alhassan disposed of journeyman Jos Eichelberger with punches in the first round of their catchweight clash at 175 pounds. Eichelberger (16-11) succumbed to blows 57 seconds into round one, as he lost for the second time in seven days.
Alhassan (6-0) answered his counterpart’s aggression with some of his own. The 31-year-old judoka trapped Eichelberger along the fence, uncorked a right hand behind the ear that resulted in a knockdown and mopped up what was left with follow-up punches.
Alhassan has finished all six of his opponents in less than 90 seconds.
In other action, Octagon MMA prospect Robert Butler (1-0) wiped out Pancrase veteran Takayuki Iijima (9-7) with punches 25 seconds into the first round of their encounter at 145 pounds; Rashad Coulter (6-1) knocked out Jeremy Hardy (4-2) with a right cross 1:11 into the first round of their heavyweight affair; and Melvin Jordan (5-2) rendered Bilal Williams (7-3) unconscious with a rear-naked choke 4:59 into the second round of their pairing at 170 pounds.