Eryk Anders is the first-ever Legacy Fighting Alliance middleweight champion after taking a hard-earned unanimous decision over Brendan Allen in the LFA 14 headliner on Friday night.
All three cageside judges scored the contest 49-46 in favor of the former University of Alabama linebacker, who improves to 7-0 in his burgeoning professional career. Allen falls to 7-2.
Anders came out winging power punches and floored Allen once in the opening stanza. The Rich Clementi protege absorbed plenty of heavy punishment in the frame but was able to survive. From there, Anders relied on brute strength, takedowns and ground-and-pound to carry him to victory. He dumped Allen to the canvas repeatedly, controlled positioning and generally landed the more damaging shots throughout.
Allen stayed in the fight and put together a few interesting moments down the stretch. He appeared to ensnare Anders in a tight standing guillotine in round three, and briefly mounted his foe in round four. Allen’s best work came in the final frame, as he attained mount again, landed offense from above and finished the period with an armbar attempt. The submission came too late, however, as Anders had already done more than enough to earn the nod from the cageside judges.
In the co-main event, a relentless Roberto Sanchez claimed the inaugural LFA flyweight crown with a third-round submission of Jerome Rivera. The end came 3:41 into the third stanza, when Sanchez cranked an armbar to elicit a tapout from his opponent. Sanchez (7-0) has won six consecutive fights via submission.
Rivera made Sanchez work for his championship hardware. The Santa Fe, N.M., native reversed into top position late in round one when Sanchez attempted to take his back and landed some forceful elbows before the period expired. In round two, Sanchez got his adversary to the ground but had to defend against Rivera’s active guard and was busted open by another series of elbows.
However, it was Sanchez’s constant pressure and ability to keep hunting for submissions that made the difference. The Texas native took Rivera’s back early in round three and secured a body triangle. He was unable to lock in a rear-naked choke, and Rivera fought hard to turn into top position. But when Rivera was finally able to get where he wanted, Sanchez deftly transitioned to an armbar. The Luttrell-Yee MMA product attempted to roll out of danger but was thwarted by the cage, forcing him to tap out as Sanchez extended the arm.
“He’s definitely tough,” Sanchez said. “He was catching me with those elbows in the first round. I’m not use to that reach.”
Elsewhere, Courtney King ruined the professional MMA debut of Colbey Northcutt, the older sister of UFC talent Sage Northcutt, in a featured featherweight clash. The end came 3:27 into the second round, as King (1-0) landed a series of unanswered punches from back mount.
The fight began well for Northcutt (0-1), who was coming off a lengthy hiatus since her last amateur bout. The Texas native controlled the distance with a variety of kicks to the head, body and legs until King caught a kick and landed a takedown with approximately one minute remaining in the frame. In the second stanza, King locked in a standing guillotine before wrestling Northcutt to the canvas. From there, King transitioned to her foe’s back, flattened her out and hunted for a rear-naked choke. King eventually gave up on the submission and proceeded to pound away to get the finish.
In other action: Danny Orr garnered a split verdict (29-28, 27-30, 30-27) over Noel Ligon at middleweight; Gregg Dulani Perry (4-0) edged David Acosta (5-2) via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) at bantamweight and Maycee Barber (1-0) had a successful pro debut, as she submitted Itzel Esquivel (2-1) via armbar at the 3:52 mark of round one in a strawweight tilt.