Inadvertent Eye Poke Brings Premature End to Legacy 55 Heavyweight Headliner

By Tristen Critchfield May 13, 2016


Justin Ledet and Brice Ritani-Coe will have to settle their differences another day.

An accidental eye poke by Ledet on Friday brought the Legacy Fighting Championship 55 headliner to a premature and disappointing end at the Arena Theater in Houston. Ledet threw a left jab and scraped his opponent’s right eye with his thumb in the process, rendering Ritani-Coe (4-3) unable to continue. With Ritani-Coe’s eye bleeding and nearly completely shut, a cageside doctor waved off the contest at the 1:37 mark of the opening stanza. The bout was ruled a no-contest.

“I just can’t see right now,” Ritani-Coe said. “I’ll fight him again when this is right.”

Legacy Fighting Championship newcomer Ledet (6-0) looked promising during the abbreviated affair, taking advantage of his range to beat Ritani-Coe to the punch from the outside in the early going. However, neither fighter gained a clear advantage before the accidental foul occurred.

In the co-main event, Isaac Villanueva outworked Brandon Farran to take a unanimous decision in a middleweight contest. Two judges scored the bout 29-28, while a third had it 30-27, all in favor of Villanueva, who won his fourth straight fight.

Farran (12-12) was dangerous in short spurts, including one sequence in the first round where he appeared to hurt Villanueva with punches in an exchange. Those moments were few and far between, however, as Villanueva controlled much of the contest with rugged clinch work. He sealed his victory in the final frame, where he stifled a Farran takedown attempt, wound up in top position and spent much of the period pounding away with punches and elbows from above.

Elsewhere, Bilal Williams survived an early burst from Artenas Young to garner a second-round submission in a middleweight tussle. The end came 3:25 into the second frame, as an exhausted Young tapped to a rear-naked choke. Williams (6-2) has won three straight in the Texas-based promotion.

Young (10-11) nearly had a finish in the opening stanza, as he clipped Williams with a counter right hook with his back against the fence and then followed his foe to the canvas, where he proceeded to unload with a flurry of ground-and-pound. Young was spent when he could not put Williams away, leaving him virtually nothing in the tank for the second round.

Alex Black overwhelmed Edgar Juarez on the canvas in their 150-pound catchweight clash, transitioning from one dominant position to another before submitting his adversary with an armbar. The end came 4:41 into the opening stanza, giving Black his ninth victory in his last 10 outings. The taller Black (10-4) struggled to corner Juarez (3-4) on the feet in the early going, and he absorbed some hard inside leg kicks for his efforts. Eventually, he found an opening to take his foe to the mat. After an unsuccessful choke attempt from side control, Black moved to full mount and then secured the fight-ending maneuver.

In other action, Roberto Sanchez earned his fourth consecutive submission victory under the Legacy banner, as he tapped fellow unbeaten David Waters with a rear-naked choke 3:19 into the first round of their flyweight encounter. Sanchez improves to 5-0, while Waters falls to 3-1 in defeat.

The two combatants briefly exchanged on the feet, with Sanchez utilizing his jab and Waters answering with flashy kicks. However, Sanchez did not wait long to shift gears and take his opponent to the ground. From there, the Houston native took Waters’ back and locked in a body triangle, simultaneously hooking his left foot under his foe’s leg. Moments later, Waters asked out of the contest.

Jason Langellier displayed a keen sense of timing in a knockout victory over Jeremiah Jones. The lanky “Slim Reaper” wrestled his counterpart to the canvas early and briefly moved to top position. When Jones attempted to return to his feet, Langellier blasted him with a knee to the face just as Jones’ left knee lifted off the canvas. Jones (2-5) was immediately done upon absorbing the legal blow, and referee Joe Soliz waved off the welterweight contest at the 1:19 mark of the period.

In the opening bout, David Acosta (3-1) took the back of Humberto DeLeon (7-7), secured both hooks and gradually worked his arm under his opponent’s neck, forcing a tapout 3:28 into the opening stanza of their bantamweight encounter.

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