Matt Hobar was a smooth operator en route to bantamweight gold at Legacy FC 21. | Robert Lopez/Sherdog.com
New champions and head-kick stoppages were the one-two punch for Legacy FC 21, as Matt Hobar and William “Bubba” Bush both took home promotional gold, while Leonard Garcia and Holly Holm authored highlight-reel knockouts Friday at the Arena Theater in Houston.
Dallas' Hobar needed just 3:05 to put away Millennium Martial Arts' Angel Huerta and claim Legacy FC's vacant bantamweight crown. “The Crowbar” got an early takedown, whipping Huerta to the canvas with little more than an underhook. After hanging out in side control, Hobar seized the back when the Houston native tried to roll, sunk his hooks and almost instantly found the rear-naked choke for the tap.
With his fourth submission win, the 26-year-old Octagon MMA product is now 8-1 in his MMA campaign.
The tough-wrestling Bush, now 6-2 as a pro, had little trouble in dealing with the clearly overwhelmed tae kwon do expert Larry Crowe, taking the Legacy middleweight crown left vacant by former champ and current UFC 185-pounder Andrew Craig. After spending nearly the entire first round in top control and nearly getting a tap with a Jason Von Flue-style shoulder choke, Bush took full mount in round two and it was effectively over.
The Brazos Valley MMA fighter rained down blow after blow against a flagging Crowe until referee Kerry Hatley had no choice but to intervene at 2:41 of the second round.
Relief was sweet for featherweight UFC veteran and haymaker enthusiast Leonard Garcia, who broke a five-fight losing streak by stopping Rey Trujillo 24 ticks into the third round in front of a home-state crowd.
Garcia, 34, began cautiously as Trujillo attacked frantically with leaping strikes and takedowns but found his groove via grappling in round two, dropping the Houstonian and claiming back control. Garcia, whose winless streak easily could have been up to 11 if not for his infamously good fortunes with judges, made sure that scorecards were not even necessary. He swarmed a tired Trujillo at the opening bell of round three, forcing him to duck into a right head kick that put him on that mat. Trujillo desperately tried to roll away, but Garcia followed him in full whack-a-mole mode until a diving forearm knocked his foe out.
Garcia improves to 16-11-1, while Trujillo's mark now stand at 14-11. It was the first stoppage victory for the noted brawler since he finished Jens Pulver at WEC 36 in November 2008, a span of four and a half years.
Head kicks were an obvious theme for Team Jackson-Winkeljohn fighters, as 135-pound prospect and boxing convert Holly Holm took out Allanna Jones by going upside her head.
Holm was patient in the first round, pumping her right jab against the defensive-minded Jones. In the second, “The Preacher's Daughter” opened up with front kicks and head kicks before eventually striking pay dirt with a left roundhouse upstairs that put Jones down and out at 2:22 of the second round.
The 31-year-old Holm, who posted a 33-2-3 in her stellar boxing career, had just nine KOs as a sweet scientist. In her short MMA tenure, she has halted all four of her opponents.
Former NCAA national wrestling champion Darrion Caldwell, now training out of Power MMA in Arizona, cruised to a 30-27 shutout of Gerzan Chaw at 145 pounds. Despite slowing in the third round, Caldwell displayed some neat tricks along the way. The 2009 149-pound college champ for North Carolina State showed an impressive array of takedowns and even pulled off two Anthony Pettis-esque leaping punches off the cage.
Houston welterweight Jonathan Harris got back in the win column, knocking out fellow local product Matt Rogers 47 seconds into the second frame. “The Hulk” hurt his foe with knees and punches before a torrent of right hands on the ground stopped the bout.
In undercard action, Scott Juarez ended his featherweight bout with Eric Valdez by third-round guillotine choke, while welterweight Chris Lopez and bantamweight Ricky Turcios earned razor-thin split decisions over Kenny Burke and Colin Wright, respectively. In the lightweight opener, Eric Garcia won a unanimous decision in his pro debut over Jacob Capelli.