Matthew Frincu said it was only a matter of time. His words proved prophetic.
The Arizona Combat Sports-trained Aussie took care of Maicon Mendonca with first-round punches in the Legacy Fighting Alliance 11 headliner on Friday at the Comerica Theater in Phoenix. Frincu (11-2) drew it to a close 1:36 into Round 1, as he recorded his fourth win in as many appearances.
Mendonca (6-2) tried to dissuade the World Series of Fighting vet with kicks to the body and legs. He was unsuccessful. Frincu showed little regard for the Brazilian’s skills, backed him to the cage and uncorked a short left hook that sent him to the canvas. He followed up with punches on the conscious but defenseless Mendonca, prompting the stoppage from referee Ryan Brueggeman.
In the welterweight co-main event, MMA Lab export James Nakashima remained undefeated with a lopsided unanimous decision over Bellator MMA veteran LaRue Burley. All three cageside judges sided with Nakashima (7-0). No scores were announced.
Outside of a warning for a first-round eye poke and a point deduction for a second-round groin strike, Nakashima was flawless. He tore into the inside of Burley’s leg with a series of damaging kicks, executed takedowns, applied suffocating top control and piled up points with ground-and-pound. Nakashima pursued the finish in the third round, where he delivered another takedown, dropped elbows from side control and achieved full mount. Only fortitude allowed Burley (7-3) to see the final bell.
Meanwhile, Arizona Combat Sports standout Kyle Stewart kept his perfect professional record intact, as he submitted Ty Freeman with a shoulder lock in the first round of their featured catchweight confrontation at 175 pounds. Freeman (9-6) conceded defeat 2:25 into Round 1.
Stewart (6-0) fought off a few bulrushes from his counterpart, drove him to the mat with a series of defensive elbows from the clinch and jumped to full mount. After threating with an arm-triangle choke, he moved to a side headlock position, isolated an arm and coaxed the tapout.
Elsewhere, MMA Lab prospect Sean O’Malley knocked out former two-division Rage in the Cage champion David Nuzzo with a wheel kick in the first round of their bantamweight showcase. Nuzzo (9-2) hit the deck 2:15 into Round 1.
O’Malley (6-0) kept the Arizona Combat Sports rep off-balance with a variety of kicks and stance switches. He floored Nuzzo with a head kick, dropped him again with a short overhand left and then backed him toward the fence, unleashing a wheel kick upstairs that brought it to a spectacular close.
The 22-year-old O’Malley has finished five of his first six opponents.
In other action, Casey Kenney fought to a split draw -- 29-28, 28-29, 28-28 -- with Bruno Gustavo Aparecido da Silva in a three-round battle at 125 pounds; Luiz Antonio Lobo Gavinho disposed of Michael Hamel with punches 32 seconds into the first round of their featherweight match; Keoni Diggs submitted Tyler Sidders with a rear-naked choke 3:57 into the second round of their catchweight clash at 160 pounds; Taylor Johnson knocked out Dan Huber eight seconds into the first round of their middleweight encounter; and Richard Palencia submitted Fard Muhammad with a rear-naked choke 2:59 into the second round of their flyweight pairing.