“The Ultimate Fighter 23” quarterfinalist Myron Dennis had to dig deep against Brazilian brawler Danilo Marques in the Legacy Fighting Alliance 9 main event on Friday at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It almost was not enough.
Marques took down the former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder multiple times in their light heavyweight encounter, and early on, it appeared as though “Light-Skinned Dynamite” was going to fall short. However, when Marques faded down the stretch, Dennis rallied. He kept Marques at bay in the third round, trapping the grappler on his feet when it mattered most. Dennis likely knew he needed to produce something significant across the final five minutes and did so by connecting with strikes from a distance and in the clinch.
Scores were 29-28 and 30-27 for Dennis, 29-28 for Marques.
In the heavyweight co-headliner, Demoreo Dennis was rocked in the first round but kept his cool and nearly submitted Don’Tale Mayes with a kneebar. Though Mayes grimaced in pain, he escaped the attempted leg lock and never looked back. “Kong” took down Dennis repeatedly and controlled him on the ground. All three judges scored it for Mayes: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Colombian prospect Sabina Mazo electrified the crowd with one of the most vicious knockouts of the year. Jamie Thorton was the aggressor at the start, as she attacked with thwacking low kicks and punches upstairs. Mazo turned the tide with one strike. With Thorton moving in, Mazo turned out the lights with a head kick. Thorton stiffened upon impact, fell backward and smacked her head on the canvas with 10 seconds remaining in Round 1.
Lightweight Kyle Driscoll fought tooth and nail with Jose Martinez, his relentless pressure and cage control providing the difference in a competitive three-round clash at 155 pounds. Driscoll executed a few takedowns and cut loose with ground-and-pound from the top. Martinez hung tough, but all three judges sided with Driscoll: 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27.
Finally, bantamweight prospect Travis Quintero used his wrestling prowess to bottle up Nathan Trepagnier for three-rounds and pick up a unanimous decision. Quintero took down his counterpart repeatedly, withstood a few Trepagnier sweeps and did enough to secure the verdict. Scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
In other action, featherweight Eddie Brown dominated Malcolm Hill to a unanimous decision, securing 30-27 tallies across the board; and J.R. Coughran rallied to earn a unanimous verdict over Daniel Carey in a three-round tilt at 145 pounds, drawing 29-28 marks on all three scorecards.