Entering the Legacy Fighting Championship 62 main event on Friday at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Cortez Coleman vowed to push middleweight titleholder Rafael Lovato Jr. into the second round and exhaust him before taking him out. “The Crazy Cowboy” got only part of his prediction correct.
Lovato Jr. had his hands full with the powerful challenger and had to withstand several clean punches to the head; and while the decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt had considerable trouble taking down Coleman, he never strayed from his game plan. Lovato Jr. inadvertently poked his opponent in the right eye in the second round, resulting in a lengthy delay. Coleman was visibly shaken and informed referee Kevin Nix he could not see, but he nevertheless soldiered on and continued to fight. However, with his vision hampered, he lost control of the bout and wound up being dragged to the canvas in the third.
The champion was relentless, switching from full mount to back control while applying his ground-and-pound. Bleeding profusely from his nose, Coleman rolled over in an attempt to escape, and Lovato Jr. locked in a textbook armbar for the tapout. The end came at 4:04 of the third round.
In the co-feature, featherweight prospect Justin Rader made quick work of Mike Maldonado. After scoring with a single-leg takedown, “Darth” pounced on Maldonado’s back, set both hooks and unloaded with punches until Nix had no choice but to step in at 2:21 of the first round.
Meanwhile, Manuel Muro was superior in virtually every aspect of his lightweight showcase with Derrick Adkins, as he outstruck him for three rounds. While it was a tactical affair and each round was competitive, Muro remained a step ahead of his adversary and earned a unanimous decision. Scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
In other action, Xtreme Couture’s Dan Ige submitted Diego Pichilingue with a kimura 52 seconds into the first round of their featherweight clash; Braden Smith tapped Teagan Franco with a toe hold 2:53 into the first round of their welterweight confrontation; Emmanuel Rivera took a unanimous decision from Chris Mullins in a three-round featherweight battle, drawing 30-27 marks from all three judges; and unbeaten prospect Aaron McKenzie stopped Brandon Wright with punches 3:03 into the first round of their lightweight contest.