Ray Rodriguez has turned around his career.
The featherweight headlined Legacy Fighting Alliance 6 on Friday at Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio and recorded his seventh straight win with a split decision over Rivaldo Junior. Scores were 29-28 and 30-27 for Rodriguez, 30-27 for Junior.
Rodriguez pressed the action throughout against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Junior locked in a tight arm-triangle choke and an even deeper guillotine, but “The Judge” fought out of both attempts. The difference in the fight was Rodriguez’s superior cardio, as he routinely beat the Brazilian to the punch and controlled the pace.
In the co-feature, former University of Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders made quick work of Jon Kirk, as he continues to improve and rise in the middleweight rankings. Anders patiently waited for an opening and then quickly took down Kirk with a single-leg. From there, it was only a matter of time before it was over. “Frankenstein” unloaded with left hands, and when Kirk rolled over in a bid to escape, Anders simply poured on the punishment. The mugging ended at 1:35 of the first round.
Meanwhile, jiu-jitsu sensation Mackenzie Dern showed an improved standup game and dominated Katherine Roy for three rounds to win a unanimous decision. Roy intimated before the fight that she does not work on her ground game at all but nevertheless proved her worth off her back. Dern scored multiple takedowns and even achieved full mount, but she could not put away the former Golden Gloves champion. In the end, Dern carried the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 marks.
Heavyweight contender Richard Odoms looked superb, as he knocked out Brazilian judoka Willian Hoffmann in the second round. Odoms slowly wore down his counterpart toward the end of the opening stanza and then poured on the offense at the start of Round 2. A combination of punches and a leg kick took Hoffmann off his feet, and when he tried to stand, a nasty kick from “The Black Eagle” slammed into his body. Hoffmann stumbled over, allowing Odoms to tee off on him with punches until referee Frank Collazo had no choice but to intervene at the 1:25 mark.
Featherweight prospect Gleidson Moraes Cutis showed off a slick jiu-jitsu game with a first-round submission of Dimitre Ivy. After absorbing a series of knees to the body and elbows to the head, Cutis tripped Ivy and quickly moved to full mount. From there, Cutis locked in a textbook grapevine leg lock and forced “Poison” Ivy to tap. The official time of the submission came at the 2:38 mark of Round 1.
Local welterweight Anthony Ivy wasted no time in dispatching fellow Texan Arthur Ashton, submitting him in the first round. Ashton scrambled to his feet after getting taken down quickly, but “Aquaman” was all over him. Before long, Ivy was on Ashton’s back and cinched a rear-naked choke. Ashton barely put up a fight and tapped at the 2:04 mark.