It seemed as if Ricky Simon had snuck a machete into the cage with him.
Repeated takedowns, suffocating top control and damaging ground-and-pound carried the Gracie Barra Portland prospect to a unanimous decision over Chico Camus, as he laid claim to the vacant Legacy Fighting Alliance bantamweight championship in the LFA 29 headliner on Friday at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota. Simon (11-1) swept the scorecards with 48-46, 50-45 and 49-45 nods from the judges.
By the time it was done, pools of Camus’ blood covered the canvas and made for treacherous footing for both combatants, referee Travis Metteer, cornermen, cageside physicians and anyone else who entered the cage. It was a truly gruesome scene.
Simon set the tone with a strong first round and never looked back. He secured multiple takedowns across the first five minutes and opened a cut near Camus’ right eye with a series of slashing elbows. Blood leaked from the wound, and despite the cutman’s best efforts, the flow never stopped. Outside of the third round, where he staggered Simon with a straight right and scrambled into top position, Camus (17-8) was largely ineffective.
In the lightweight co-main event, Bellator MMA veteran Mike Richman appeared to outbox fellow Marine Jeff Peterson but nevertheless wound up on the wrong side of a controversial and widely panned unanimous decision after three rounds at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Peterson (9-6).
Richman (18-8) spent the better part of two rounds picking apart the Alliance MMA export with body-head combinations, leg kicks, sneaky jabs and stinging straight lefts. His body attack was exemplary in the second round, where he ripped tenderizing rights and lefts into Peterson’s midsection. Perhaps believing he was down on the scorecards, Peterson hit the gas across the final five minutes. He executed a pair of takedowns and spent more than a minute in top position, controlling Richman with ground-and-pound.
Peterson has rattled off five consecutive victories.
Meanwhile, Roufusport’s Nate Jennerman submitted Sam Toomer with an arm-triangle choke in the second round of their featherweight showcase. Toomer (11-2) conceded defeat 2:41 into Round 2, his modest two-fight winning streak having reached its conclusion.
Jennerman (10-3) spent much of the first round threatening the Urban Sprawl Fitness rep with a series of guillotine chokes. Toomer survived but only prolonged the inevitable. Jennerman struck for a takedown early in the middle stanza, dodged an attempted triangle and passed to side control. From there, he softened Toomer with knees to the body, slid into position for the arm-triangle and forced the tapout.
The 24-year-old Jennerman has won five of his past six bouts.
In other action, Brandon Jenkins took a unanimous decision from Carl Wittstock in a three-round lightweight pairing, sweeping the scorecards with 30-27 marks across the board; Cameron Olson submitted Jaquis Williams with a rear-naked choke 2:52 into the second round of their encounter at 205 pounds; Alton Cunningham put away Dominic Garcia with punches 4:58 into the first round of their middleweight tilt; and Askhan Morvari disposed of Damion Shehan with punches 1:55 into the second round of their lightweight affair.