After a rough stint in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Dhiego Lima got back on the winning track in his backyard.
The American Top Team Atlanta product captured a unanimous decision over Antonio Trocoli in the Legacy Fighting Championship 53 headliner on Friday at Center Stage in Atlanta. All three cageside judges scored the bout 30-26 for Lima, who competed for the first time since a first-round knockout loss to Jingliang Li at a UFC Fight Night event in May. “The Ultimate Fighter 19” finalist went 1-3 overall during his brief tenure with the Las Vegas-based promotion.
It was not an easy road to victory for Lima (11-4). The 6-foot-5 Trocoli (9-2) was extremely confident on the feet, as he walked down his opponent in exchanges while swinging with ill intent. Ultimately, those moments were not nearly frequent enough for the 25-year-old Brazilian.
While Trocoli did a decent job defending takedowns, Lima was able to get him to the canvas in both the second and third rounds, and he closed the fight by landing ground-and-pound from his adversary’s back. Trocoli was also deducted a point for landing four illegal elbows to the back of Lima’s head in the second frame, although that penalty did not turn out to play a crucial role in the final outcome.
In the co-main event, Dave Vitkay earned a unanimous decision over Cody Wilson in a rugged welterweight affair. Judges’ scorecards were not announced. Vitkay (17-12-1) has won seven straight fights, while Wilson (9-2) saw a nine-bout winning streak snapped.
After a largely uneventful first round in which both combatants spent much of the period grappling for position against the fence, action picked up in the second. Vitkay took down his man near the cage early in the round, but Wilson was eventually able to return to his feet. The South Carolina native was then able to briefly take Vitkay’s back, but “The A-Town Ogre” turned out of danger and spent the rest of the stanza in top position.
Vitkay likely clinched victory in round three, as he powered forward for a takedown and maintained control from there. The Atlanta native punctuated his victory with a final flurry of ground-and-pound before the final horn sounded.
Meanwhile, C.J. Hamilton held off Jacob Hebeisen in a closely contested flyweight affair, winning a split decision to avenge a 2013 loss to his opponent. Two cageside judges scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Hamilton, while a third saw it 29-28 for Hebeisen.
While both fighters had their moments in exchanges, Hamilton likely clinched victory with takedowns in the first and third rounds. Hebeisen did his best work in round two, as he trapped Hamilton in a tight guillotine and staggered his exhausted foe with a right hand later in the frame.
Elsewhere, Adam Dehart grinded down Amir Dadovic for two and a half rounds before submitting him in a featured middleweight clash. The end came 2:29 into round three, as Dehart (6-5) forced his opponent to ask out the fight with a hip crank from side control.
Dehart closed the distance on Dadovic (2-3) with regularity. He roughed up the American Top Team Gwinnett product with ground-and-pound and knees near the fence in round one and survived an early guillotine attempt from Dadovic in the second stanza before finishing the bout in the third. Dehart also defeated Dadovic via split decision at Wild Bill’s Fight Night 51 in December 2012.
In otherer action, Devorious Tubbs defeated Zachary Klouse via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) at light heavyweight; Chazz Walton tapped Wesley Golden via triangle choke just 43 seconds into their lightweight matchup; and Jonathan Cobb submitted Nathan Williams with a guillotine choke 1:27 into round two at 155 pounds.