Unbeaten Leonardo Leite Bottles Up Ryan Spann to Retain Legacy Middleweight Title

By Brian Knapp Nov 13, 2015

Leonardo Leite had a plan, and he did not deviate from it.

Repeated takedowns and a stifling top game carried Leite to a unanimous decision over Ryan Spann, as he retained the Legacy Fighting Championship middleweight crown at Legacy 48 on Friday at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Lake Charles, La. Scores were 50-45 across the board for the unbeaten Leite (7-0), a two-time Olympian in judo and four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion.

Spann (8-2) could not stay on his feet; and outside of a first-round knockdown, the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu export mounted little in the way of meaningful offense. Leite advanced to top position in all five rounds and twice achieved full mount. While the 37-year-old Brazilian did not exact much damage, he effectively neutralized Spann, shortened their standup exchanges and controlled the action on the canvas.

Meanwhile, Blackzilians representative Sean Soriano knocked out Josh Quayhagen with an overhand right in the first round of their lightweight showcase. An unconscious Quayhagen (8-4) collapsed to the canvas 3:21 into round one. No follow-up blows were necessary.

Soriano (9-3) struck in combination, often punctuating his attacks with stinging kicks to the legs and body. Quayhagen never seemed comfortable. Soriano pressured him towards the ropes, waited on a flicking jab from the Bellator MMA veteran and connected behind the ear with a counter right hand for the finish.

The victory halted a three-fight losing streak for Soriano, who had been released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship following consecutive defeats to Tatsuya Kawajiri, Chas Skelly and Charles Rosa.

Elsewhere, Andres van Engelen knocked out Manny Mancha with a second-round punch to win a four-man tournament and claim the inaugural Legacy light heavyweight kickboxing championship. Van Engelen -- who punched his ticket to the final with a split decision over Myron Dennis in the semis -- brought it to a close 2:15 into round two.

Mancha, who disposed of Brian Collette in the semifinals, enjoyed some success with clubbing, high-velocity punches and occasional kicks in the first round but could not maintain his pace. Van Engelen dropped him with a head kick-right hand combination in round two, stalked him after he stood and sat him down next to the ropes with a lightning bolt of a right hook for the finish.

In other action, Gage Duhon (5-2) took care of Kolton Englund (3-1) with punches 1:52 into the first round of their catchweight clash at 160 pounds; and Trent Meaux (3-1) eked out a controversial split decision -- 28-29, 29-28, 29-28 -- over Joel Scott (4-5) in their three-round bantamweight battle.


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