Legacy Fighting Alliance made its first trip to Louisiana on Friday night, and Trevin Giles earned the right to vie for the newly minted organization’s vacant middleweight title.
Giles, who entered the bout with a perfect 8-0 record, took a narrow split decision over Ryan Spann in the main event of LFA 3 at Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Lake Charles.
After a back-and-forth opening stanza, Spann nearly scored a submission in round two, when a mounted guillotine choke appeared to have Giles in deep trouble. Spann tried to replicate his ground success in the final round, but Giles kept his footing and scored points by landing strikes while held against the cage. In the end, two judges scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Giles, while the third dissented with a card of 29-28 Spann.
After the bout, when asked about a potential LFA title fight with Rafael Lovato Jr., Giles appeared set on moving to the next phase of his career.
“We’ll see what happens. Right now, I’m really focused on being able to get a UFC shot,” Giles said. “Hopefully, I can get a fight in the UFC this summer.”
The evening’s co-main event saw once-beaten middleweight prospect Brendan Allen tear through Houston’s Jon Kirk in a brief but bloody affair.
Allen, a student of Louisiana MMA pioneer Rich Clementi, sliced open Kirk with a knee to the forehead before threatening with a guillotine choke. When Kirk went belly-down midway through the round, Allen mashed away with punches from back-mount until referee Myron Gaudet intervened at 2:46. The stoppage marked Allen’s fifth consecutive victory, with all five ending inside the distance.
Featherweight taekwondo stylist Thanh Le made quick work of Alex Black, halting the visiting Texan with a barrage of strikes in round one. A body kick followed by a left hand sent Black to the floor, where Le poured punches on his fetal foe until referee Jordan Bass stepped in at the 1:43 mark.
Speed proved to be the difference in the bantamweight bout between Louisiana local Trent Meaux and Brazilian prospect Caio Machado. Despite giving up several inches in the reach department, 5-foot-5 Meaux ran circles around the taller Machado, using sharp footwork to stick and move for the better part of 15 minutes. Machado came closest to a finish with a second-round rear-naked choke, but it was Meaux who took the “W” with scores of 30-27 on all three cards.
Baton Rouge’s Josh Davila used a grappling-heavy game plan to outpoint former Legacy Fighting Championship lightweight titlist Ray Blodget in a 160-pound catchweight contest. All three judges scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Davila, who rebounded after suffering a stoppage loss just three weeks ago.
Bantamweights Carlos Vera and Joel Scott fought to a close but unanimous decision in a back-and-forth three-rounder. Despite near-finishes by Texas’ Scott -- including a first-round kimura attempt and a pair of knockdowns in the second -- all three judges favored the prolonged periods of top control from New Orleans’ Vera, who earned scores of 30-27 (twice) and 29-28.
The main card opened with Baton Rouge-based middleweights Brian Wells and Tony Jenkins, both making their professional debuts. The bout came to an anticlimactic end in the final moments of the second frame, when Jenkins sprawled on a takedown attempt and then landed an illegal knee to the head of his kneeling opponent. Wells was awarded the win via disqualification at 4:42 of round two.