Veteran bantamweight Antonio Banuelos will make his Legacy Fighting Championship debut as a flyweight when he steps in for the injured Rafael de Freitas against Joshua Sampo at Legacy FC 14.
Sherdog.com confirmed the booking with Legacy matchmaker Mick Maynard on Tuesday afternoon. Legacy FC 14 takes place Sept. 14 at Houston’s Arena Theater and is headlined by a welterweight title showdown between Jorge Patino and Jeff Rexroad. The evening’s main card airs live on AXS TV.
Banuelos has not competed since suffering a technical knockout defeat to Bibiano Fernandes on New Year’s Eve in the finals of Dream’s bantamweight tournament. Banuelos had previously taken split decisions from Japanese staples Hideo Tokoro and Masakazu Imanari to earn his shot at Dream’s inaugural 135-pound title. An 11-year pro, the Californian competed 14 times for World Extreme Cagefighting before losing in his only Octagon appearance to former WEC champion Miguel Torres at UFC 126 last year.
Like Banuelos, Sampo enters the Legacy cage for the first time as an injury replacement, relieving ex-Tachi Palace Fights talent Dustin Ortiz. “The Gremlin” has won four of his last five fights, kicking off 2012 with an April victory before falling by knockout to onetime UFC talent Will Campuzano on May 19. The Missourian last competed on July 27, submitting Carson Gainey with a kimura in just 83 seconds.