Alexandre Pantoja added some hardware to his growing collection.
Pantoja (16-2) choked Damacio Page unconscious with a second-round triangle, as he claimed the inaugural AXS TV flyweight superfight championship in the AXS TV “RFA vs. Legacy” headliner on Friday at the Horseshoe Tunica Resort and Casino in Robinsonville, Miss. Referee David Ferguson called for the stoppage at the conclusion of round two, as Pantoja released the triangle on an unconscious “Angel of Death” when the horn sounded.
The event featured fighters from the Resurrection Fighting Alliance and Legacy Fighting Championship organizations.
Page (19-10) controlled much of the champion-versus-champion showdown, as he twice had the RFA titleholder reeling with power punches in the first round before piling up points with ground-and-pound. The Legacy flyweight champ assumed top position again in round two, dropping punches and hammerfists. However, Page grew too comfortable in the Brazilian’s venomous guard and soon found himself hopelessly trapped in a triangle in the closing seconds. The defeat snapped his streak of three straight wins.
In the co-main event, MMA Lab’s Luke Sanders kept his perfect professional record intact and retained the Resurrection Fighting Alliance bantamweight championship with a one-sided unanimous decision against Terrion Ware. Sanders (10-0) carried all three scorecards with ease: 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.
Ware (13-4) was never much of a factor, as Sanders proved superior in all phases of the fight. The undefeated 29-year-old had Ware reeling in the first round with kicks and knees to the body, setting the tone for what was to come. Sanders brutalized the Tachi Palace Fights alum in the clinch, where he unleashed punches, elbows and forearm strikes in violent volleys. Ware’s situation deteriorated in round three, as he developed a grotesque hematoma on his left eye, leaving him with compromised vision. Sanders showed no mercy.
Desperation treated Ware well for much of the fifth round, as he got busy with his punches and forced the champion to take his foot off the gas. Still, the finish he needed never came to fruition.
Meanwhile, “Fight Master: Bellator MMA” finalist Mike Bronzoulis became a two-division Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder, as he snagged the promotion’s vacant lightweight crown with a unanimous verdict over Dave Burrow. Bronzoulis (18-8-1) swept the scorecards with 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 marks from the judges.
Burrow (13-6) -- who entered the cage on the strength of five consecutive armbar submissions -- had his moments but failed to capitalize fully on his opportunities. He set Bronzoulis on shaky legs with a sneaky left hook to the temple in the fourth round, executed several takedowns and advanced to the back of “The Greek Assassin” on multiple occasions. However, Burrow’s inability to maintain dominant position proved costly.
Bronzoulis often answered his counterpart’s takedowns and back takes by sweeping into top position, settling in guard and dropping ground-and-pound. The scene repeated itself over and over again throughout the five-round fight. On the feet, Bronzoulis mixed his punches with kicks and knees, while also enjoying success from the double collar tie. The 36-year-old, who had previously held Legacy’s welterweight belt, has rattled off three wins in a row.
Elsewhere, Adam Townsend recorded his seventh straight victory, as he captured a unanimous decision from Blackzilians representative Yuri Villefort in a three-round lightweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it for Townsend (13-3): 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27.
Villefort (6-5) was effective with punches at range but allowed the Tennessean to close the distance far too often. Townsend, who played college football at Carson-Newman University, pressured the Brazilian with close-quarters punches and knees, clinches, foot stomps and takedown attempts, sapping him of valuable steam. He nearly finished it in the final minute of round three, where he cracked Villefort with a right hook -- the Strikeforce veteran was briefly out on his feet, arms at his side -- and pursued him with follow-up punches and standing elbows. Though the stoppage did not materialize, Townsend had effectively placed his stamp on another win.
Once viewed as a can’t-miss prospect, Villefort has lost five fights in a row.
In other action, Brian Hall (8-3) submitted Kevin Gray (5-2) with a guillotine choke 1:59 into round one of their flyweight scrap; American Top Team-Elevation Fight Team rep Bojan Velickovic (11-3) claimed a unanimous decision over Charles Byrd (6-4) in their three-round clash at 170 pounds; Tyler Hill (4-0) knocked out Justin Hartley (2-1) 3:18 into the first round of their welterweight encounter; Bobby Taylor (4-6) put away T.J. Brown (3-2) with punches 1:56 into round one of their 150-pound catchweight affair; Bryce Mitchell (2-0) submitted Jesse Sanderson (0-2) with a rear-naked choke 2:09 into the first round of their contest at 145 pounds; and Nick Davis (1-0) tapped Lawrence Purifoy (0-2) with a rear-naked choke 3:45 into round two of their featherweight tilt.