Andrew Cruz Dominates, Chokes Out Jon Neal at LFA 75

By Tyler Treese Sep 6, 2019

Legacy Fighting Alliance returned with an action-packed card from West Valley City, Utah. Despite the original main event falling out, LFA 75 had plenty of violent finishes and tested some potential prospects.

The card was headlined by a featherweight bout between Jon Neal, who was looking to bounce back from the first defeat of his career, and Andrew Cruz. Neal (10-2) was surprised by Cruz (6-2) early on as he was taken down by the highly aggressive “Hurricane.” Neal was able to get back to his feet, but Cruz landed several hard shots against the cage. It was a surprisingly dominant first round for the underdog. Round 2 began as a slugfest as Cruz tested the chin of Neal and eventually got a body lock takedown. “Hurricane” dished out a ton of damage after gaining back control and eventually locked in a rear-naked choke at 4:28 of the frame. As commentator Pat Miletich eloquently put it, “That was an ass kicking.”

The co-main event saw featherweight prospect Samson Phommabout take on Mauro Chaulet, who was making his return to mixed martial arts after five years away from the sport. Phommabout (5-2) was taken down immediately, and Chaulet (13-6) spent the majority of the round on top, although he had to fend off several submission attempts. The second was more of the same as Phommabout had little success dealing with Chaulet’s smothering top game. Round 3 saw Chaulet continuing to embrace the grind, but the Brazilian was reversed by Phommabout. The American eventually got back control and ended the fight raining down punches. Judges awarded Chaulet the close fight with split scorecards coming in at 29-28 (twice) and 28-29.

LFA featherweight contenders Westin Wilson and Bobby King looked to re-enter the win column with a dominant showing at the expense of their opponent. Despite being at a sizable reach disadvantage, King (6-2) managed to land the better shots in the opening stanza. The second was more of the same until King knocked Wilson (6-5) down and went for a Peruvian necktie that was entertaining, yet unsuccessful. King kept the pressure coming to open the third, but it worked to his opponent’s advantage as he was taken down after swinging wildly. Wilson was unable to do anything of note and found himself on the defending end of several submission attempts. After three rounds of action, the judges awarded King a decision victory with unanimous 30-27 cards across the board.

Undefeated welterweight prospect Miles Hunsinger returned to action after a two-year layoff in a 175-pound catchweight bout against Nathan Kearsley. Hunsinger (7-0) had an advantage on the feet and took Kearsley (5-5) down twice during the first round. “The Headhunter” showed no ring rust and eventually got back mount in the second round. He rained down elbows and eventually locked in a rear-naked choke to elicit a tap at 4:46 of the second.

Jered “Ty” Gwerder’s first three victories came in under less than five minutes combined, and Mike Jones looked to give him the first test of his young career. Both men looked to slug it out early on, and both men landed some solid shots. Gwerder (4-0) managed to hurt Jones (5-6) with a combination, and later knocked him down with a vicious liver kick. A few punches to the head later, and referee Ethan Andrews was forced to stop the fight at 2:22 of the second round.

Heavyweight action kicked off the main card as undefeated prospect Tony Darling took on journeyman Eric Iman. Darling (2-1) was the younger fighter by 18 years, and he showed his lack of experience as he opted to scrap with Iman (6-5). All it took was one huge left hook to end Darling’s night and tarnish his professional record at in just 88 seconds.

In preliminary action, Mitch Ramirez (2-0) made a statement with a quick head kick knockout over Michael Garcia (3-2) in Round 1; Welterweight Dominico Salas (1-0) had a successful pro debut as he dispatched Trever Bradshaw (1-4) in the second round with a flurry of punches; and the first bout of the night was a close atomweight scrap that saw Stephanie Hernandez (1-1) eke out a split decision win over Chrisoula Koukouvetakis (0-1) with scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29.
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