Jamall Emmers may have punched his ticket to a Legacy Fighting Alliance featherweight title fight after winning in stellar fashion in the Rafael Barbosa, but it was his grappling prowess that sealed the deal. “Prettyboy” had peppered Barbosa (12-3) with lead rights to the face early in the third, but once he took “Coxinha” down, it was over. Emmers transitioned from a rear-naked choke attempt to a textbook arm-triangle choke, which finished his foe off.
Barbosa tried his best to fight through the choke, but veteran referee Mike Beltran noticed that he had gone out and stepped in, eliciting a raucous approval from the capacity crowd inside The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California. The end came officially at 2:39 of the third, giving Emmers his fourth straight win.
Jacob Rosales looked terrific in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed co-main event as the lightweight contender systematically broke down Salaiman Ahmadyar over three rounds. Rosales (12-6) was aggressive early, scoring takedowns and slamming leg kicks into his foe, but when “Lil Badger” opted away from the leg kicks, the pace slowed. Ahmadyar (7-2) was limping badly late in the first, but he was allowed to hang around for two more rounds. Still, Rosales was never in any real danger and coasted to a hard-fought unanimous decision win via scores of 29-28 across the board.
Welterweight contender Christian Aguilera is typically in brawls that end with him clubbing his opponents into oblivion. However, he ran into an ultra-tough and durable Brazilian in Glaucio Eliziario and had to endure for all three rounds. “The Beast” scored takedowns in the first two rounds and dished out plenty of punishment from on top. Eliziario (9-5) turned the tables in the third and threatened with a rear-naked choke late, but time ran out and Aguilera (13-6) survived the late scare. When it was all said done, two judges favored Aguilera via tallies of 29-28 and the third saw it for him 29-27.
Flyweight prospect Sam Hughes was too much for Lisa Mauldin (3-2) to handle as the Washington native bested her over three rounds. Hughes (3-0) picked the Californian apart on the feet with punches, but she also landed an assortment of kicks throughout the duel. In the end, all three cageside judges favored Hughes with scores of 30-27.
Featherweight Vince Cachero (7-2) got himself off a two-fight losing streak by dispatching late replacement opponent Marvin Garcia in the second. “The Anomaly” was taken down immediately in the contest, but he powered out of that early threat and turned the tables for good. Cachero wore “The Riverside Warrior” down with strikes to the head and body and then finished him off with knees to the head, followed by dozens of punches on the ground. Garcia (12-4), who took the fight on a day’s notice, tried to survive but he was overwhelmed; referee Mike Beltran eventually intervened. The end came officially at 1:22 of the second.
Young Japanese fighter Yuma Horiuchi came in seemed to do enough against Leandro Gomes, but after three rounds of nip and tuck action, the Brazilian was the one with his hand raised. Gomes (5-1) scored a few takedowns in the bantamweight battle, but Horiuchi (7-3) kept popping back up to his feet and was much more effective on the feet. While one judge favored Horiuchi 30-27, that score was offset by the other two officials, who saw it for “Pequeno Hulk” 29-28.
In the opening televised bout of the evening, Crystal Vanessa Demopoulos scored a few takedowns, threatened with submissions and, in the third, pounded on Lovethpatra Young (1-1-1) with punches and elbows on the ground. “The Nigerian Terminator” landed solid punches on Demopoulos’ head early in the strawweight contest, but it wasn’t enough as “Lil Monster” wore her down and broke her down. In the end, all three judges had it 29-27 for Demopoulos, who rose to 4-1.