James Nakashima proved once again that high-caliber wrestlers are often the most difficult opponents.
“Nako” used his Division I wrestling prowess to dismantle and dominate fellow unbeaten challenger Kyle Stewart in the LFA 46 main event on Friday, retaining his Legacy Fighting Alliance welterweight title in the process. Nakashima took down the Arizona Combat Sports fighter with relative ease in all five of the allotted rounds and nullified virtually all of the Marine’s offense. “Gunz Up” never managed to get anything going in the fight, other than a few scattered bursts of punches while on the feet and a wild, desperate explosion of elbows and upkicks from his back in the fifth round.
The capacity crowd inside Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Newport News, Virginia, could not gather enough energy to get Stewart into the fight, as Nakashima rolled to a lopsided unanimous decision. Two of the cageside judges saw it 50-45 for the MMA Lab product, while the third official had it 48-47.
Brazil’s Alexandre Bezerra predicted that he would take out Sam Toomer in the second round of their co-main event via rear-naked choke. Though his prediction was not precise, “Popo” did stop Toomer in the middle stanza, though it resulted from a ruthless ground-and-pound assault. Toomer was rocked by a loopy overhand to the ear, and once Bezerra secured the ensuing takedown, he moved to his counterpart’s back. From there, the Alliance MMA fighter pummeled Toomer with punches from behind until referee Angel Ortiz intervened, ending the featherweight contest at 3:00 of Round 2.
Light heavyweight Cristhian Torres entered his bout against Dashawn Boatwright on just four days’ notice and was sensational in his LFA debut. The Paraguayan brawler rocked Boatwright with a knee to the face and then ended things with a crippling right uppercut to the jaw. As “Buck the 400-Pound Silverback” crumbled, a follow-up right hook to the side of the head knocked Boatwright out cold. The crushing conclusion came at 2:58 of the first round.
Ahmet Kayretli stopped Shaun Spath in the second stanza by unloading a maelstrom of punches from top position, but the coup de grâce was a thing of wicked beauty. Kayretli stood over “Bloodbath” and stomped onto his gut, effectively ending the fight. Bookwalter pulled the Turk off Spath once he turtled in agony 4:00 into the second round.
In one of the wildest fights of the year, Mumia Abu Dey-Ali dropped Mitch Aguiar with a short left as soon as their confrontation began. From there, the welterweight prospect chased after Aguiar, who flailed in desperation to survive. Dey-Ali became overzealous, walked into a massive right to the jaw and dropped, only to stand and knock out Aguiar with a left hook on the button. “The Red Scorpion” took care of business 31 manic seconds.
Victoria Leonardo kicked off the AXS-TV broadcast with a unanimous decision win over fellow flyweight Salina Rowland. The victory moved Leonardo to 2-0.