Jeff Hughes knows how to win ugly.
The Strong Style Fight Team standout retained the Legacy Fighting Alliance heavyweight championship with a unanimous decision over Maurice Greene in the LFA 38 headliner on Friday at The Armory in Minneapolis. Scores were 50-45, 50-45 and 48-47 for Hughes (9-1), who finds himself on a run of three straight wins.
Greene (4-2) had his moments in a fight that was much closer than the scorecards indicated. He was particularly effective with his elbows, in the clinch and off his back. However, he could not match Hughes’ output over the long haul. The champion executed takedowns in the first, second and fifth rounds, as he slowly bled Greene’s gas tank dry. Hughes was also the aggressor on the feet, stringing together multi-punch volleys with both hands -- his right uppercuts were his best weapons -- while incorporating occasional knees and even a few spinning backfists. Greene tired down the stretch and did not have the juice he needed to pull off a miracle comeback.
The loss closed the book on Greene’s three-fight winning streak.
In the middleweight co-main event, Jackson-Wink MMA prospect Bevon Lewis kept his perfect professional record intact with a unanimous decision over Collin Huckbody. Lewis (5-0), who raised eyebrows with a successful appearance on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in August, swept the scorecards with identical 30-27 marks.
Huckbody (2-1) lacked the skills necessary to succeed against his 26-year-old counterpart. Lewis cut loose with both hands, connected with standing elbows and mixed in knees to the body at close range. After wearing down Huckbody with speed, athleticism and technique on the feet, he turned to his wrestling. Lewis struck for multiple takedowns against the Minnesotan over the final 10 minutes, achieving full mount midway through the third round before floating to the back and applying his ground-and-pound.
Meanwhile, well-traveled King of the Cage and Resurrection Fighting Alliance veteran Tat Romero stepped out of retirement and claimed a unanimous decision over Dane Sayers in a three-round welterweight feature. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Romero (29-6), who has rattled off five straight wins dating back to 2015.
Romero tore into “The Ultimate Fighter 12” alum with a series of head kicks in the first round, one of which opened a cut under his left eye. The 38-year-old later integrated takedowns, as he kept Sayers (12-4) off-balance and built a two-rounds-to-none lead on the scorecards. Fatigue evened the playing field in Round 3, where Sayers zeroed in on the body with left hooks and stiff knees. However, his rally against the increasingly stationary Romero fell short. He needed a finish where none was to be found.
In other action, Charlie Brown submitted Chris Bachmeier with a rear-naked choke 2:18 into the third round of their catchweight tilt at 175 pounds; Ashkan Morvari disposed of Cody Lincoln with punches 2:53 into the second round of their welterweight scrap; Mallory Martin submitted Linsey Williams with a rear-naked choke 3:18 into the second round of their women’s strawweight confrontation; Josh Parisian took care of Zach Thumb with punches 2:39 into the first round of their heavyweight encounter; and Kenneth Glenn eked out a split decision over Josh Shaw in a three-round catchweight clash at 165 pounds.