Justin Gonzales stands alone atop the Legacy Fighting Alliance mountain at 145 pounds.
The undefeated Top Notch MMA prospect assaulted, battered and systematically dismantled Jake Childers, as he laid claim to the vacant featherweight championship in the LFA 84 headliner on Friday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Gonzales (11-0, 1-0 LFA) drew the curtain with a front kick to the body and follow-up punches 45 seconds into the fourth round.
Childers (8-1, 3-1 LFA) made his move in the second stanza, where he swept “J-Train” with a sneaky kimura, advanced to his back and secured his position with a body triangle. He then turned his attention to the neck, first with a rear-naked choke and later with an arm-triangle. Neither maneuver proved successful, and Childers paid a steep price for his efforts. Exhaustion soon set in, turning the Central Illinois Combat Club standout into a stationary target. Gonzales zeroed in with punches to the head and body, close-quarters knee strikes and a variety of other weaponry. He upped his aggression at the start of Round 4, brutalized Childers’ body and pinned him to the fence with punches to force the standing TKO.
In the welterweight co-main event, Black House MMA export Maycon Mendonca submitted Kassius Kayne with a second-round triangle choke. Kayne (11-7, 1-3 LFA) conceded defeat 2:16 into Round 2, as the former Victory Fighting Championship titleholder suffered his third loss in four outings.
Mendonca (9-4, 3-3 LFA) withstood the Nebraskan’s initial surge, countered an attempted head-and-arm throw with a high-impact takedown and ultimately moved to side control before uncorking some ground-and-pound. Kayne’s situation only deteriorated from there. Mendonca doubled over his counterpart with a spinning back kick to the body in the second round, unleashed a flying knee and conceded a takedown. Undeterred by being planted on his back, the Brazilian framed the triangle choke, closed off avenues of escape and prompted the tapout.
The 27-year-old Mendonca has rattled off three consecutive victories.
Meanwhile, King of the Cage alum Shawn West was disqualified after he knocked out Boston Salmon with an illegal knee strike in the second round of their catchweight feature at 150 pounds. In his first appearance since being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Salmon (7-3, 1-0 LFA) was declared the winner 53 seconds into Round 2.
Neither man appeared willing to give much ground throughout a competitive first five minutes, though West (16-11, 1-2 LFA) snapped off a series of damaging kicks to the Xtreme Couture rep’s lower leg. The two men connected with dueling right hooks early in the middle stanza, as Salmon wobbled on shaky legs and collapsed. The Hawaiian was on the way up—one knee was still down—when West drove the fight-ending knee into his exposed face and briefly transported him to another dimension.
In other action, Bruno Assis de Souza Filho (7-1, 2-0 LFA) eked out a split decision—28-29, 29-28, 29-28—over Kamuela Kirk (9-4, 2-1 LFA) in a three-round featherweight affair.