Rakim Cleveland Has His Eyes On The Belt

This Friday, February 21, Legacy 28 will take place at the UT Arlington College Park Center in Arlington, TX. The card will feature Rey Trujillo, who stepped in on short notice to take on former Bellator fighter Cosmo Alexandre, in a lightweight match up. There is also UFC vet Damacio Page, and Matt Lozano, who will meet in a bantamweight clash.

Headlining the event will be Bubba Bush defending his middleweight title against Des Moines’ Rakim Cleveland. Bush is coming off of a dominating 2nd round TKO victory over Larry Crowe at Legacy 21. While Cleveland is riding a 7 fight win streak; none of those wins have gone the distance.

Before cracking skulls in the cage, Cleveland was cracking skulls on the football field while playing in Iowa at Grand View University. It wasn’t until 2011 that he made his professional MMA debut, at heavyweight. He stayed in the division for a while, taking on tough fighters, notably, former Legacy Champ and current UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis. After that fight he decided to move down to the light-heavyweight and middleweight divisions, which he says “was a smart move.”

After 3 years as a professional fighter, which has had its ups and downs, Cleveland says he would “much rather fight than work a normal job.” Asked if being the main event on a nationally televised card made him nervous, “I’m not nervous about the title fight, but I’m very ready for it. When you’re fighting, the cameras go away. I just zone in on my opponent and go to war”.

His opponent, Bubba Bush, is known for using his wrestling skills to take fighters to the ground, where he is very strong and most comfortable. But Cleveland is fine going to the mat with Bush, feeling he can hold his own against the champ. He has three submissions under his belt and has no problem making Bubba Bush his fourth. Cleveland said, “I don’t really care how it ends as long as my hand is raised; but a submission over him would be very nice.” Cleveland hopes to put on an exciting show for the fans in Dallas, and hopes Bush doesn’t “try to hug” him all night.

With the way these two have performed lately,  this will be an entertaining fight. Also, with the current rate of Legacy fighters getting the call from the UFC, there may be a little more on the line than the Legacy strap.

Will Legacy crown a new middleweight champion Friday night? Tune in to AXS TV at 9pm cst to fin out. If you’re in the Dallas area, you can purchase tickets online HERE. Also, Mike “The Truth” Jackson will be in attendance providing Live coverage. You can get updates on his Facebook page and/or follow him on Twitter, @TheTruthJackson.

Follow me on Twitter @PincheMark979

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