Legacy 56 at the Bomb Factory Friday night is what people want to see when they pay $60 to $80 on pay per view cards. Legacy brought to Dallas an action packed fight card that delivered numerous finishes and strong matchups. Steven “Ocho” Peterson became the new Legacy Bantamweight Champion by defeating Manny Vasquez in the main event.
Vasquez was extremely confident coming into the fight. Going as far as to tell James Lynch of the Parting Shot podcast, “I’m not impressed with Peterson’s record and feel I’ve beat better fighters than he has.” Peterson came into the fight with an impressive five-fight winning streak. The transformation began when Peterson looked to Octagon MMA and Coach Sayif Saud after losses at LFC 16 and LFC 19 to two Octagon MMA fighters, Matt Hobar and George Pacurariu. Ocho looked like a different fighter almost immediately. He destroyed Nelson Salas at XKO 19 and followed that victory with four more dominant Legacy performances to secure the Bantamweight title shot.
What nobody but a handful of people knew was Peterson had suffered a cut over his right eye. The cut required numerous stitches a little over a week before the fight. The title shot was too great to pass up and Ocho continued to prepare for Legacy 56 making the victory that much more impressive.
The Bomb Factory was filled with Vasquez and Peterson fans. The energy and excitement in the building seemed to culminate when Vasquez and Peterson walked to the cage. Vasquez was focused and ready for his first title defense after shocking Ricardo Ramos at Legacy 51. The fight went as most saw it unfolding. Vasquez was extremely talented and ready for a five round battle. Peterson was aggressive and determined to earn the title. The fight went back and forth, both fighters suffering damage. Peterson’s right eye opened up and blood began to flow down the side of his face. Vasquez landed a powerful shot and knocked down Peterson but he immediately got to his feet. The fighters had vicious exchanges throughout the fight. Peterson began to score on the ground. Numerous times Ocho had Vasquez’s back and worked for the finish. Vasquez wasn’t going down without a fight. Vasquez also had his chances to finish the fight by getting Peterson’s back.
The fourth round was much of the same. Neither fighter giving an inch. With a little over two minutes left, Peterson got Vasquez’s back and worked for another choke attempt. Vasquez’s warrior spirit was on display for all to see. Despite the deep choke, Vasquez never tapped and referee Steve Armstrong was forced to stop the fight. Many around the cage and in attendance felt that Vasquez was choked numerous seconds after he was unconscious. A fantastic victory for Peterson who is now 14-4 and the new Legacy Bantamweight Champion.
There was bad blood between Ryan Hollis and Jason Sampson leading up to their co-main event battle. Sampson promised a first round knockout. The Legacy veteran Hollis was not pleased when he heard of the Octagon MMA fighter’s prediction. Hollis proved to be elusive and an extremely intelligent fighter. Never allowing Sampson to land power shots and shaking off powerful leg kicks. A low blow cost Hollis a point and left him down on the cards. Sampson stayed on the offensive, landing powerful leg strikes and rushing Hollis. Neither fighter was able to do significant damage while their opponent was on the mat. Hollis wasn’t able to overcome the point deduction and Sampson’s constant pressure. Jason Sampson took the unanimous decision victory and improved his record to 14-1.
In a matchup between a talented UFC veteran and young highly touted prospect, a three round war ensued. Edwin Figueroa came into the fight needing a win to halt his three-fight losing streak. Levi Mowles was undefeated and determined to defeat a proven professional in Figueroa. Mowles did most of his damage on the ground, while Figueroa got the better end of exchanges on the feet. Mowles wobbled a bit after a combination but recovered by taking down the McKinney, Texas native. Figueroa had no answers for the jiu-jitsu talent on the ground. Standing, Figueroa landed powerful head strikes and a powerful leg kick that sent the Legacy fans into a frenzy. Mowles’ ground game and constant submission attempts gained him the split decision victory. The sky is the limit for the undefeated fighter out of Venus, Texas.
JC Cottrell was victorious over Cody Walker. Cottrell was on a five-fight winning streak. Walker wanting to improve his 6-3 record. Walker’s powerful leg kicks proved to be trouble for Cottrell. After numerous leg kicks, Cottrell grimaced and started favoring his left kick. Walker wasn’t able to defend powerful left hooks by Cottrell. Walker didn’t appear to be fazed by the left hands but Cottrell was scoring on the judge’s score cards. With a record of 17-3, JC Cottrell is shooting up the rankings for a Legacy title shot or possibly a UFC opportunity.
Bilal Williams continued to impress after starting 0-2 with Legacy FC. Williams landed a powerful left hand that sent Sean Holden staggering to the mat. Holden tried to stand but was clearly out on his fight. The Octagon MMA fighter didn’t have any quit in him. His right eye badly cut, Holden kept moving forward and Williams continued his movement and powerful strikes. A short left hook sent Holden wobbling back to the cage and the referee had seen enough. Bilal Williams is now 7-2 and completely turned around his MMA career.
Legacy newcomer Miles Johns made a statement by dispatching Eliazar Rodriguez in his Legacy debut. Rodriguez, an extremely tough and aggressive fighter, had no answers for the power and speed of Johns. The Octagon MMA standout didn’t look bothered by the bright lights and national stage Legacy FC has to offer. Thirty-eight seconds into the second round, Johns landed a powerful combination finishing with a left hook that sent Rodriguez crashing to the mat. Johns finished the fight and took his first Legacy victory in spectacular fashion. All Legacy and MMA fans around the world need to take notice. Johns has just begun his professional career and already showing great promise.
Steven Peterson def Manny Vazquez via Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – R4. Becomes the new Legacy Fights 135 Champion
Jason Sampson def Ryan Hollis via Unanimous Decision
Levi Mowles def Edwin Figueroa via Split Decision
J.C. Cottrell def Cody Walker via Unanimous Decision
Bilal Williams def Sean Holden via TKO – R1
Miles Johns def Eliazar Rodriguez via TKO – R2
Jon Camero def Alberto Ayala via TKO – R1
Audrey Drew def Christina Valentine via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – R3
Erick Montejano def Rogelio Contreras via TKO – R1
Anthony Torres def Victor Altamirano via Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – R3
Zikica Krsmanovic def Khristian Monrreal via TKO – R3
Osiris Ayala def Rashaad Robinson via Split Decision