Kamaru Usman becomes fifth LFA alum to win UFC title;
Pedro Munhoz knocks out former UFC champion
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) and the two promotions that merged to create it, RFA and Legacy FC, have now produced five UFC champions.
LFA alumni started the month of March strong by seeing Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 become its fifth former fighter to win a UFC championship. This came after LFA alum won nine consecutive fights in the UFC to finish off the month of February. Lando Vannata, Ricky Simón, Montana De La Rosa, Jonathan Martinez, Cynthia Calvillo, Andrea Lee, Luke Sanders, Emily Whitmire, and Diego Ferreira were the former fighters that picked up the nine straight wins heading into UFC 235.
In fact, UFC 235 featured two former LFA alum vying for UFC gold. The main event saw former RFA headliner Anthony Smith challenge arguably the greatest fighter of all-time Jon Jones for the UFC light-heavyweight championship, while the co-main event saw RFA and Legacy alum Usman challenge Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title.
“It was exciting to see two more of our former fighters compete for UFC titles,” stated LFA CEO Ed Soares. “Our former fighters had won 9 straight fights in the UFC heading into UFC 235 and they continued to impress on Saturday. Kamaru Usman became our fifth former fighter to win a UFC title, while Pedro Munhoz knocked out former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt in the ‘Fight of the Night’ performance.”
Usman dominated Woodley from bell to bell. He out-landed the champion 336 to 60 in total strikes, which is a new record for a UFC title fight. He also set a new single-fight record for body strikes by landing 192. When it was all said and done, the judges awarded Usman a lopsided Unanimous Decision victory with score cards that read 50-44, 50-44, 50-45. The win also made Usman, who was born in Nigeria, Africa’s first UFC champion.
Former RFA bantamweight champion Pedro Munhoz became the second former RFA bantamweight champion to knock out a former UFC bantamweight champion in a span of 13 days. Luke Sanders knocked out former UFC champion Renan Barão at UFC on ESPN 1 on February 17th. Then on Saturday night, Munhoz kicked off the main card of UFC 235 on pay-per-view by knocking out former UFC champion Cody Gabrandt. The wins also secured Sanders and Munhoz $50,000 bonues from the UFC.
Usman is a veteran of RFA and Legacy, won The Ultimate Fighter 21 (TUF 21), and has now become the fifth former fighter of LFA (LFA, RFA, or Legacy) to win a UFC title. Holly Holm, Nicco Montaño, Henry Cejudo, and Valentina Shevchenko were the first four. Derrick Lewis, Brian Ortega, Holm at 145-pounds, Cejudo (in his first attempt), Shevchenko at 135-pounds, Tim Elliott, Ray Borg, and Smith on Saturday night also received UFC title shots, but came up short.
One other point of interest is that Usman and Munhoz actually made their respective RFA debuts at RFA 5 in back-to-back bouts on November 30th, 2012. Usman defeated David Glover via TKO, while Munhoz submitted Bill Kamery via Heel Hook. They continued their winnings ways once again Saturday night by picking up easily the biggest wins of their stellar careers.
In 2017, RFA and Legacy FC merged to form LFA, the premier developmental organization in Mixed Martial Arts. The combined forces of LFA launched the careers of over 150 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of MMA by competing in the UFC. In May 2018, the promotion joined the London Trust Media Holdings group of companies.
LFA is a professional Mixed Martial Arts promotion that gives rising stars and top contenders the opportunity to prove their talent to fans and leaders in the industry. LFA was formed by the powerhouse merger between RFA and Legacy FC. LFA presents live Mixed Martial Arts events on a monthly basis around the United States including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, and Houston. LFA can be seen live in over 53 million homes nationally through its television deal with AXS TV. Based in Las Vegas, NV, LFA is one of the most active and respected MMA organizations in the fastest growing sport in the world. (The Octagon, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, UFC®, and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC. All rights reserved).
About AXS TV FIGHTS:
AXS TV FIGHTS presents more LIVE mixed martial arts and kickboxing events than any other television network every Friday night at 9pE/6pP. Events taking place on the west coast will be televised at 10pE/7pP. UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich, and veteran broadcaster Ron Kruck call all the action and Phoenix Carnevale reports from cageside as champions, challengers, and top prospects take center stage. AXS TV Fights can be found online, on Facebook, and on Twitter. AXS TV is widely distributed in the U.S. via AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH, Sling TV, Suddenlink, Verizon FiOS, and other cable, satellite, telco and streaming providers. The network is also carried in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
About LONDON TRUST MEDIA:
London Trust Media is a diversified business focused on the Internet and media industries – bringing the Internet back to its original state and bringing power back to the people. London Trust Media runs the leading no-log VPN service provider in the world Private Internet Access (PIA) as well as Kore Asian Media, Linux Journal, freenode, Snoonet, JOG, BlockExplorer, and Provocateur. Please visit their website at www.londontrustmedia.com for more information.
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This post was written by Ryan Bevins