LFA Alum Emerge As The Biggest Stars Of UFC 222
By Press Release
HOUSTON, Texas – Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) and the two promotions that merged to create it, RFA and Legacy FC, saw several more alum show up in full force and shine on the biggest stage when the UFC hosted UFC 222 in Las Vegas this past weekend.
Seven former fighters competed, which included three former champions. The seven fighters included Brian Ortega, Sean O’Malley, Mackenzie Dern, Alexander Hernandez, Pedro Munhoz, Zak Ottow, and Jordan Johnson. That group made up 29.16% of the entire card. Six of the seven fighters were victorious with the lone loss coming via controversial split decision.
“I am always excited to watch the many fighters from LFA, RFA, and Legacy show what they can do in the UFC,” stated LFA CEO Ed Soares. “What we saw on Saturday night at UFC 222 is further proof that we are are producing the top prospects in MMA.”
In the co-main event, former RFA featherweight champion Brian Ortega, stole the show with a first round knockout of former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. The undefeated contender known as “T-City” is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous submission masters in the sport, but it was an uppercut that allowed him to become the first person to finish the future Hall of Famer. The win also earned Ortega a shot at the UFC featherweight title and a $50,000 UFC “Performance of the Night” bonus.
The “Sugar Show” was also in full effect on the main card as Sean O’Malley continued to wow fans with his creative and wildly entertaining striking arsenal against Andre Soukhamthath. The LFA standout unleashed a flurry that nearly finished his opponent at the end of Round 1. Soukhamthath was literally saved by the bell as he was stumbling around as the round ended. The second round saw O’Malley impress on the ground with his underrated submission attack. However, it was the third and final round, that etched O’Malley’s name in MMA lore. After badly injuring his right foot, to the point he couldn’t stand on it, O’Malley finished out the fight by grappling. The huge lead he had built on the score cards through the first two rounds gave him the Unanimous Decision win. It resulted in a $50,000 UFC “Fight of the Night” bonus and the first time Joe Rogan interviewed a winning fighter while he was lying on his back.
Mackenzie Dern made the most anticipated UFC debut of the year in the final fight of the preliminary card. The multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion got her start in MMA with LFA and Legacy FC. Dern has since seen every step of her progression in the sport followed closely by media and fans alike. The daughter of legendary jiu-jitsu and judo black belt Wellington “Megaton” Dias, Dern possesses the greatest grappling skills of any woman to compete in MMA. Dern used those skills in her UFC debut to close out the final round on her opponent Ashley Yoder’s back. She was unable to finish the Rear Naked Choke, but it was enough to earn her the Split Decision win.
Alexander Hernandez made his UFC debut on a week’s notice against #12 ranked Beneil Dariush. Like the old adage states, “with great risk comes great reward.” The Texan powerhouse, who made his mark under the LFA and RFA banners, wasted no time in dispatching his heavily favored and much more experienced opponent. “Alexander The Great” connected with a big left hand to knock out Dariush in just 42-seconds. The win earned him the other $50,000 UFC “Performance of the Night” bonus.
Zak Ottow also picked up a quick first round win. The RFA and Legacy FC alum earned a TKO win over UFC mainstay Mike Pyle midway through the opening round. The bout served as Pyle’s retirement bout and Ottow gave a touching show of respect to Pyle in his post-fight interview. This was Ottow’s third UFC win and the first after signing a new extension with the promotion.
Jordan Johnson got things moving in the right direction for the LFA alum at UFC 222. The former RFA light-heavyweight champion kept his undefeated record intact with a Split Decision win over former UFC heavyweight Adam Milstead. The win should set up a marquee matchup for the man who was victorious in the final bout under the RFA banner.
In September 2016, RFA and Legacy FC officials announced that they would be merging to form LFA. This new powerhouse promotion would serve as the premier developmental organization in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) starting in January 2017. RFA and Legacy FC have launched the careers of over 130 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of MMA by competing in the UFC.
LFA returns this Friday, March 9th with LFA 35 – Newell vs. Luque. The main event will feature the comeback fight of bona fide MMA star and inspirational congenital amputee “Notorious” Nick Newell when he faces the gritty south Texan and Bellator vet Sonny “El Loco” Luque. The event will take place at the Arena Theatre in Houston, Texas.
LFA 35 will be the fourth LFA event to take place in the City of Houston. It will also be the ninth time that the LFA has traveled to “The Lone Star State” of Texas. The entire main card of LFA 35 will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.