Legend Fighting Championship returned to the City of Dreams Grand Hyatt Ballroom in Cotai, Macau tonight for Legend Fighting Championship 9. The event was headlined by a lightweight title eliminator bout between top Legend FC contenders Koji “The Commander” Ando and Rob Hill.
In the co-main event, Jingliang “The Leech” Li faced off against “Diamond” Dan Pauling in welterweight action. The card also featured both semi-final matchups in the Legend bantamweight tournament. MMARising.com has play-by-play for all fights on the Legend Fighting Championship 9 card.
Koji “The Commander” Ando vs Rob Hill
Referee for this bout is Thomas Fan. Hill landed a quick one-two and a jab early on. The fighters traded punches and Hill just missed with a looping hook. Ando began to put together combinations and he landed one to the face after Hill fired off a flurry to the body. Hill landed left hooks and jabbed. Ando replied with left hands of his own and the round ended with an exchange of hard punches. 10-9 Hill.
Ando scored with a nice combination to open round two. The fighters exchanged left hooks to the body and Hill ducked into a knee from Ando. Quick jabs and one-twos connected for Ando and he used an impressive leg sweep to take Hill down. Ando swarmed with left hands on the ground and the fighters were repositioned in the centre of the ring. Hill scrambled back to his feet and covered up as Ando backed him into the corner with a combination. Ando pushed a fatigued Hill off of the ropes and used another leg sweep to take him down. 10-9 Ando.
Ando backed Hill up with a knee to the body in the final round. Hill remained content to circle on the outside and Ando used a third leg sweep takedown to trip him to the mat. Hill stood and Ando landed body kicks. Hill found the mark with an overhand left, but Ando remained a step ahead with his strikes. Hill flurried to the head and body and Ando clinched. He took Hill down and punched from the top. Hill got to his feet and missed with a spinning hook kick. Ando landed one final combination before the end of the fight. 10-9 Ando.
Winner: Koji Ando by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 7-3-2.
Jingliang “The Leech” Li vs “Diamond” Dan Pauling
Referee for this bout is Warren Wang. Li took Pauling down right away, but found himself trapped in an armbar and then a tight triangle choke. Li somehow managed to escape and wound up on top. He stood to escape another armbar and landed leg kicks. A three-punch flurry scored for Li and Pauling clinched.
Once again, Li took Pauling down and had to slam his way free to escape a triangle choke. Li stood up and kicked at Pauling’s legs. Pauling stood up and Li landed a body kick on the way. Li kicked at Pauling’s lead leg and landed a solid combination. Li mixed in strikes to the body and Pauling remained on the defensive. The round ended in a clinch. 10-9 Li.
Li landed a series of leg kicks in the opening minute of round two. He fired off a wild flurry over the top that missed, but rocked Pauling with a second combination. Li drilled Pauling with a knee and kept the pressure on with punches. Pauling clinched and attempted a hip toss. Li defended and stood over Pauling while kicking at his legs.
Li refused to allow Pauling to stand up and continued to kick away until the referee called for a break. Back on the feet, Li landed an overhand right and Pauling responded with a one-two. Li tripped Pauling and resumed kicking at his legs. Pauling swept Li’s legs out from under him and took top position. Li gave up his back before time expired. 10-9 Li.
Li landed more leg kicks in the final round and grabbed the ropes as Pauling worked for a takedown. The fight remained on the feet and Li countered an axe kick with a big right hand. Pauling missed with a wild spinning backfist and the crowd jeered. Li fired off a combination to the head and body.
Pauling circled on the outside and Li snapped his head back with jabs. More leg kicks scored for Li and he ducked under Pauling’s punches. Pauling tried for a takedown and had no success. Li jabbed to the body and landed a right hook over the top. Pauling was unable to land anything before the bell. 10-9 Li.
Winner: Jingliang Li by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 13-3-0.
Damien “Beatdown” Brown vs Haotian Wu
Referee for this bout is Roger Chau. Wu took Brown’s back early in the fight and suplexed him to the ground. Brown managed to reverse into top position and fought off a triangle choke attempt with punches. Wu worked for another triangle and Brown slammed him down.
Wu kicked Brown off, but Brown dove back into Wu’s guard with a right hand. Brown attempted a guillotine choke, but lost the position. Wu wound up on top in side control. He landed short elbows and a knee. Brown scrambled up and clinched. He took Wu down in the final 15 seconds. Close round. 10-9 Wu.
Brown took Wu down in the second round and briefly looked for a Kimura from the top in half-guard. He let it go and Wu landed a big upkick. Brown fell into a scissor choke and ate another powerful upkick seconds later. Brown appeared to be stunned, but he managed to keep Wu down. Wu worked for an armbar and a triangle choke.
Wu continued to try to set up more submissions as Brown threw punches from the top. Brown took Wu’s back in a scramble, then locked on a guillotine as the fighters stood. Wu tripped Brown and nearly finished the fight with a rear-naked choke, but Brown escaped. Another close round. 10-9 Wu.
Wu took Brown’s back very early in the final round, but Brown spun free and took top position in Wu’s guard. Brown passed to half-guard and threw short punches as Wu tried to tie him up from the bottom. Brown nearly took Wu’s back and attempted a hammerlock as Wu stood up. Wu escaped and secured back control himself. Wu tried to flatten Brown out to set up a rear-naked choke and lost the position.
The fighters scrambled and Wu struck from side control. Brown battled back to his knees and drove forward for a takedown. The fighters stood and Wu landed a knee to the body. He dragged Brown to the mat, but Brown stood again. Brown slammed Wu on his head, but Wu got up and tripped Brown to the canvas at the bell. 10-9 Brown. Extremely close fight.
All three judges favoured Brown’s takedowns over Wu’s submission attempts, giving Brown a big win.
Winner: Damien Brown by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 8-4-0.
Bantamweight Tournament Semi-Final
“The Master” Honggang Yao vs Agustin “Demolisher” Delarmino Jr.
Referee for this bout is Warren Wang. Both fighters landed big punches early in the fight and Yao briefly took Delarmino down. Delarmino stood and was slammed down again. Yao took his back and locked on a rear-naked choke. Delarmino tried to spin into the choke to escape, but could not get out. He stopped moving for a brief moment and the referee stopped the fight. Delarmino protested the stoppage and did not tap out.
Winner: Honggang Yao by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:38 of round one. He improves to 7-3-0 and advances to the finals of the Legend FC Bantamweight Tournament.
Hideto Tatsumi vs Pat “The Luchador” Crawley
Referee for this bout is Thomas Fan. Cautious punches were exchanged early on and Crawley landed a left hook two minutes into the round. Tatsumi took him down and landed short punches from the top. He passed to half-guard and continued to punch with his left hand, then postured up with some bigger shots in the final ten seconds. Relatively uneventful first round. 10-9 Tatsumi.
Crawley scored with a lead right hook in the second round and followed with a leg kick. Tatsumi answered back with a right cross and more punches were exchanged. Tatsumi reversed a takedown and used punches to set up a move to mount. He landed short punches and smothered Crawley, who struggled to roll free. Tatsumi kept him pinned down and landed more strikes until the bell. 10-9 Tatsumi.
Crawley fought off a takedown attempt with an uppercut in the final round. Tatsumi tried to clinch again and ate a big left hand. More punches scored for Crawley and Tatsumi finally got him down. Crawley swept and landed short elbows from the top. He moved to half-guard and attempted a top-side guillotine choke. Tatsumi easily escape, but Crawley punished him with a barrage of punches. Tatsumi reversed into top position and the fighters were stood up. Tatsumi got Crawley down and landed weak punches before the bell. 10-9 Crawley.
Winner: Hideto Tatsumi by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 4-2-0.
Bantamweight Tournament Semi-Final
Taiyo “The Sun” Nakahara vs “Crazy” Nam Jin Jo
Referee for this bout is Roger Chau. Jo landed quick kicks to Nakahara’s lead leg early on. He came up short with punches and Nakahara backed him into a corner. Punches were exchanged and Jo circled out. Both fighters landed hard left hands and Nakahara stayed out of Jo’s range by jabbing and kicking at Jo’s ribs. Time was called after Jo was kicked in the groin. Action resumed with more jabs from Nakahara, who stuffed a takedown. Very close opening round. 10-10.
Nakahara landed jabs in the second round and Jo responded with a body kick and a one-two. He caught a kick and dumped Nakahara to the mat. Nakahara looked to set up an armbar from the bottom as Jo punched from top position. Jo kept Nakahara pinned down and avoided his submission attempts. The fighters were stood up and Jo came up short with a flurry of punches. He landed a nice leg kick and more punches were exchanged. Jo complained about an eyepoke, but the fight continued and Jo taunted in the final seconds. 10-9 Jo.
Jo took Nakahara down in the final round and landed punches from the top. Nakahara landed punches of his own and upkicked after Jo stood up. Jo returned to Nakahara’s guard and avoided a keylock. Time was called and Nakahara was strangely given a Yellow Card for kicking at Jo’s kidney. Jo scored another takedown after the restart and Nakahara swept. He stood up and Jo followed. Nakahara landed a left cross and followed with another one shortly before the bell. 9-9. Fight could go either way.
Winner: Taiyo Nakahara by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 27-29) after three rounds. He improves to 13-7-0 and advances to the finals of the Legend FC Bantamweight Tournament.
Sun City Cup
Xian “The Executioner” Ji vs Jack “The Flash” Gooderham
Referee for this bout is Thomas Fan. Gooderham landed a body kick and Ji countered with a one-two. He pulled guard with an arm-in guillotine choke. Gooderham held on, but Ji adjusted his grip and Gooderham was quickly rendered unconscious.
Winner: Xian Ji by Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:34 of round one. He improves to 9-1-0 and wins the Sun City Cup.
“Ruthless” Rob Lisita vs Yeong Gwang Choi
Referee for this bout is Warren Wang. Lisita was aggressive early on and he landed a glancing head kick and a right hook. Lisita took Choi down in the corner, but Choi battled back to his feet. He scored with a nice combination and Lisita took him back down. Lisita moved straight to mount, but Choi swept and took top position. The fighters stood and exchanged strikes. Lisita countered a kick by taking Choi down.
Lisita moved to side control and landed a knee to the face. Choi scrambled up and landed two huge knees while Lisita was down. The strikes were legal under Legend FC rules, but the referee oddly called a timeout and warned Choi anyway. Action resumed and Lisita got another takedown. He worked for a North-South Choke and the fighters stood once more. Choi countered a leg kick with a combination. Close round. 10-9 Lisita.
Choi landed a knee to the body in the second round and Lisita backed him into the corner with punches. Time was called after Choi was kicked in the groin. The fight continued and Lisita caught a knee, then took Choi down. Choi worked his way up and Lisita appeared to be fatigued. An exchange of uppercuts followed in a clinch and both fighters landed.
Choi scored with a knee and broke away. Power punches were exchanged and Lisita dove in for a takedown. Choi defended well and stayed on his feet in the corner. Lisita backed away and threw a left hook. The fighters traded uppercuts and Lisita continued to slow down. Choi landed more uppercuts and just missed with a jumping knee before the bell. Another close round. 10-9 Choi, barely.
An exchange of punches opened round three and Choi landed a right cross. Lisita answered back with one of his own and reversed a clinch by taking Choi down. Lisita passed to mount and landed punches as Choi tried to roll to the side to defend. Choi scrambled up and landed a series of knees. Lisita tried to get him back down, but could not.
The exhausted fighters traded haymakers and Choi landed two solid shots. Lisita tripped Choi and the fighters were moved to the centre of the ring. Action resumed on the ground and Lisita tried to move back to mount. He briefly took Choi’s back and attempted a rear-naked choke, then made it to mount and closed out the fight with short elbows. 10-9 Lisita.
Winner: Rob Lisita by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 10-4-0.
Daniel Hooker vs Chengjie Wu
Referee for this bout is Roger Chau. Wu landed a quick flurry and a body kick early on. He took Hooker down and postured up with some big punches. Hooker scrambled to his feet and ate a left hook, but landed a stiff jab. He stunned Wu with another hard jab. Wu answered back with two right hands and a head kick. Big punches were exchanged and Hooker landed a knee. A cut opened above Wu’s left eye and time was called. The ringside doctor deemed the cut too severe for Wu to continue and the fight was stopped.
Winner: Daniel Hooker by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) at 3:44 of round one. He improves to 8-4-0.
Diego Cuenca vs “The Predator” Muhammad Hanif bin Zainal
Referee for this bout is Thomas Fan. Cuenca landed a combination early on and took bin Zainal down to the mat. He passed from half-guard to side control and then to North-South position. Cuenca landed knees to the body and worked for a North-South Choke. Bin Zainal briefly scrambled to his feet, but Cuenca put him down again and punched from the top. Bin Zainal upkicked and Cuenca dropped back for an Achilles lock. Bin Zainal escaped, but wound up on the bottom again. Cuenca took bin Zainal’s back and secured a rear-naked choke, forcing bin Zainal to tap out.
Winner: Diego Cuenca by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:17 of round one. He improves to 1-0-0.