It’s not often a regional promotion stacks a fight card with an array of talent worthy of mainstream attention. This Friday night, Houston-based Legacy Fighting Championships pulls out all stops in a star-studded card that no true MMA fan should miss.
THE MAN, THE MARINE, THE HERO
1. Chad Robichaux
It’s been a summer of box office action stars in 2012 with The Avengers, Spiderman Batman and Ted firing our imaginations in the cinema. (Ted is my hero, come on, he fought off that fat kid and a crazy Giovanni Ribisi… and came back from the dead!) This Friday night, a real life super hero takes to the cage once again as pint-sized Chad “Robo” Robichaux looks to execute another quick and thrilling submission against WEC veteran Wil Campuzano in a fight for the Legacy 125 pound title.
UFC has Brian Stann; Legacy FC has Chad Robichaux. Robo is a former US Marine who served eight tours of duty around the world and recipient of the Medal of Valour. His work with vets suffering PTSD — post traumatic stress syndrome — of which he was once a sufferer, is inspirational.
A black belt in American Jiu Jitsu, Traditional Jiu Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and highly skilled in Muay Thai, Robichaux’s record boasts nine first-round submissions, including against Joseph Sandoval in just 51 seconds (north-south choke) at Legacy 11. His Opponent: Wil Campuzano, undefeated as a flyweight, a WEC veteran with 5 knockouts and three submissions.
A BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU GREAT
2. Robert Drysdale
Robert Drysdale’s name may be new in the Mixed Martial Arts record books but those in the business know the genius of this multiple Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion. Winner of the 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Championships in the Absolute Division and the 2005 World Jiu Jitsu Championships, Drysdale is also 3-0 in his blossoming MMA career with all three wins coming inside the first round and all, predictably, via submission.
The genius of Drysdale’s Jiu Jitsu is beyond question. He’s the man the likes of Forrest Griffin, Frank Mir, Miguel Torres, John Alessio and Dan Hardy have turned to to hone their BJJ skillset. Although still a baby in MMA competition, Drysdale’s BJJ has translated perfectly to the cage in the way of, say, Demian Maia before him (Maia went 11-0 before his first MMA loss).
It is always a thrill to watch high-level BJJ champions make the transition to MMA successfully: BJ Penn, Fabricio Werdum, Ricardo Arona, Royce Gracie, Jacare. Now it is Robert Drysdale’s time to see just how far up the MMA ladder he can climb. His Opponent: Ike Villanueva, a knockout specialist having KO’d six of the seven opponents he has beaten.
3. Jay Hieron
Former IFL welterweight champion, Bellator Season 4 welterweight tournament winner, UFC veteran, Strikeforce veteran, Affliction, Titan, WEC fighter and now signed to Legacy Fighting Championships — Jay Hieron has seen it all. There are those who will argue Hieron was gifted a decision win over Rick Hawn but should have been given the nod himself against Ben Askren last time out in Bellator. Having gone to a decision five times in his last six outings, there are those who believe Hieron has lost his ability to finish fights (he finished opponents in 6 of his first 10 career wins).
The last time Hieron scored a knockout was against Jason High at Affliction in 2009 when he landed a first round highlight reel switch-hit right hand — a technique taught to him by Ray Sefo who used this technique (taught to him by legendary New Zealand Muay Thai trainer Lollo Heimuli) to great success in his kickboxing career: see Sefo vs LeBanner).
Legacy FC offers Hieron a chance to prove to a national television audience on AXS TV that he still has the aggressive and spectacular techniques in his arsenal that made him a long-time fan-favourite. His Opponent: Romario Manoel Da Silva, known as “Junior Killer”. Nine knockouts and three submissions in 19 career wins, comes in off back to back victories over Justin DeMoney and Jamie Jara.
4. Alistair Overeem
As a special treat for AXS TV viewers in the new network’s first ever live MMA broadcast, world heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will be my verbal sparring partner in front of the camera and behind the microphone. This will be Alistair’s first time ever commentating live television fights and he’s looking forward to adding some Reem goodness to what should be an exciting Friday night broadcast!
Tweet along with “The Voice” Michael Schiavello during Legacy 12 using the #Legacy12 hashtag and follow him on Twitter: @SchiavelloVOICE.
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