Leonard Garcia (18-11-1) promised to knock out Kevin Aguilar (8-1) in the first round at Friday’s Legacy FC 26 event, and “Bad Boy” did just that.
The bout aired on AXS TV from Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio.
Garcia, a UFC vet, earned his third consecutive victory since being cut from the world’s premier organization earlier this year. He also handed Aguilar his first career loss and took the vacant Legacy FC featherweight title.
After some uneventful striking exchanges in the early going, Garcia connected with an uppercut that badly hurt his opponent. Aguilar attempted to regain his wits, but Garcia was relentless in pursuing the finish, which came at the 2:57 mark of the opening round.
Garcia called for a return to the UFC in his post-fight interview, but also said he would be willing to return to his home state of Texas and defend his newly earned 145-pound belt if given the opportunity.
Almeida knocks out Pacurariu, remains undefeated
Featherweight prospect Thomas Almeida (15-0) kept his undefeated record intact and may have punched his ticket to the UFC with a first-round knockout of George Pacurariu (5-3) in the night’s co-main event.
The win marked the 15th consecutive victory for the Brazilian – all by stoppage, with all but one coming in the first round.
It was a tactical battle in the opening minutes of the 145-pound contest, but when Almeida found his range, he connected with a clean overhand right that hurt Pacurariu in the worst of ways.
The 22-year-old then displayed his trademark killer instinct to stop the fight, further elevating his status as one of the top up-and-comers in the sport.
Pecero elbows his way to victory
Chris Pecero (10-5) utilized elbows from every angle possible en route to a quick first-round stoppage of featherweight Raynaldo Rodriguez (4-3).
Pecero got to the fight to the ground as quick as possible and immediately fired off a series of elbows that hurt his opponent. From there, Pecero advanced to mount and continued his assault, giving the referee no choice but to step in and call the fight at the 1:03 mark of the opening round.
Ybarra outpoints Rodriguez in grudge match
There was a significant amount of heat going into a fight between Patrick Ybarra (6-1) and Ray Rodriguez (3-2), but in the end it was, Ybarra who came out on top with the decision victory.
It was a competitive bantamweight contest in which neither man wanted to give up an inch; however, Ybarra won the little battles throughout the 15-minute contest and was the more effective fighter both on the feet and on the ground.
Despite the hatred displayed from both sides pre-fight, Ybarra and Rodriguez embraced afterward, seemingly settling their differences.
Buch edges Hollis by decision
Ryan Hollis (4-3) was content with fighting from his back while working for submissions, and it may very well have cost him the decision against Billy Buch (5-2).
While Hollis was very active from his back, the positioning of Buch mixed with his takedowns and standup attacks were enough to take the fight in the eyes of the three judges scoring the contest.
It was a close bout that could have gone either way, but on this night it was Buch who walked away with the win.
Ivy picks up first submission win
Dimitre Ivy (3-2) opened the Legacy FC 26 main card with a slick second-round submission victory over Matt Mazurek(1-1) to get back in the win column.
After a slow-paced first round that involved a lot of work from the clinch, Ivy got the fight to the ground in the second and worked his way toward a submission.
The finish came just over half way through the second round when Ivy capitalized on his opponent’s mistake and ended the fight with a stylish armbar and his first career submission win.
The complete Legacy FC 26 results included:
Leonard Garcia def. Kevin Aguilar via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:57 (to win vacant featherweight title)
Thomas Almeida def. George Pacurariu via TKO – Round 1, 4:13
Chris Pecero def. Raynaldo Rodriguez via TKO (elbows) – Round 1, 1:03
Patrick Ybarra def. Ray Rodriguez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Billy Buch def. Ryan Hollis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Dimitre Ivy def. Matt Mazurek via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 3:18
Daniel Jolly def. Matt Steward via knockout (head kick) – Round 1, 0:16
Kevin Troyer def. David Siller via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Daniel Pinheiro def. Joe Reyes via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:45