Legends Team Redeems at Tuff-N-Uff

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, Sunday night was alright for fighting, as Legends MMA fight team went 3-0 at Tuff-N-Uff’s February 15th amateur MMA event, at the Orleans Hotel & Casino. Victor Henry, Christian Palencia, and Eddie Jackson all finished their opponents in dominating fashion.

Jackson’s drive for victory was equally personal and professional, as his previous Tuff-N-Uff match was a difficult loss to 185-pound Chance Torres (Xtreme Couture). Jackson, normally a welterweight, agreed to the match after his and Torres’ opponents dropped out at the last minute. This time, Jackson’s match at welterweight was secure, and redemption was the key word of the day.

Conversely, Henry and Palencia were making their Tuff-N-Uff debuts, and both were game to make a triumphant first impression.

“I’m feeling great. I’m excited to fight this guy. . . I’ve done my work at the gym. It’s the easy part now. Go in there and have fun,” said Henry at the weigh-ins.

For Palencia, his fight marked the end of a long road of recovery, as his last fight dates back to July 2007. Unfortunately, a string of injuries shortly thereafter prevented him from returning any sooner, but according to Palencia, that hiatus gave him time to mature as a fighter.

“My last two fights, I didn’t have a game plan. This time, I actually have a game plan, and now I just gotta do it. I got a Plan A, I got a Plan B. I pace myself a little bit better now, and I look more for weaknesses, instead of coming out and putting out everything I’ve got. . . Before, I would just come in there and be the same every day. I’m trying to fight smarter,” he reflected.

Victor Henry won by impressive first-round knockout

Victor Henry won by impressive first-round knockout

145 lbs. – Wayne Wrath (Nation Kenpo / The Pit) vs. Victor Henry (Legends MMA)

After the fight, teammate Chris Brady noted “At first, I was kinda scared, because dude was big and was throwing over Victor’s jab. But Victor saw an opportunity and capitalized on it. You can’t teach that. Victor is a tough kid and very talented. He’s gonna be a bad dude.”Victor Henry fired the first salvo of the match with a left, but Wrath was quick to retaliate with combos. Henry circled and looked for his shot, which came quicker than anyone expected, as a low right kick set up a wicked left high kick that sent Wrath crashing to the ground. Henry followed up with two hammerfists before being pulled off by the referee. The packed arena of 2,500 fans went bananas approval as Henry leaped onto the ropes with “kid-at-Christmas” hysteria. Victor Henry was awarded the win via KO at 21 seconds of the first round.

170 lbs. – Johnny Batres (Team Fubar) vs. Eddie Jackson (Legends MMA)

Coming out to Redman’s “Time 4 Sum Akshun,” Eddie Jackson could not have been more ready to get busy. This was the second match of the first round of a four-man welterweight tournament.

Round one started out like two bulls clashing, as Batres charged Jackson with full force. Jackson vied for control with a Muay Thai clinch and knees, but the two threw each other around the ring, both deadset on gaining the upper hand. Batres eventually forced a takedown, but Jackson escaped deftly, ending up with a standing front headlock in the corner. Batres continued to try and force the takedown, coming very close several times, but Jackson remained notably composed and unfettered.

Trainer Jimmie Romero said “I was yelling at him to rest there, because when you’re up on the corner like that, it’s all the other guy’s energy. Eddie didn’t want to try for the guillotine, because he couldn’t have slipped it in fast enough. It was better to let that guy expend his energy.”

Eddie Jackson kept control of his opponent throughout the match.

Eddie Jackson kept control of his opponent throughout the match.

In round two, Jackson stunned Batres with an overhand right. Shortly thereafter, Jackson was on the receiving end of a groin shot that briefly stopped the action.

Upon the restart, Batres charged again, but Jackson deftly matador-stepped to the side. They ended up in the same corner position as in round one, but Jackson powered Batres to the ground, keeping the front headlock. Batres continued to strive for a single-leg takedown, but Jackson kept the front headlock, peppering body shots. The referee stopped the action and penalized Batres for holding the ropes. Again, Batres charged at the restart, only to rendezvous with a locomotive right hand to the face. Jackson went on to ground-and-pound on Batres to the end of the round.

Batres’ strategy finally caught up with him in round three, when, charging once again, Jackson delivered another right to the face. Batres dropped, followed by a pouncing Jackson, followed by a referee who pulled Jackson off for the TKO win at 0:08 of the third round.

Analyzing his fight, Jackson commented “he didn’t want to stand toe to toe and swing the hands. He figured by trying to keep me in the corner and go for the takedown, he was safer. I tried to get him off, but he was just bulldozing, so when he took me down, I just kicked him off me. Them wrestling classes are paying off at the gym!”

Jimmie Romero took particular pride in Jackson’s match, saying “I was real happy with his performance. He even used a butterfly sweep like I showed him two months ago.”

Jackson is expected to meet Joshua Morgan (CTKD) in the next tournament round. Morgan beat Michael Ryan McNamara (Nation Kennel) by split decision.

Christian Palencia was all business at Tuff-N-Uff

Christian Palencia was all business at Tuff-N-Uff

155 lbs. – Chaz Mulkey (Warrior Training) vs. Christian Palencia (Legends MMA)

This was the final match in the first round of an eight-man lightweight tournament.

Round one saw Palencia chasing Mulkey before getting the clinch and taking him down for top position. Mulkey was able to get to his feet, but Palencia slapped on a guillotine and forced him to the ground, quickly getting the tapout from top position at 1:09 of the first round.

Romero commented “after his teammates’ fights, it really pumped Christian up backstage. It was pretty impressive. He was calm, but he was ready to do business. We didn’t think he was going to get that submission off him, but it was just there, and it’s kinda hard not to take it when it’s just there like that.”

On the night in general, Jackson summarized “we cleaned house. Victor set the bar real high with that knockout, so when I came out, I knew I had to come with it. And Christian’s jiu-jitsu game is crazy, so you can’t be mad at that.”

Chris Brady was also scheduled to fight on this show, but due to injury, was forced to withdraw from competition and instead corner.

“I’ve never really gotten to corner guys and get them ready for fights, because I’m always fighting. So it’s good to get in the other position and support guys, instead of being the focus. It’s all about y’all. It’s important to do that and humble yourself, because now it’s got me hungry,” he commented.

Tuff-N-Uff amateur MMA action returns to the Orleans Casino & Hotel on March 27th. Legends MMA representatives will be announced shortly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: