LFA 160, John Sweeney

John Sweeney, Azamat Bekoev take titles at LFA 160 in Kentucky debut

LFA 160 marked the 27th different state that the promotion traveled to, as the event went down at the Owensboro Sportscenter in Owensboro, Kentucky.

The event featured a pair of title bouts, with John Sweeney and Azamat Bekoev taking home the coveted LFA championships.

The main event featured a fight between strikers that was almost entire spent on the feet, with John Sweeney controlling much of the action to take home the bantamweight title via unanimous decision.

Both fighters traded big shots in a bit of a feeling out first round, with Begosso staggering Sweeney on a leg kick and landing a big left hook at the end of a combination. Sweeney had his spots as well, but he mostly looked to counter in the first.

The karate specialist Sweeney began to stalk more to open the second round, landing a big leg kick of his own before going for a takedown against the cage. It looked like Sweeney was close to finishing the fight after a big body kick dropped Begosso and he spent the final minute of the round reigning down ground and pound shots as the referee took a close look.

The third round was another back and forth frame, with neither fighter finishing it before heading to the championship rounds. Sweeney landed the first takedown of the fight with just over a minute to go in the fourth, but he was unable to capitalize as Begosso made it back to his feet in the final seconds. The final round was also spent on the feet, with Sweeney staying mostly on the outside and picking his shots.

In the co-main event between two fighters with wresting backgrounds, the first half of the fight featured all standup while the second half was almost all grappling. In the end, it was the grappling of Azamat Bekoev that allowed him to take home a razor thin split decision over Dylan Budka with scores of 48-47, 47-48, and 48-47.

The first round was close, as both fighters traded body kicks, and Bekoev landed a spinning back kick to the body. He also landed a big combo, and both fighters traded failed takedown attempts in the final minute of the frame.

Budka really began to open up in the second round, mixing up his striking and landing a pair of vicious counter left hooks back to back. His leg kicks began to take a toll, as he staggered Bekoev who eventually went for a takedown attempt against the cage with less than a minute left. He eventually got the takedown but had just a few seconds to work before the end of the round.

Budka opened up the third round with more big striking, dropping Bekoev with a big straight right hand in the first minute. Bekoev landed a takedown two minutes into the third, eventually passing to full mount and attempting a head and arm choke that Budka survived. Budka got back to his feet, but Bekoev remained in wrestle mode for the remainder of the round, controlling the grappling as the third ended.

Bekoev got another takedown to open the championship rounds, and again he went for an arm triangle choke that Budka successfully defended. Budka attempted some offensive wrestling, but Bekoev latched onto him and rode out the rest of the round.

The fighters embraced to begin the final round, and Bekoev immediately went back to his wrestling. Budka was able to remain on his feet, however, going for a hail mary guillotine and landing some elbows as he sprawled against the cage to end the fight.

St. Louis native Cortavious Romious was victorious in his LFA debut, as he locked in an arm bar to submit Nate Williams in the first round. Romous blitzed Williams to open the fight with strikes, landing a trio of big left hands before Williams shot for the takedown. Romious was more than happy to let the fight get to the ground, as he immediately went for a triangle from the bottom before eventually transitioning and finishing a belly down arm bar. After the bout his coach awarded him his purple belt, but he said he’s looking forward to eventually getting his black belt.

Josiah Harrell was dominant en route to a third round TKO finish of Mike Roberts, moving to 7-0 as a pro in the process. The wildest part of the night came early in the third round, when Harrell plowed Roberts through the cage door on a blast double leg takedown attempt. Roberts was able to continue, but Harrell smelled blood from that point, landing multiple head kicks before getting the takedown and finishing the fight with punches from back mount.

Former Ohio State football player Cameron Kinzig moved to 3-0, topping fellow Ohio native Aaron Bush in a heavyweight bout after Bush was unable to answer the bell for the second round. Bush spent much of the first round looking for the takedown, but it was Kinzig who eventually ended up on top in a hip ride position, as he landed big shots on the ground in the final minute of the round. Bush called it quits in between rounds, unable to come out for the second.

Aline Pereria earned the first win of her professional career, using pinpoint striking to outlast the durable Chelsea Conner. Pereira, the sister of former UFC champion Alex Pereira, landed 86 of 150 strikes to batter the face of Conner, who was just 1 of 9 on her takedown attempts.

In the night’s lone amateur bout, Badou Zaky spoiled the debut of hometown fighter Brooks Black, as he earned a TKO stoppage in the second round.

Alonzo Turner advanced his pro record to 2-0, locking in a rear naked choke to force the tap in the first round. The Ohioan survived some vicious early leg kicks before securing a blast double leg takedown, eventually transitioning to the back and getting the choke over Kentucky native Damon Bell.

Mataeo Garner picked up a second round TKO win in his pro debut, stopping Kentucky native Trent Nott with elbows in the second round.

Josh Perreira faced a stiff test against Itzik Yakobov, but the Hawaiian native finally was able to put him away in the third round with ground and pound elbows. The beginning of the end came from a right hand that dropped the Israeli, and “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” pounced, landing elbows to get the finish.

The first bout of the evening saw Jayde Sheeley earn her first professional win as she submitted fellow Ohioan Diamond Long with an arm bar less than two minutes into the opening round.

LFA 160 results

Main Card:

John Sweeney (13-3) def. Allan Begosso (7-3-1) via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) – Bantamweight Title

Azamat Bekoev (16-3) def. Dylan Budka (5-2) via Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) – Interim Middleweight Title

Cortavious Romious (7-1) def. Nate Williams (14-11) via Submission (arm bar) – Round 1, 2:08

Josiah Harrell (7-0) def. Mike Roberts (9-9-1) via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:27

Cameron Kinzig (3-0) def. Aaron Bush (5-2) via TKO (unable to answer bell) – Round 1, 5:00

Aline Pereira (1-1) def. Chelsea Conner (1-3) via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

Preliminary Card:

Badou Zaky (2-0) def. Brooks Black (0-1) via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:37 – amateur

Alonzo Turner (2-0) def. Damon Bell (1-1) via Submission (rear naked choke) – Round 1, 3:26

Mataeo Garner (1-0) def. Trent Nott (2-1) via TKO (elbows) – Round 2, 0:48

Josh Perreira (2-0) def. Itzik Yakobov (0-2) via TKO (elbows) – Round 3, 1:04

Jayde Sheeley (1-1) def. Diamond Long (0-3) via Submission (Arm Bar) – Round 1, 1:46

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