Your options for mixed martial arts action this weekend are being greatly overshadowed by one of the bigger boxing events of the year in Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz on Saturday night, but that still leaves Friday wide open for combat sports fans. Luckily, HDNet can feed your appetite as Legacy Fighting Championships 8 will air live tonight at 10 PM ET from the Houston Arena Theater in Houston, Texas.
In the main event of the evening, 40-year-old UFC veteran and knockout artist Pete 'The Secret Weapon' Spratt will battle tough-as-nails Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Jorge "Macaco" Patino. Spratt enters the contest after knocking out Antonio Flores in one punch at Legacy FC VII back on July 22. Patino is riding a rough patch, amassing a 3-5 record in his last 8 appearances. Interestingly enough, this is one of the few times that Spratt will face an older fighter like himself. Patino is only two years younger than Spratt.
In other action, undefeated prospect Andrew Craig will take a large leap up in competition to face heralded middleweight prospect Eric Schambari in a middleweight title showdown. Steve Garcia and Steven Peterson will meet in a bantamweight contest, and middleweights Larry Crowne and Isaac Villanueva round out the main card.
As always, we will provide live results and commentary this evening right here at BloodyElbow.com. Matthew Roth (@MattRoth512) will be live blogging the event, and I'll (@lelandroling) be providing instant analysis via Twitter during the fights. Join us in the live results thread for community discussion as well. Here's what you can expect tonight at Legacy FC 8:
Main Event: Pete Spratt (23-20) vs. Jorge Patino (24-13-1): A cursory glance at the toe-to-toe stats might tell the tale of why both Spratt and Patino have mounted significant losses on their records. Spratt is 40 years old while Patino is only two years behind him at 38 years of age. Shockingly, a more meticulous look reveals that age hasn't been much of a factor. Both men still suffer from the same weaknesses in their skill-sets that plagued them in their more youthful days.
Spratt remains a very dangerous knockout threat on the feet. Look no further than his 0:25 second knockout of Antonio Flores two months ago at Legacy FC 7 for proof. Most of his major wins in the latter part of his career have been due to that power, and he'll no doubt be looking to land with his heavy hands against Patino on Friday night.
He'll need to keep a watchful eye on Patino's attempts to bring the fight to the ground however. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has the grappling chops to threaten Spratt on the floor, and Spratt has lost 16 of 20 contests via submission. If Patino can get Spratt to the mat and maintain control, he could quickly wear down Spratt and submit the man who once defeated Robbie Lawler inside the Octagon.
Patino has faced much stiffer competition as of late, and he's tough to consistently stop in the takedown department. While I have a definite soft spot in my heart for a cagey veteran like Pete Spratt, Patino will submit Spratt on the floor if the fight gets there. Rooting for Spratt to pull off one more knockout, but the realist in me believes Patino works over Spratt on the ground. Patino via submission.
Preview and predictions after the fold...
Middleweight (Championship Bout): Andrew Craig (5-0) vs Eric Schambari (15-3): Big fight for Craig, who is considered by many fans locally to be one of the very best in the region. He hasn't fought the best competition, and Shambari has an obvious advantage in the experience department. The advantage for Craig is that Shambari's gameplan tends to be the same from fight to fight, and Craig has enough skills to put together a solid effort here. I think it's much closer than most people think. I'll take Shambari however. I think he's going to grind out Craig and prove he still has a long way to go to get to the top. Shambari via decision.
Bantamweight: Steve Garcia (8-4) vs. Steven Peterson (5-1): Peterson is a bit of a wild card in this match-up. He's unpredictable in his approach on the feet while Garcia is more measured. Consistency is the key for Garcia to win here, taking full advantage of Peterson's propensity to leave himself open. I think Garcia will capitalize on that and finish Peterson. Garcia via TKO.
Welterweight: John Malbrough (2-2) vs. Jeff Rexroad (3-1): I haven't watched Malbrough fight before, but I have seen Rexroad in the cage at past Legacy events. He isn't much of a finisher, and he's by no means going to burst onto the scene at a top notch 170 lb. prospect. He is, however, a bit more technical on the feet than Marlbrough. That should get him the win on the scorecards. Rexroad via split decision.
Middleweight: Larry Crowe (4-1) vs. Isaac Villanueva (8-4): Crowne used to be a fat heavyweight, and now he's a shredded 185 lb. fighter. Good for him, huh? Unfortunately, I think Ike will be too much for him here as he's the taller, lankier fighter, and he's got proven power on the feet. Villanueva via TKO.