It was a busy weekend in the combat sports world. Between Conor McGregor's ongoing ascension and Deontay Wilder reclaiming Heavyweight boxing glory for the US, there was much to watch and much to take in. But for my money, the big highlight of the weekend was the inaugural show of a very promising organization - Legacy Kickboxing. Legacy has been promoting MMA for some time, but this past Friday they dipped their toes into the world of kickboxing. In doing so, they delivered a stellar night of action on AXS.
The biggest talking point coming out of the show was the performances of UFC veterans Pat Barry and Miguel Torres. Barry made his return to kickboxing earlier this year, and managed to pull off a close, split decision win at the Legacy show. Barry needed the win badly - he revealed that a loss here and he would have retired. Unfortunately, while he is now 2-1 since coming back to kickboxing, his performance did not inspire much confidence in his kickboxing future, as he struggled mightily to score the win, and if you gave the fight to his opponent, I certainly wouldn't argue with you.
Also struggling at Legacy was former UFC fighter, WEC champion, and MMA pound for pound great Miguel Torres. Torres has had a trough go of it in recent years, and this fight was no different. The MMA fighter was clearly outclassed, and showed why you can't just step into a kickboxing ring and expect to succeed. Torres lost a decision that included a brutal (seriously, NASTY) kick to the knee. Check it out here:
Legacy Kickboxing Video Highlights
But look deeper than the struggles of two fading MMA fighters and you see an excellent show. Cosmo Alexandre put on a strong technical performance to win a close main event, Alex Moreno shattered his opponent's arm with a powerful kick, and Marco Pique turned in an incredible, violent performance to defeat Michael Corley. Full results are below.
Most impressively, the show moved with a great pace, churning out entertaining fight after entertaining fight. As the clock chugged forward during the lengthy McGregor vs. Siver show, and as more and more fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration with pacing, I was reminded of how well kickboxing shows pace themselves. Legacy Kickboxing 1 was no exception, as any fan wise enough to tune in Friday night can attest.
Hopefully ratings will be strong and both Legacy and AXS will commit to more from Legacy Kickboxing, because this was the kind of promising debut that makes you crave another show. The company currently has plans for Legacy Kickboxing 2 in July, but hope to return much sooner. Expect some big international names on that show, and stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more on Legacy Kickboxing.
LEGACY KICKBOXING 1 FULL RESULTS
165lbs - Cosmo Alexandre def. Regian Eersel by Unanimous Dec.
Heavyweight - Pat Barry def. Demoreo Dennis by Split Dec
155lbs - Marco Pique def. Michael Corley by KO R3
135lbs - Angel Huerta def. Miguel Torres by Unanimous Dec.
135lbs - Valentina Schlevchenko def Lindsay Haycraft by Unanimous Dec.
170lbs - Alex Morono def. Lucas Pimenta by TKO R1
155lbs - Justin Reiswerg def. Will Morris by Unanimous Dec.