It was a successful night for El Paso mixed martial arts fighters on Friday night at Southwest University Park on the Legacy Fighting Alliance 164 card. It was the first time an MMA card has been held at SWUP and the second combat event ever.
Alba wins pro debut
El Paso’s Jeremy Alba stopped Ricky Maynez at 3 minutes, 40 seconds of the third and final round to claim the win in the featherweight division. Maynez controlled the first round with solid kicks and good work on the ground.
But Alba took control of the fight in the second round with a good mix of kicks, ground work and boxing skills.
“It was a great win in front of my home town and a great way to start my career as a pro,” Alba said. “I regrouped after the first round and I settled down in rounds two and three. I learned a great deal from this fight and I can use this in my next fight. I prepared well for this fight and I was happy with the effort.”
Arrellano claims win
Austin graduate Travis Arrellano won by knockout at 2:20 of the first round against Koery Windham. Arrellano was the aggressor from the opening bell and was never in trouble. He used his superior boxing skills to his advantage.
“I’ve had some up and downs in my career to get to this point, but it was an important win for me and important to take this next step in my career,” Arrellano said. “I felt good in there. There is a lot of talent in El Paso and I think that talent will continue to grow and people will take notice. I felt strong in the octagon and I look forward to building on this win.”
Franklin grad falls in close one
Former Franklin wrestling great James Pleasant lost a spilt decision to Ilay Barzilay. Barzilay won 29-28 on two cards and Pleasant won 29-28 on one card. When Pleasant was able to stay on his feet, he was able to use his reach and boxing skills to his advantage, but Barzilay was able to take down Pleasant and keep on the ground for much of rounds two and three and was much more effective in that area of the match.
Pleasant, who graduated in 2013, was a three-time state qualifier in wrestling for the Cougars.
Brazil’s Livio Ribiero improved to 3-0 with an early stoppage of 1-3 Ricardo Ramirez.
Nejra Repp made it 2-0 in her young career with a third-round stoppage of Mihaela Keller.
In a competitive flyweight bout, Josiah Reyes won an unanimous decision against Jordan Burkholder. The scores were 29-28 on two cards and 30-27 on one card. Both fighters fought a solid, technical fight. Reyes was the busier fighter in rounds two and three and was more active with his boxing skill and kicks.
Isaac Thomson was impressive in stopping Lerryan Douglas at 1:40 of the second round. He landed a big right hand that staggered Douglas, then followed up with a barrage of punches to put Douglas down on the ground and the fight was stopped by the referee.
In a welterweight fight, Myktybek Orolbai improved to 10-1-1 with an impressive second-round stoppage of 10-8 Glaucio Eliziario.
Daniel Frunza defeated Jalin Fuller by knockout in the first round with a series of right crosses. It was the second straight knockout loss for Fuller. “My opponent was tough and I knew I had to come out fast and be sharp with my striking skills.,” Frunza said. “It was a good win for me. I felt strong.”
Colombian Sabina Mazo was impressive in winning the LFA flyweight title against Sandra Lavado of Peru with a five-round unanimous decision. Mazo, who is now a two-time LFA flyweight champion, controlled the action with her striking skills and won by scores of 40-46, 49-46 and 50-45 in the five round fight. “I felt 100% focused,” Mazo said. “I felt strong in the ring. We’ll see what’s next in this new path in my career, whether it’s back go defend my title or move up to the UFC.”
Chuck Liddell appearance
UFC legend Chuck Liddell was in El Paso for the first LFA card in El Paso. He was at Thursday’s weigh-ins at Speaking Rock Entertainment Center and signed autographs and took pictures with fans.
He took in Friday’s card at SWUP and also met with fans.
Liddell made his UFC debut in 1998. He is the former UFC World Light Heavyweight Champion, UFC Hall of Fame Inductee (2009), the IFC Heavyweight Champion and won numerous titles such as the USMTA North American Heavyweight Title, and IFK National Heavyweight Title.
More: Mazo seeks redemption Sabina Mazo looking to redeem herself at LFA 164 in El Paso
Felix F. Chavez can be reached at [email protected]; @Fchavezeptimes on Twitter
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: El Pasoans Travis Arrellano, James Alba win bouts on LFA 164 MMA card