On Friday, March 1, Legacy Fighting Championship hosted its 18th event from the Arena Theater in Houston.

The Texas-based promotion brought the big guns to the AXS TV-broadcast event, featuring title fights in both the heavyweight and lightweight divisions.

In the top billing, champion Derrick Lewis met Ricky Shivers with the heavyweight strap on the line.

The night’s co-main event featured veteran Brazilian Jorge Patino, the current welterweight and lightweight champion. Patino put his lightweight title on the line against Derrick Krantz.

Also on the main card, UFC, WEC and Dream veteran Antonio Banuelos made his second appearance in the flyweight division against Rafael de Freitas.

The 12-fight card was split evenly between six, un-aired prelims and six main card bouts on AXS.

Lewis punishes Shivers to keep heavyweight title

Derrick Lewis retained his Legacy title with a thunderous, third-round stoppage of trash-talking challenger Ricky Shivers.

Shivers caught a kick from Lewis in the opening seconds of the fight and put Lewis on his back. Shivers moved to mount with little effort, but Lewis muscled his way back to his feet. Lewis delivered heavy shots on the feet before shooting for a takedown of his own. Shivers reversed the position and moved the back of Lewis briefly before the champion gained the top position. Shivers worked back to his feet, but he immediately looked for a double-leg takedown. Off his back Lewis attacked with a kimura on the left arm of Shivers, but in the process, Shivers moved to mount. The submission attempt allowed Lewis to stand, before tripping Shivers to the mat as the round ended.

Lewis opened round two with a trip takedown into side control. Shivers regained his guard and then looked to reverse the position. The pair battled for position until Lewis charged forward with heavy hands. Shivers responded with a guillotine attempt as they crashed to the mat. Lewis escaped the choke attempt, but was forced to defend an armbar, which allowed Shivers to get on top and move to mount. Shivers again took the back of Lewis, but the champion spun into his guard, before getting swept back into the mount. Shivers locked on a deep armbar in the waning seconds of the round, but Lewis was saved by the horn.

In the third round, both fighters looked for trip takedowns with Lewis ultimately securing the top position. Lewis dropped heavy shots from inside the guard of Shivers. The onslaught from Lewis forced Shivers to turtle up and try to avoid the punches, but the referee saw enough, calling a halt to the contest.

The TKO win extended Lewis’ undefeated streak to six.

Patino chokes Krantz, retains lightweight title

Legacy lightweight champion Jorge Patino started slow, but showcased his submission prowess, submitting Derrick Krantz in the second round with a modified guillotine choke to retain his title.

Patino delivered a fast combination to open the fight, but Krantz locked on a body lock and brought the fight to the ground. Patino scrambled to his feet and the pair continued to trade. Krantz connected with a big right hand halfway through the round and smelled blood, but opted to let Patino stand and recover. With a minute left in the round, Krantz scored with a takedown along the fence, but could not keep Patino on the mat.

Krantz moved forward early in round two, prompting Patino to look for a single-leg takedown. Krantz stuffed it but Patino pulled guard and looked for a sweep. The attempt was unsuccessful, but the fight made its way back to the feet yet again. Patino flurried with heavy shots to push Krantz against the cage. Krantz managed to force Patino to the ground and take the Brazilian’s back. Patino escaped and claimed top position long enough to slap on a guillotine attempt. Krantz defended, but Patino used his legs to tighten the choke. The deep, modified submission proved to be too much for Krantz, who was forced to tap.

Banuelos and “Barata” battle to draw

UFC veteran Antonio Banuelos’ second appearance at flyweight did not end in defeat, but his clash with undefeated Brazilian Rafael “Barata” De Freitas ended in disappointing draw.

There was a tentative start as Banuelos looked for an opening to get inside the reach advantage of the Brazilian. Barata remained at distance, unleashing multiple kicks that missed their mark. De Freitas shot for a takedown, but was stuffed and resorted to pulling guard with a minute left in the stanza. Banuelos remained calm inside the dangerous guard, ultimately benefiting from a referee standup. The Brazilian barreled forward and Banuelos picked him up and slammed him to the mat. During the scramble De Freitas responded with a kick while Banuelos was on the mat, resulting in a point deduction for the Brazilian as the round came to a close.

De Freitas opened round two with kicks targeting the body of Banuelos. The veteran answered back with overhand rights, but was unable to connect. A flurry from the Brazilian backed Banuelos against the cage midway through the frame. A sluggish pace continued until the final moments of the stanza, where Barata connected with a big shot that dropped Banuelos. De Freitas worked for a rear-naked choke but was unable to finish before the bell.

Banuelos secured double underhooks early in round three, dumping De Freitas onto the mat. Against the cage, Banuelos was unable to pass the guard, forcing the referee to bring the fighters back to the feet. The lack of action on the feet frustrated the Houston crowd, but Banuelos again scored with a takedown in the waning minute of the fight to send the fight to the scorecards.

When the scorecards were revealed, one fight scored it for Banuelos, one for De Freitas, while the final judge scored it even, resulting in a split draw.

Moore stops Ontiveros

Strikeforce veteran Todd Moore picked up his first win in over a year, handing previously undefeated welterweight Charlie Ontiveros the first blemish on his record.

Moore dove for a single-leg takedown in the first minute of the fight, but Ontiveros was able to sprawl and return to the fight to the feet. Midway through the round, Moore secured a double-leg takedown along the cage and dropped elbows from the top. Ontiveros used the cage to push Moore off of him and scramble to the feet, where he landed a side kick flush to the face of Moore. The final minute of the frame saw Moore score with yet another takedown and finish the round in the top position.

The second round started much like the first, as Moore worked for a takedown. Ontiveros shrugged Moore off but ate a big right hand in the process. Ontiveros marched forward, but Moore planted him on his back and moved to the mount. From the dominant position, Moore unloaded a barrage of strikes and elbows to score a TKO win.

Taylor batters Scott

Bantamweight Lauren Taylor picked up her fifth straight TKO win with a barrage of elbows that stopped Jennifer Scott in the first round.

Scott kept Taylor at bay with repeated jabs and combinations early, but was unable to connect with frequency. Taylor showed patience, countering with her right cross. Taylor scored with a double-leg takedown with two minutes remaining in the opening stanza, effortlessly moving to the half guard. Scott gave up her back as Taylor dropped big shots from the dominant position, forcing the referee to intervene.

Morono taps Farran

Welterweight Alex Morono picked up his third straight win with a first-round armbar submission over Brandon Farran.

Morono scored with a takedown early, moving to the half guard. Morono rained ground and pound, but Farran was able to reverse the position and land in the guard. Morono attacked with a guillotine choke, but Farran escaped. That didn’t deter Morono’s offense, as he transitioned to an armbar, forcing Farran to submit just 76 seconds into the fight.

Derrick Lewis def. Ricky Shivers by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 4:22 – retains heavyweight title
Jorge Patino def. Derrick Krantz by submission (modified guillotine choke). Round 2, 3:07 – retains lightweight title
Antonio Banuelos vs. Rafael de Freitas declared a split draw (29-27, 28-29, 28-28)
Todd Moore def. Charlie Ontiveros by TKO (punches and elbows). Round 2, 2:01
Lauren Taylor def. Jennifer Scott by TKO (elbows). Round 1, 4:10
Alex Morono def. Brandon Farran by submission (armbar). Round 1, 1:16
Larry Crowe def. Matt Rogers by TKO (strikes). Round 1
Dale Mitchell def. Chad Cook by TKO (rib injury). Round 2, 3:00
Gerzan Chaw def. David Armas by unanimous decision.
Chris Reed def. Jermaine Anugwon by knockout. Round 1
Kaileb Cummins vs. Justin Murray declared a draw.
Eric Valdez def. Edgar Juarez by unanimous decision.

Photo: Jorge Patino (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)