Legacy Fighting Championships returns to AXS TV Friday with its 29th professional show. The card will be headlined with a featherweight title fight and supported by a light heavyweight title bout.

In the main attraction, UFC and WEC vet Leonard Garcia takes on Shane Howell for the 145-pound strap. Garcia, since his release from the UFC, has been on a tear with the company and looks to possibly move back into the big show.

In the co-featured bout, Paul Buentello takes on Myron Dennis for the 205-pound belt. Buentello, who recently dropped from heavyweight, has looked good in his brief time at 205 and seeks to continue his career resurgence.

Here is an in-depth look at the three top-billed bouts on the card, along with quick predictions for the remainder of the lineup.

FW Championship: Leonard Garcia (18-11-1) vs. Shane Howell (13-7)

The headliner features the always entertaining Leonard Garcia against relative unknown Shane Howell for the featherweight championship. This bout represents a possible ticket back to the UFC in the near future for Garcia, especially given how much UFC President Dana White loves and respects his fighting style.

Garcia is a brawler who has been on a tear since his release from the UFC. In that time, he has gone 3-0 with Legacy FC, with all of his fights ending in a finish. They have been impressive wins, too. First, he cleaned Rey Trujillo’s clock with a nasty head kick in his Legacy debut. He followed that performance up with a choke of Nick Gonzalez in a thriller and quickly dispatched of Kevin Aguilar in his latest outing.

Howell, a submission fighter, finds himself on a six-fight surge, which has really boosted his stock from a .500 fighter to a legitimate comeback kid. He needs to avoid a brawl with Garcia, who is known to bate his foes and hurt them with heavy shots. Howell needs to pace himself well—his cardio could be the key x-factor against Garcia.

When it’s all said and done, this is Garcia’s fight to lose. He has faced much stiffer competition than Howell in his career and has really focused in as of late. Expect a classic Garcia performance, showcasing toughness and wildness. In the end, he should finish Howell within three to capture Legacy gold.

LHW Championship: Paul Buentello (33-15) vs. Myron Dennis (9-2)

Former UFC heavyweight Paul Buentello has cut the fat and moved to 205 pounds. In the way of a big championship accomplishment is unheralded Myron Dennis.

Buentello is having a renaissance of sorts. In his 40s, the longtime vet has decided that 205 pounds is the new place to be. Currently riding a four-fight winning streak, he has been using his trademark kickboxing to end fights. His latest bout saw him run through UFC vet James McSweeney, using clinch, ground-and-pound and a superior skill set to finish McSweeney with body shots. On the feet, Buentello is a big threat to put fighters away.

Dennis, an Oklahoma native, has quietly put together a solid record. His biggest win came in his last fight against Wayne Cole. The one-time Bellator fighter possesses a similar skill set to Buentello, though one would think Dennis would like to put Buentello on his back in this fight.

That will be easier said than done. Buentello has been around the block a few times and is crafty in many aspects of the game. Look for Buentello to use technical striking early to find his range before he unleashes the dogs of war. Eventually, he will catch Dennis and finish him with strikes.

FlyW: Jonathan Brookins (13-6) vs. Cody Fuller (10-7)

UFC veteran Jonathan Brookins has stepped back into the MMA world after an extended period where he needed to find his drive again. He now drops two weight classes to flyweight, where he looks to take out Cody Fuller on his run back to relevance.

Brookins was the winner of the 12th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Many big things were thought to come of this fighter, who, early in his career, was one of the few people to take Jose Aldo late into a fight. Brookins is a ground fighter, though he can definitely hold his own on the feet. The big question will be how his weight cut treats him. There’s also the question of whether he has any cage rust.

Fuller, who is on a two-fight skid, will be fighting in front of his home crowd. He presents a bad style to go up against Brookins. Fuller, who has been submitted multiple times in the past, needs to avoid getting put on his back when fighting Brookins. If he ends up there, it won’t be long before he is getting beat up and put away.

Brookins has a lot more high-level experience and more tools to win this fight. Even if he doesn’t get Fuller down, he has the better striking and an iron chin to keep him out of harm’s way. Brookins will make a successful debut, likely finishing Fuller early in the bout.

Quick Picks
Chris Pecero over Thomas Longacre
Andrew Todhunter over Art Parker
Jerod Spoon over Daniel Hauenstein
Zac Church over Brandon McDougal
Daryl Wilson over Joshua Anderson
Jose Martinez over Mat Thomas
Josh Parrish over Blake Nichols
Aaron McKenzie over Clifton Harris
Jarrett Rouse over Larry Garcia
Johnny Koepp over Phillip Culp

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.