This Friday night, Legacy Fighting Championship returns to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Okla. with an absolute barn-burner of a card. Jonny Carson’s bout with Anthony Njokuani may have gotten scrapped due to an Njokuani injury, but “The King of Late Night” will see action in the headlining spot. The new opponent for Carson, who returns to the sport after almost a two-year layoff from the sport, comes in the form of Daniel “The Pit” Pineda, who has scored back-to-back wins inside the Legacy cage at featherweight, and will see lightweight action in this assignment.

The co-main event of the evening features two undefeated bantamweight prospects doing battle as Justin Rader, said to be one of Oklahoma’s top prospects, will face 19 year-old Ricardo Ramos, who is six fights deep in his career and unbeaten in all six outings.

The card, which also features Zac Church, Rodney Allison, and a rematch of former XKO strawweights Kathina Catron and Amber Stautzenberger, will feature live at 10:00 p.m. ET on AXS TV as part of its “Friday Night Fights” programming.

Jonny Carson vs. Daniel Pineda

Pineda has found some success since his time in the UFC came to an end, as he has scored back-to-back submissions over Tom Webb and Leonard Garcia under the Legacy banner. Pineda now looks for win number three against Carson, who returns to the cage after nearly two years off. Carson expected to get Anthony Njokuani on this card, but Pineda represents a different task altogether. Carson may be a game opponent come Friday night, but once this goes to the ground, Pineda will keep the submission attempts coming until he forces a tap.

Prediction: Pineda def. Carson by submission (triangle choke). Round 2.

Justin Rader vs. Ricardo Ramos

From looking at this fight without much of a knowledge of Rader or Ramos, we see that both men are undefeated and appear to favor submissions more than anything else. At this particular point in time, though, it seems easier to get a gauge on the 6-0 Ramos than on the 3-0 Rader, the latter of whom has two wins by submission and one win by knockout. We know if Ramos is finishing the fight, it will almost certainly happen in the first or third round, but against Rader, the 19 year-old will work his tail off to get the win, because Rader won’t let his “0” go without a fight.

Prediction: Ramos def. Rader by TKO (punches). Round 3.

Mike Budnik vs. Evan Cutts

It’s almost funny that we talked about Carson in the earlier part of these predictions, because Budnik is responsible for one of the six submission losses on the record of “The King of Late Night”. Still, he does face a man in Cutts with nothing to lose. Famously known as the only man to defeat BJ Penn’s younger brother Reagan, and as of this writing, the last man to face Reagan in a sanctioned MMA bout, Cutts comes off of back-to-back unanimous-decision defeats. At moments, Cutts has shown a little bit of everything, but he is largely heralded as a submission ace. That label may not mean too much leading into this bout, aside from suggesting that Cutts can hang with Budnik in the grappling realm, but with Budnik having lost twice to submissions, it could mean that Cutts will have himself a good time with Budnik as soon as he finds or creates openings to get this one down to the ground and end it in scintillating fashion.

Prediction: Cutts def. Budnik by submission (guillotine choke). Round 2.

Zach Church vs. James Warren

Church vs. Warren represents a fight that may be mostly forgotten about on the card, and yet, it deserves its share of props. After all, both men are proud Oklahomans that want to fight to the best of their abilities in front of a fairly partisan crowd, but while home-court advantage might play a role, there is also the question of how much of a factor Warren’s two-inch reach advantage will factor into the bout. Expect this one to be a pretty battle for as long as it lasts, but expect that Church will coe out looking to excite and delight his home field, using a flurry of strikes against the cage to get the job done.

Prediction: Church def. Warren by TKO (strikes). Round 1.

Rodney Allison vs. Daniel Hauenstein

Allison and Hauenstein find themselves in two very different career positions. Both are coming off of two-fight losing skids, but Allison still holds a winning record, while Hauenstein is just under the .500 mark in his career. Allison’s last win came almost a year ago, but Hauenstein has a question mark on his record, as his last win came in 2011, and time off from the sport didn’t seem to help him out as much as he wanted. In short, he’s in for a rough night against Allison, and knowing Hauenstein’s proficiency for submissions will help Allison to avoid playing the ground game altogether en route to a solid finish.

Prediction: Allison def. Hauenstein by TKO (punches). Round 1.

Kathina Catron vs. Amber Stautzenberger

Catron and Stautzenberger hold probably two of the least enviable roles of anyone  on this card, as the loser will risk running at .500 in their careers, but the two know each other very well. The last time the two girls dances inside of an MMA cage, Stautzenberger submitted Catron in the main event of XKO 23 in Arlington, TX. With Catron now fresh off of two wins and Stautzenberger coming off of a loss, will lightning strike twice?  If Stautzenberger has anything to say about it, not only will she defeat Catron again, but this time, she’ll submit her in a much less expected way from that of their first encounter.

Prediction: Stautzenberger def. Catron by submission (armbar). Round 1.

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.