Legacy Fighting Championship 61 poster.

Mackenzie Dern and Damon Jackson shone on a night where the headline bout was lost. Legacy FC 61 continued on regardless and left nobody disappointed. By the end of the night at The Bomb Factory in Dallas Texas, everyone was talking for the right reasons and not about the missing title bout.

LFC Bantamweight champion Steven Peterson was scheduled to defend his title against challenger Mark De La Rosa however De La Rosa did not show up on fight night, citing Peterson’s failure to make weight the previous day as his reason.

UFC veteran Damon Jackson would instead headline the event against the less experienced 21-year-old prospect Levi Mowles. Mowles gave Jackson a hard time throughout the fight and took him to a judges’ decision over three rounds, which Jackson won unanimously 29-28, 30-27, 29-28.

Both fighters traded shots to open up the first round with Mowles looking aggressive and confident beyond his years. Jackson however soon landed a takedown but Mowles worked straight back up to his feet.

Mowles kept up the momentum going into the second as he peppered Jackson’s face with hard shots until he forced him to again shoot for a takedown. This time he kept Mowles on the mat but was unable to capitalise.

A bloodied Jackson shot and secured an early takedown in round three before again being stood up. He patiently waited on his opponent to make a mistake and pounced on a slip by Mowles trying to secure on a guillotine. Although he wasn’t able to get it locked in, he finished the fight in control.

There was a buzz around the co-main event as Mackenzie Dern, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion fought Montana Stewart in her professional debut after being labelled in the media as the new Ronda Rousey.

Dern did not disappoint and got the chance to show off her very high level and impressive grappling game when she defeated Stewart by submission at the 3:25 mark in the first round. When Dern got the fight to the mat, all Stewart could do was defend the multiple submission attempts before Dern locked in an omoplata. Not happy with just one lock, she combined it with a rear naked choke to get the tap by a truly stunning submission, known as an Imanari.

Meanwhile, a Catchweight stipulation was necessary due to Joe Eichelberger stepping in on two days’ notice, but Abdul Razak Alhassan kept his undefeated record in check as the Welterweight prospect recorded another first round finish.

The 31-year-old finished the fight 57-seconds into the first round when he rocked Eichelberger with a big shot behind the ear and landed a flurry of punches to his grounded opponent to force the stoppage. The stoppage makes it six consecutive first round victories for Alhassan.

Rashad Coulter took only 71 seconds to defeat Jeremy Hardy in their Heavyweight bout when Coulter landed a left hook that shook Hardy from his foundations. He followed through with a massive right sensing the finish and Hardy was unconscious before he hit the canvas.

In Welterweight action, Melvin Jordan defeated Bilal Williams with a rear naked choke late in the first round. After some even exchanges on the feet, Williams scored a takedown but Jordan secured the back before locking in the submission to force the tap before the end of the first.

Making his professional debut, Featherweight prospect Rob Butler made short work of Takayuki Iijimi, winning the fight with a quick TKO in 25 seconds.

Butler stuffed the takedown attempt from Iijimi and landed vicious shots from the top to get his first win under his belt.