Santa Cruz’s first professional MMA event showcased local talent in epic battles. Read about the thrilling fights and the rising stars of Santa Cruz.
Bass boomed and lights flashed as Santa Cruz’s first professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event took over Kaiser Permanente Arena this past Friday. Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) 165 drew people from the Bay Area and beyond as around 2,300 people filled the home of the Santa Cruz Warriors basketball team.
The main event was the highly-anticipated middleweight bout between rising local star Daniel Compton and the Brazilian Renato Valente. The match was set for three five-minute rounds in a caged octagon. The crowd roared and got on its feet as Compton, sporting a black hoodie, made his way to the octagon with a calm intensity in his eyes.
Epic Battles and Local Talent
The fight got underway and after the first round, Compton was bleeding from a cut over his right eye. The fight was stopped at 00:49 of Round 2 as Valente scored a technical knockout (TKO) with some heavy blows to Compton’s head.
Lorenzo Figueroa, a Santa Cruz High alum, made his professional debut in a heavyweight match against New Mexico’s Billy Ray Valdez. That battle closed out the night with Valdez defeating Figueroa with a rear naked choke at 2:33 of the first round. Compton fell to 8-3 while Figueroa started off at 0-1.
Showcasing Santa Cruz’s Local Talent
Despite the disappointing local losses, the MMA world got a taste of Santa Cruz’s local talent. The event was transmitted live on Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Pass and reached a worldwide audience. Santa Cruz proved that it has fighters who can hold their own against top competitors from around the world.
|Daniel Compton vs Renato Valente||TKO (Round 2)|
|Lorenzo Figueroa vs Billy Ray Valdez||Rear Naked Choke (Round 1)|