Carlos Mota scored a walk-off knockout to become the new LFA Flyweight Champion on Friday night, stopping Rizvan Abuev in the first round with a clean left hook.
Mota’s win headlined LFA 140, which took place at the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge in New Town, North Dakota, USA.
Four minutes into the five-round fight, Mota connected with a left hook that took Abuev to the ground. No follow-up shots were needed afterward, as the referee swooped in to end the fight just after the shot landed.
There was concern after the finish, as Abuev remained on the canvas for numerous minutes. However, he was able to eventually get up and leave the cage under his own power.
Mota was an aggressive striker before the finish, coming forward with punches and kicks against Abuev.
The win on Friday earned Mota the vacant LFA belt. The belt was previously held by Charles Johnson, who relinquished the title after signing with the UFC earlier this year.
Mota was making his second push toward an LFA title fight. He lost his prior attempt earlier this year, getting finished late in a five-round bout by Johnson.
Abuev entered Friday with the experience advantage, having previously fought 15 times as a pro. The loss for him this weekend snapped a three-fight winning streak.
Batebolati Takes Close Split Decision
Bahatebole Batebolati scored a close split decision win in Friday’s co-main event, defeating Ryan Leininger on scorecards.
Batebolati provided an aggressive visual in all three rounds, advancing on the feet against Leininger during striking exchanges.
Leininger succeeded off his backfoot, countering with strikes that connected on Batebolati.
The commentary team for the official broadcast were surprised by the result of the fight. LFA’s official stats showed that Leininger had a higher volume of shots throughout the fight, out-landing Batebolati.
Batebolati bounced back from his sole pro loss with the controversial win this weekend. He lost his LFA debut in June, dropping a decision against Haris Talundzic.
Leininger was returning to LFA after stringing together four consecutive finish wins on the regional scene.
Miranda Stops Harris Early
Richie Miranda showcased his grounds skills on Friday night, earning a quick stoppage against Elijah Harris.
Miranda finished his fight in the final minute of the opening round, unloading punches from full mount. The fight was nearly stopped due to a submission just moments before, as Miranda got on the back of Harris with a rear naked choke attempt.
The fight was Waters’ fifth win since turning pro in early 2020. All of his victories as a pro have come via finish thus far.
Waters won his LFA debut earlier this year in April, submitting Devon Dixon with a guillotine choke.
Harris now has a negative record of four wins and five losses.
Waters Controls Lewis On The Ground
Ray Waters remained undefeated on Friday night, using his wrestling skills to defeat Leivon Lewis on scorecards.
Waters controlled the fight for most of all three rounds. He earned numerous takedowns, often allowing him to keep Lewis grounded for many minutes at a time. Some takedowns were grand, like a late slam that Waters landed, which caused Lewis to land on his head.
Waters has now earned three wins as a pro. Previous victories in the streak saw him finish opponents within a round.
Lewis was appearing for the first time in more than two years. His prior appearance was his first pro loss, suffering a submission defeat against now-UFC fighter Jordan Leavitt.
Pagaoa Prevails In Tough Battle
Braden Pagaoa had a tough fight for his third pro victory on Friday night, going the distance against Dillion Cox for a unanimous decision win.
Pagaoa showcased a well-rounded skillset in his win, succeeding on the feet and on the ground. He started the fight with a sharp opening round, out-landing Cox in stand-up exchanges. He closed out the fight in control as well, keeping dominant positions over Cox for most of the third round.
While Pagaoa came up with the victory, he had trouble against a tough and tested Cox.
Cox’s best round was the second, as he was able to control Pagaoa on the ground and attempt an arm triangle choke late in the round.
Pagaoa has now scored three wins through four pro fights. His previous bout was a finish victory, stopping Federico Flores in February.
Cox, the more experienced flyweight of the two, entered the bout on a two-fight winning streak.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 8:00PM CDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 7: Carlos Mota def. Rizvan Abuev via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:14) (Vacant LFA Flyweight Championship)
Bout 6: Bahatebole Batebolati def. Ryan Leininger via Decision, Split
Bout 5: Richie Miranda def. Elijah Harris via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 4:34)
Bout 4: Ray Waters def. Leivon Lewis via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Braden Pagaoa def. Dillion Cox via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Wes Schultz def. Jon Knutson via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 0:53)
Bout 1: Carlos Trinidad def. D’Ante Arnett via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:53)