Muin Gafurov scored a highlight-reel finish to defeat Diego Silva and become the new LFA Bantamweight Champion on Friday night.
Gafurov stopped Silva in the third round with a spinning back kick to the body. The shot caused Silva to drop to the canvas immediately, forcing the referee to step in and end the fight.
The victory for Gafurov headlined LFA 144 from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA.
The finsh came after a close two rounds of competition in the LFA cage. Gafurov was mostly succeeding earlier in the bout with controlling positions. There was one scary moment for him in the second round, where Silva applied an armbar attempt that he had to escape.
The LFA Bantamweight Championship was vacant heading into this fight. Prior titleholder Dan Argueta relinquished his belt earlier this year to join the UFC roster.
All previous LFA Bantamweight Champions have gone on to sign with Bellator or the UFC.
Gafurov, a former ONE Championship talent and “Dana White’s Contender Series” alum, has now picked up two victories this year. His previous fight, which was an LFA main event in June, saw him stop Herbeth Sousa in the second round with punches.
Silva was taking his second crack at an LFA title. He fought the previous titleholder, Argueta, in May but lost a unanimous decision after five rounds of competition.
Silva was given this title fight after defeating Askar Askar via a split decision in August.
Silva was ineligible to earn a belt if successful on Friday night, as he missed weight for the bout by two-and-a-half pounds.
Heiderman Submits Buckley Early To Remain Undefeated
Heavyweight prospect Jordan Heiderman had another quick performance in his return to the regional scene, submitting Daiqwon Buckley early.
Heiderman secured an americana on Buckley in the first round, causing a tap. Heiderman scored two takedowns prior to then and was able to move into side control to earn the submission.
Heiderman was making his first appearance since appearing on season 30 of UFC TV show “The Ultimate Fighter.” While he won in the quarter-finals of the show, he later lost to fellow LFA vet Zac Pauga.
Heiderman’s undefeated record is now up to six wins since he debuted in 2018.
Buckley had an undefeated record of three wins before this weekend. Previous victories included a finish on PFL’s “Challenger Series,” and an appearance on an LFA card in late 2021.
Horiuchi Makes Late Comeback In LFA Return
Former LFA title challenger Yuma Horiuchi had an impressive comeback win this weekend, battling back to submit Juan Puerta in the third round.
Horiuchi was able to submit Puerta with a rear naked choke in the third round, erasing a lead that Puerta gained in previous frames.
Puerta entered the third round with a solid lead. This came due to two rounds of solid ground control. Horiuchi also had to battle through a cut that opened around his hairline in the first round and caused a fair amount of bleeding for the rest of the fight.
Horiuchi took Puerta to the ground early in the third round with a submission attempt. Horiuchi then took the back of Puerta, securing a rear naked choke from this position to get a submission.
Horiuchi was returning to LFA in this appearance. His previous fight was on a “Road to UFC” tournament card, where he lost to RIZIN alum Topnoi Kiwram.
Puerta, a short-notice opponent replacing Felipe Bunes, was making a quick turnaround in this fight. He competed on a UAE Warriors card just last month, losing a decision to Iago Ribeiro in that fight.
Puerta had a lengthy 12-fight winning streak before that UAE Warriors appearance.
Valente Returns With Quick Stoppage Win
Renato Valente had an explosive win on Friday’s main card, flooring Jared Revel in the second minute of their middleweight fight.
Valente stunned Revel with a slick boxing combination, leading with a left hook and then connecting cleanly with a right cross. The referee was quick to intervene after this exchange, stopping Valente from landing any follow-up shots on the ground.
The fight put Valente back into the win column after losing in a main event fight against Josh Fremd last year.
Revel was also appearing for the first time since losing in an LFA headliner bout. He failed to earn the promotion’s 185-pound belt in late 2021, dropping a decision to Josh Silveira.
Before then, Revel earned a six-fight winning streak that was mostly on the Canadian regional scene.
Undefeated Natividad Clears Scorecards Against Galvan
Undefeated Christian Natividad had a dominant win in his return, controlling Israel Galvan for three rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Control time was the name of the game for Natividad. He earned dominant positions over Galvan on the ground in every frame, using these positions to frequently score with punches.
The ground work from Natividad allowed him to take all three rounds on each judge’s scorecard.
Natividad was making his first appearance in over a year. He has now earned five wins since turning pro in 2020.
Galvan was a replacement opponent, stepping in for Jordan Harris. He entered this booking on a four-fight winning streak, with three of those bouts coming via stoppage.
Jones Submits Prospect Turner
Jacobi Jones handed Christian Turner his first pro loss in the opening bout of the main card, submitting him in the second round.
Jones took the back of Turner in the second round for a rear naked choke. After adjusting the choke, Jones was able to earn a submission and end the fight.
Jones was ahead in the fight prior to the finish but was certainly tested by a fellow lightweight prospect.
Jones had control time for a large portion of the opening round, taking Turner down and getting into top control. Turner battled back later in the frame, briefly scoring a takedown of his own.
Jones now has a strong pro record of five wins and one loss, with all of those fights coming in the LFA cage.
Turner, still in his rookie year as a pro, was making his LFA debut. His three previous wins all came since April.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 8:00PM CDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 15: Muin Gafurov def. Diego Silva via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 0:23) (Vacant LFA Bantamweight Championship)
Bout 14: Jordan Heiderman def. Daiqwon Buckley via Submission, Americana (RD 1, 3:17)
Bout 13: Yuma Horiuchi def. Juan Puerta via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 3, 1:23)
Bout 12: Renato Valente def. Jared Revel via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:07)
Bout 11: Christian Natividad def. Israel Galvan via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 10: Jacobi Jones def. Christian Turner via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 2:25)
Bout 9: Ronald Coleman def. Chato Wiest via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:03)
Bout 8: Adamu Isah def. Mateo Gonzalez via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 7: Patrick Rivera def. Brady Minner via Submission, Neck Crank (RD 1, 3:19)
Bout 6: Naranjargal Tsendayush def. Cheyanne Bowers via Submission, Scarfhold Armbar (RD 1, 3:23)
Bout 5: Ben Schauer def. Jeff Nielsen via Decision, Split
Bout 4: Robson Junior def. Andres Murray via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 0:29)
Bout 3: Brian Sullivan def. Damen Moyer via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 1:01) (Amateur)
Bout 2: Annabel Kelly def. Samantha Nabity via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 1:12) (Amateur)
Bout 1: Patrick Kelly def. Dylan Stanke via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 1:42) (Amateur)