Manny Vazquez had the antidote.
Vazquez laid claim to the vacant Legacy Fighting Championship bantamweight title in stunning fashion, as he submitted heralded Brazilian prospect Ricardo Lucas Ramos in the Legacy 51 headliner on Friday at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota. Ramos (8-1) tapped 1:45 into round one.
All went according to plan for Ramos, until he initiated a clinch. Vazquez (8-1) secured underhooks, delivered a takedown and eventually advanced to the back, locking down the position with a body triangle. Ramos attempted to extricate himself but in doing so left his neck exposed. Vazquez snaked his arms into place, squeezed and netted the submission.
In the co-main event, the well-traveled Brock Larson stopped Travis Coyle with mounted first-round ground-and-pound. Larson (42-10) brought the 175-pound catchweight confrontation to a close 2:03 into round one, as he won for the ninth time in 12 appearances.
Coyle (12-8) countered a double-leg and ensnared the Minnesotan in a tight guillotine within the first 30 seconds. Larson’s face turned from red to purple, defeat seemingly a breath or two away. Coyle clung to the choke, even as Larson tried to free himself. He moved to a mounted position at one point but could not elicit the tapout. Ultimately, Coyle lost his grip on the guillotine and wound up on the bottom. Larson shifted to mount and finished it with unanswered punches to the head.
Meanwhile, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Jacob Volkmann rode repeated takedowns, a suffocating top game and a series of attempted chokes to a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Antonio Trocoli in their three-round welterweight pairing. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Volkmann (19-6).
Trocoli (9-1) was never much of a factor. Volkman closed the distance and executed takedowns in all three rounds. He advanced to the back on two separate occasions, threatening the 6-foot-5 Brazilian with a nasty face crank in the first round and a brabo choke in the second. Trocoli saw a brief glimmer of hope come and go late in round three, where he briefly climbed to mount and fired off a volley of elbow and punches. Volkmann withstood his efforts and sent the fight to the scorecards.
Elsewhere, reigning Legacy heavyweight titleholder Cody East bounced journeyman Kevin Asplund with a first-round head kick and follow-up punches in their non-title matchup. Asplund (16-10) wilted 40 seconds into round one, losing for the ninth time in 10 outings.
East (12-1) got right to business. The Jackson-Wink MMA rep backed up Asplund with punches and caught him ducking. Shin met face, and Asplund hit the canvas on all fours. East then moved into top position and cut loose with short punches and hammerfists to force the stoppage.
The 27-year-old East has recorded nine straight wins.
In other action, Jos Eichelberger (16-9) captured a unanimous verdict against Clarence Jordan (7-3-1) in a three-round battle at 170 pounds, earning 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27 marks from the judges; Nate Togbah Richardson (4-1) claimed a split decision -- 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 -- over Kuchlong Kuchlong (5-4) in a three-round featherweight contest; Tateki Matsuda (12-7) punched Joe Pearson (45-26-1) into submission 4:49 into round one of their catchweight pairing at 130 pounds; Billy Christianson (10-5) knocked out Derek Varin (5-3) with a spinning backfist 3:06 into the first round of their lightweight encounter; Ryan Debelak (4-0) disposed of Ronny Winslow (2-2) with punches 2:56 into round one of their clash at 205 pounds; and Chase Waldon (9-1) took care of Justin Winkels-Comparetto (5-2) with punches 28 seconds into the first round of their middleweight tilt.