Local Fighters

Manny Vazquez Wins Legacy Bantamweight Title


Manny Vazquez Legacy 51

by Matt Lo Cascio

Dana White was at Legacy 51 to scout Ricardo Ramos. He left thinking about Manny Vazquez.

Vazquez ate a few of Ricardo Ramos’ best shots early in round one yet remained unfazed. Then it was his turn. He pushed Ramos up against the cage, got both underhooks in and took Ramos down. He kept him there, methodically transitioning to take Ramos’ back and sinking in a rear naked choke that made Ramos tap at 1:45 of round one, making Vazquez the Legacy FC bantamweight champion.

Vazquez counted on Ramos coming out of the gate fast.

“I knew he was going to come at me hard early and often with strikes in order to set up his clinch for a takedown, but I think he was surprised when he realized how much stronger in the clinch I was than him. When I was able to get the trip I knew I would have a big advantage on the ground, when I was able to pass his guard and take the back with ease. When I get on someone’s back it’s difficult for anyone to get out of there,” Vazquez told Chicago’s MMA.

Winning a title is always an amazing experience, but doing it on live TV in front of the UFC president amplified that in a big way.

“I was a huge betting underdog and being able to show the world who I was and look impressive in front of Dana White made this win that much sweeter. I’m ready for the UFC and hope to be getting my call ASAP.”

Vazquez was able to talk with Dana White after the fight.

“We spoke in the back for a while, and he was very interested and said he’d be talking to (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby, so that’s exciting.”

Manny Vazquez and his team after winning the Legacy bantamweight title

Manny Vazquez and team after winning the Legacy bantamweight title. (Photo: Mata Leon)

Pat Miletich raved about Vazquez during the broadcast, marveling at his wrestling and explaining how impressed he was with his performance.

After Vazquez passed the guard of Ramos, Miletich said, “Wow. Exactly what he was supposed to do. This kid knows where the daylight is.”

Miletich was also impressed at how sticky Vazquez was. “He was all over Ramos, he could not get away from him. That kid was slick.”

Just 22, Vazquez has some great options in front of him. He will either get the call to join the UFC, or he will defend his new Legacy title on live TV again. But for now, he’ll enjoy the fruits of his labor, and his new, shiny championship belt.

Here are highlights of the fight from AXStv:

Hypnotik Chicago Fight Shorts

Hypnotik Chicago Shorts

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is the former play-by-play announcer for the XFO and other organizations, and he has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided, and more.

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