It wasn't an ideal debut, but ‘Caged' star Matt Schnell got his hand raised in the end. The 22-year-old former cast member of MTV's MMA-themed reality show took a split decision over fellow rookie Ryan Hollis on the main card of Legacy FC 14, though it wasn't easy.
Schnell dropped Hollis early in the first with a pair of stiff right hands, before sealing the round with a takedown in the final seconds. Hollis came alive in the second, finding his mark with a brutal side kick right to the jaw, but Schnell just shook it off, then dragged the fight to the mat and spent most of the round in top position.
Schnell secured another takedown early in the final frame, though this time it was Hollis who got the better of the situation, unloading a furious string of elbows and submission attempts from the bottom throughout the round. Afterward, the judges' scores were announced 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28 in favor of Schnell.
In the night's main event, welterweight Jeff Rexroad survived a rough first frame to storm back and finish Lucas Pimenta with an impressive modified triangle in the second round. The win awarded Rexroad the interim welterweight Legacy title, after reigning champion Jorge Patino injured his knee a few weeks out from the fight.
Elsewhere on the card, UFC and WEC veteran Antonio Banuelos was stunned in his flyweight debut, dropping a unanimous decision (30-27, x3) to Missouri native Josh Sampo. Sampo proved elusive throughout the bout, picking up his second straight win by providing a steady stream of offense, while Banuelos appeared unable to find any sense of range.
Meanwhile, Darrion Caldwell lived up to his hype, easily taking a unanimous decision over David Armas in his professional debut. Caldwell, the 2009 NCAA Division I wrestling champion, took down Armas seemingly at will, achieving full mount several times throughout a dominant three rounds.
Complete Legacy FC 14 results can be found below:
Jeff Rexroad def. Lucas Pimenta via submission (modified triangle choke) at 3:17 of round 2
Joshua Sampo def. Antonio Banuelos via unanimous decision
Steven Peterson def. Cody Williams via submission (omoplata) at 4:46 of round 2
Derrick Krantz def. Brandon Farran via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:11 of round 1
Lester Batres def. Jonathan Harris via knockout at 2:11 of round 1
Matt Schnell def. Ryan Hollis via split decision
Darrion Caldwell def. David Armas via unanimous decision
Charles Ontiveros def. Anthony Tatum via unanimous decision
Terrance Ferguson def. Patrick Hutton via submission (rear-naked choke) in round 1
Kaileb Cummins def. Patrick Greene via submission (guillotine choke) in round 3