Alonzo Menifield passed his latest test with flying colors.
Menifield (3-0), a former professional football player turned light heavyweight MMA prospect, extended his unbeaten record with a blistering first-round stoppage of fellow up-and-comer Khadzhimurat Bestaev (4-2) on Friday night at Legacy Fighting Alliance 13 in Burbank, California.
Menifield set the pace early, storming out with a barrage of looping punches before kicking Bestaev’s back leg out and jumping inside the Russian’s guard. Menifield quickly retook his feet, but ended up twice more in top position after reversing a pair of takedown attempts from Bestaev. The final reversal spelled the beginning of the end for Bestaev, as Menifield rained down a salvo of hard punches from top position, including a devastating right hand that appeared to badly damage Bestaev’s orbital, forcing the Russian to submit due to strikes at 4:01 of the opening frame.
“I think it was a great fight, as far as me and him getting after it,” Menifield said afterward. “Unfortunately at the end, I don’t know about his eye or whatnot, but much love to my opponent, whose name is very hard to say. But he’s a good guy, I love his spirit. We came out here to put on a show. Hopefully we did that.”
Menifield, 29, is a former linebacker of the Arena Football League and Canadian Football League whose harsh upbringing across a dozen foster homes in California was profiled Friday on MMA Fighting. The 205-pound prospect was separated from his troubled mother at age 11 and became a self-professed “child of the courts” until being taken in by a shelter worker in his teenage years. At the time, Menifield and his older brother Cecil were unable to read and write. Nonetheless, Menifield persevered to become a college graduate and professional athlete.
“I definitely had a bad hand that was dealt, and I told myself a long time ago that I was going to make the best of it,” Menifield told MMA Fighting. “And when I look back, I can say I definitely made the best of what I’ve been given. The decisions weren’t all perfect, but hey, that’s the journey. My mindset is always just to be positive and just always strive to be better the next day, strive on being the best I can as an individual for myself.”
In the night’s main event, Bellator veteran Curtis Millender (12-3) outworked and outlasted Kevin Holland (9-3) to capture a hard-fought unanimous decision over the welterweight prospect, snagging his fourth consecutive victory while snapping Holland’s own four-fight win streak.
Complete LFA 13 results can be seen below. The night’s main card aired live on AXS TV.
- Curtis Millender def. Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Karen Darabedyan def. Sam Liera via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:46 of round 2
- Dominick Reyes def. Jordan Powell via KO (head kick) at 0:53 of round 1 (VIDEO)
- Alonzo Menifield def. Khadzhimurat Bestaev via submission (strikes) at 4:01 of round 1
- Maikel Gonzalez def. Trent Meaux via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:00 of round 1
- Herdem Alacabek def. Antonio Arroyo via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:51 of round 1
- Kyler Phillips def. Jonathan Quiroz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-26, 29-26)
- Dima Gerasimov def. Fabio Trindade via submission (d’arce choke) in round 1