Legacy Fighting Championship has been branching out beyond just Texas of late, and this Friday’s Legacy FC 36 card continues that trend. The promotion sets up shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a card that features two title fights and will be aired live on AXS TV. Viewers are likely to see two very different championship bouts, as the main event will decide who wears the heavyweight belt, and the co-main event will do the same in the flyweight division. Last week saw a bit of a surprising performance in the heavyweight division by Smealinho Rama, and Cody East and Vernon Lewis will no doubt be looking to make the same kind of impression. Combined, the two men have finished their opponents in 11 of 12 professional victories (eight of which have been by TKO). East has the more impressive record at a glance, but Lewis’ two losses came in his first two pro bouts against solid heavyweights Ryan Martinez and Richard Odoms, so this bout should end up more competitive than most think. The co-main event could be a very entertaining bout for the simple fact that Damacio Page is in it. The former UFC and WEC veteran has found new life at flyweight, with a pair of stoppage wins under the Legacy banner. In fact, he should be 4-0 since being cut from the UFC, but had a contentious decision go the other way in his fight against Marcelo Costa. Brian Hall upset Brazilian prospect Pedro Munhoz in his Legacy debut to earn this spot, and his combination of power striking and wrestling makes him a tough out for anyone. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for these two title bouts, as well as the Donald Sanchez/Charles Cheeks and Rafael de Freitas/Jordan Espinoza fights, today at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10pm ET) Legacy Heavyweight Title Cody East -155 Vernon Lewis +115 Legacy Flyweight Title Damacio Page -260 Brian Hall +180 Donald Sanchez -245 Charles Cheeks +175 Rafael de Freitas -555 Jordan Espinoza +365 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: From what I’ve seen on tape, Cody East seems to be one of those fighters who has been able to get by on his physical attributes thus far, because a lot of the technical game isn’t there yet. The problem for him is that Vernon Lewis should be his athletic equal, and seems to be a bit more polished technically. Even in Lewis’ pro debut, he showed some solid striking and scrambling abilities against Ryan Martinez (a better wrestler than East). I think that Lewis can catch East as he comes in with some wild strikes, but East does seem very difficult to finish. That toughness may allow East to outlast Lewis and pick up a late stoppage or a decision, but I think the value here is on the dog. Brian Hall got as high as +350 against Pedro Munhoz in his last bout, and if you read these articles regularly, you know that I was high on him in that spot as a pick, nevermind at that price. He may get just as high in this bout, but I don’t like his chances nearly as much. First, Damacio Page has dealt with wrestlers before (albeit not always successfully) and seems to have improved that part of his game especially down at 125. Second, Hall does not have good cardio, and this is a five-round fight. He was barely holding on against Souza at the end of that bout, and he’ll still have 10 more minutes to go against a more dangerous striker here. Building off of that point, when Hall starts to get tired, he backs up and hangs out on the cage. If he does that against Page, he’s going to eat some serious power shots and probably go down. Give me Page sometime in the second or third round via TKO. I don’t have much to say about Sanchez/Cheeks. This bout will determine if Cheeks has the potential to become a solid fighter in the future or not. Sanchez is the quintessential journeyman. Solid in most areas, but also exploitable in most areas if his opponent is great anywhere. I’m not confident that Cheeks is at this point, so my pick is Sanchez but I’m far from betting it. Rafael de Freitas has been out of action since March 2013 (including in that time was a failed bid on TUF 18), which is worrying, but Legacy has given him a solid matchup to get back on track here. Jordan Espinoza is a .500-level regional fighter, and de Freitas should feast in this matchup. His jiu-jitsu is on another world from Espinoza’s, and he should be able to take this down and find a submission rather quickly. The layoff is the only thing keeping me from having him as an easy parlay leg, but it really shouldn’t have much effect on this bout.