There wasn’t much time for blinking Friday night at Legacy Fighting Championship 42 in Lake Charles, La., as only one of 11 fights went the distance.
“Anthony is a great fighter and I’m just happy to get out of here with a win,” Quayhagen said.
The first round was all Quayhagen (8-3), who dominated the stand-up before landing a double-leg takedown in the final minute.
In the second round, Njokuani (16-11) began to find his range, using his counter-punching style to get the better of his opponent for the majority of the five minutes. He cemented the round when he scored a knockdown off of a late head kick that Quayhagen was able to recover from.
Quayhagen was able to grab the advantage in a razor-thin third round. Njokuani started the round by scoring a flurry of kicks and making his opponent miss often, but Quayhagen remained the aggressor and scored some late points by controlling Njokuani against the fence.
“I wish I would have pushed the pace a little more early on in the fight,” Quayhagen said. “I let him get comfortable in the second round and he won that one pretty clear. Coming out for that last round, I was going to live or die by the sword, and I moved forward a little bit more than I usually do, but I knew I had to do something because he was moving backwards most of the fight.”
Middleweight Ryan Spann (7-1) scored the night’s quickest finish in the co-main event, dispatching of Larry Crowe (9-5) in just eight seconds with a vicious right hand before telling UFC President Dana White — who was cageside — to give him a call when he’s ready.
Other quick finishes featured flyweight Matt Schnell (8-2) knocking out Vanderlei Leites (5-5) in 19 seconds and bantamweight Joel Scott (4-3) knocking out Justin Rader (3-2) with a knee in 24 seconds.
Karate champion Sage Northcutt (4-0) impressed when he dominated Gage Duhon (5-2) on the ground before earning a submission victory via rear-naked choke near the end of the first round.
The other two main card fights saw Roberto Sanchez (2-0) submit Trent Meaux (2-1) with an arm bar in the first round and Alex Morono (10-3) score a TKO victory over Marcus Andrusia (6-8) in the first round.
Legacy Fighting Championship 42 Results
Josh Quayhagen def. Anthony Njokuani by split decision (28-9, 29-28, 29-28)
Ryan Spann def. Larry Crowe by KO (punch) at 0:08, R1
Matt Schnell def. Vanderlei Leites by KO (punch) at 0:19, R1
Sage Northcutt def. Gage Duhon by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:26, R1
Joel Scott def. Justin Rader by KO (knee) at 0:24, R1
Roberto Sanchez def. Trent Meaux by submission (armbar) at 2:18, R1
Alex Morono def. Marcus Andrusia by TKO (punches) at 3:18, R1
Mike Trinh def. Will Spidle by submission (armbar) at 2:20, R2
Dominique Gallagher-Gonzalez def. Sabrina Benoit by TKO (strikes) at 2:52, R1
CJ Hancock def. Jimmy Boyette by submission (kimura) at 1:42, R1
Daniel Hoffpauir def. Trent Parker by submission (standing guillotine) at 1:59, R1