Lockport's Joe Taylor enters final round at LFA 177

Feb. 22—Lockport resident Joe Taylor is heading back to the ring for one last swing.

In what will be the final fight of his nearly 12-year career, the 39-year old will compete against Brazil's Gabriel Thimoteo to retain the light heavyweight championship during Legacy Fighting Alliance 177 9 p.m. Friday at Seneca Niagara Event Center in Niagara Falls. Taylor announced LFA 177 will end his career in a Facebook post Sunday.

"I will be 40 at the end of March," Taylor said. "I feel great, but I feel like I accomplished a lot. And this is the final chapter. ... I truly appreciate all my fans that (have) been supporting me throughout the years. And, right now, my main goal is giving back to my community and getting this recreation center built by (the) end of summer (or) mid summer."

Taylor is currently building a recreation center on Hawley Street in Lockport, an extension of his JT's Mixed Martial Arts and 24/7 Fitness business. The extra funding from the fight would help him reach his goal of opening the center by the end of August before next school year.

Taylor enters Friday's match with a 5-0-0 record and is ranked the No. 1 light heavyweight in the state and 12th overall in the Northeast region, according to Taylor made his LFA debut last year when he defeated Ben Parrish in a unanimous decision at LFA 155.

Nicknamed "Son of a Legend" in honor of his father, Johnnie, Taylor's fighting career includes winning a world kickboxing championship in 2017 at Madison Square Garden to hosting numerous WKA championship events at Lockport's Cornerstone Arena.

Tickets for Taylor-Thimoteo, which is part of the event's main card, are sold out but the fight can be viewed on UFC Fight Pass.