Only time will tell what the much-anticipated UFC Fight Night in Cincinnati this coming May will bring, but for now, “Best Fight Card of the Year in Ohio” honors unofficially go to Driven MMA and it’s inaugural all-pro event which took place Saturday at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.  While the “Driven MMA” name may be unfamiliar to the MMA faithful here in Ohio, the people behind the name are sure to be well-known.  “Powered by the NAAFS,” including NAAFS owner Greg Kalikas and matchmaker Nicole Long-Castillo, Driven MMA will be the all professional arm of the promotion, while the North American Allied Fighting Series will remain focused on amateur action.

Following an undercard with something of interest for virtually any MMA fan in Northeast Ohio, Driven MMA included 6 more marquis events including the successful professional debut of WMMA phenom Jessica “The Zombie” Zomcik, a triumphant return to Heavyweight for crowd favorite “Big John Hawk,” as well as a powerfully validating submission victory for native son, Antonio Castillo Jr.

 

Driven MMA Main Card:

Bout 7: 140 lbs – Summer “The Critter” Bradshaw 0-1 (Pariah MMA) vs Jessica “The Zombie” Zomcik 0-0 (Evolve MMA)

Summer “The Critter” Bradshaw came out fighting long, fearless and straight- ahead, showing great confidence in her stand up, especially against such a highly touted prospect as Zomcik.  There was very little feeling out process as both ladies exchanged punches aggressively but in a measured balance.  At times, it looked as if the reach of Bradshaw prevented The Zombie from implementing her striking game, but that concern was short-lived as Zomcik showed supreme confidence in her ground game by pulling guard with lots of time left on the fight clock, and working hard for an armbar submission.  After a brief attempt at an ankle lock, The Zombie sunk in a second, this time much deeper attempt at an armbar which resulted in her opponent tapping out in considerable pain.  Overall, an inspired performance by Zomcik, and one that will have any opponent thinking twice about going to the ground against this jiu-jitsu stylist.

 

Bout 8: 145 lbs – Ricky “Mountain Man” Musgrave 11-4 (Pariah MMA) vs Frank “The Tank” Caraballo 12-6 (Fearless Fight Team)

Cleveland native Frank Caraballo was first to strike just enough to avoid a pattern of retreating, but he was at his best when he was counterpunching against the talented but occasionally over-aggressive Musgrave. Caraballo fought a smart fight and in my opinion won the battle of the hands albeit often while moving backwards.  The fight was punctuated by some very good attacks by each fighter including a head kick early in round 2 by Muscgrave which scored but failed to deter Frank the Tank who briefly dropped Muscgrave later in Round 2 and showed some good spinning attacks in addition to his superior counter punching.  Both fighters turned in some spirited ground fighting and some good back and forth action, a very close fight. The judges seemed to be swayed more in favor of aggression and output than technique and efficiency in handing Muscgrave a Spilt Descision victory.  This one takes my unofficial fight of the night honors, a very close fight with no real loser.

 

Bout 9: 265 lbs – William “The King” Penn 7-3 (Independent) vs “Big” John Hawk 8-5 (Strong Style Fight Team)

The early, all-out assault fromWilliam “The King” Penn was fast and furious and powerful. Hawk stood squarely in harms way and traded blows and though he took the worst of several big exchanges, he persevered until he put Penn against the cage, grounded him and began to inflict some punishment of his own.  One had the sense that Hawk’s determination, cardio and heart were turning the tides by the end of the first, but he would have to weather a rested opponent again after the bell to answer rounds 2 and 3.  Hawk started to land some good uppercuts inside and mostly managed to impose his will and fight the fight on his own terms.  Gaining one final takedown toward the end of round three, he cemented his victory eventually taking his opponents back but running out of time to set up the choke. Overall a well-executed fight plan that played to Hawk’s strengths and a well-deserved, unanimous victory

 

Bout 10: 145 lbs – Wes “Limp Noodle” Lane 3-2 (Butch Hiles BJJ & MMA) vs “The Mexican Muscle” Antonio Castillo Jr 7-4 (Midwest Training Center)

Canton’s own Antonio Castillo Jr. set the tone early with some hard kicks and one of his patented body slams. In spite of a spirited effort by Wes Lane, Castillo was in charge at every term, dominating the striking and the wrestling and simply outclassing his opponent on every level. In this, as well as other fights Castillo appeared to have a strength and cardio advantage over his opponents and seems very powerful for his size.  Two beautifully executed head kicks added excitement and style points to what was a very satisfying submission victory for the Canton resident and product of Toledo, Ohio.

 

Bout 11: 205 lbs – Rodney “Shonuff The Master” Wallace 19-7-1 (Team R.O.C. Charlotte) vs Maxim Grishin 15-6 (Strong Style Fight Team)

UFC veteran Rodney Wallace wasted no time in dumping an unsuspecting Maxim Grishin squarely on his nogginearly in Round 1, and established dominance in the striking both with some good hands and a massive head kick that Grishin ate and walked through essentially unphased. Grishin began to turn the tides when he put the fight against the cage and got a critical takedown with time left to work in Round 1. A beautiful Judo throw to earn the takedown in Round 2 put Grishin in control, though not much happened the rest of the fight.  The difference in this one was Grishin’s ability to get up when taken down coupled with his ability to maintain top control when he earned takedowns. Overall, this one was an unconvincing, split-decision victory for Maxim Grishin.

 

Bout 12: 175 lbs – Dominique “Nonstop Action Packed” Steele 10-4 (Vision MMA) vs Dan “The Handler” Hornbuckle 20-7 (ATT WarHawks)

And finally, in the Main Event of the evening,Ohioan Dominique Steele faced fellow Bellator veteran and one-time top welterweight contender Dan Hornbuckle in what was a landmark victory for Steele who is riding a recent wave of success. The kicks of Dan Hornbuckle were a big difference in offensive output, but the punching, takedowns and ground and pound were in favor of Steele, who probably inflicted the greater damage.  Missing were Hornbuckle’s jiu-jitsu stylings of old, as Steele seemed to nullify the once creative and highly entertaining submission game of fan-favorite Dan Hornbuckle.  One could argue that Northeast Ohio is equally hostile territory for Cincinnati native Dom Steele as it would be for say, a Cincinnati Bengal, however; native’s of the Buckeye state have been warned to take note of Steele’s meteoric rise of late and start showing some love for our own, at least when he’s not fighting another NorEaster.

All in all, it was a magical first night for newly-minted Driven MMA.  Everything was just a little bit bigger, better, and brighter and one can only hope there is more of the same to follow.

 

By Joe Millin
Staff Writer, ProFightingFans.com

Six professional bouts of intense local interest made up the undercard for the inaugural Driven MMA event at the Canton Memorial Civic Center Saturday night.  Local favorites Isaiah Chapman, Kyle Rosewski, Reggie Parks, George Comer and Curt Lemmon earned victories, while local favorite Dustin Kempf gave fans reason for encouragement even in a loss, in returning to the cage for the first time after yet another injury sidelined him many months ago.  West Virginia’s “Wild Wild” Wes Hanson added some flash with a slick submission win over Ohioan Louis Johnson in a night that delivered something for everyone of the Ohio MMA faithful.

 

Driven MMA Preliminary Card:

Bout 1: 265 lbs – Curt Lemmon 1-0 (Dungeon MMA) vs Ryan “The Rhino” Walls 2-0 (Peak Submission)

Heavyweights, Kurt Lemmon and Ryan Walls kicked off the undercard with a hard-fought battle of attrition that was contested mostly in the clinch and on the ground. Lemmon was a relentless, systematic grappler with a brutalizing clinch game while Walls was the more explosive striker in the early going. Round one was essentially a toss up. Referee Mark Matheny’s instincts were perfect in breaking up the cage hugging and while it looked as if Walls might rally a comeback, the crafty Lemmon had pulled the more explosive fighter into deep water where he would eventually drown him by TKO due to strikes in the last seconds of Round 2.

 

Bout 2: 170 lbs – Reggie “The Contract Killer” Parks 2-1 (Ronin Fight Team) vs Kenny “The Gorilla” Booker 2-1 (Midwest Training Center)

Thirty-nine year old Reggie Parks returned to the cage to face Bellator veteran Kenny Booker in what was perhaps the most closely matched, as well as controversial bout of the evening. Three rounds of back and forth striking, takedowns for both fighters and fairly well-matched grappling exchanges made for a fight without much advantage on either side.  Parks was the aggressor in most exchanges and significantly outworked Booker most of the fight, but was also the culprit in a rather egregious illegal knee to the head which seemed to take some of the starch out of his opponent for the balance of the contest. Only in the final seconds of the 3rd round when Booker appeared to stagger Parks was either fighter significantly in trouble. In spite of giving up a point in the 2nd round, Parks prevailed on the judge’s scorecards winning a razor tight split decision 29-26, 28-27 and 29-28.

 

Bout 3: 145 lbs – Louis “Light Speed” Johnson 2-0 (Team Carlson Gracie) vs “Wild Wild” Wes Hanson 1-0 (Leon Ramsey’s Dawghouse Gym)

The always sensational Wes Hanson and Louis “Lightspeed” Johnson set a break-neck pace in a lively display of free-style wrestling punctuated with wild scrambles, slick reversals and aggressive “go for broke” submission attempts.  Hansonexpertly wrapped up a guillotine with all the style and technique of his Team Alpha Male training partner Uriah Faber, ending the fight as quickly and decisively as a flash knockout.

 

Bout 4: 145 lbs – Kyle “Kyote” Rozewski 3-3 (Evolve MMA) vs Dustin “The Reaper” Kempf 6-6 (Instigator Fight Team)

Local favorite Dustin Kemph from Carrollton, Ohio drew perhaps the loudest applause of the evening but ended up on the wrong end of a very slick and artfully executed triangle choke at the hands of Evolve MMA’s Kyle Rosewski. Ring rust may have been a factor in the much-anticipated return to the cage for Kemph who appeared shocked when he woke up to the face ofreferee Jerry Krzys instead of his already celebrating opponent.  Polite in victory but confident enough to put the division on warning, “you go to sleep on me, and I’ll put you to sleep,” was Rosewski, whose ground game appears to be technically stellar.

 

Bout 5: 155 lbs– Anthony Morgan 3-0 (Dayton MMA) vs George “Bonesaw” Comer 3-1 (GriffonRawl)

Anthony Morgan simply had no answer for the takedowns and top game of Mount Union wrestling standout, George Comer.  To his credit, Comer was not content to grind out a decision victory, but worked hard for the finish after dominating the first two rounds, eventually softening up his opponent with elbows and submitting him with a nasty arm triangle.

 

Bout 6: 135 lbs – Charles “Trinity” Stanford 4-1 (G-Force MMA) vs Isaiah “The Beast” Chapman 4-1 (Rock Hard MMA)

Charles “Trinity” Stanford did well to survive the initial storm early in Round 1, one of the many challenges any opponent of the physically gifted and well-rounded Isaiah Chapman must face.  But unlike other heavily-muscled fighters, Chapman did not fade in spite of having to contend with a significant reach advantage enjoyed by Stanford who fought long and used his length to his advantage. Stanford fought a crafty, smart fight and seemed to stick to his game plan admirably.  Chapman, however, was simply the stronger, more gifted athlete, and eventually gained a preponderance of advantage from which Stanford was unable to recover, in spite of several brief surges in which he threatened to turn the momentum in his direction. Both fighters turned it on at the end, but Chapman won a unanimous decision.  Isaiah was back after a serious shoulder injury and the local crowd was thrilled to see him looking fit and in top form. It was almost a year since he last fought, suffering a dislocated shoulder in the early part of his first and only professional loss.

Six more professional bouts made up a star-studded main card including both local and national talent.  For a recap of the main card, see:  www.profightingfans.com

 

By Joe Millin
Staff Writer, ProFightingFans.com

Fresh off the success of the XFC’s Latin America debut, the fastest growing international promotion (XFC) is right back at it with XFCi 2, LIVE on REDE TV, March 15th from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The evenings Main Event will see two true veterans of the sport lock horns when Adson Lira and Flavio Alvaro meet inside the Hexagon. Fans Worldwide are in for a treat, as these seasoned Brazilian fighters lay it all on the line for mainstream notoriety.

A winner of 6 of his last 7 fights, Adson “Preguica” Lira (37-10-2) has been fighting professionally for over a decade. Even though Lira is known throughout Brazil as “Preguica” (Lazy), the 35 year’s track record proves his nickname is not an accurate description of his character. In 2011, Lira fought an impressive twelve times; staying in fight camp an entire calendar year. True to his Brazilian heritage, 19 of Preguica’s 37 victories have come by way of submission. 7 of his wins are from knockout; giving him a finish rate of 70 percent.

Flavio “The Legendary” Alvaro (45-10) is as advertised; a legend in Brazilian MMA. With 55 professional fights under his belt, Alvaro is the definition of “well-rounded”. His wins have come from a balanced attack of knockout power and slick submissions. With 14 wins coming by KO, 16 by submission, and 16 by decision, The Legendary one’s resume proves he can either end the contest or go the distance; pick your poison. Twice in his storied career, Flavio has ripped off impressive win streaks. Between 2005 and 2007, he found victory in 15 consecutive fights and then again in 2011, he went on another 10 fight run. The most impressive stat of Alvaro’s career, however, is not found in his wins, but his losses. Born, raised, and competing in a culture that eats, breathes, and sleeps Jiu Jitsu, Flavio has made it through 55 professional fights without being submitted; a stat his opponent XFCi 2 has surely taken note of.

Catch all the up to the minute news about XFCi 2 at www.XFCMMA.com, and follow the promotion on Facebook and Twitter @OfficialXFC / @XFCLatinAmerica. Join the XFC on March 15th at 10:30pm EST / :30 BRST as they go Live on REDE TV in Brazil, streaming Worldwide via the website XFCMMA.com!

Art of War Fighting Championships #9, “The Return” promises to restore a touch of class to the Indiana MMA scene with its return to the Wyndham Hotel.

Art of War MMA FightsIndianapolis, IN – January 17, 2014 – Long known for its high-value productions, Mad Wolf Promotions Art of War Fighting Championships #9, “The Return” brings the spotlight back to where it all began with its return to the Wyndham Hotel, the venue that helped build its reputation for offering the best overall event environment as well as featuring the best all-amateur Mixed Martial Arts action.  The Wyndham, located at 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis, IN served as the battleground for several previous Art of War events over the years before owner and founder Robert Woolf recently decided to try a larger venue nearby in hopes of drawing a bigger gate.  “This year we wanted to pull back and focus on quality and atmosphere,” said Woolf, who recently purchased the Indy Fit Club (formerly MMA Fit Club) at such and such mall.  “So far we are planning just 3 Art of War events spaced 4 months apart for 2014 in order to leave time for a grappling and kickboxing event late in the year if we perceive the demand and desire for it is there.  Art of War #9 will take place on Saturday, February 1 with doors opening at 6 pm and the first bell at 7:30.  Two amateur title fights will be featured with the 125 and 135 lb. belts up for grabs.

A stacked card from top to bottom promises fireworks with a co-main event featuring wrestling phenom Jarred Brooks against Ruben Perez who has looked unstoppable, earning quick, violent, decisive stoppages in his wins to date.  The main event features JustinDowcett, perhaps the hottest ammy in Indiana, who finally gets a shot at a belt, but he’ll have to go through another tough customer in Chris Wanke who also has his heart set on wearing the 135 lb strap.

You only get one shot at a first impression, so, when Michigan’s own Dom O’Grady (16-6) decided he would introduce himself to the XFC, and it’s legion of fans, he planned to make an impression they won’t soon forget; and tapped out top contender Eric Reynolds.  O’Grady is a true veteran of the sport.  With a professional career dating back to 2007, O’Grady has been competing domestically and internationally for over six years. XFC - Dom O'GradyBetween 2010 and 2012, O’Grady fought eight times for King of the Cage, with an unprecedented six of those eight bouts for promotional titles.  From September to December of 2010, Dom held both the Lightweight and Welterweight KOTC title belts simultaneously.  In 2012, he put together back to back wins for Bellator, before deciding it was time to recharge his batteries and take some much-needed time off.  With his sights now set on the XFC, O’Grady looks to parlay his experiences into another title run, this time with the Xtreme Fighting Championships.

Announced today from XFC President, John Prisco, the XFC has signed another top prospect Lightweight into the XFC roster! After disposing of Eric “It’s a Wrap” Reynolds at XFC 27 this past December, Dom “I hate you so much” O’Grady was very humble on the mic when MMA legend Pat Miletich asked if he felt knocking off the #1 contender put him right in title contention. O’grady’s response was highly respectful of the signed fighters in the XFC, stating this was only his first fight in the promotion and he feels after a couple more wins in the organization, then he may start to think about it. But it wasn’t something that was on his mind, in that moment. His character, along with his impressive performance against Reynolds, was more than enough to catch the attention of XFC President, John Prisco, who today announced the signing of the 16-6 Team H8 Squad Lightweight from Detroit, Michigan.

“The fact that Dom O’Grady versus Eric Reynolds was Dom’s initiation into the XFC, just shows how good of a fighter he really is”, said XFC Matchmaker and President John Prisco.  “To come into the organization and tap out Reynolds, is not something many fighters have been able to do. Dom has headlined several cards for KOTC, when he was their title holder, and that speaks volumes about the type of fighter he is.  He had two great showings in Bellator, as well.  He is a legit, Main Event caliber fighter.  I’m excited to be promoting Dom and to see him competing at the highest level of MMA, here at the XFC. While Dom was gracious in his reply to Pat Miletich about title contention, if he indeed puts together wins inside this roster of fighters, no one will be able to deny him the opportunity at the Lightweight Title. Congrats Dom, welcome to the XFC!”

The Brazilian Army sergeant, Lightweight Thiago “Minu” Meller (18-5),  has a date and opponent for the biggest international challenge of his career. Minu steps into the XFC cage on February 8 to measure forces against American  “Insane” Dave Courchaine (16-6). Unlike Minu, who’s coming off of 4 international triumphs, Courchaine who was riding an 8 fight win streak, was defeated by XFC Brazilian Welterweight Fighter Luis “Sapo” Santos last June. That didn’t stop Courchaine, who dropped to the XFC Lightweight division and rebounded in December with a dominant knockout of Alex Trevino in the 2nd round of XFC 27 in Michigan. He now sets to face his next test, in international territory.

“There will be no easy fights, when our organization is involved in the matchmaking. That is something I have told our fighters all along” said XFC President John Prisco. “Dave Courchaine is one of our most talented U.S. fighters and Thiago Meller is a highly skilled Brazilian fighter. The two will present some very dangerous oppositions for one another. What an exciting fight headlining our debut show in Latin America, on Rede TV!”

“Insane” Dave Courchaine will be the first XFC North America fighter to head south under the XFC banner, as the promotion expands their reach internationally showcasing their fights on the largest open broadcast television network in Brazil; Rede TV! Courchaine’s goal to show the XFC that he is worthy of a title shot with Fighter of the Year – XFC Lightweight Champion Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman, could be just a few rounds away. However, Meller will certainly not go away quietly.

 

This Sunday at the 2013 Florida MMA Awards red carpet event, XFC’s John Prisco took home the award for Best Matchmaker of the Year. This marks the second year in a row that Prisco was recognized and selected for an achievement award at the annual Awards Show. By years end, John will have been responsible for matchmaking well over 60 fights across 6 nationally televised XFC MMA events on the AXS TV network. This year alone, Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) has produced stadium fight cards in Florida, Kentucky, N. Carolina, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Michigan.

Based out of Tampa, the organization was credited by the Tampa Tribune for setting the Florida statewide attendance record for an MMA event, when they drew over 11,000 fans to the St. Pete Times Forum and was credited in by Yahoo Sports for being “the best kept secret in the sport.”

Check out the promotions website at www.XFCMMA.com and follow them hourly on Facebook & Twitter “@OfficialXFC”

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The Florida Mixed Martial Arts Award Show was created to recognize the Florida Mixed Martial Arts Community for their contribution to the fastest growing sport to date. In 2011 more than 500 MMA fighters fought in Florida, yet no one was recognized for the sacrifices, commitment, and dedication to the sport. Until Now.

Each year, the Florida MMA Awards Show will recognize the efforts of those who have made an impact inside and outside the cage. This event will also let the world know that Florida is a market for Mixed Martial Arts and that we are working hard to push the sport forward.

They say, good things come to those who wait, and for Michigan natives Marcus Reynolds and Dequan Townsend, this couldn’t be more true. As the two fighters counted the days until their show down on December 13th, an unfortunate training injury put the Angela Hill versus Stephanie Skinner match on hold, and opened up a main card spot at Frozen Fury. As if auditioning for one of the biggest promotions in the industry wasn’t enough, now these two warriors can add the pressure of performing for a Worldwide audience at home. LIVE, from the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Michigan, Marcus Reynolds versus Dequan Townsend will take place on the televised portion of XFC 27 on AXS TV and  judging from their past fight stats, it looks like someone is gonna get knocked out!

Ryan Thomas MMAIron Fist Clan’s, Michigan native, Marcus “The Iron Dragon” Reynolds (9-7) will bring his unorthodox striking and entertaining style of MMA to the masses on December 13th. The life-long student of Kung Fu first entered the professional ranks back in 2006. Even though his career has been very hot and cold at times, one thing Michigan fans have always been able to count on is Reynold’s fan friendly game plan and freakish power. With an impressive 89% finish rate, eight of The Iron Dragon’s nine wins have come by way of knockout. The King of the Cage and Shine Fights veteran will look to add to his current three fight win streak and make his mark on the sport with a high-light reel finish of Dequan Townsend. When asked what the audience at home can look forward to when Marcus Reynolds takes the cage at Frozen Fury, Team Iron Fist Clan’s Destin Allen said, “The people outside of Michigan, who have never seen Marcus are going to see a real, living, breathing, Saturday morning Kung Fu Theater action star.”

Dequan ”The Tarantula” Townsend (5-2) is a fan’s fighter! The Murcielago MMA standout approaches his fight career from both a competition and entertainment angle.  Michigan fans know, a Dequan Townsend fight isn’t just a fight, it’s a show! Known for his epic ring entrances and uncanny knockout power, Townsend comes from the newest generation of fighters that didn’t grow up with a base discipline, but got into mixed martial arts fresh of the street, learning all aspects of the sport equally. The freestyle fighter from Lansing currently holds the Total Warrior Combat Welterweight title, but is looking to add a marquee win to his resume. Townsend prides himself as not only a showman, but a legit threat to everyone in his weight class. The Tarantula admits his fight with Reynolds has thepotential to earn Fight of the Night honors, but feels the smart bet; Knockout of the Night.

XFC Founder & Matchmaker John Prisco weighed in on the main card moves: “I’ve said it time and time again; the XFC is about opportunity. Work hard, stay ready, and you never know what might happen. This sport is tough on the body. Most high level fighters will tell you, getting through a training camp and making it to the fight healthy, is the hard part of the process. Injuries are always going to happen and when they do, we’re sometimes forced to change the line up around. One minute you’re preparing for a prelim fight; the next you could be asked to step up and show the World what you’re made of on live TV. Reynolds versus Townsend was a regional fight that we were all excited about when we put this card together, but there just wasn’t room on the main card to showcase it. When the Skinner/Hill fight had to be pulled, there was no hesitation on which fight should bump up and take the open spot. Both these guys have paid their dues, trained hard, promoted the card wonderfully, and have earned the opportunity they are about to receive. I assure you, they will take full advantage of this and put on a show for everyone. Both these fighters and their camps are guaranteeing fireworks.”

XFC International President Myron Molotky, who resides in Michigan, was excited to see two Michigan natives receive the call that they would be fighting live on national television with the XFC. “It’s with great anticipation that I get to watch two guys I’ve seen grow up in the Michigan MMA scene be recognized for their skills and accomplishments as we welcome them to the XFC. John Prisco’s matchmaking prowess has again put together regional dream match-ups, such as this fight between Reynolds & Townsend…only John and the XFC are able to make these matchups happen.”
Molotky continued “Showcasing the top fighters worldwide in our cage, for all the area fans to see live, is what we are all about. I anticipate that the fighters and their teams are going to make the most of it, especially since the opportunity presents itself to be showcased on television. The L.C. Walker arena and our fans watching worldwide will be on the edge of their seats when these two knockout artists go to work on Friday Dec. 13th.”

Xtreme Fighting Championships invades the Great Lakes State on December 13, 2013 for XFC 27: Frozen Fury. The event is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions and it will be broadcast Live on AXS TV from the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Michigan, beginning at 8pm CT/9 pm ET. For more information on the event, visit www.XFCMMA.com and to purchase tickets visit www.beafantickets.com. For daily updates and news, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @OfficialXFC.

View the full fight card

On December 13th, at the L.C. Walker Arena, the XFC will once again show off its commitment to bringing high level MMA and superior matchmaking to its legion of fans.  The traveling promotion will close out Frozen Fury, and their year, with a Main Event only fitting for their highly successful 2013. LIVE on AXS TV from Muskegon, Michigan, it will be young lion versus old, when Daniel Swain takes on Junior Assuncao.

Ryan Thomas MMADaniel “Agent Orange” Swain (10-2) knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and that’s exactly why the former college wrestler didn’t hesitate when the opportunity to face MMA veteran Junior Assuncao was presented to him. Swain’s thought process was simple, spend the next year grinding away with fighters ranked near him, or go straight for the big dog and put himself immediately in title talks. With a 70% finish rate, Swain prides himself on breaking the stereotype on wrestlers. “I don’t ever want to be associated with a boring fight. Watch my fights, I don’t think you can find one and honestly say it was boring, or I wasn’t trying to finish it”, said Swain.  A winner of four straight, “Agent Orange” spent most of 2013 competing in Japan’s Pancrase promotion. The former King of the Cage and MFC vet went 2-0 in The Land of the Rising Sun, gaining valuable experience that he will no doubt call on when facing Assuncao. The line between cocky and confident is thin, but 22 year-old Daniel Swain makes it clear which side he stands on. He has put in the work and followed a career path that has him certain he is ready for this challenge. Swain’s most notable win to date came in 2011 when he submitted current UFC standout Sam Sicilia, but on December 13th, he hopes that distinction goes to Junior Assuncao.

At 32 years old and nearly ten years as a professional, Junior Assuncao (15-5) is far from done in the sport of mixed martial arts. The Brazilian looks to use his second run with the XFC to prove that to not only his fans, but more importantly, his peers. On December 13th Assuncao looks to put all Featherweights on notice. The message he wants to send; that he will be the measuring stick for 145ers in the XFC. Junior  has won an impressive eight of his last nine bouts, which includes a XFC Lightweight title win over John Mahlow in 2010, and then a return to the UFC where he went 1-1 before being released again. The company cited an over-crowded roster and division as the reason for Assuncao’s departure. After his second stint in the UFC, Assuncao stepped away from the sport to relax and spend time with his family, but now rested and recharged, Junior will bring his dangerous blend of high-level jiu jitsu and solid striking to an already stacked XFC Featherweight division. If there is one thing the addition of Junior Assuncao guarantees, it’s that things are about to get real interesting in the XFC.

XFC Matchmaker John Prisco had this to say, when asked about his XFC 27 Main Event: “Of course we are excited to have Junior back in the XFC. Even though his time with us before was relatively short, he made an impression on everyone here. He was a pleasure to work with and a true professional, so there was no hesitation about bringing him back for a second run. To top it off, the guy is a beast; a world-class fighter, so bringing Junior back made an immediate impact on our Featherweight Division. There is no denying that the winner of the Dragon/Sharipov title fight on December 13th, should get to a monitor quickly and watch this Main Event, because more than likely, who ever is holding that belt at the end of the night, will meet one of these guys in the near future. Don’t think for a minute though that Assuncao has this thing locked up. We did him no favors by matching him up with Daniel Swain for his first fight back. Swain is a top-tier fighter. He is a well-rounded, seasoned veteran at just 22 years old. That’s makes him a dangerous, man. The kid is 22 years old, holds a 10-2 record, has traveled the globe gaining experience and confidence…everyone better take this guy serious; especially Junior.”

Michigan native Myron Molotky, President of XFC International, had this to say about the main event: “After 11 other main event caliber fights, Brazil’s Junior Assuncao will make his long awaited return to the XFC, headlining XFC 27. I’m very pleased to announce my involvement with the XFC.  It’s a very exciting time, as we showcase more and more International fighters inside our promotion. Junior will be facing one of his toughest opponents yet and the fans at the L.C. Walker Arena are in for a treat when they get to witness this bout live in their home town. The XFC is bringing one of the biggest televised events the Lake Shore area has ever seen. Living here in West Michigan for over 30 years, I know the sports fans from around this area are going to enjoy what the XFC brings to Muskegon in December.”

Xtreme Fighting Championships invades the Great Lakes State on December 13, 2013 for XFC 27: Frozen Fury. The event is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions and it will be broadcast Live on AXS TV from the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Michigan, beginning at 8pm CT/9 pm ET. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.XFCMMA.com or www.beafantickets.com. For daily updates and news, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @OfficialXFC.

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The XFC will crank the heat up in the L.C. Walker Arena, when they kick off Frozen Fury with a Welterweight showdown between Dominique Steel and Ryan Thomas.  The Steele/Thomas match-up kicks off the televised portion of XFC 27: Frozen Fury, LIVE on AXS TV from Muskegon, Michigan. “The Tank Engine” Thomas looks to add to his current five fight win streak, while his opponent, Dom Steele, looks to raise his MMA stock with a win over the talented and dangerous XFC standout.

Ryan Thomas MMAArguably Ohio’s most charismatic and entertaining fighter, Dom “Nonstop Action Packed” Steele (9-4) prepares for his XFC and AXS TV debut, when he faces the seasoned Ryan Thomas on December 13th. Although Thomas is the fighter coming in with the higher profile resume, Steele is no stranger to bright lights and big fights. The man who refers to himself as “Nonstop Action Packed”, has earned opportunities in both Strikeforce and Bellator, with his most notable fight to date being a decision loss to Brian Rogers at Bellator 78. Ready to take that next step in his career, Steele will have a national television audience watching as he attempts to checkmate one of the best chess players in the sport. With four of his nine wins coming by way of knockout, Steele will need to use his reach and power to send an early message to Thomas. Known around the Ohio region as a fighter with unmeasurable heart, Dom Steele has all the tools needed to shock the world with a win in Muskegon. If the former heavyweight approaches this fight with the same determination and drive he lives his life with, we could see a superstar emerge in Michigan.

Ryan “The Tank Engine” Thomas (17-7) has quietly become one of the hottest Welterweights in mixed martial arts. The 29 year-old Illinois native is currently riding a five fight win streak that dates back to December of 2011. The last time we saw Thomas was in Albuquerque, New Mexico at XFC 25, when he defeated Rocky France by Triangle Choke. In his professional career, the submission machine has tapped an impressive 65% (11) of his opponents, while mixing in six knockouts. The American Top Team fighter’s “kill or be killed” attitude is apparent, as only 2 of his 24 professional fights have gone to the judge’s score cards. Thomas will bring a wealth of experience into his bout with Dom Steele. With XFC, Bellator and UFC bouts under his belt, Thomas has been inside the cage with some of the sport’s top fighters. The Tank Engine’s most notable opponents include: Corey Hill, Matt Brown, Ben Saunders and former Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren.

Gary Thomas, of Bluegrass MMA, has been covering the XFC for over two years and has also followed Dom Steele since his pro debut. Thomas weighed in on the upcoming fight and had this to say: “This is a tough fight for me to call.  I have been covering Dom Steele since he turned pro as a vicious heavyweight, to the well-rounded Welterweight he is now. The guy has the biggest heart I’ve ever seen in a fighter. The problem with that is, against Ryan Thomas, heart isn’t going to get it done. Steele is going to have to be smart and use his head more than his heart. Ryan Thomas is surgical with his skills. Heart could get you hurt in a fight with Thomas, you have to fight smart. That being said, Ryan can’t sleep on Steele. If he takes Steele lightly, it’s going to cost him.”

Myron Molotky, President of XFC International, had this to say about the upcoming event taking place in his home state. “I’m very pleased to have the XFC heading to Muskegon, Michigan! We are one of the largest nationally televised MMA promotions on the planet, putting on some of the best male and female fights in the industry. On December 13th, at the LC Walker Arena, the XFC is bringing one of the biggest televised events the Lake Shore area has ever seen and this bout between Dom and Ryan is just one of many on the stacked card. Living here in West Michigan for over 30 years, growing up in the hockey scene, I know the sports fans from around this area are going to enjoy what the XFC brings to Muskegon in December.”

Xtreme Fighting Championships invades the Great Lakes State on December 13, 2013 for XFC 27: Frozen Fury. The event is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions and will be broadcast Live on AXS TV from the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, MI, beginning at 8pm CT/9 pm ET. For more information on the event visit www.XFCMMA.com and to purchase tickets visit  www.beafantickets.com. For daily updates and news, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @OfficialXFC.

View the full fight card