XFC 18 : Pena Upsets Salter, Barrett Earns Split Decision, Clark Subs Vilche, Ray Wins Again
The XFC middleweight division has been put on notice by Reggie Pena after his come from behind win over John Salter in the main event of 'Music City Mayhem' live on HDNet.
After being dominated by Salter for most of the first round the Florida native caught the UFC veteran in a guillotine forcing him to tap just 36 seconds into the round. With the win Pena improves to 4-0 in the XFC.
"Reggie Pena is a warrior and I'm very happy with his performance at XFC 18," XFC President John Prisco said. "John Salter is one of the top 185ers in the world and Pena submitted him after clearly losing the first round of the fight."
"On paper, Pena was the underdog and honestly I thought if the fight went to the ground that Salter was going to be the favorite. But, that's the one thing about Pena that makes him one of the best in our middleweight division," Prisco continued. "He's just so tough and you have to just about kill him to beat him. Everyone watching saw that armbar Salter had him in, and Reggie still refused to tap. Kid has incredible heart. He is very well rounded and he's clearly one of the top guys at 185 in the XFC right now."
Heading into the co-main event there were some questions about Heavyweight fighter Scott Barrett, after he broke his hand in his last appearance in the XFC cage. But, for three rounds Barrett displayed superior wrestling and impressive dirty boxing to grind out a split decision win over Heavyweight jiu jitsu ace Gabriel Salinas Jones.
"Scott Barrett is back," exclaimed Prisco. "The last time we saw him he broke his hand and he didn't get to perform like he usually does. Saturday night, Scott showed the world what he can do and now he's sitting atop our Heavyweight division. Gabriel has defeated some of the best heavyweights in the world and Scott manhandled him. He took him down at least half a dozen times and made it look easy. Scott has a bright future with the XFC and I can't wait to see him back in action."
In the featured bout of the evening, Heather Jo Clark returned to her winning ways with a dominant win over Avery Vilche. It took just over a minute for Clark to sink in a rear naked choke to secure the victory. While womens MMA fans around the world were probably hoping for a much longer fight than what they received, Clark wanted to make quick work to show why she should be labeled as the top 125er in the XFC women's division.
After the fight, Clark called out Marianna Kheyfets and put her notice that she was gunning for a rematch after their controversial doctor stoppage at XFC 16 earlier this year. Will matchmaker and president John Prisco make it mandatory, we are eager to see!
Joe Ray opened the televised portion of the card with fireworks against Nashville's own Dustin West. The two men went toe to toe for most of the first round, before Ray landed a big knee that hurt West seconds before the round ended. In the second it was all Ray as he got the fight to the ground and sank in an arm triangle to get the submission and his third straight victory.
In addition to the live part of the show on HDNet / AXStv which also hosted victories the XFC Fighter Scott Holtzman, an exciting win by Donny Wallace, and a great matchup won by Luke Sanders; the undercard featured impressive knockout wins by local fighters Nate Landwehr and Justin Pennington.
Landwehr made his pro debut a successful one by knocking out Billy Mullins in the second round and Pennington picked up his third straight win, with a big KO win over Dave Hurst in the first bout of the evening. Michael Graham and Devan Plaisance also picked up wins, by decision.
"I'm really proud of the all the guys who competed on the card," said Prisco. "The undercard was terrific and we saw some future stars get their first XFC win. Justin Pennington looked sharp in his XFC debut with his big first round KO win and Nate Landwehr and Michael Graham were dominant in their pro debuts as well. Then when we went live on HDNet things really picked up. Scott Barrett and Scott Holtzman looked really sharp Saturday night and you will see them back in the XFC cage in a few months."
Full XFC 18 results:
Reggie Pena defeated John Salter by submission Round 2 (0:36)
Scott Barrett defeated Gabriel Salinas-Jones by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Heather Jo Clark defeated Avery Vilche by submission (rear naked choke) Round 1 (1:03)
Luke Sanders defeated Zachary Sanders by TKO Round 1 (4:53)
Donny Wallace defeated Jason Blackford by submission (armbar) Round 1 (4:38)
Scott Holtzman defeated Matt Metts by TKO Round 1 (4:13)
Joe Ray defeated Dustin West by submission (arm triangle) Round 2 (1:04)
Nate Landwehr defeated Billy Mullins by KO Round 2 (1:21)
Michael Graham defeated Cory Robison by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Devan Plaisance defeated Jonathan Ivey by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Justin Pennington defeated Dave Hurst by KO Round 1 (4:32)
The XFC will be heading to Charlotte, NC for XFC 19: Charlotte Showdown on August 3rd. Tickets are on sale now at www.beafantickets.com. For more info on the card please visit www.officalxfc.com and follow the promotion daily on facebook & twitter (@officialxfc).