2013 Xtreme Fighting Championships Year in Review
From North Carolina to New Mexico and Florida to Michigan; in 2013 the XFC traveled the United States delivering their brand of MMA action to rabid fans across the country. Sixty-three bouts, twenty knockouts, eighteen submissions, five title fights, and an unprecedented television deal in South America; 2013 was an exciting year for the XFC and 2014 looks to be even bigger!
Whether your favorite moment of 2013 was the three fights totaling only 105 seconds by Luis “Sapo” Santos, or Ricky Rainey’s highlight reel dismantling of Reggie Pena, this year was without a doubt one of the most exciting in the company’s long and storied history. While moments like these graced the headlines of major media outlets, the story of 2013 was the company’s commitment to its future, by crowning champions.
After years of scouting and developing talent, 2013 was the year the XFC established promotional champions in several of its stacked divisions. With the departure of inspirational champion Nick Newell, the door was open for new stars to shine and lead the company into the future. While several fighters answered the call, there was one that shined brighter than the rest. 2013 could easily be remembered as the year of Hot Sauce. Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman has arguably become the face of Xtreme Fighting Championships, and he embodies the very thing the company stands for. Holtzman was discovered in 2011, through an amateur tournament the XFC sponsored in Tennessee. Hot Sauce has spent his entire professional career with the Tampa based promotion, utterly dominating every minute of every round he has spent in the cage. After capturing his 1st title in June of this year, the undefeated Lightweight Champion signed a contract extension, promising to defend his title and entertain XFC fans on into 2014.
Long-time and consistent supporters of women’s mixed martial arts, the XFC made promotional history in 2013, when Stephanie Eggink and Angela Magana headlined XFC 25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. September 6th not only marked the 1st time ladies main evented an XFC card, it was also the crowning of the company’s first ever female champion. Stephanie “Snowflake” Eggink captured the Strawweight title with a beautiful second round submission and quickly established herself as one of the top 115 pounders in the sport. Just one month later, at the promotions annual Night of Champions show in Nashville, the company added to their historic year by not only crowning their 1st Women’s Flyweight Champion, Pearl Gonzalez, but also showcasing two female bouts on the live side of their televised show. 2014 looks to be a big year for the females, as new title holders look to defend their belts and the company looks to add Bantamweights to the roster.
At the company’s last show of the year, the XFC managed to squeeze in one last “first”, when the finals of their 1st ever tournament saw Featherweight Deivison Ribeiro take the vacant 145 pound title in a five round war with Frank Sharipov. After the path of destruction Luis Santos left in 2013, the timing couldn’t have been better for his teammate, and fellow Brazilian, Ribeiro to capture a XFC title. At Frozen Fury, the XFC announced that XFC International and Rede TV! (Brazilian Television Network) signed a long-term partnership. In the partnership, REDE TV! and XFC International will feature Latin America’s undiscovered, vibrant and immense talent pool in MMA. MMA COPA will feature wide-ranging athletes from across all of Latin America.
As 2014 quickly approaches, the XFC will soon announce its North America dates, as they have teased the news of a new network deal. As the fighters and fans anxiously await the details, there is one thing that is certain; the XFC is here to stay! Years from now, when we look back, 2013 will be remembered as the most instrumental year for the, now global, MMA promotion.