Heather Clark versus Brianna Van Buren Goes Down In Music City Live on AXS TV Oct. 18th | XFC WMMA
We have all heard what happens when we mess with the bull, right? The cliché says we’ll get the “horns”, but at XFC 26, Heather Jo Clark hopes it gets her a fight with long time rival Angela Magana, and then a rematch with newly crowned champion Stephanie Eggink. Unfortunately for Heather, “The Bull” she’s looking to mess with feels she has just as much right to that same game-plan and looks to prove her point by finishing Heather Jo at Night of Champions III, in front of the Country Music fans in Nashville. On October 18th, LIVE on AXS TV from Nashville Tennessee’s Municipal Auditorium, Heather Jo Clark will face Brianna “The Bull” Van Buren in a Strawweight showdown that could determine a future challenger for the 115 pound title.
At just 19 years old and with only one professional bout under her belt, Brianna Van Buren (1-1) wasn’t given much of a chance by media insiders when she stepped in as a last-minute replacement against Stephanie Eggink at XFC 23. The problem, however, was that everyone forgot to tell Brianna that she was “too young, too green, and too short” to compete on the big stage against the decorated boxer and soon to be 115 pound champion. In a fight that seemed much closer than the judges score cards read, Brianna Van Buren shocked the MMA world by not only pushing Eggink for a full 15 minutes, but for landing several clean strikes against the world-class boxer, and seemingly taking Eggink to the mat at will. It was her gutsy performance in Louisville that prompted XFC President John Prisco to invite Van Buren back, and put her on the Night of Champions card in Nashville. Prisco was quoted after the Van Buren/Eggink fight as saying, “Brianna is here to stay. She just showed a national audience that she can hang with one of the best in the business. She proved to everyone that doubted her, exactly why I brought her in, and she just proved to me why she should stay. This girl has a bright future in this sport.” The Bull’s reward for impressive XFC debut; 9 fight pro Heather Clark. Hoping to avoid a 1-2 record, Van Buren will need to fight with the same poise and determination she had against Eggink. After her performance against the champ, a win over a seasoned vet like Clark could put her right back in title talks.
Heather Jo Clark (5-4) finds herself in a position she is not used to, or comfortable with; a two fight losing streak. The product of Jackson’s MMA & Syndicate Mixed Martial Arts is coming off back to back losses to Stephanie Eggink and Felice Herrig, and for the first time in her career, feels her back is against the wall. Unfortunately for Brianna Van Buren, Clarks opponent at XFC 26, that is when a fighter is the most dangerous. Without a doubt, Clark will need to use all the tools in her belt to secure a win over the rising newcomer. The 33-year-old from New Mexico possesses a very balanced mixture of good striking, along with aggressive grappling and a dash of good ‘ol salty veteran experience. Clark holds 2 wins by knockout and 3 by submission; one knockout coming just ten seconds into the first round. It’s this type of history that should keep Van Buren guessing and force her to respect Clark no matter where the fight goes.
XFC correspondent Jennifer O had this say about the Clark/Van Buren matchup: “While the differences in these two are vast, the one thing they have in common is Stephanie Eggink. Over the last year, both have gone the distance with the current XFC Strawweight champ. Clark is a veteran of 9 professional bouts, holds the experience edge and a definite height advantage. While she will very likely look to utilize her reach, she also possesses solid takedown skills and a very heavy top game. Van Buren, on the other hand, brings advantages of her own to the table. While on paper her height at 4ft 11 appears to be a huge detriment, she has demonstrated the ability to close distance extremely well and actually land consistently from all ranges. She is also a pedigreed grappling champion, with legit submission skill and escapes. Overall this fight shapes up to be possibly one of the most competitive of the night, and is an extremely interesting addition to the card.”
Xtreme Fighting Championships returns to Music City USA for XFC 26: Night of Champions III on October 18, 2013. The event is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions and Liquid Ninja Energy Drink. The event will be broadcast Live on AXS TV from the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, beginning at 9pm CT/10 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.