NASHVILLE, Tenn. — ProMMAnow.com is on the scene at Municipal Auditorium for tonight’s “XFC 26: NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS III” card airing live on AXStv and headlined with a lightweight title bout between current title-holder Scott “Hotsauce” Holtzman and Roger “The Leprechaun” Carroll.
The inaugural XFC women’s flyweight title is also on the line in tonight’s co-main event as Cortney “Cast Iron” Casey takes on Pearl Gonzalez.
XFC fans will recognize many of the names on tonight’s stacked card which is also filled with some of Middle Tennessee and the surrounding region’s top professional mixed martial arts talent.
The first fight kicks off at 5:45 p.m. CT with the main card airing live on AXStv at 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET).
XFC 26 quick results:
MAIN CARD (AXS TV – 9 p.m. ET)
• Scott Holtzman def. Roger Carroll by unanimous decision (50-45 x 3) – for lightweight title
• Pearl Gonzalez def. Cortney Casey by submission (armbar) Rd 3 (4:43) – for women’s flyweight title
• Deivison Ribeiro def. Jason Hicks by TKO (strikes) Rd 1 (4:08)
• Luis Santos def. Justin Davis by TKO (strikes) Rd 1 (:33)
• Heather Jo Clark def. Hannah Cifers by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
• Luke Sanders def. Zach Underwood by TKO (strikes) Rd 2 (3:38)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Not Televised)
• Nate Landwehr def. Keith Richardson by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (4:43)
• Nate Jolly def. Gerric Hayes by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
• Ben Brewer def Anthony Lemon by submission (armbar) Rd 1 (4:59)
• Kenny Degenhardt def. Brian Hall by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
• Mario Scott def. Jason Gifford by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
• Willie Taylor Jr. def. Cromwell Stewart by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
XFC 26 play-by-play:
Nate Landwehr vs. Keith Richardson
Note: Due to lack of time this bout has been moved to after the main event. Landwehr not happy about that, understandably.
Round 1 – Touch gloves. Front kick from Richardson, he shoots on the leg. Right hand from Richardson on the break. Head kick. Right hand as he shoots, gets a slam takedown and gets on Landwehr’s back. Landwehr shakes him off. Lands a jab. Right from Richardson. Leg kick. High kick from both. Richardson shoots, stuffed. Presses Nate to the cage. Left hook from Richardson. Couple nice right counters from Nate. Against the cage, they trade shots. Nate with some nice body shots. Back to the center. Nate gets tagged and dropped to one knee. Keith goes for the neck, looking for the choke. Nate is free and unloads punches. This is a dog fight. Spinning backfist hits Nate behind the head hard and doubles him over but he doesn’t go down. Keith shoots for the takedown. Nate ends up in top control, back to the feet and Nate lands punches on the way up. Left jab from Nate. Keith shoots, stuffed. Nate unloads a flurry of punches and Keith Richardson goes out cold! OMG brutal!! Huge huge win for Nate the Train.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Nate Landwehr def. Keith Richardson by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (4:43)
Luke Sanders vs. Zach Underwood
Round 1 – Clinch, knee from Sanders. Pushes Underwood to the cage. Clinch wrestling. Trade knees. They turn each other around to the cage a few times. Sanders lands a nice knee to the face and Underwood folds to his back. Sanders takes top control inside guard. Trying to fight his way up. Sanders in half guard dropping shots, now takes Underwood’s back, going for the choke. Both hooks in. His back is against the fence, but he finds his way to move and flatten out. Scramble and Sanders has him stretched out with both hooks in now. Underwood escapes to his knees but Sanders takes his back again with both hooks. Underwood escapes again and they are on their feet swinging. Underwood shoots, Sanders takes his back again, both hooks in and dropping right hands. Underwood escapes to his feet, they throw punches and Underwood drops to a knee after getting tagged. Back up and they go at it. Sanders getting the better of the stand up before the bell. PMN sees it 10-9 Sanders.
Round 2 – They trade rights, left from Sanders. Leg kick, ,body shot and folds Underwood with a big knee to the gut. Underwood somehow recovers and they square up and throw shots. Sanders hurts him with another knee to the body and puts him down with yet another. Underwood gives up his back and Sanders is dropping punches. Sanders in side mount now. Underwood gets to his feet but eats several knees to the face from the clinch. He turns Sanders to the cage. Eats an elbow. Sanders drops him with another knee and punches follow. Underwood giving up his back and paying for it. Sanders gets his hooks in again, flattens Underwood out and is dropping punches to the head. Domination right here. The ref calls it. Very very impressive showing from Sanders in a fight I was personally concerned about for him. Underwood is tough. Sanders time spent at the MMA Lab with Benson Henderson and Scott Holtzman have clearly paid off. Sanders improves to 6-0.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Luke Sanders def. Zach Underwood by TKO (strikes) Rd 2 (3:38)
Hannah Cifers vs. Heather Jo Clark
Round 1 – Front kick to the face from Clark, clinch, they trade big punches against the cage. Clark escapes to the center. This is Cifers’ pro debut but she looks tough in there. They trade more punches, then wrestle in the clinch against the cage. Trade knees. Cifers catches a kick and counters with solid punches. Leg kick, left hook from Clark. Left hook to the body, right hook to the head from Cifers. High kick from Cifers and Clark counters with punches. Cifers rocks her with some nice punches, then does it again against the cage. Back to the center. Cifers presses her to the cage. Clark with a Thai plum, they trade knees. Clark trips her to the ground. Now inside guard. Cifers going for an armbar. Clark escapes to side mount. Cifers holds her neck while Clark gives some ground and pound until the bell. PMN sees it 10-9 Clark.
Round 2 – Clark misses a front kick to the face. Nice body kick from Clark. Leg kick Clark. Clark lands a couple punches. Leg kick Cifers. Right from Clark. Cifers trying to counter. She lands a right. Thai plum and knees from Clark, she backs out. Body kick. Leg kick Cifers. She goes high, blocked. Cifers lands a nice liver punch. Leg kick. Left hook, front kick to the face from Clark. High kick, side kick. Cifers fires back. Nice one two from Clark. Leg kick Cifers. Body kick from Clark. Nice body hook from Cifers. Nice left hook from Clark. Nice right, front kick to the face. Cifers clinches. Bell. PMN sees it 10-9 Clark.
Round 3 – Leg kick Clark. Left hook. Leg kick Cifers. Front kick from Clark. Thai clinch, knees. Right hand and another front kick to the face from Clark. Left hook. Cifers tries to get inside with punches but Clark defending well. Body kick from Cifers. High kick follows. Leg kick from Clark. Thai clinch and knees from both ladies. Cifers presses her to the cage, Clark turns her around. Cifers uses a judo throw to put Clark on her back and now has top control. Clark scrambles but Cifers is able to eventually take her back before Clark gets to her feet and they square up. One two from Clark. Leg kick. Jab, leg kick from Clark, jab. Body kick Cifers. Front kick to the face from Clark. Body kick right hand from Clark. With 10 seconds left they slug it out, then hug it out. PMN sees it 10-9 for Clark and the fight 30-27 for Clark.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Heather Jo Clark def. Hannah Cifers by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Justin Davis vs. Luis “Sapo” Santos
Round 1 – This could get ugly. Davis is tough, got to give him credit (balls) for taking this fight on just a few days notice. Big leg kick from Sapo, Davis misses a kick, turns around. Sapo lands one of the quickest and hardest head kicks I’ve ever seen and Davis drops like a cat just got hit with a baseball bat. Sapo follows up with punches as Davis covers up and referee Gary Copeland stops it at the 33 second mark. — Like I said, this could — and did, get ugly.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Luis Santos def. Justin Davis by TKO (strikes) Rd 1 (:33)
Jason Hicks vs. Deivison Ribeiro
Round 1 – Left hook from Ribeiro, leg kick Hicks. Ribeiro checks the next one. Left hand follows. They trade punches in the pocket. Leg kick, one two from Ribeiro. Left hand, then an inadvertent kick to the groin from Hicks. Time is called. Ribeiro drops him with a big punch combo. He swarms from top position with punches as Hicks tries to defend. Hicks goes for a spinning blind elbow from the ground but misses, but does get back to his feet. One two counter from Ribeiro, followed by a knee to the body. Time is called as Ribeiro takes another groin shot via left low kick. Hicks is warned again. Touch gloves. Ribeiro lands a nice right counter. He drops Hicks with a big right. Hicks gets up and tries to rush Ribeiro but gets slammed. Hicks is back up, eats a stiff left jab, again. Big right from Ribeiro and one more drops Hicks. Hicks covers up as Ribeiro swarms. Referee Copeland calls it.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Deivison Ribeiro def. Jason Hicks by TKO (strikes) Rd 1 (4:08)
Cortney Casey vs. Pearl Gonzalez – for flyweight title
Round 1 – Nice right to the body, left head kick from Casey. Another combo follows. Gonzalez connects with a nice left. Casey pushes her to the cage, Gonzalaez turns her around, lands a knee to the groin, the fight continues. Casey retreats. They go back at it and Gonzalez scores a takedown. Casey locks up an armbar from the bottom. Gonzalez in trouble here, she stacks her to defend. Gonzalez is safe now and is landing elbows to the body from the top, now inside Casey’s full guard, she stacks her and Casey sweeps her as she goes for another armbar/triangle. Scramble and they are tangled up like a pretzel. Gonzalez on top and landing punches from a side headlock position. Close round. PMN sees it 10-9 for Casey.
Round 2 – Casey tries jumping guard after a brief exchange. Back to the feet. Big right from Casey. Nice body kick, right hand knocks Gonzalez’s mouth guard out of the cage. Gonzalez keeps fighting and puts Casey on her back. Casey goes for an armbar. Gonzalez escapes and is on top inside guard. Casey goes for a leg and Gonzalez beats her body, then pushes her over on her back and takes top control inside full guard. Casey locks up a triangle, gives her some elbows to the head, readjusts her legs… Gonzalez postures up to defend and she escapes and takes top control where she drops elbows and punches. Very close. Not even going to try and score that.
Round 3 – Leg kick Casey, again. Casey gets a headlock style takedown but Gonzalez ends up on top inside guard. Casey looking to set something up from bottom. Elbow from Gonzalez. Casey looking for a triangle as Gonzalez tries to escape. Casey gets into almost a mounted triangle before Gonzalez escapes and gets the takedown and is back on top inside guard. Gonzalez with full mount and she goes for an armbar now, switches to triangle, back to armbar. Casey taps out and Pearl Gonzalez is the inaugural XFC women’s flyweight champion.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Pearl Gonzalez def. Cortney Casey by submission (armbar) Rd 3 (4:43)
Roger Carroll vs. (Champ) Scott Holtzman – for lightweight title
Round 1 – Big inside leg kick from Carroll. Holtzman with a nice body shot. Holtzman with a one two, leg kick as Carroll covers up. Holtzman presses him to the cage then slams him to his back. Holtzman stacks him with punches. Carroll goes for a leg. Holtzman punches his way loose. Kicks the legs of his downed opponent as Carroll lays on his back looking for the up kick. Holtzman goes in hard with punches from top position. Carroll gets him locked inside full guard. Nice right from the top, again from Holtzman. He drops a couple more. He stacks with a stiff hard right. Carroll goes for a leg, Holtzman twists free. Nice left to the chin from Holtzman who is clearly not worried about Carroll’s leg lock game. Holtzman now inside full guard. Holtzman stacks him again, stands over Carroll, kicks his legs and dives in with a big right. Holtzman finishes in side mount. PMN has it 10-9 Holtzman.
Round 2 – Leg kick Holtzman. Big left hook. Body kick from Carroll, leg kick, left hand as Holtzman fires back. Holtzman drops him with a leg kick. He gets right up, Holtzman presses him to the cage. They trade knees to the thighs. Carroll with a knee to the body. Big left elbow from Holtzman., again, as the wrestle against the cage in the clinch. Another elbow and a judo throw takedown from Holtzman. Carroll on his back looking for the upkick, he’s bleeding. Ref lets him up, nice shots from Holtzman before Carroll jumps guard. Holtzman inside full guard, postures up with punches. Carroll looking for the leg again. They roll, Holtzman peppers his face. John Prisco just told cutman David Maldonado to “save his fight” due to Carroll’s enormous cut that’s bleeding profusely. Doctor inspects Carroll and lets it go. No call fur cutman Maldonado at this time… after this round though. They trade kicks. Big left from Holtzman. PMN sees it 10-9 Holtzman.
Round 3 – Holtzman backs him to the cage with vicious body shots and head shot combinations. Clinched against the cage. Carroll looks for the trip, no dice. Carroll does get a body lock from the back though. Now drops down in front looking for the takedown. Carroll ends up on the wrong end of that with Holtzman on top inside his full guard. Holtzman appears to be bleeding. Head kick from Holtzman as the ref stands it up. Holtzman fires off big combinations and a spinning back elbow. Carroll presses him to the cage, drops levels looking for the takedown. Holtzman landing elbows to the side of his head, turns Carroll around and puts his back on the cage. Knees to the thighs from Holtzman. Carroll tries jumping guard and Holtzman stacks him, kicks his thighs, drops a couple elbows. PMN has it 10-9 Holtzman.
Round 4 – Holtzman with a leg sweep and Carroll goes down. Back up and eats a left hook from Holtzman. Holtzman with vicious body shots against the cage. Knees to the thighs, this guy never stops working. Ref separates them. Carroll comes out swinging but Holtzman lands a couple head kicks, and two big right hands on the chin. Clinch, knee from Holtzman. Body shots from Holtzman against the cage. Carroll holding his neck. Elbow, knee from Holtzman. Holtzman picks him up for a huge Matt Hughe-esque type slam. Now on top in half guard, Holtzman works the ground and pound as Carroll tries hanging on. Elbows to the body from Hot Sauce. Carroll just hanging on probably hoping for a stand up. Holtzman tries to work as it goes to the fifth. PMN sees it 10-9 for Holtzman.
Round 5 – Big leg kick from Holtzman, again. Head kick lands, uppercut, head kick, leg kick, he’s teeing off. Big right hand and a knee, he presses a very durable Carroll to the cage. Carroll jumps guard. Holtzman lets him up. Carroll still coming forward. Eats a front kick to the face. Leg kick. Jumping knee to the body from Holtzman. Carroll jumps guard against the cage. Holtzman releases him then lets him up. Carroll shoots. Holtzman with a couple big kicks, jumping knee and a takedown. With two minutes to go Holtzman working the ground and pound. Carroll with full guard. Holtzman drops a couple big elbows. Another. Another. He’s looking for the finish as blood is streaming from Carroll’s face. Ref stands them up. Big left from Holtzman followed by a flurry of striking punishment. Carroll hangs tough though and never goes out and this crowd is on their feet. PMN has it 10-8 and 50-44 for Holtzman.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Scott Holtzman def. Roger Carroll by unanimous decision (50-45 x 3)