XFC 13: Unstoppable takes place tonight in Tampa, Fla. The main event features XFC featherweight champion Jarrod “The Wild Card” Card (12-4-1) defending his title against Bellator and XFC veteran Luis “Baboon” Palomino (13-6). In the co-main event, XFC fan favorite Chris “Beast Boy” Barnett (5-1) takes on American Top Team’s Mario “Big Hurt” Rinaldi (11-4, 1 NC) in a heavyweight match-up.
The televised broadcast begins live on HDNet starting at 9 p.m. ET. Join us here as ProMMAnow.com provides live results and play-by-play commentary of the action.
Televised main card:
- Luis Palomino defeats Jarrod Card by unanimous decision
- Chris Barnett defeats Mario Rinaldi by TKO, 1:44 of Round 2
- Marianna Kheyfets defeats Marissa Caldwell by unanimous decision
- Gabriel Salinas-Jones defeats Parker Porter by submission, 4:50 of Round 1
- Ian Stephens defeats Joe Heink by unanimous decision
- Jeremy Smith defeats Joe Ray by split decision
- Avery McPhatter Mark Brown by submission, 4:50 of Round 1
- Sammy Rodriguez defeats Joe Johnson by submission, 2:10 of Round 1
- Joe Calavitta defeats Horacio Rodriguez by submission, 3:16 of Round 1
- Jason Hicks defeats Mike Milmerstadt by KO, 1:36 of Round 1
Telecast just started and The Voice, Michael Schiavello, is commentating tonight’s festivities. The awesome puns should be coming fast and furious.
Chris Barnett, the heavyweight in tonight’s co-main event not only came in almost 13 pounds above the heavyweight limit, but also fought in Singapore recently in a superheavyweight fight where he weighed about 320. Yikes! Mr. Rinaldi was not pleased.
Middleweight: Joe Ray (4-0) vs. Jeremy Smith (8-1)
Two strikers to get things started, with Ray training locally at ATT and Smith all the way from South Africa.
Round 1: Smith throws a quick early flurry, but Ray blocks it. Smith again comes forward winning punches and Ray comes in and gets the Thai clinch, which Smith counters by pushing Ray into the cage. Apparently there is a mic in the cage padding, because it sounds like a grade school kid making farting sounds as they grind against the fence. Back to the center and Ray goes for a spinning back elbow. While he’s busy trying to pose after pulling off the move, Smith clips him with a left and sends Ray retreating. Smith again drives him into the fence and lifts Ray up for the takedown. Ray goes for an armbar, but Smith keeps good posture and stays safe, even catching Ray in a guillotine from the top that forces Ray to give up side control. Now ground-and-pound from Smith, then an upkick from Ray to get enough space to leap back to his feet. They exchange and Ray rings his bell with an uppercut. It looks like Ray has the timing down and he lands some strikes, including a body kick, and Smith responds by again driving him back into the fence. Very close round. Smith probably connected a few more times with clean shots, but Ray had the takedown and showed more aggressiveness. ProMMAnow.com gives it to Ray, barely, 10-9.
Round 2: Smith comes out with his guard really high, probably because his eye is starting to swell. Ray takes advantage by landing a nice inside leg kick. After some back and forth action, Ray again with a spinning back elbow and this time he connects. Uncomfortable with the striking exchanges, Smith again looks for the clinch and takedown, but Ray is defending. Smith’s left eye/cheek looks pretty bad. Smith throws a combo but Ray dodges and lands a left uppercut. Again, Smith swings and hits Ray’s guard and eats a right uppercut this time. Schiavello on Smith’s eye swelling: “You could blindfold him with a piece of dental floss.” To his credit, Smith won’t quit and drives in for a takedown. Ray goes for a guillotine, it’s tight but Smith pops out. In the scramble, Smith goes for one of his own and it’s REALLY tight. Ray has to flop to his back and roll around to get out of it. 10-9 for Ray, but Smith is a gamer.
Round 3: Coming out for the final round, Ray looks relaxed and the entire left side of Smith’s face is swollen. Hope that ain’t broken. It’s a familiar pattern; Smith throws three or four strikes, mostly missing, and Ray clips him with one. They clinch up and Ray almost takes his back in the sequence, but Smith gets top position. Now Smith is in half guard trying to pass, but eating lots of elbows and not damaging Ray. Smith is finally starting to land some elbows and Ray is not so comfortable and relaxed anymore. More short elbows and punches from Smith. Ray, though, is staying composed and now he’s distracting Smith with a kimura attempt as the round comes to an end. The fight ends with Ray sweeping Smith and landing a punch from the top. ProMMAnow.com scores it 10-9 for Smith.
30-27 for Smith, 29-28 for Ray, 30-27 for Smith. Jeremy Smith takes it by split decision. My take: it was a competitive fight, and Smith was more active. However, Ray landed and had the more effective strikes for much of the fight. Questionable and I disagree, but Ray didn’t do enough to pull away and take all of the doubt out of it.
Welterweight: Ian Stephens (1-0) vs. Joe Heink (4-1)
Heink has more experience, but Stephens is a collegiate wrestling champ.
Round 1: Stephens standing with Heink so far, throws some punches and now both men clinch up. Guy Mezger says that Stephens still wrestles collegiately and trains MMA simultaneously. Crazy. Stephens tries to drop down for a double, but Heink fights it off with the over-unders. Not much going on, but Stephens kneeing Heink’s leg. Stephens moves to a single and gets him down and into Heink’s half guard. He’s throwing some body punches, but nothing special yet. They’re tied up pretty tight, but Stephens now has Heink’s near arm tied up, so he’s raining punches almost crucifix style. Now Stephens is using a guillotine/headlock to try and improve his position. Simple, meat and potatoes round. Wrestler 1, other guy 0. ProMMAnow.com scores it 10-9 for Stephens.
Round 2: After they exchange a couple of punches, Stephens wastes no time looking for the clinch and now dropping for a single. Heink tries to fight it off, but down he goes, nice and gently. Again Stephens is locking up his head to keep him stationary. It’s not fancy, but Stephens also has an overhook that he’s using to occasionally land some punches Heink can’t defend. Now Heink is in the full guard and the action is at a standstill. Right as I say that, Heink tries the rubber guard. Eddie Bravo is happy, but he can’t do anything with it, and the ref stands them up. Stephens isn’t deviating from the game plan, and back we go into the clinch and against the fence. Another single-leg and into half guard, now Heink gets full guard. Heink is again trying the rubber guard and maybe trying for an omaplata, but Stephens yanks his arm out. I could’ve done the PBP on that round without even looking. 10-9 for Stephens.
Round 3: Stephens throws a side kick and eats an outside leg kick from Heink. But right when Heink threw a punch, Stephens dove in for a takedown. Full guard, rubber guard, top control, etc. I am now officially bored, and so is the crowd judging by the boos. Perhaps sensing my boredom, HDNet lost the signal and went to commercial. Stay tuned! After a minute or so of commercials, the fighters are in the exact same position. Stephens lands a couple punches and he’s winning the fight. Wow. As the ten second warning sounds, Stephens postures up and unleashes an impressive ground and pound flurry from the full guard. Where was that earlier? Stephens take the round 10-9 and should have the fight.
30-27 on all three scorecards for Ian Stephens. Our esteemed announcers, Schiavello and Guy Mezger, think Heink won one of the rounds (I think the second). Maybe. Stephens wasn’t pushing the pace, but I don’t recall Heink mounting much of any offense, just stifling Stephens’s attack.
Heavyweight: Gabriel Salinas-Jones (2-0) vs. Parker Porter (4-1)
Porter’s one loss came against UFC light heavyweight contender Jon Jones, where he got KO’d in 36 seconds. So…he has that going for him.
Round 1: They exchange leg kicks. Jones (I’m only calling him Jones; it’s easier) is in southpaw and Porter is orthodox. Jones goes in for a single, but Porter defends. But Jones gets a nice trip takedown from the clinch and gets into side control, now half guard. Jones postures up and drops a couple of nice punches. But Jones isn’t in a great position. Porter is looking for a triangle, only thing saving Jones is he’s already got him stacked and Porter can’t get the leverage he needs. Porter tries to get to his knees and escape, but Jones takes his back standing and throws him back down. Again in half guard, Jones in sitting up and landing punches. Now Porter escapes and shoots in for a takedown, but Jones catches him in a guillotine. He’s straining but Porter’s hips are up and he’s able to get out of it. Porter on top in half guard and after a few short elbows, Jones gives up his back. Porter tries to get his hooks in, but Jones doesn’t let it happen. Ooooh, beautiful throw by Jones after they get back to the feet. Ground and pound and now it’s Porter giving up his back. Jones does a much better job of flattening him out and sinks in the rear naked choke for the win.
Salinas-Jones gets the submission at 4:50 of round 1.
XFC President John Prisco tells Mezger that the promotion plans to do three shows in China.
Catchweight: Marissa Caldwell (2-1) vs. Marianna Kheyfets (1-0)
Fun fact: You might remember Kheyfets beating up Kim Couture last July.
Round 1: They clinch early and Kheyfets gets the takedown easily and nearly into mount. Caldwell gets her into the closed guard after Kheyfets lands an elbow. She stands up and looks like she might lunge in for a punch but ends up letting Caldwell back to her feet. Caldwell has a bit of extra reach and tries to land a jab, but Kheyfets almost makes her pay with a spinning back fist. We’ve got another ground scramble, but Caldwell gets on top and mounts Kheyfets. Kheyfets uses the patented “both feet on the shoulder” mount escape. That never worked for me in BJJ. Another spinning back fist attempt form Kheyfets. Doesn’t land, but she’s making it entertaining. Caldwell shoots in and Kheyfets defends. Kheyfets ends up on the ground and lands and upkick to Caldwell’s head while she’s on her knees. Not much damage done, but a warning from the referee. Kheyfets gets the action back on the mat and mounts Caldwell and delivers some ground and pound to likely give her the round. 10-9 for Kheyfets.
I was just reminded that Caldwell has the ProMMAnow.com logo on her shorts. (INSERT SHAMELESS PLUG HERE)
Round 2: Caldwell takes her back standing and forces Kheyfets to drop to the ground and try to turn into her to get top position. But Caldwell uses some good positioning and flattens her out, looking for the RNC. Good defense from Kheyfets, though. After a struggle, Kheyfets does turn into her to get on top and back to the feet. Nice ground battle. Caldwell is leaving her chin out a bit while throwing punches and trying to close the distance and get the clinch. Kheyfets bakes her pay, but Caldwell does get the clinch. However, they aren’t there for long. Kheyfets spins out and back to the center. A couple of nice right hand counters from Kheyfets. A right hand, left jab combe from Kheyfets. Caldwell then eats a high kick to the face. Luckily it connected with the foot rather than the shin. Caldwell is tough, but Kheyfets is getting the best of it with her crisper striking. 10-9 for Kheyfets.
Round 3: Caldwell comes out aggressive, perhaps knowing she’s down. She goes for a guillotine and pulls guard. Looked like she might’ve come close, but Kheyfets looked calm and composed and worked out after about 20 seconds. Caldwell catches a high kick (that’s not a typo), and trips Kheyfets down. She’s on top in half guard but Kheyfets is trying to sneak out the back against the fence. We’ll see if Caldwell can work her grappling game. Kheyfets barely has the half guard, hanging on to Caldwell’s foot. Caldwell postures and lands some blows, now Kheyfets gives up her back. They’re hand fighting and Kheyfets turns into it. Caldwell moves to mount but Kheyfets again does the mount escape that isn’t supposed to work, throwing her legs up and knocking Caldwell’s upper body back. On the feet, nice teep kick to the body from Kheyfets drops Caldwell. That couldn’t feel good. Kheyfets shoots in for a nice outside leg trip takedown to end the fight. I have to call that round 10-10. It could go either way, but the fight is likely settled for Kheyfets.
All three judges give it to Kheyfets, 30-27.
Heavyweight: Chris Barnett (5-1) vs. Mario Rinaldi (11-4)
If you haven’t seen these guys before, they won’t win any bodybuilding contests, but they’re a lot quicker than they look and fairly skilled. Should be fun.
Round 1: Nice outside leg kick from Barnett to start, and Rinaldi clinches and goes for the single. Barnett gets up but gives up his back. Flattens him out and lands a few punches. Barnett is trying to escape but Rinaldi isn’t letting go, holding his head/arm and throwing punches with the other arm. Schiavello: “Rinaldi just riding him like a bucking bronco.” Barnett isn’t doing anything and Rinaldi is looking at the ref wondering when they’ll stop it. Barnett doesn’t look hurt yet but isn’t improving position at all. Rinaldi continues to patiently pound the head, though now his back mount is a bit high; we’ll see if Barnett can escape. Yes he does, turns into him. Now he’s in side and looking for a crucifix. Barnett is going to work. Let’s Rinaldi back up and big knee to the body. Up on the feet. Barnett is pounding away on his against the cage, but Rinaldi circles out and again looks for the takedown. Could come down to who gasses out first. Very close round because of the Barnett comeback. Rinaldi had the back so long and landed punches, so I’d say he edged him out. 10-9 for Rinaldi.
Round 2: Body kick from Barnett early in the round. Rinaldi looking tired, but throws an overhand right to get into the clinch. Barnett pushes him off but Rinaldi gets right back in there and has double-unders. He tries to pick him up, but that’s a big load there. Oh boy, and Barnett spins out and starts going all out pounding Rinaldi against the cage who goes to one knee and covers up. Rinaldi is blocking some of the shots, but the punches are coming fast and furious and the referee stops it. TKO for Barnett. Big win over a tough opponent, but hopefully he’ll do a better job making weight next time. That being said, he’s got good cardio for a big’un.
Barnett takes it at 1:44 of round by TKO due to strikes.
Featherweight title bout: Jarrod Card (12-4-1) vs. Luis Palomino (13-6)
Round 1: Palomino throwing some punches early, not connecting but keeping Card at bay. Card gets into the clinch. They’re working the over-unders. Right uppercut from inside from Palomino. Palomino goes for a takedown but Card escapes. Wow, brutal strikes from Palomino. Beautiful outside leg kick and a follow-up left hook drops Card. But he’s keeing his wits about him and again going for the clinch against the fence. Finally, after little success, Card ducks down and gets the takedown into Palomino’s closed guard. He’s raising his hips up but Palomino is holding his head and upper-body in close. Now Palomino’s guard opens up for a split second and Card lands a couple of strikes. But now Palomino walks his way back up the cage and to his feet. Palomino throws a two-punch combo right as the bell sounds. That round goes 10-9 Palomino.
Round 2: Card is going side to side but not doing anything. He rushes in at one point but Palomino throws a right and Card backs off. Now back into the clinch. Card wants the fight on the ground but he isn’t having an easy time getting it there. Palomino lands a right as they separate. Card checks an outside leg kick, but Palomino scores with a big one-two that drops Card to his butt. Palomino lands a nice uppercut, but Card goes for a desperation takedown and gets it. At one point he’s in mount looking to secure an arm, but before you know it, Palomino is back into full guard. Somehow, Palomino suffered a cut above his right eye. I don’t remember Card throwing any meaningful strikes, so not sure how it happened. Card is in his half guard now, but all he’s doing is landing short elbows. Palomino is very strong and active from the bottom, making it hard for Card to keep control. Card pulls for a guillotine at the end of the round, but it doesn’t look close. Card survived and controlled the position near the end, but Palomino should win the round with his striking damange.
Replay shows it was an accidental headbutt that caused the cut.
Round 3: Another nice outside leg kick from Palomino lands and Card is limping. Card now literally runs forward to get the clinch, but Palomino circles and pushes Card into the fence. Now Card pushes him back across to the other side of the fence. It looks like Card is basically stalling, but I can’t blame him with the shots he’s taking. Palomino fakes with a jab and Card immediately lifts his front leg in case of another leg kick. And there’s another one to that front leg. And another. A nice left hook from Palomino as Card tries to rush in. Card has to be frustrated and out of ideas. Now a weak shot from Card and Palomino responds by changing levels and threatening with a pair of hooks. As Card throws a leg kick of his own, Palomino throws a straight right to the body, right up the middle. Palomino backs Card up and goes for a big jumping knee. Taking a bit of a chance there, but the round is almost over and Card gets on top but can’t do anything there. 10-9 for Palomino.
After the round, Card hugged Palomino. Either he forgot it’s a five-rounder, or he just plain doesn’t know what round it is.
Round 4: Again, Card is just rushing in to try and get the clinch, not setting anything up. Palomino just backs off and lands counter punches. Nice leg kick again from Palomino. Changes levels and scores with a right to the body. Palomino is still cruising. Card backs up and entices Palomino to rush in, and Card tries to use the momentum to duck down and get a takedown. It’s nice to see him trying something different to change the flow, but Palomino sprawls nicely. Palomino throwing some nasty short right hands to the body up against the fence. Card’s leg is getting weaker. He goes for a takedown and Palomino pushes him back and onto his back easily. Brutal GNP from Palomino to end the fourth. Another round for Palomino.
Round 5: Leg kick to start the round, and again Card is limping. Card now tries southpaw and Palomino is going to work on that leg. This is reminiscent of Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber. Maybe if you start following Jarrod Card on Twitter you’ll see some gross pics of a black and blue leg tomorrow. Yet another Palomino leg kick puts Card into the air and lunging for a takedown…not even close. Palomino is going to work in Card’s full guard, bloodying up his nose. Not as explosive as the stuff on the feet, but he’s certainly continuing to break Card’s will. Some nice short elbows to Card’s chin. Palomino stands up and does a spinning back kick to Card’s legs while Card is still lying on the ground. That looked like a foot sweep from Mortal Kombat. All Palomino all day. Five rounds to none without a doubt. Let’s see what the final score is…
50-45 on all three scorecards for Palomino, the new XFC featherweight champ.