In 2001, Florida became home to professional sports greatest nickname, when Lakeland’s own Rod “He Hate Me” Smart captivated football audiences in the XFL. On June 14th, Smart will have to concede that title, when Xtreme Fighting Championships presents a showdown between two of the sports best lightweights, Kevin “The Master of Cool” Forant and Eric “It’s a Wrap” Reynolds, Live on AXS TV, from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida.
At 31 years old, North Carolina’s Kevin Forant (5-0) has started his 6th, and arguably most important, professional training camp. The man that will be waiting for him, and looking to blemish his perfect record at XFC 24, is the younger yet more experienced Eric Reynolds. Forant, a Team Hayastan-IMB product, last entered the XFC cage at XFC 19: Charlotte Showdown. It was there, that he ground out a unanimous decision over Joe Elmore in front of his hometown crowd. XFC 24 will mark the first time “The Master of Cool” has left the comforts of the Carolinas, as he plays the role of visiting team, in Reynolds home state of Florida. Forant has displayed a well-rounded set of skills in route to an undefeated record, but Eric Reynolds is unquestionably Kevin Forant’s most challenging opponent to date. Will Forant stay “Cool” and walk away with his 6th professional victory, or will June 14th be a “Wrap” on his perfect record?
Eric Reynolds (16-6) is no stranger to big lights and television cameras. After starting his pro career in 2007, with an impressive 9-0 record, Reynolds has been at home in the spotlight. After brilliant performances in 2012 against Luciano Dos Santos and Lorenzo Borgomeo, Reynolds earned a shot at XFC gold at the promotions end of year extravaganza, Night of Champions II. It was there he suffered a shocking loss to Nick Newell and now finds himself searching for redemption. The climb back to the top of the XFC Lightweight Division won’t be an easy one. Standing immediately in the way of another title shot is the gritty, blue collared, North Carolina stand out Kevin Forant. The battle-tested Reynolds looks to show the world that his best fights are still ahead of him, and that he isn’t quite ready to pass the torch to Forant. The question is, will Forant wait for it to be passed or will he take it from Reynolds in his own back yard?
“This is a huge fight for Eric Reynolds” said XFC President John Prisco. “How he responds coming off the title fight loss could set the tone for the rest of his career. Will he always be the contender who fell one fight short of the belt, or, will he climb his way back to the top and show everyone he is the champion we all know he can be? Eric is one of the most talented guys on our roster. He has all the tools to be a champion, but he is in a position now where he is gonna have to fight off all these young lions trying to take his spot near the top.” When asked about Kevin Forant, the XFC boss had this to say: “You better not sleep on Kevin Forant. Don’t let this guy’s age and experience fool you. He is in phenomenal shape and a hell of an athlete. He may be in his 30’s, but his body hasn’t taken the years of beating that most fighters his age have. He’s fresh, healthy and hungry. That’s a dangerous combination when you add that to the skill level he possesses. This fight could have very easily been the Main or Co-Main on any other card. The Tampa crowd is in for a treat with this one, I feel it.”
Xtreme Fighting Championships makes its way back to Tampa, Florida for XFC 24: Collision Course on June 14, 2013. The event is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions and ThroatPunch Ind. Apparel. The event will be broadcast Live on AXS TV from the beautiful USF SunDome, beginning at 9pm. For more information on the event, or, to purchase tickets, visit www.officialxfc.com. For daily updates and news, follow this event and the XFC on Facebook and Twitter @OfficialXFC.