XFC 8 : Regional Conflict Adds Title Fight To Developing Card



XFC Lightweight World Champion John Mahlow Agrees to Battle Rising Superstar Rafaello Oliveira at XFC 8: “Regional Conflict”

The Fighters Will Meet at a “Catchweight” of 160 Pounds – and if Oliveira Wins, He’s Guaranteed a Rematch for Mahlow’s XFC World Title

Knoxville, TN (4/6/09): The XFC announced today that lightweight world champion John “The Mulatto Mauler” Mahlow will battle fast-rising Brazilian prospect Rafaello “The Tractor” Oliveira at XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” on Saturday, April 25, at the 21 thousand-capacity Thompson-Boling Arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee. The event will be televised live nationwide, exclusively on HDNet.

Instead of fighting at the lightweight limit of 155 pounds, the two men agreed to a “catchweight” of 160 pounds. If Oliveira wins, he’s guaranteed an immediate rematch against Mahlow for the XFC lightweight world title.

Considered one of MMA’s most tenacious tacticians, Mahlow’s high-energy offensive assault and smothering ground game has propelled the American Top Team fighter and trainer to the cusp of stardom. Since losing a tightly-contested split decision to WEC title contender Jeff Curran in May of 2007, Mahlow has gone 5-1, including 2-0 in the XFC. In his last three fights, Mahlow has defeated Eben “The Big O” Oroz, stopped UFC’s “Fight Night 13” veteran Ryan Roberts, and submitted Belator’s Luis Palomino in the fifth and final round of their XFC championship bout in December. Mahlow’s victory over Palomino attracted a particularly high level of media interest, especially after ex-UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Nogueira publicly declared Palomino to be his “personal protg” and a future world champion.

“I might be the reigning XFC lightweight champion, but I still train every single day like I’m the underdog,” explained John Mahlow from his Ft. Lauderdale, Florida training camp. “That’s the attitude that earned me this title — and the attitude that’ll let me keep it for a long time to come. Both inside and outside the cage, I’ll outwork you. I’ll train harder. I’m willing to absorb more punishment than you. And I understand the intricacies of the sport better than almost anyone else `cause I spend more time studying the sport than almost anyone else. Oliveira is a dangerous opponent, but I’ve reached the point in my career where I’m legitimately one of the elite fighters in the game, and I can’t wait to show MMA fans from coast-to-coast what `The Mulatto Mauler’ is all about.”

The Brazilian-born Rafaello Oliveira (7-1) made his XFC debut at XFC 7: “School of Hard Knox” on February 20, submitting Robert Thompson via triangle choke 4:50 in the first round; Thompson was 5-0 at the time. His one career loss was the byproduct of a doctor’s stoppage (cuts) on the undercard of the “ShoXC Elite Challenger Series” on Showtime in October of 2008. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu [BJJ] black belt now fighting out of Premier Martial Arts in Knoxville, Tennessee, Oliveira also trains one-on-one with UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn in Hawaii, serving as Penn’s sparring partner for his past three title fights.

“John Mahlow is a great champion and a good guy,” said Oliveira. “I respect him and thank him for this opportunity. But as much as I respect him, I also think I’m the better fighter. I’m faster, stronger and hungrier — and if John’s strategy is to outwork me, he’s going to be in a lot of trouble because I’m already in peak physical condition. If his strategy is to trick me, that won’t work either — because after sparring a few thousand rounds with B.J. Penn, I’m ready for anything. The way I see it, I’m now only two fights away from becoming the next XFC lightweight world champion. John had a good run, but April 25 will be Rafaello Oliveira’s official coming out party.”

Mahlow sat cageside for Oliveira’s victory over Thompson, handling color commentating duties for the XFC broadcast. He remembers being deeply impressed with Oliveira’s strength, athleticism and BJJ — but steadfastly claims that he was by no means intimidated.

“Oliveira has a lot of natural athletic gifts and an unusually high ceiling as a prospect, but he’s not a student of the game like I am,” Mahlow said. “And I’m betting that my capacity for absorbing punishment is greater than his ability to inflict it. Mahlow versus Oliveira is gonna be like two racecars smashing into each other at full speed. Yeah, I’m gonna get hurt in the collision, but he’s gonna get hurt real bad, too. And when we reach the second-half of the fight, I’m gonna take him to the deep end of the pool and drown him.”

XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” features the fastest-rising young prospects and top emerging superstars from Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky and North Carolina in a series of contender-versus-contender cage fights. Tickets are now available at the Thompson-Boling Arena box office and Tickets Unlimited outlets, including Cat's Music, Disc Exchange, and Fye Music.


Even SAMBO masters like to watch TV! Find the best dish network deals on InternetLion, and watch martial arts competitions in high definition!

Want to advertise your site in this space? E-mail the website staff today!

Latest MMA News

Jorge Masvidal

Jorge Masvidal is Tired of ‘Cowardness’ Especially From Michael Bisping

Jorge Masvidal is taking aim at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title holder Michael Bisping. Masvidal is well aware of the state of the UFC...
Gokhan Saki

UFC Announces Signing of Former Glory Champion Gokhan Saki

In a surprising move, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has signed Gokhan Saki. Saki is known in the combat sports world for being an elite...
Brian Kelleher

Brian Kelleher on Iuri Alcantara Bout: ‘I’m Going in There to Take His Spot’

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) newcomer Brian Kelleher isn't afraid of getting in the trenches right away. Kelleher is set to make his UFC debut inside...
Jimi Manuwa

Jimi Manuwa: ‘I Don’t Buy Into Any of That Trash Talking & Sh*t’

Jimi Manuwa isn't interested in laying down some World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) style trash talking. Manuwa isn't exactly a target when it comes to verbal...
John Lineker

John Lineker: ‘I Don’t Think About Dropping to Flyweight Anymore’

Don't expect John Lineker to return to the flyweight division. There was a time when Lineker was tearing through the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) flyweight...
Angela Lee

Angela Lee: ‘Keeping The Belt is a Lot Harder Than Winning it’

ONE Championship atomweight title holder Angela Lee knows the difficulties of being at the top of the mountain. At the age of 20, Lee has...

The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption Recap

Ramsey Nijem fought his way out of two deep submission attempts by Julian Lane to advance Wednesday night on The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption. Nijem...
Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson Says His Mindset During Fights is ‘Murderous Type Sh*t’

Michael Johnson doesn't have too many happy thoughts when he steps inside the Octagon. "The Menace" will compete against Justin Gaethje inside the T-Mobile Arena...

Gegard Mousasi: UFC Contract Offer ‘Not Good’

Gegard Mousasi was very blunt while appearing on UFC Tonight Wednesday when asked about his contract talks with the promotion. "It's not good," Mousasi said....
Conor McGregor

Dana White Says Conor McGregor May Cash in & Walk Away if he Fights...

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White wouldn't be surprised if Conor McGregor never gets back inside the Octagon. McGregor is the reigning Ultimate Fighting...