Tampa, FL: South African heavyweight champion Rico “The White Lion” Hattingh entered the main event of XFC’s “Salute to Our Armed Forces 6: Clash of the Continents” at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida with an 11-1 record, ten gold medals from international wrestling competitions, a submission victory over UFC veteran Trevor Prangley, and universal recognition as the top heavyweight in all of Africa.
He left the main event on a stretcher after being knocked out cold in 19 seconds by undefeated American heavyweight Chad Corvin.
“I tried to end it quickly,” said the 22-year-old, 250 pound Corvin. “I knew this fight would be a big stepping stone for me. The MMA world already knew I had heavy hands. Now they know just how heavy these hands truly are.” Corvin elevated his record to 4-0, with all four victories by first round stoppage.
On the undercard, four-time world boxing champion Chevelle Hallback of Plant City, Florida successfully launched her new career in MMA by annihilating ex-EliteXC fighter Melissa Vasquez in just 41 seconds. Clearly the crowd favorite, Hallback overwhelmed Vasquez with her hand speed and raw power, winning by TKO after taking Vasquez off her feet. “I’m still learning — but don’t sleep on me!” exclaimed Hallback after her first-ever cage fight. “I’m here to shock the world. I’ve already learned so much, but I’m going to continue to learn and continue to train hard because MMA is my sport now — and I’m determined to be the best.”
Hallback’s opponent believes she has a legitimate chance to achieve her goal. “She’s definitely the strongest girl I’ve ever fought,” said Vasquez, now 4-5. “Her strength was the difference in the fight.”
XFC lightweight champion John Mahlow successfully defended his title against Luis Palomino in a grueling, back-and-forth battle, winning by submission 1:57 in the fifth and final round. Palomino entered the bout with a five-fight winning streak and captured the attention of many MMA experts when reigning UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Nogueira proclaimed Palomino his “personal protg” and a future world champion. Mahlow executed a high-energy game plan that kept his hard punching challenger on his back for much of the fight. “That was a war!” acknowledged Mahlow. “Luis Palomino is one tough SOB. But if I continue to win these kinds of fights, I know I’ll achieve my goal of fighting B.J. Penn. I just need to continue working — and continue winning.” Mahlow’s record rose to 12-9; Palomino’s fell to 9-3.
In the most thrilling fight of the night, Jason Goodall captured the vacant XFC bantamweight title by outlasting Haender Rodriguez, prevailing by TKO 4:17 in the third round. XFC president John Prisco called the battle “the greatest fight in XFC history” and Tampa fans were on their feet throughout the entire contest. The end came when successive headshots knocked Rodriguez down and unable to continue, leading the referee to call a halt to a fight that was nonstop action from beginning to end.
“He’s an exciting, tough fighter,” said an exhausted Goodall. “But come Monday, I’ll be back in the gym. He fought a great fight, but I’m so proud to be a champion.”
Over 7,200 fans were in attendance at the St. Pete Times Forum, making XFC’s “Salute to Our Armed Forces 6: Clash of the Continents” the most heavily attended Friday night Mixed Martial Arts show in Florida history. XFC’s first five fight cards at the Forum have now drawn a combined total of over 50,900 fans; no other American promotion has ever reached the 50,000 attendance threshold in five shows or less.
Here are the complete results of XFC’s “Salute to Our Armed Forces 6: Clash of the Continents”:
Troy Gerhart defeated Eric Flores by KO, 1:19 in round one
Frank Santore defeated Donny Wallace by submission, 2:41 in round two
Mark Serkez defeated Reuben Millhausen by TKO, 2:11 in round one
Chris Davis defeated Donavin Hawkey by submission, 3:58 in round one
Horacio Rodriquez defeated Sky Moiseichik,by submission, 2:55 in round one
Jason Goodall won the vacant XFC bantamweight title by defeating Haender Rodriguez by TKO, 4:17 in round three
Chevelle Hallback defeated Melissa Vasquez by TKO, 41 seconds in round one
C.T. Turner defeated Brett Chism by three-round unanimous decision
John Mahlow defeated Luis Palomino by submission, 1:57 in round five
Chad Corvin defeated Rico Hattingh by KO, 19 seconds in round one