XFC 25 Preview

XFC 25Live from the home of Walter White, Albuquerque, New Mexico plays host to the latest night of fights on AXS TV with XFC 25: Boiling Point. Women are the centerpiece of the event tonight, despite multiple late replacements and fill-ins. The XFC will crown their first strawweight women’s champion, and the men will continue the featherweight tournament. In the main event, Stephanie Eggink (3-1) will finally fight Angela Magana (11-5) for the inaugural XFC women’s strawweight title after months of stops and starts, including Magana having to bow out in April for their first meeting, but now they will face each other for the title. Magana is coming off a loss to Jessica Eye over a year ago, and Eggink is on a two-fight win streak, fighting as recently as April. Magana obviously holds the advantage in the experience department, but Eggink is a member of the US Boxing Team who has had known trouble cutting to 115 pounds. She looked sluggish in her last win in XFC over Briana Van Buren, but she knows how to win fights. These two women will likely step it up a notch, because they have a deep, deep hatred of each other. They’ve been talking trash for months now, and that desire to cause pain could be the difference for these two. Eggink will be looking to stand, but Magana is solid anywhere, especially preferring the mat, brandishing six submission victories in her career. Next up: welterweights. “The Sniper” Ricky Rainey (6-1) will bring his headhunting skills to the cage as he faces Dhiego Lima (8-1) in what should be a scrap of a fight. Rainey had an awesome headkick knockout over Reggie Pena at XFC 24, and is considered an exciting prospect in the welterweight division with his dangerous kickboxing style. Lima is an MFC and XFC vet, who is on a four fight winning streak and likely won’t be afraid of Rainey’s flashy striking. This could very likely be the fight of the night, as both of these men don’t want to give an inch to the other. If it stays on the feet, things will be competitive, but look for Lima to have the grappling edge if it hits the mats. The ladies are back on deck as Stephanie Skinner (2-4) takes on Angelica Chavez (4-2) in an atomweight (105 pound) bout. Don’t underestimate Skinner due to her record, she just really likes to get sucked into brawls. Chavez is a well-rounded Invicta vet who can definitely stand and trade with the scrapper in Skinner. But then again, she would be best served making this a clinch grappler vs. striker match. Skinner can definitely throw down, and wants to at any opportunity. UFC and Bellator vet, Ryan Thomas, who may be best known as the first man to feud with Ben Askren, losing to the Bellator welterweight champ twice, as well as Jim Wallhead, before departing the organization, looks to extend his winning streak to five fights as he faces undefeated wrestler Ian Stephens (2-0). Ryan Thomas has improved greatly over the years, but he still has trouble while being underneath a strong wrestler, and Ian Stephens is just that. Stephens has limited tape, but what tape he does have is showing him pretty much dominate his opponents with suplexes and evil ground and pound. Thomas is the vet with plenty of high-level experience, but Stephens is looking to make a name for himself as a legit welterweight threat. Stephens has very poor stand up, as he’s just starting out in his career. Thomas may be able to take advantage of that. In the featherweight tournament semi-finals, Stephen Bass (10-1) hasn’t fought in a year and a half since losing to Marcus Brimage in the Ultimate Fighter 14 finale in December of 2011, and he hopes to make a splash against Bellator and XFC vet Farkhad Sharipov (13-5). Both of these men have trouble finishing fights, as Sharipov has a 77% decision win percentage, with Bass holding a 50% decision rate, but anything can happen, as both of these men are trying to get back in the win column. Sharipov lost his last two in a row dating back to November of 2011 in Bellator, so both of these men may be showing significant ring rust in this tournament battle.

Written by Jason Nawara

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XFC 25 Bet: Farkhad Sharipov (-115) vs Stephan Bass (-125)