On December 13th, Xtreme Fighting Championships will crown its 4th title holder, when Frank Sharipov and Deivison Ribeiro battle for the company’s 145 pound championship. After years of intense scouting and building a solid roster of fighters, the XFC started 2013 with the promise of establishing champions in several of its weight classes. Now that the men’s Lightweight, women’s Strawweight, and women’s Flyweight title holders have been established, the Featherweights will have their moment; as Sharipov and Ribeiro square off for their chance to join the elite group of champions in the industry’s fastest growing promotion.
Deivison “Dragon” Ribeiro’s (24-9) 2013 will end a lot different than it began. In January of this year, the much sought after Brazilian made his U.S. debut, dropping his first two fights on American soil. Even after signing a long term deal with the XFC, it looked as if The Dragon had painted himself in a corner and was fighting to keep his job, when he faced Shah Bobonis at XFC 24. However, it was there in Tampa at XFC 24, that everything finally clicked and Ribeiro showed the American fans exactly why the XFC signed him to a multi-fight contract. The submission specialist defended Bobonis’ American Wrestling style and showed off his under-rated stand-up game. It was not only his win, but his solid well rounded performance in Tampa that earned him a spot in the XFC Featherweight elimination tournament. Ribeiro, arguably, drew the toughest route to the championship fight, having to face Jason Hicks in the opening round at Night of Champions III, this past October. In what many thought would be a closely contested bout, The Dragon came out with an intensity we had not seen from him before. Ribeiro finished Hicks in just four minutes of the first round, punching his ticket to the December 13th championship finals, where he will now face Frank Sharipov.
Orlando, Florida’s Farkhad “Frank” Sharipov (14-5) has quietly snuck into the biggest fight of his career. The soft spoken Sharipov’s sixth fight under the XFC banner will, without a doubt, be his shining moment, in an already successful career. After dropping two straight in 2011, the Xtreme Fighting Championships veteran was awarded the opportunity to compete in the company’s Featherweight elimination tournament. Seen by many as a tournament long shot, Sharipov put everyone on notice when he dismantled UFC vet Stephen Bass in his opening round bout. In an industry that always looks to be leaning towards “a young man’s sport”, the 29 year-old Sharipov is proving, like so many other fighters, that the salty vets are just now hitting their peak and are still a force in MMA. A product of Orlando’s Jungle MMA isn’t known as finisher, but is a fighter known for inflicting punishment for the full fifteen minutes of a fight. Ten of his fourteen wins have come by way of decision, with two KO’s and two submissions. Sharipov’s history of decisions may be his biggest tool in the championship bout. In a title fight that could go twenty-five minutes, Frank’s conditioning and solid defense could be the keys to victory. In nineteen professional bouts, Frank Sharipov has never been knocked out or submitted; a detail Ribeiro can’t ignore.
XFC President John Prisco had this to say about the Featherweight Title fight: “These are two very seasoned veterans, who don’t make a lot of mistakes in the cage. I want to say that it will be a very methodical, cerebral, chess match, but after seeing the way both these guys performed in their elimination bouts, I won’t be surprised at all if we see a spectacular finish. Frank looks like he is hitting his peak and fighting his best fights right now, and Dragon has finally gotten comfortable in the U.S. and this weight class and is showing everyone why we signed him; this is going to be an exciting fight. This is a win/win for us. The 145 pound title is guaranteed to go to a solid, well rounded, fighter that has the potential to hold the belt for a long time and provide us with many exciting match ups to come.”
Xtreme Fighting Championships invades the Great Lakes State on December 13, 2013 for XFC 27: Frozen Fury. The event is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions and it will be broadcast Live on AXS TV from the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Michigan, beginning at 8pm CT/9 pm ET. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visitwww.XFCMMA.com or www.beafantickets.com. For daily updates and news, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @OfficialXFC.