Undefeated top prospect Raufeon Stots and Veteran Yuri Villefort both became newly crowned champions on Friday night as Victory Fighting Championship hosted VFC 56 at the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
Stots (8-0) outworked the two division campion Rob Emerson to steal his Bantamweight title, while Villefort (10-5) capitalized on his experience and ground and pound game to take the welterweight belt for hometown favorite Kassius Holdorf. The fight card aired live on UFC FIGHT PASS.
“I believe I belong with the best in the world. I deserve to fight the best in the world. I belong in the UFC,” said Stots after he took the unanimous decision from Emerson (50-45, 50-45, 49-46).
The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, product continually came forward and did more with the few opportunities afforded from either fighter. Stots scored a handful of meaningful takedowns and got the better of the striking exchanges. Emerson (19-12), who remains the VFC’s Featherweight champion, saw his best chance for victory come in the fourth round when he attempted to coax a kneebar but Stots was able to roll and slip away.
In the co-main event, Villefort repeatedly got the fight to the ground and used brief ground and pound rallies to pull away from Holorf (9-4). “Killa Kayne” was clearly the better striker but was unable to keep Villefort from taking him down at his will. Villefort’s top game easily led him to a clear unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) which ended Holdorf’s title reign in his very first title defense.
It was a disappointing night for another home town fighter as Omaha’s Dakota Cochrane (27-11) couldn’t escape the wrestling of EJ Brooks (10-5), who wore out his foe to notch a comfortable 29-28 on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
Another high-end VFC prospect fared well on the night as Sodiq Yussef (4-0) won via decision over Chuka Willis in a featherweight bout.
Three other bouts on the main card ended in the first round. Hometown welterweight Corey Davis (2-0) took advantage of a critical positioning mistake by his opponent Kenny Licea (4-2) to sink in a fight ending rear naked choke with only two seconds left of the opening round. In a lightweight tussle, Bryce Logan (6-2) executed a vicious slam and followed with strikes which brought a verbal tap out from an injured Will Shutt (23-24-1) at 4:23 of the first. Last but not least of the nights entertainment we had in a bantamweight clash, Omaha’s Terrence Almond (3-2) notched a victory at 1:24 of the first round when Tony Ortgea (3-4) tapped out due to a shoulder/collarbone injury.
The opening bout of the main card we saw Bernard Thomas (4-1) squeak past Boimah Karmo (2-2) decision in their welterweight matchup.
Victory Fighting Championship returns on Friday, May 5th in Topeka, Kansas, headlined by the return of the heavyweight champion Daniel “Big Kansas” Gallemore as he defends his belt against Razak Al-Hassan.