June 17th, 2014 TAMPA, FL – After nearly six months of Latin America expansion and behind the scenes production advances, Xtreme Fighting Championships North American division has finally spoken; LOUDLY. The Tampa, Florida based promotion announced today, not only its long-awaited return to domestic promoting, but also its Main Event for the soon to be announced XFC 28 card, to be held at the USF Sundome early this fall. Headlining the company’s return show will be recently signed Bellator vet Troy Gerhart and XFC/UFC veteran Junior Assuncao. The two 145 pound contenders will battle to see who’s next in line for a shot at XFC Featherweight Kingpin, Deivison Ribeiro.
Troy Gerhart (6-2) has been fighting professionally since 2007. The former high school and college wrestler started his career with an impressive 5-0 record; four of which ended by way of knockout. Although his base is grappling, Gerhart grew up a fan of the sweet science and has never backed down from mixing it up in the center of the cage. His fan friendly style of combat has made him one of the most exciting fighters in the State of Florida over the last six years. After back to back losses in 2009 and 2010, Gerhart took a three-year hiatus from mixed martial arts. During his time off, Gerhart focused on training and organizing his personal life, in order to make the commitment needed for another run in the sport. Troy returned to action in November of this 2013, looking like a focused man on a mission. He stopped Chris Thorne by knockout in just 2:45 of round number one, and immediately re-caught the attention of XFC President John Prisco. With a new lease on his professional life, Gerhart looks to make an immediate impact on the company’s 145 pound division, and what bigger way to make some noise than to knock off the heavily favored Assuncao.
At 32 years old and nearly ten years as a professional, Junior Assuncao (15-5) is far from done in the sport of mixed martial arts. The Brazilian looks to use his second run with the XFC to prove just that, to not only his fans, but more importantly his peers. At XFC 28, Assuncao looks to put all Featherweights on notice, in particular his fellow countryman and title holder, “Dragon” Ribeiro. The message he wants to send, at the expense of Gerhart, is that he will be the measuring stick for all 145ers in the XFC. Junior has won an impressive nine of his last ten bouts, which includes a XFC Lightweight title win over John Mahlow in 2010 and a return to the UFC, where he went 1-1 before being released by the UFC. The company cited an over-crowded roster and division as the reason for Assuncao’s departure. After his second stint in the UFC, Assuncao stepped away from the sport to relax and spend time with his family, but now rested and recharged, Junior will bring his dangerous blend of high-level jiu jitsu and solid striking to an already stacked XFC Featherweight division. On June 7th, Assuncao took a unanimous decision victory over Alejandro Rodriguez at XFC International 5 in Sao Paulo and he will look to ride that momentum into his upcoming bout with Gerhart.
XFC President and Matchmaker had this to say about his company’s return to U.S. action and its Main Event: “Needless to say, we are all very excited to get back to putting on exciting and highly competitive fights for our North American fans and fighters. After XFC 27, we took some time to focus on and develop our international brand. XFC International put on five very successful shows in Sao Paulo this year and with the Season One tournaments wrapping up this month; it was time to get back to work stateside. We are coming out strong with XFC 28. The card is almost complete and it is shaping up to be one of our best, from top to bottom. The fans in the arena and the fans at home are going to come away from this card as the real winners. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing and detailing new, exclusive, state of the art technology that will bring our viewing audience at home closer to XFC action than they have ever been before. We’ve done some major technological advances to our production side and will also offer Worldwide streaming of our entire fight card. As far as the Main Event; Gerhart/Assuncao is going to deliver; it’s going to be a hell of a fight. Both these guys are hungry and want a shot at our Featherweight title. After talking to them, I promise you, they are both willing to put it all on the line to secure that shot at Ribeiro. I truly can’t wait to see this one.”
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