A pair of title bouts will be front and center when Victory Fighting Championship gets its 2017 schedule under way on Friday, April 14 at the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska, and live on UFC FIGHT PASS.
Two-division champion Rob “The Saint” Emerson puts his bantamweight belt at stake as he takes on undefeated phenom Raufeon “Supa” Stots in the main event. The co-main event will mark the first title defense for newly crowned welterweight kingpin Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf with challenger Yuri Villefort standing in the opposing corner.
Tickets for VFC 56 will be available at www.ticketmaster.com.
“These are two outstanding title fights featuring four of the very best talents on the Victory Fighting Championship roster,” said Ryan Stoddard, President & CEO of Victory Fighting Championship.
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“Rob Emerson is a veteran competitor who still has designs on competing at the highest level but to get back to the UFC, he is going to have to defend his Victory Fighting Championship belt against unquestionably one of the top prospects in Raufeon Stots.
“Kassius ‘Killa Kayne’ is great mix with enough fights to now boast veteran-level experience but he is also a high-end prospect as well. Yuri Villefort has really turned his career around and is now back to competing at level everyone has expected from him.”
Rob “The Saint” Emerson (19-11, 1 NC) vs. Raufeon “Supa” Stots (7-0)
Emerson returns to the VFC cage after successfully claiming his second title when added the featherweight crown at VFC 54 in December with a first-round TKO stoppage over Ryan Roberts. The Huntington Beach, California, product scored the bantamweight title last June at VFC 51 when he registered a second-round submission verdict against Shawn West. The 35-year-old has notable career wins over Joe Taimanglo and Jared Downing, and also went 3-3 with one no-contest in the UFC. Inside the Octagon, Emerson picked up decision wins over Phillipe Nover and Keita Nakamura, and also dispatched Manny Gamburyan with a 12-second knockout.
Stots, who hails from Houston, Texas, and fights out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of the most highly prospects in all of MMA. His stock soared after his victory at VFC 53 when he dominated veteran Jeff Curran and took a clear-cut unanimous decision. Prior to that, Stots secured three straight finishes inside the VFC cage. He coaxed a tapout in the second round against Charlie Dubray at VFC 52, knocked out William Joplin in the first round of their meeting at VFC 49, and submitted Demetrious Wilson in the third round at VFC 47.
Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf (8-3) vs. Yuri Villefort (9-5)
At VFC 52 last December, Holdorf turned in the most memorable and meaningful performance of his blossoming career. After nearly finishing arch-rival Maki Pitolo at the end of Round 1, Holdorf didn’t waste a moment in making sure a sensational verdict was in his grasp as he blasted Pitolo with an uppercut and earned a knockout win only five seconds into the second round to claim the belt. It was sweet revenge for the Omaha, Nebraska, native after he lost a heartbreaking decision to Pitolo in their original matchup – a fight he took on short notice yet went the distance in last July. In a bit of irony, Holdorf had been scheduled to face Villefort at VFC 52 before filling in against Pitolo, which ultimately led to title shot. The 30-year-old had won four of five prior to that narrow decision defeat.
Villefort, who is originally from Brasilia, Brazil, and now fights out of Boca Raton, Florida, had registered impressive finishes in seven of his nine victories, including his first-round knockout (knee) of Kenneth Glenn at VFC 47. The 25-year-old also bested Cody Carillo via decision at VFC 50. Villefort made two previous appearances in the UFC including Fight Night 28 in his home country.
More bouts for the VFC 56 card will be announced in the very near future.
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