XFC 15: "Tribute" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsXtreme Fighting Championships returned to the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida tonight for XFC 15: “Tribute.” The HDNet-televised card was headlined by a lightweight bout between Florida veteran Eric “It’s A Wrap” Reynolds and Brazilian submission ace Jonatas “Peixe Frito” Novaes.

Also on the card, Bellator veteran Carla Esparza took on standout striker Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig in a featured 115-pound women’s matchup, and unbeaten lightweight “Notorious” Nick Newell battled Denis Hernandez. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s XFC 15 main card.


Eric “It’s A Wrap” Reynolds vs Jonatas “Peixe Frito” Novaes

Round 1:
Novaes countered a left hook from Reynolds with a takedown attempt, but Reynolds got back to his feet. Novaes took him down a second time and moved to mount. Novaes attempted a top-side triangle choke, but Reynolds scrambled up. Novaes clinched and tripped Reynolds again. He returned to mount and landed a big right hand. Novaes attempted an armbar, but Reynolds defended.

Novaes switched to a triangle choke and another armbar, but could not secure either hold. Novaes landed a hard elbow strike and and locked on an armbar. Reynolds somehow managed to escape and wound up on top. He landed punches from the top and stood, then motioned for Novaes to get to his feet. Novaes tried for a takedown before the bell. Good opening round. 10-9 Novaes.

Round 2:
Novaes ducked under a head kick and took Reynolds down. He transitioned to the back and tried for a rear-naked choke and an armbar. Reynolds escaped and stood. Novaes followed and fell to his back after a failed clinch attempt. Reynolds kicked at Novaes’s legs until the referee stood Novaes up. Novaes slowed way down, but landed a head kick.

The fighters clinched and Novaes took Reynolds’s back briefly. Reynolds escaped, but Novaes landed a knee. Reynolds rocked him with a right hook and followed with an uppercut. Novaes flopped to his back and Reynolds dropped elbows from half-guard. More elbows scored for Reynolds and he stood up. On the feet, Reynolds landed a one-two and Novaes fell to the mat again. Reynolds landed big punches at the bell. 10-9 Reynolds.

Round 3:
Reynolds landed a kick to the upper body and a right hook in the final round. Novaes tried to clinch and Reynolds easily shrugged him off. Novaes flopped to his back and Reynolds punished him with punches and elbows. Novaes stood and attempted a takedown. He wound up on the bottom again and Reynolds continued to blast him with shots from the top. Reynolds trapped Novaes’s arm and threw more elbows, then stood up.

Novaes begrudgingly got to his feet and flopped to his back yet again. The crowd booed and the process repeated itself. Reynolds instructed Novaes to stand and he slowly did so. Reynolds sprawled out of a takedown and backed Novaes up to the cage. Novaes finally got him down and secured an arm-triangle choke. Reynolds escaped and Novaes punched before the bell. Very close final round. 10-9 Reynolds.

Winner: Eric Reynolds by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 14-5-0.


Carla Esparza vs Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig

Round 1:
Esparza took Herrig down immediately and worked from her guard with elbows. Herrig tried to scramble to her feet, but Esparza kept her down and nearly moved to mount. Herrig used the cage to stand and the fighters exchanged knees. Esparza dragged Herrig to the mat and landed short punches. She tried to take Herrig’s back, but Herrig stood up.

Herrig sprawled out of a takedown, but Esparza maintained her grip and clinched. She used a judo throw to take Herrig down and punched from the scarf hold position. Esparza moved to half-guard and punched from the top. She landed elbows as well and Herrig could not get to her feet. Esparza made it to mount and punched away as Herrig’s left eye swelled. Esparza tried for an armbar before the bell. 10-9 Esparza.

Round 2:
Esparza punched her way into a clinch in round two, but it was Herrig who scored a takedown. She landed in mount, but Esparza scrambled and wound up in Herrig’s guard. Esparza postured up and landed strikes to the hematoma above Herrig’s left eye. Herrig looked to set up an omoplata from the bottom, but Esparza evaded danger.

Herrig continued to look for submissions from the bottom, but Esparza picked her up and slammed her down. Esparza tried to pass Herrig’s guard, but could not and the fighters were stood up. Esparza landed a front kick to the face and knees in a clinch. Herrig connected with a right cross, but Esparza took her down. Esparza landed short left hands until the bell. 10-9 Esparza.

Round 3:
Esparza landed a pair of one-twos to open the final round and Herrig clinched. She could not get Esparza down and Esparza broke free of the clinch. Esparza took Herrig down to the mat and briefly moved to side control. Herrig got back to full guard and Esparza punched from the top. Herrig nearly secured an armbar, but Esparza escaped and moved back to side control. Esparza landed hard elbow strikes and right hands as Herrig attempted to scramble out to defend.

Esparza kept Herrig down and landed more short strikes. She worked for a far-side keylock, but Herrig countered with a leg scissor choke. Esparza freed herself and wound up on top in side control again. Esparza landed knees to the body and Herrig got back to full guard. The fighters were stood up and both landed right hooks. Herrig snapped Esparza’s head back with a front kick to the face. Good fight. 10-9 Esparza.

Winner: Carla Esparza by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. She improves to 6-2-0.


“Notorious” Nick Newell vs Denis “The Menace” Hernandez

Round 1:
Newell, who was born with only a partial left arm, swarmed with punches right away and took Hernandez down. He landed punches and forearm strikes on the ground and dropped back for a heel hook. He secured the hold and Hernandez instantly tapped out. Extremely impressive win for Newell.

Winner: Nick Newell by Submission (Heel Hook) at 1:11 of round one. He improves to 6-0-0.


Corey “The Real Deal” Hill vs Charlie “Superstar” Rader

Round 1:
Rader landed a leg kick and a counter left hook early in the fight. Hill clinched and tried for a takedown. He got Rader down and landed short right hands from half-guard. Hill mixed in elbows that opened a small cut above Rader’s left eye.

More punches and short elbows scored for Hill and Rader could do little in return. Hill kept Rader pinned down against the cage and landed occasional strikes. Rader tried to scramble to his feet and Hill locked on a Brabo Choke. Rader tapped out.

Winner: Corey Hill by Submission (Brabo Choke) at 3:58 of round one. He improves to 5-4-0.


Brandon Sayles vs Imani “The Juggernaut” Lee

Round 1:
The fighters exchanged short punches early on and Sayles was the aggressor. Leg kicks landed for both fighters and Sayles scored with a right hook. Lee backed up, but answered with a flurry. Both super heavyweights landed power punches and circled away. Sayles landed another one-two and Lee’s right eye began to swell.

Sayles threw a combination and a flying knee that partially landed. Another knee scored for Sayles and he remained aggressive with punches. Sayles peppered Lee with punches and took him down. He landed in mount and punched until the fight was stopped. Lee was deemed to have verbally submitted.

Winner: Brandon Sayles by Submission (Punches) at 3:09 of round one. He improves to 3-0-0.


Ryan “The Tank Engine” Thomas vs John Kolosci

Round 1:
Kolosci opened the fight with an uppercut, but Thomas took him down against the cage. Thomas landed short elbows from the top and tried for a guillotine choke. Kolosci escaped and got to his knees, but Thomas kept him down. Thomas landed an elbow and knees from a front headlock position.

Kolosci managed to stand up and pressed Thomas up against the cage. Thomas broke free with a knee and a big right hook, then took Kolosci back down. Thomas punched and took Kolosci down after he stood up briefly. He took Kolosci’s back and tried for a rear-naked choke. He switched to a reverse triangle choke and Kolosci tapped out.

Winner: Ryan Thomas by Submission (Reverse Triangle Choke) at 4:46 of round one. He improves to 13-7-0.


Marlon Moraes vs Chris Manuel

Round 1:
Moraes opened the fight with a variety of kicks, including one to the head. The fighters traded jabs and leg kicks for the next minute and Manuel looked to close the distance with punches. Moraes kept him at bay with kicks and mixed in hooks to the head and body. Moraes caught a body kick and countered with a head kick.

Moraes continued to mix up his attacks with punches to the head and body, followed by leg kicks. A spinning heel kick sent Manuel reeling back to the cage, but he regained his composure. The fighters contined to exchange punches and leg kicks until late in the round, with Moraes maintaining an advantage. 10-9 Moraes.

Round 2:
More kicks and an uppercut scored for Moraes in the second round and Manuel tried to clinch for a takedown. Moraes shrugged him off with an elbow and circled away. Manuel jabbed and landed a leg kick. Moraes scored with a right hook and a kick to the upper body that briefly backed Manuel up.

Moraes flurried with punches and Manuel retreated again. A left cross from Manuel was answered by a body kick from Moraes. Time was called to fix Manuel’s cup. Action finally resumed and Moraes landed a head kick. Manuel countered with two kicks of his own and tried to clinch. Moraes landed a nice body kick before the bell. 10-9 Moraes.

Round 3:
Manuel jabbed early in the final round and Moraes countered with one-twos. He stuffed Manuel’s takedown attempts and scored with a right hook. The crowd grew restless as the pace and action slowed. Moraes landed a combination and Manuel replied with a leg kick.

Moraes avoided Manuel’s clinch attempt and fired off leg kicks. He countered a body kick with a quick lead left hook. More boos came from the crowd, but Moraes silenced them with a head kick. He landed a hard body kick and the fighters exchanged punches in close. 10-9 Moraes.

Winner: Marlon Moraes by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 7-4-1.


  1. Carla looked dominant for about 98% of the fight.
    Good win for Carla.