On Friday, Feb. 22, Xtreme Fighting Championships visited the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, N.C. for its 22nd event, “Crossing the Line.”

The event featured 11 bouts, with six airing live on AXS TV.

In the night’s main event lightweight Jason Hicks took on Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman. The pair battled for a chance at the XFC lightweight title, currently held by Nick Newell.

Also, female flyweights Pearl Gonzalez and Invicta veteran Suzie Montero battled on the main card.

Holtzman bests Hicks

Lightweight Scott Holtzman claimed the title of No. 1 contender, handing Jason Hicks his first career defeat.

Holtzman moved in with a superman punch to start the fight. Hicks broke away, but Holtzman pressed forward with a combination and tied him up yet again. The pair continued to jockey for position along the fence, with neither fighter mounting much offense. Hicks looked for a flying knee late in the round and landed a big combo, but Holtzman responded with a takedown to close the frame.

In the second round Holtzman scored with a takedown along the cage. Hicks remained active from his back, locking up Holtzman and preventing him from landing shots from the top. The referee stood up the fighters midway through the stanza and Holtzman briefly worked for a standing arm-triangle choke. Hicks defended but ended up on his back once more to end the round.

The forward advance of Holtzman continued in the third as he locked up a clinch. Hicks separated and looked for a head kick, but was unable to connect. After more work from the clinch, the referee again restarted the action in the center of the cage. Holtzman delivered a vicious right hand when Hicks dropped his hands. Hicks crashed to the mat and Holtzman followed him to the ground. Hicks recovered on the canvas, but was unable to put together any additional offense and the fight headed to the scorecards.

Holtzman earned a crack at Newell with the unanimous decision win.

Rainey tops Corneroli

Welterweight Ricky Rainey overcame the awkward striking of Joseph Corneroli to grind out a unanimous decision win.

The first round saw Corneroli close the distance to neutralize the reach advantage of Rainey. The pair traded positions from the clinch for the vast majority of the round. Corneroli briefly attacked with a guillotine, but Rainey easily escaped and countered with knees to the body of his opponent. Rainey finished the frame with a barrage of punches.

Corneroli opened the second frame with an onslaught of kicks to the body of Rainey. He mixed in both traditional Muay Thai kicks as well as karate-style side kicks. Rainey was the one to close the distance this time around, again pressing the fight against the cage. A referee separation allowed Corneroli to throw more unpredictable strikes until Rainey again initiated the clinch. Rainey scored with a double-leg takedown to close the stanza.

Rainey slipped early in round three and Corneroli capitalized with a barrage. Rainey retreated, eating shots along the way. Corneroli smelled blood and latched onto a guillotine choke, but Rainey was able to escape and secure the clinch. Rainey used the position to recover from the assault, but was clearly winded. Rainey scored with a big elbow late in the frame and worked hard for a takedown, but Corneroli was able to keep the fight standing.

When the scorecards were tabulated, it was Rainey who claimed all three rounds.

Gonzalez taps Montero

Flyweight Pearl Gonzalez picked up her first professional win, scoring a late, first-round armbar win over Suzie Montero.

Gonzalez pushed forward through the strikes of Montero to secure a single-leg takedown in the opening minute of the fight. Montero worked hard to take the back of Gonzalez from the bottom, but Montero was wise to it and maintained top position. At the midpoint of the round, Montero attacked with a bicep slicer, but bailed on it. Gonzalez moved to side control and then mount in the final minute of the round, transitioning to an armbar and forcing Montero to tap in the waning seconds.

Carroll chokes Eagans unconscious

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Roger Carroll submitted Josh Eagans for the second time with a second-round triangle choke.

Carroll opened aggressively, looking to score yet another win over Eagans. Marching forward, Carroll pinned Eagans against the fence and briefly looked for the same arm-in guillotine choke that he submitted Eagans with in their first meeting. Eagans escaped, but Carroll took the fight to the mat and rained shots from the top position. In the final minute of the frame, Carroll again attacked with a guillotine from the standing position before taking Eagans back and securing a rear-naked choke. The bell saved Eagans from submitting.

Eagans opened the second round with a takedown, but Carroll quickly attacked with a triangle from his back. Eagans didn’t have time to tap, as Carroll put him to sleep.

Bynum batters Fowler

Flyweight D’Angelo Bynum used both his size advantage and striking prowess to batter Jimmy Fowler en route to a unanimous decision victory.

The first frame saw Bynum open like a house on fire, scoring with a barrage of uppercuts and knees from the Muay Thai clinch. Fowler survived the early onslaught and landed a takedown. Once on the mat, Fowler showed his grappling superiority, taking Bynum’s back and threatening with a rear-naked choke. Bynum escaped and returned to the feet in the final minute, again unloading on Fowler along the fence with uppercuts and knees until the bell sounded.

Bynum started the second stanza much like the first, but opted to put Fowler on his back when Fowler threw an ill-timed kick. Bynum worked from within the guard until Fowler scrambled to his feet with two minutes remaining in the round. Bynum continued to get the better of the stand-up exchanges as the round closed.

The pace slowed considerably in the final round, as Bynum knew he was ahead. Blood oozed from the nose of Fowler throughout the round, a sign of the damage inflicted by Bynum in the first two rounds. Fowler’s lack of urgency ultimately cost him on the scorecards.

Owens edges Landwehr

In a featherweight contest, D’juan Owens took home a controversial decision win over Nate Landwehr, handing Landwehr his first defeat.

Owens scored on the feet in the opening frame, mixing in a variety of punches and kicks.

Landwehr countered in the second and third frames with takedowns and top control. Owens was active off his back, frequently attacking with kimura attempts, but each round appeared to go the way of Landwehr.

Surprisingly, Owens was rewarded with a decision win, even taking all three rounds on one scorecard.

Scott Holtzman def. Jason Hicks by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Ricky Rainey def. Joseph Corneroli by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Pearl Gonzalez def. Suzie Montero by submission (armbar). Round 1, 4:56
Roger Carroll def. Josh Eagans by submission (triangle choke). Round 2, 0:59
D’Angelo Bynum def. Jimmy Fowler by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
D’juan Owens def. Nate Landwehr by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Joseph Carroll def. Len Cook by unanimous decision.
Jeremy Severn def. Aaron Osbourne by submission (armbar). Round 1, 4:50
Rahshun Ball def. Thomas Campbell by unanimous decision.
Cody Wells def. Luke Neyland by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 2:45
Carlos Vivas def. Brandon Boggs by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 3:56

Photo: XFC Logo (XFC)

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