VFC 56 Review: Raufeon Is Ready

Prior to their VFC 56 main event contest Raufeon Stots (8-0) told the world that he was better than seven-time UFC veteran and two-division VFC champion Rob Emerson (19-12) in every facet of the game. Then the Roufusport product and two-year pro went out there and proved it, scoring takedowns at will and dominating Emerson when he allowed the fight to remain on the feet.

Stots didn’t come particularly close to finishing Emerson at any point, but he took far less damage than his opponent who connected with no more than a handful of genuinely significant strikes. This was simply a virtuoso performance for the still-developing Stots, who has become a very skilled striker and may well rank among the very best in the world at 135 within the next few years. For now Stots can claim to be the Victory FC bantamweight champion, and in terms of regional wins to add to your resume Emerson’s name is about as big as it gets.

Villefort Controlled Kayne With Takedowns

The co-main event was also a 25-minute grounding as BJJ black belt Yuri Villefort (10-5) had no problems pinning Kassius Kayne (10-4) to the mat en route to the VFC welterweight belt. Villefort pointed out Kayne’s takedown defense and ground game as a major weakness before the fight, and he too backed up his words with takedowns and ground control in every round. Kayne was clearly the better striker and landed bursts of damage at the start of each round, but within the first minute Yuri managed to get things to the ground in each frame. That performance was good enough to dethrone the defending hometown champion, as Yuri Villefort earned the clear unanimous decision win and went home with the VFC welterweight title.

Davis Subs Licea

The undercard of the year’s first VFC show was filled with grappling-focused performances. Both EJ Brooks (10-5) and Dakota Cochrane (27-11) entered the cage with strong wrestling credentials, but Brooks clearly had the stronger game as he controlled Cochrane for nearly the entire fight on his way to a unanimous decision win. Team Lloyd Irvin product Sodiq Yusuff (4-0) also was in control of the entire contest against most more experienced lightweight Chuka Willis (9-4), as Yusuff spent the full 15 minutes pushing the fight against the cage and assaulting his opponent’s midsection with knees. Meanwhile in the early prelims Corey Davis(2-0) scored the highlight finish of the night with his RNC of Kenny Licea (4-2) with just two seconds left in round one (see to the right). And a pair of fighters earned finishes via slam, as bantamweight Terrence Almond (3-2) took out Tony Ortega (3-4) with a slam that injured his shoulder and lightweight Bryce Logan (6-2) TKO’d Will Shutt (23-24-1) with a slam that appeared to break one of Shutt’s ribs.

Almond Wins Via Injury TKO

Logan TKO via Slam


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