Nashville, TN will be the focal point of Women’s MMA fans on June 22nd when “Hurricane” Heather Jo Clark faces Sofia Bagherdai at XFC18: Music City Mayhem. Clark was on the wrong end of a controversial doctor’s stoppage against Marianna Kheyfets at XFC 16 earlier this year. Now back to 100%, Clark must get through Bagherdai in order to get a rematch with Kheyfets later this year.
After reeling off four straight wins, the stars were lining up for Clark to become the top dog in the XFC Women’s flyweight division in February. The only thing standing in her way was one of the rising stars in Women’s MMA, XFC vet Marianna Kheyfets. After a back and forth first round Clark dug deep into her arsenal and used a judo throw to wind up on top of Kheyfets as the round ended. But somehow, during the final moments of the round, Clark’s right eye began to bruise. In between rounds the ringside physician determined that Clark was unable to continue due to the eye that was beginning to swell completely shut. ‘Hurricane’ pleaded with the doctor, but ultimately the swelling was too severe and the fight was called in favor or Kheyfets.
Now with the bitter taste of a loss in her mouth, the Greg Jackson student will take on veteran Sofia Bagherdai who is coming off a tough loss of her own last month. Before the close decision loss to undefeated Ashley Cummins, Bagherdai had won four of her last five and was widely considered the top flyweight in the East Coast. At XFC 18, she will have a chance to fight live on HDNet to show the world what she can do and just how explosive she really is.
XFC President John Prisco is passionate about women’s MMA and has been adamant about giving the top prospects an opportunity to fight on his shows live on HDNet. “Heather Clark is one of the top fighters in the world,” proclaimed Prisco. “She went toe to toe with Marianna in Knoxville and unfortunately they had to stop the fight due to the swelling under her eye. I was excited and ready for the second round. Marianna was pushing the pace but in the last minute or so of the round Heather threw her and got on top and finished in a dominant position. It was really getting good. I hate that it had to end like that. Since that fight, Heather has been asking me for another fight. She would’ve fought the next weekend if I would’ve had a fight for her. But, that’s just the type of warrior she is. Heather wants to compete and she wants to fight the best. In Nashville we have Sofia Bagherdai coming in to face her. Let me tell you, Sofia is no joke. She has been knocking opponents out since 2007. Sofia is a pioneer and has been helping build Women’s MMA before it became popular. I’m really excited about this fight and I think people who are on the fence about Women’s MMA will sit up and pay attention when these two ladies get in the cage on June 22nd.”
XFC 18: Music City Mayhem is sponsored by ICRealtime Security Solutions and will air live on HDnet from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN June 22nd, 2012. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.com. To learn more about the XFC, please visit www.officialxfc.com, Follow us daily on Facebook & Twitter (@officialxfc).