Immediately following his TKO victory against Reggie Pena at XFC 24, Ricky Rainey (8-1) sent word to XFC President John Prisco who he wanted next and the boss has happily granted Rainey his wish. The name at the top of The Sniper's list was none other than MFC mainstay Dhiego Lima. The bad blood and history between Rainey and Lima is well documented in the Southeast. With Rainey residing in Charlotte and Lima from Atlanta, these two men's paths have crossed on several occasions, but the tension reached its Boiling Point last March when Dhiego defeated Rainey's team mate Roger Carroll and, according to Rainey's camp, followed up his victory with some colorful comments about The Sniper and other fighters from North Carolina. Since that night, Rainey's coaches and manager have worked tirelessly to make this fight happen. Finally the stars have aligned and the time is here. Ricky Rainey will take his big right hand and four fight win streak into the Lima match up with hopes of, once and for all, removing this proverbial thorn in his side and securing his fifth straight victory and eventual title shot. Will Rainey's plan to knock off his rival and raise his stock pay off, or will The Sniper wish he had been more careful in what he asked for?
Dhiego Lima (8-1) has been entertaining AXS TV viewers for over two years. The American Top Team fighter and submission specialist has gone 5-1 inside Canada's Maximum Fighting Championship ring. At the young age of 24, Lima's high level Jiu-Jitsu, crisp striking, and enormous confidence make him one of the top free agents in mixed martial arts. While Dhiego is ecstatic about the opportunity to knock off Rainey on National television and continue his rise to the top, he has a slightly different view on the rivalry and bad blood between the two. Lima simply sees the situation as healthy competitive banter between two states. In fact, Lima states he has never spoken of, or to Ricky Rainey, and has never even bothered to follow his career. Regardless of who's story you believe, there is one thing you can take to the bank, these two men can't wait to get locked in a cage together. Not only do they both want to win, neither wants to lose to the other. Will The Sniper be able to do what no other has done before and finish Dhiego Lima, or will Lima once again shine on AXS TV and show Ricky Rainey that he wasn't quite ready for the spotlight?
When questioned about the Lima versus Rainey match up, XFC President John Prisco was very clear on why he made this fight happen: "With all do respect to Dhiego Lima, there aren't many opportunities in this business to prove what I've been saying for years is true, we have the most talented fighters on our roster. This is MFC versus XFC. It isn't like Lima walked away from the MFC on a losing streak or on the downside of his career; he's 24 years old, was 5-1 in the promotion, and the face of their Welterweight Division. He was one of Pavelich's trophies. Now I get the chance to prove to Mark that pound for pound my guys are better. The XFC, MFC, and several other promotions are all on AXS, so there is always going to be comparisons. I don't mind that, because in my eyes there is no comparison. And now on September 6th, everyone else will see that too. Dhiego Lima is a tremendous fighter and I'm not taking anything away from him, but if these two guys want to fight and I can prove my point to the MMA community...then let's do it."
Xtreme Fighting Championships heads to Albuquerque, New Mexico for XFC 25 on September 6, 2013. The event is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions, Polanti Watches, and ThroatPunch Ind. Apparel. The event will be broadcast Live on AXS TV from the Albuquerque Convention Center, beginning at 9pm Eastern. For more information on the event, or, to purchase tickets, visit www.officialxfc.com. For daily updates and news, follow this event and the XFC on Facebook and Twitter @OfficialXFC.