One of the most talked about rematches in XFO MMA history takes place Saturday April 25th at the UIC Pavilion when middleweight standouts Matt "The Monster" Paul takes on Ivan Garcia Jr. for the second time.
The first contest ended with a flurry of vicious ground and pound when a Matt Paul elbow tore open a gaping wound on Ivan Garcia Jr's forehead forcing the referee stoppage. Immediately after the bout, fans of both fighters flooded XFO social media channels to show support for their favorite fighter. It was, to this day, one of the most talked about fights in the 11 year history of the XFO.
Fans of Garcia Jr. have been talking about a rematch for nearly a year now, saying the stoppage was premature and in a sense a "lucky" of sorts. On April 25th, we'll be able to see these amazing fighters step into the XFO cage once again. According to Matt Paul, his victory was as dominant as they come.
"The talk (between our fans) has been the source of the bad blood I guess" said Paul. "I've seen countless posts since our first fight saying "early stoppage", that he was 'winning until that elbow', that 'I'm lucky'. I thought it was all pretty funny to be honest, both sides gave me a good laugh. The fight couldn't get any more decisive and if he wants me to open up his head more I'll gladly do it. I mean, the dude didn't even make weight, and it didn't seem like he was even trying. Then he wants a rematch. Personally, I don't think he deserves one. But he's the only guy willing to step up, so I give him credit. I respect him, and I'm not taking him lightly. So, here we are. Saturday all delusions will be put to rest and we'll end it there in the cage."
Clearly, Ivan Garcia sees things a bit differently.
"My only beef with Matt Paul is he made it seem like he was whooping my ass (in our first fight) which is far from the case. I just have to go out there and even the score to 1-1. I don't hate the guy, shit I will buy him a beer after our fight, no matter the outcome. But before that he just better believe I'm going out there to knock his head off his shoulders."
Interview by Mike Finch