Mac Donald, Sigvaldason Become Champs at XFFC 21, Shintani Next in Line

The Toshido takeover is for real.

Toshido MMA had fighters in both the main event and co-main event of XFFC 21 in Grande Prairie, Alta., and are now heading home to Kelowna, B.C. with two more belts to add to their collection.

In the main event, Steven Mac Donald (now 3-0) came away with a unanimous decision victory over William Carriere (now 4-3) and, most importantly, the XFFC light heavyweight title in what can only be described as 25 minutes of madness.

Steven Mac Donald
Steven Mac Donald throws one of many leg kicks to William Carriere at XFFC 21. (Photo by Joel Griffith)

“That was the most fun f***ing fight I’ve ever had in my entire life,” said Mac Donald.

“I barely had a camp for this fight and still went five rounds. I was away working on the rigs last week.”

The five-round war saw both fighters land their share of firm blows, with Mac Donald being the more productive fighter, leaving Carriere in a bloody mess after 25 minutes. Not only did Mac Donald go the distance, but he did so with a broken ankle, which occurred in the first round.

Mac Donald said it was all worth it in the end to push through and receive the belt around his waist. Additionally, Mac Donald had a message for his first challenger.

“It feels amazing. I can’t wait to beat the next guy for it,” said Mac Donald.

“Anyone that wants to get it can come and get it.”

Underdog Victory

In what was a surprising result to some, Blake Sigvaldason (now 3-1) defeated Michael Imperato (now 7-4) by TKO, doctor’s stoppage, in the second round to become the new XFFC bantamweight champion.

Sigvaldason was able to escape a couple early submission attempts from Imperato in the first round, and would go on to find success on the mat later in the first round and into the second. Once in top position again in the second round, Sigvaldason began landing heavy elbows, eventually opening up a nasty cut on Imperato’s face, leading to the doctor stopping the fight.

Blake Sigvaldason
Blake Sigvaldason looks to work in a submission on Michael Imperato at XFFC 21. (Photo by Joel Griffith)

“I didn’t expect to be able to control him the way I did once I got on top,” said Sigvaldason.

“I’m super impressed with my performance and I’m really proud of it. I’m glad I could showcase my high-level grappling.”

This was Sigvaldason’s first time making the drop to 135 pounds in his professional career, with all three of his previous bouts coming at featherweight.

Sigvaldason said 145 pounds is still where he belongs and where he wants to fight, but would also like to defend his title at bantamweight.

“I had a pretty hard cut to get down to 135 pounds, but we’ll see. I know I can make the weight again,” said Sigvaldason.

“145 is the weight I want to fight at, but to really be a champion you have to defend your belt.”

Shintani Dominant

In a number one contender bout in the featherweight division, Craig Shintani (now 8-2) took a unanimous decision over Chris Day (now 5-6) to further cement his status as the top challenger for Tom O’Connor’s featherweight title.

Shintani did everything he could to finish the fight, from precision striking to lethal ground and pound, but would settle for a dominant unanimous decision victory.

Craig Shintani
Craig Shintani lands a body kick to Chris Day at XFFC 21. (Photo by Joel Griffith)

“I knew he was going to be durable and tough coming in. I knew he’d been training all the time, so I expected him to last the full 15 minutes,” said Shintani.

“He’s a very tough, scrappy guy that we weren’t in a rush to try and finish. We just wanted to go in there and dominate.”

This bout was initially scheduled to be for the interim featherweight title, but due to both Shintani and Day missing weight, the fight became a three-round number one contender bout.

Shintani had already been scheduled to face O’Connor for the featherweight title twice before, including on this card, and he said it’s a fight that needs to happen.

Shintani also holds the Unified MMA featherweight title and said he’s hoping to stay active and defend his Unified MMA title, on top of winning the XFFC featherweight title.

“I’m up for anything. I want to definitely stay as busy as possible. It’s been a long wait,” said Shintani.

“Now I feel like I’m back at it, I can be more active, and hopefully I can fight for the XFFC belt and defend my Unified belt.”

Lorenzo Celis also took home some hardware, defeating Jordan Noseworthy for the amateur middleweight title. Tom Theocharis, Dave Pogson, Grady Behrens, and Ramil Kamilov were also victorious on the night.