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By: Brad Walker, MMATorch Columnist, and Manuel "Manny" Garcia, MMATorch Guest Contributor
MMATorch was on hand Saturday night from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates for the latest from Illinois' premiere MMA organization XFO. Nine fights saw Champions crowned for XFO, with another eight possibly providing challengers for those titles. Every weight class was featured on the card from flyweight to super heavyweight, with each bout perfectly put together to bring the best action possible. Here's what took place at XFO X-Treme Fight Night:
Lightweight Bout: Phillip Grier def. Willie Ishmon via Modified Kimura In round 1
Walker's note: This was a brutal kimura that was locked in for well over 30 seconds, Ishmon fought it as hard as he could, and I really thought his arm was going to wind up being broken. Fantastic display of jiu-jitsu by Grier, and a great finish.
Lightweight Bout: Austin Deitrich def. John Parrish via RNC in Round 1
Walker's note: Parrish came into this bout undefeated and looked to be a favorite, but Deitrich had a really slick move to take his back and tap him out. It was a quick fight, but still a great display of grappling.
Bantamweight Bout: Anthony Gasso def. Dylan Rode via KO in Round 1
Walker's note: Gasso's striking is downright SCARY. Rode was out cold after a punch or two, and from cage side it looked like it should have been stopped much sooner. None the less, both fighters have a bright future; Gasso of course took home a huge win.
Heavyweight bout: Wes Anderson def. Michael Hammel via TKO in Round 1
Walker's note: Wes Anderson came out with Clay Guida in his corner which is something I've never seen at an XFO event, although Guida is an XFO veteran. Anderson looked like the much bigger fighter and took advantage of a 50+ pound weight difference for the huge knockout.
Super Heavyweight Championship Bout: Tyler Reece def. Wesley Wilson via TKO in Round 1
Walker's note: It is official, Wesley Wilson is the single biggest fighter I have ever seen in my life, and he tipped the scales at the weight ins at 377 pounds, as opposed to Reece who came in at 285. Wilson looked very sloppy with his striking and Reece (shockingly) looked for a takedown. In the end Reece landed some great shots from the clinch to win the fight.
Heavyweight Championship Bout: Daniel James def. Josh Labree via TKO in Round 1
Walker's note: Labree came in as a late replacement with only 2 days' notice, and looked to be in great shape. James is an absolute man-beast, he's huge even to me and I'm a 6'5 300 pounder. James used his great boxing skills and feinted take downs to get a big win and take the belt.
Light Heavyweight Championship Bout: Vince Nicoline def. Dan Almario via RNC in Round 2
Walker's note: Almario looks like the worlds most out of shape welterweight, so I was shocked to see him hang in there with a much bigger fighter for a round and a half. Nicoline's submission was in deep and Almario tapped just before his lights were about to go out.
Middleweight Championship Bout: Ivan Garcia def. Dinisio Gilbert via DQ in Round 2 (Illegal knee to the head)
Walker's note: Illegal knees can be a real pain in the ass, especially when two men are fighting for a vacant title. The knee was so hard we could hear the solid "THWACK" noise against Garcia's skull. It was hard to tell from our location if the knee was illegal so at first we believed the stoppage to be a TKO. Garcia was unable to continue, so I believe we will see a rematch at some point.
Welterweight Championship Bout: Dante Patrick def. Nylon Warren via TKO in Round 1 (Punches)
Walker's note: Talking to Warren pre-fight the man is clearly meant to be a lightweight; he walks around at his fighting weight, and actually used to put on weight to fight at 185. Patrick was prepared for a smaller fighter and man-handled Nylon from start to finish. Warren will bounce back, but for now Patrick is the champion.
Lightweight Championship Bout: Brian Radtke def. Brian Akins via Sub (RNC) in Round 3
Walker's note: Brian Radtke is a massive, long, tall and powerful lightweight. Brian Akins looked to be about equal in size, and for the first 2 rounds this fight was hair-close. Radtke had to fight out of numerous submission attempts, and Akins was very active from his guard. Radtke had Pat and Jeff Curran in his corner and that paid off when Radtke choked out Akins in round 3.
Featherweight Championship Bout: Chris Conway def. Kyle Hubert via TKO in Round 2
Walker's note: This fight looked like it was Kyle Hubert's to win or lose, unfortunately for him Chris Conway was the more prepared fighter and he took the battle to Hubert immediately. The TKO was brutal, and another one that should have been stopped before it was. Great win for Conway.
Bantamweight Championship Bout: Vince Romandine def. Richard Dey via Unanimous Decision (48-47 x3)
Walker's note: Vince Romandine is one of the most respectable and respectful guys in the sport right now. He's a trained marine, he's a student, and he's also a personal trainer, but he still finds time to keep himself in shape and dedicate himself to the sport. The fight was also very close, with Dey having bested Romandine in their previous bout with a head kick knockout. Romandine got his revenge with a great ground game and took home the belt for Team Curran.
Flyweight Championship Bout: David Williams def. Matt Brown via Submission round 1 (RNC)
Walker's note: David Williams is a very dangerous fighter, and once he gets his shot he's going to skyrocket in MMA. Matt Brown had never previously fought at 125, so there were doubts about his ability to make weight, he did however, and he also gets my reward for word hair ever for his neon green afro-mohawk. Brown rocked Williams early on, but Williams recovered quick, secured the choke and took home the inaugural XFO flyweight belt.
Final Word: This card was insane from start to finish, it's the first time I've seen super heavies in person, and to see a 377 pound man attempt to fight was actually a little unusual but fun none the less. The local MMA names were out in abundance as I ran into Pat and Jeff Curran, Shonie Carter, Clay Guida and Bart Palaszewski tonight, a great showing of love for the XFO. Dan Lardy and XFO delivered us another amazing event in the Sears Centre that brought us every kind of finish possible. These fighters are the next generation of MMA and the names we will be talking about in our roundtables in the not too distant future.
Fight of The Night: Vince Romandine vs. Richard Dey
Submission of The Night: Phillip Grier's insane kimura on Willie Ishmon
KO of The Night: Anthony Gasso's brutal TKO stoppage.
Thanks for reading – make sure to follow XFO on Twitter @XFOMMA and myself @BradMMATorch
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