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By: Brad Walker MMATorch Columnist
Ed. note: Brad Walker was in attendance last night in Illinois for XFO 47. The following is his running commentary from Saturday night's card.
Cory Simmons vs Phil Williams (140 lb. Catchweight)
ROUND ONE: Williams and Simmons both look hungry and are very equally sized. They open with some serious striking, Williams lands a leg kick followed by a huge right that drops Simmons. Simmons recovers but Williams secures a takedown and begins working with powerful body shots. Great ground and pound here from Phil Williams. He moves to full mount and continues to work the sides of the body, Simmons sweeps and Williams tries to stand and OH WOW a huge and massively illegal soccer kick from Simmons has put Williams down and the fight has been paused by the referee as he takes a point from Simmons. That was brutal. Williams looks to be trying to shake it off, but that was a full force kick directly to the head, there's no way he can possible recover quickly enough to continue this fight. Mark me down as wrong, Williams elects to continue, the two touch gloves as we restart, Williams works some leg kicks on Simmons as the round comes to an end. That round was 10-8 for Williams including the point deduction.
ROUND TWO: They meet in the center and HOLY COW! A HUGE one punch knockout blow from Simmons and Williams is out!
Quick Notes: Williams is still down and being checked on by the EMT's, it appears the blow really hurt him, he's been put in a neck brace and is being taken out of the cage on a stretcher, he waved to the crowd on his way out, but a very scary moment after such a brutal knockout. I know Phil very well personally and consider him a friend, so I truly hope he is ok. (UPDATE: I spoke with Williams this morning and he's doing just fine, he suffered a broken nose in the bout and is at home relaxing)
Winner: Cory Simmons via knockout in round two
Devin Bam Bam Morris vs Kent Rexford (Middlweight)
ROUND ONE: Morris immediately clinches Rexford and pushes him against the cage, and begins working knees to the body that are just echoing through the Copernicus Center. Rexford gets a leg and looks for the takedown, Morris winds up taking his back and has both hooks in looking for a choke, Morris switches it to a body triangle and Rexford breaks free and takes Morris's back – what a transition! Morris scrambles to get his guard back, Rexford moves into half guard and lands some big shots, and Morris tries to turn out but gives up his back in the process. Rexford loses his mouthpiece and we're going to reset on the feet here. Both men looked completely gassed and Morris is bleeding from his mouth. Rexford gets a quick takedown and hops straight into full mount and is working some vicious ground and pound. Morris gives up his back again and Rexford immediately locks in the rear naked choke and Morris taps with just 2 seconds left in the round wow!
Quick Notes: Morris looked to be the aggressor right from the bell, but was unable to keep up the pace, a great grappling match that ultimately saw Rexford take the victory
Winner: Kent Rexford via Submission (RNC) at 4:58 of round one
Pedro Velasco vs Anthony Goodwin (Lightweight)
ROUND ONE: Velasco clinches quickly and gets the takedown but is swept into guard, in the process Velasco catches Goodwin's arm in an armbar, but Goodwin breaks free. They are back on their feet; Velasco shoots again and gets the takedown into half guard. Goodwin sweeps and rolls out of another armbar attempt and goes for a guillotine! It's tight but Velasco breaks free again and gets into side control. He's moving for a head and arm choke, he's got it locked in and Goodwin taps! What a showing of jiu-jitsu!
Quick Notes: That was one hell of a fight! A fantastic showing of BJJ from both men.
Winner: Pedro Velasco via Submission (Head and arm choke) in round one
Lawrence Dunning vs Evian Rodriguez (Welterweight)
ROUND ONE: Dunning immediately shoots for a takedown and gets control. Rodriguez works back to his feet and gets a Dunning clinched until Dunning over powers him and takes him down, in the process taking his back. Dunning is pounding him out and uses his hooks to flatten him out. Dunning goes for a palm to palm RNC and Rodriguez is in serious trouble – he taps!
Quick Notes: Dunning is a massive welterweight; I expect we will see him continue his winning ways here in XFO.
Winner: Lawrence Dunning via Submission (RNC) at 3:20 of round one
Jake Constant vs Oliver Vazquez (Lightweight)
ROUND ONE: Both men meet in the middle and exchange strikes, Constant takes the center but Vazquez backs him up with a great series of jabs. They are definitely showing each other a whole lot of respect in the striking department. Vazquez moves in with another jab and drops Constant! Vazquez jumps on top looking for a submission and winds up landing massive knees to Constant's body – Constant gets back to his feet somehow and lands a huge knee, and then another. Vazquez returns fire and drops Constant again but as Vazquez shoots in, Constant locks in a deep guillotine! The ref is checking, and the fight is over, Vazquez is asleep!
Quick Notes: this was a war on the feet, and I fully expected to see a knockout, a great showing by both men.
Winner: Jake Constant via submission (Guillotine choke) in round one
Walker's Note: After Constant and Vazquez's fight I could no longer do play by play due to the lack of an accessible power cord, but I did record some notes and the results.
Erick Correa vs Eddie Smith (Heavyweight)
Quick Notes: Myself and Manny both had scored this fight 29-28 for Eddie Smith, after the first round both men looked winded and began to get pretty sloppy, but it seemed as though Smith controlled the pace very well with his clinch game and body shots, Correa to his credit has some of the best technical boxing I've ever seen in a heavyweight and his chin must be made of concrete.
Winner: Erick Correa via Unanimous Decision (29-28x3)
Andre Feliciano vs Dexter Wright (130lb Catchweight)
Quick Notes: Feliciano dominated from the outset, his wrestling game was just too much for Wright to overcome, by my estimate Feliciano controlled the fight for about 13 minutes total and landed every takedown he attempted with the exception of 1. Wright in the final minutes of round 3 landed a couple of very solid knees and as the round ended he had just locked in a head and arm triangle from his back that he fought desperately for. A great display of dominance for Feliciano who moves up to 3-0.
Winner: Andre Feliciano via Unanimous Decision (30-27x3)
Cory Galloway vs Chris Haney (Bantamweight)
Quick Notes: This is a fight many of us local MMA fans have been waiting to see. Galloway is an RFA fighter back in XFO during his gap between fights in RFA, and Haney is a local who has steamrolled much of the competition in his career. Haney controlled round 1 very well, but in Round 2 Galloway's superior jiu-jitsu shined through as he caught Haney in a nasty armbar and forced him to tap.
Winner: Cory Galloway via submission (arm bar) in round two
Final thoughts: Dan Lardy and XFO put on another fantastic card tonight that kept me on the edge of my seat for a large portion of the evening. A lot of these fighters are meant for greatness on the biggest stages in MMA, but XFO will remain a proving ground for some of the best as long as they exist. This was a fun card with some crazy moments, and scary ones as well. It seems that it has become my XFO tradition to have an awkward moment with Shonie Carter, and this evening he was walking around in a cowboy hat with a kilt on. The man might be crazy, but he's still one of the coolest folks in the business. As always a great showing from the fans for their local fighters as the place looked really well packed. I suggest that everyone find an opportunity to see an XFO card in their lifetime!
Follow me on Twitter @BradMMATorch - Thanks for reading!
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