XFC 24 Preview

XFC 24 PosterXFC returns to AXS TV and heads to Tampa, Florida to set off a a night of fights that will be sure to have a lot of interesting action, and with a World Series of Fighting card on another channel, the action will need to entertaining in order to keep eyeballs on the normal source for Friday night MMA. The main event is a bout for the vacant lightweight title between Scott Holtzman (4-0) and former champ, John Mahlow (13-13). This fight comes on the heels of the former lightweight champion, the famously one-armed Nick Newell, refusing to fight Holtzman, which led to his departure from the organization and the stripping of his title. Holtzman is an up and coming grinder, who has a great wrestling base and cardio, taking on the aging Mahlow, who has lost 3 out of his last four fights and hasn’t competed in over a year. Luis Santos (56-9-1) brings his grizzled veteran experience into the XFC cage against Dave Courchaine (15-5). Santos’ last two fights combined haven’t lasted a minute, and he decimated Shamar Bailey at XFC 23 in April. Now the welterweight is looking to prove himself worthy of another big show shot after being ousted from Bellator following back to back losses last year. This would be a big win for Courchaine who just defeated Bellator vet Lloyd Woodard via split-decision in March. He’s on an 8-fight win streak and his overall game is solid, but Santos is an absolute killer. Courchaine may stand up with him, as he has 9 knockouts, but Santos is overall the more aggressive fighter. This should be an exciting welterweight bout. Middleweights Reggie Pena (10-5) and Ricky Rainey (5-1) are up next, and this fight has slugfest written all over it. Between the two men, there are 7 knockouts and both fighters like to go for the finish. Rainey is 2-1 in the XFC and is currently on a 2-fight winning streak in which he defeated Donald Wallace with an impressive knee in less than two minutes, and Joseph Corneroli by decision. Pena has been around XFC since the beginning, and can end the fight from just about anywhere. He has decent submissions, especially a guillotine, and great knockout power. Lightweights are up next, as undefeated Kevin Forant (5-0) takes on Bellator and XFC vet Eric Reynolds (16-6). The last time we saw Reynolds, he was getting rear naked choked into submission in a title fight against Nick Newell, now he looks to redeem himself, and he should be able to. He’s a solid fighter with 7 knockouts and 7 submissions to his name. Forant is still green, but tough. He’s a grinder that will back his opponent into the cage and won’t let go until he beats them into submission. The female flyweights Cortney Casey (0-0) and Kelly Warren (3-4) are looking to make a mark in their young careers with a win here. Cortney Casey had a pretty impressive and brief amateur career, showing great power over her opponents. Kelly Warren has had few easy fights, and her record reflects this. She’s gone to war with Tara LaRosa, and is a tough vet. Shah Bobonis (15-8) and Jason Hicks (5-1) fight next in the featherweight division, with Shah looking to bounce back from his first loss in 8 fights, as he was choked out by Pablo Alfonso at CFA 9 earlier in 2013. Jason Hicks is another young up and comer that possesses decent hands and good cardio. He was also one of Scott Holtzman’s victims en route to his current title shot.

Written by Jason Nawara

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