This Friday, MMA fans get a double-header, as the World Series of Fighting puts on a card the same night that usually belongs to AXS TV Fights. The HD channel will still have a fight card tonight as well, as XFC 24 takes place in Tampa, Florida. The connection between XFC and WSOF goes deeper than just having cards on the same night however, as WSOF has played a large part in the way this card has taken shape. Former XFC lightweight champion Nick Newell left the organization to pursue what will likely be larger paydays and more exposure with WSOF, and left behind his scheduled title defense with Scott Holtzman in the process. Holtzman will still be fighting for the belt, but this time it’s a vacant belt up for grabs and his opponent will be John Mahlow. The rest of the card features the usual mix of local talent, veterans and prospects that XFC likes to put on display. Today, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the card at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– XFC Lightweight Title Scott Holtzman -675 John Mahlow +425 Reggie Pena -155 Ricky Rainey +115 Luis Santos -270 Dave Courchaine +190 Eric Reynolds -270 Kevin Forant +190 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Anyone who follows regional MMA shouldn’t be shocked by these lines. Holtzman is a serious prospect, while Mahlow is a veteran with a .500 record coming off of over a year layoff. Both Santos and Reynolds are skilled veterans with significantly more experience than their opponents. While Forant could develop into something down the road, Reynolds has only lost to top level regional fighters, or guys beyond that level (like Eddie Alvarez and Jorge Masvidal). Forant simply isn’t there yet in my eyes. The most interesting fight on the card is between Pena and Rainey, and the line has opened accordingly. Pena has the experience edge, and has faced better competition, looking good against UFC-vet John Salter in his last outing, while Rainey has an entertaining game that has caught the eye of some, but he hasn’t faced the best of competition. I personally favor Pena, but it will be interesting to see how the line might move on this one.