It was a long, but entertaining night of fights at Extreme Fighting Challenge (XFC) 11.
In the main event, Dylan Schellenberg (now 4-5) wasted no time claiming his first title of his amateur career, locking in a firm guillotine choke on Kenny Pope (now 5-6) immediately after being taken down.
Schellenberg said as soon as Pope landed the takedown, his head fell perfectly into his arm to sink in the winning choke.
“It fell right in there perfectly for me; I couldn’t have asked for anything better at that point,” said Schellenberg in an interview.
“It definitely went a lot quicker than I expected. I had a game plan set originally, but didn’t really get to work into it.”
After failing to bring home the belt in his first attempt at Rumble in the Cage 61, Schellenberg made sure it wouldn’t slip through his fingers a second time.
He said while it feels good to have won the title, it’s more important to him, as an amateur, to continue fighting the top fighters in the country.
“My goal right now, especially as an amateur, is it’s not so much about the titles; it’s more I want to be in that position where I feel I’m worthy of fighting the best guys in the country,” said Schellenberg.
“If that means title fights, then that means title fights. But I just want to be fighting the best guys.”
In the co-main event, Jordan Cabrejos (now 3-1-1) accomplished a feat many fighters dream of, winning a title in front of his hometown crowd after defeating Will Grieve (now 2-4) by TKO at the end of the third round.
Cabrejos said he couldn’t be happier in what he accomplished and said it still hasn’t sunk in for him.
“It felt amazing. I’m so ecstatic right now I can’t even put the words together. It’s unfathomable to me how awesome this feels right now,” said Cabrejos in an interview.
“It shows when you show up day in and day out, and you do the extra work, it pays off.”
Cabrejos was quick to point out who he would like to share the cage with next, saying a rematch with Derrick Laing is at the top of his list.
Cabrejos fell to Laing in their first meeting at BFL 57 via second round submission, and said he would like the opportunity for redemption, but with a little more on the line.
“I want Laing for the BFL amateur middleweight title,” said Cabrejos.
“I need to get that loss off my record and I feel like that would be perfect segue in getting that BFL title to go pro. The goal for next year is to go pro.”
Hard Work Pays Off
In one of the more intriguing bouts of the evening, Usman Khattak (now 5-2) handed Solomon Courtoreille (now 5-1) his first amateur loss, taking a unanimous decision and becoming the XFC amateur featherweight champion in the process.
Khattak said the belt is a perfect example of hard work, dedication, and commitment paying off in the end.
“I just train hard, man. Anyone that knows me on a personal level, they know the amount of work I put in and they know how much I deserve it,” said Khattak in an interview.
“You just have to believe in yourself. When you put in the hard work, nothing’s going to stop you.”
Although he was able to utilize his sound wrestling game to maintain control of the fight, Khattak said he wasn’t able to show as much striking as he was hoping.
Khattak said Courtoreille was much more defensive on the feet than he was expecting, which forced him to adapt his game-plan.
“I adapt to any type of fight and any type of fighter. You can’t really force any type of fight; you just have to go with the fight and adapt to what’s there,” said Khattak.
“That’s how a real fighter does it.”
Jackie McLean, Raphael Ouellet, Austin Kuchinka, Nick LeBlanc, Jonathan Gault, Nick Matthews, Braiden Jacobi, Josh Fox, Tamim Samimi, Ivan Hryshchuk, and Liam Arthur were also victorious on the evening.