XFFC 17 promised and delivered Friday night.
The stacked card took place in Grande Prairie, Alta. and featured seven amateur MMA bouts and three professional MMA bouts, which resulted in an incredible six first-round finishes.
In the main event of the evening, Michael Hill (10-4-1) came out on top after an all-out brawl with Cody Krahn (16-13). The two professional middleweights stood and exchanged shots for the full 15 minutes, not going to the mat once.
Although they were in the midst of a heated battle, both fighters were exchanging words during the fight, complimenting each other on solid shots, and simply showing respect when it was deserved.
“Fighting’s not all about hate. When two guys get in a cage, you respect each other like that,” said Hill in an interview.
“With each punch thrown and each minute that goes by in the fight, you gain more and more respect. That’s what it’s all about.”
In order to secure the victory, Hill was forced to overcome a bit of unexpected adversity.
Hill broke his right hand early in the first round after throwing a hard right, forcing him to alter his mindset and game plan.
“It was just all mental from there. I just needed to stay in the fight and pick him apart with my jab and my hook, and hopefully stay away from his power. And that’s what we did.”
Rangy Hrabec Scores the Finish
In the co-main event, it was the Nick Hrabec (5-4) show, as he laid all he had on Randy Mahon (3-4), dominating the 2:39 it took him to score the TKO in the first round of their lightweight bout.
Hrabec said he was able to execute his game plan almost perfectly, using his range to control the fight. He poured the pressure on from the opening bell, hitting Mahon with a multitude of punches and kicks.
“It was pretty much how me and my coaches gameplanned it,” said Hrabec in an interview.
“I was using my range, using my long strikes, and attacking the body so his hands would go down.”
Mahon was unable to find any way to work around Hrabec’s massive 10-inch reach advantage, and land any significant shots of his own.
While Mahon did land a few solid leg kicks, the pressure of the variety of strikes from Hrabec proved to be too much in the end.
“When you’re 5’9″ like him, you have to set up your shots, so I knew he was going to be throwing that overhand right, and that’s all I was watching for,” said Hrabec.
“Nothing surprised me and I knew it was just going to be all me in there.”
Pequin Displays Dangerous Stand-Up
There was one title fight on the card, but it didn’t last long.
Riley Pequin (5-2) needed only 0:33 to come away with the dominant knockout victory over Todd Vatcher (4-3) in their amateur welterweight title bout, and add yet another championship belt to his collection.
Although Pequin said now that he has the belt, it means a lot to him, his focus remains on continuing to grow as a fighter and as a person, and not focus on the belts.
“I think I’ve just grown, which is the biggest thing to get out of this,” said Pequin in an interview.
“It’s just another step on the ladder.”
It didn’t take long for Pequin to utilize his elite muay thai skills, as he caught Vatcher with a hard right hook that sent him stumbling to the cage where Pequin continued to lay it on him.
The toughness of Vatcher allowed him to get back to his feet, but that was the point where Pequin smelt blood.
“I saw his eyes go a little foggy, and then I knew I just needed to hit him with a couple more things,” said Pequin.
“I was hitting him hard, then he stood up, and I was thinking this guy has a chin. So, I thought I’d throw a head kick to see how he handled it. It clipped him and dropped him.”
In other action, Grande Prairie’s own Isaiah Metituk (4-2) turned in another impressive performance, submitting Dakota Ruttan (1-1) by arm bar at 0:49 of the first round of their amateur featherweight bout.
Metituk has now won four straight, and said he wants the XFFC amateur featherweight title, currently owned by Solomon Courtoreille.
“I want that belt and I want to represent this city as a champion,” said Metituk in an interview.
“This city bred me. This city raised me. I want to give back to it as a champion and I want to show I’m the top 145er in the country.”
Steve MacDonald, Justin Knoepfli, Grey Patino, Brock Holmes, Danny Amberson, and Jesse Bull were also all victorious on the evening.