by Dan Dougherty (Photos by Thomas Michael Rozdzynski)
LAKE, Ill. – There wasn’t an empty seat (or parking space) in the house
at the Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake on Saturday, Feb. 23, where the Xtreme
Fighting Organization held its 22nd official event (XFO 22). The
turnout was amazing, and the place was packed from wall-to-wall with fans and
fighters alike. Rich Franklin and Clay Guida were among the celebrities who
showed up to watch fighters from all over go to battle in the cage.
a total of 20 fights on the card for the night, seven of the preliminary fights
being amateur events. None of the amateur bouts were too notable, but the
professional fights that took place were anything but boring.
particularly interesting fight that stood out was between Waylon Lowe and
Andrew Hoogeboom. Right off the bat, the fight seemed a bit biased, as Lowe had
a considerable amount of size and athleticism over Hoogeboom. Though Hoogeboom
had height and reach, it didn’t look like there was much hope for him at the
start. Unfortunately for him, it proved to be true, as Lowe scored a huge slam
at the beginning of the bout and ground and pounded Hoogeboom for the win at 43
seconds in the first round.
the night, Nat McIntyre, a Muay Thai champion, went up against Darius Turcinskas.
At the ring of the bell, it was hard to believe the idea that McIntyre was a
Muay Thai champ, as he was getting completely worked over by Turcinskas on his
feet. All throughout the first round, and a good bulk of the second round,
McIntyre was taking shots left and right. There was even a point in the second
round where it seemed as though McIntyre was about to eat the canvas.
times like this it’s hard to remember that MMA is a dynamic sport and the
entire fight can change in a second, which is exactly what happened. McIntyre
made his comeback late in the second round, and scored the TKO against
Turcinskas at 4:50 mark.
fight was probably the most hyped fight of the night. Patrick Curran (3-0 in
amateur MMA) is one of the most recent rising stars in Midwest MMA and had a
lot to live up to. Notorious for his wrestling capabilities and slams, he is
known as nothing less than a crowd pleaser. His fight with Tony Hervey, which
was his first professional bout, was no different, as it ended nearly as fast
as it started. At 1:27 in the first round, after out-wrestling Hervey, Curran
ended the fight with a rear naked choke to chalk up his first pro win.
the evening, seasoned veteran Dennis Reed took on Mike Stumpf of Team Curran.
With nearly 90 fights under Reed’s his belt, it would seem as though Stumpf had
his work cut out for him in this bout. It started out as a position with the
two of them scrambling around on the ground looking for a dominant position.
Neither could seem to get an advantageous position, but Stumpf proved that
point to be wrong when he pulled an armbar out of thin-air from the scuffle and
defeated Reed at just 1:48 of the first round.
bout, and main event of the evening, tested the skills of World Extreme
Cagefighting veteran Kevin Knabjian and Ultimate Fighter season one caster
member Josh Rafferty. As the fight started, it seemed to be going heavily in
Rafferty’s favor, as he had a deep rear naked choke sunk in to start. Knabjian
showed incredible heart and submission defense, as he pried his way out of the
choke and came back with a huge ground and pound to defeat Rafferty by TKO at
1:58 of round one.
as a whole did not disappoint. There were plenty of fights, the crowd was
enthusiastic, and every fighter that showed up gave 100% effort to press the
action and put on not only a good fight, but also an entertaining show.
of the XFO is looking good. If they continue to put on shows with powerful
fight cards and bring in talent with potential, their future should only
continue to get brighter.
Knabjian def. Josh Rafferty by TKO at 1:58, R1
Heden def. Herc Hayes by Unanimous Decision, R3
Stumpf def. Dennis Reed by Submission (Armbar) at 1:48, R1
def. Rob Smith by TKO at 1:17, R2
def. Tony Hervey by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:24, R1
Janowitz def. Simon Marini by Unanimous Decision, R3
def. Sal Woods by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) at 1:11, R3
Haourt def. Joe Schlotterer by Split Decision, R3
McIntyre def. Darius Turcinskas by TKO at 4:50, R2
Volkman def. Brent Meherhoof by Unanimous Decision, R3
Kaufman def. Jason Bowling by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 3:39, R1
Lowe def. Andrew Hoogeboom by TKO at 0:43, R1
def. Scott Bickerstaff by TKO at 3:49, R1
def. Mike Lullo by Unanimous Decision, R3
Dombowski def. Pat Hastings by TKO at 1:34, R2
Brendel def. Kris Palasz by TKO at 2:24, R1
def. Bryan Fedynyszyn by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:33, R3
def. Brian Palmer by Submission (North-South Choke), R1
Corcoran def. Sean Thibault by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:39, R1
Filer def. Rick Rodriguez by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:19, R1