XFO 39 Results, Recap, and Analysis
Last night XFO put on their 39th show from the Sears Centre just outside of Chicago. The event featured XFO co-promoter Jeff Curran in the main event, and former WEC Lightweight champion Jamie Varner. In what turned out to be a rather exciting event all around, both Curran and Varner did their jobs and took care of outmatched opposition.
Curran defeated Billy Vaughan by unanimous decision in a fight where he looked to show of his striking early, but looked his best when he was forced to grapple by Vaughan. As he has shown over his extended career, Curran is simply a cut above most guys when things hit the mat. Curran made an exclamation after the match that he only wanted to fight in the UFC from this point forward, and while a fighter of his stature and accomplishment deserves to say such things, I truly believe that if he were to get another shot in the UFC it wouldn’t go any different than his last stint in the WEC.
On the other hand, Varner’s situation is the exact opposite. He dispatched of his opponent with ease and proved that he doesn’t belong fighting the Tyler Combs’ of the world, but should instead be back in the UFC fighting the best Lightweights in the sport. In my opinion, Varner was one of the most unjust cuts since Danilo Villefort, and should have never even left Zuffa’s employ. Regardless of the opinion of Varner held by MMA fans, he is a supremely talented fighter who is still a top 25 level competitor and will be seen where he belongs sooner rather than later.
Moving on from the known commodities on this card, I’d like to point out a performance buried deep on the undercard. The most impressive and enjoyable showing of the night came from a fighter I had not previously heard of, Will Brooks. Brooks now holds a 3-0 record, but could certainly be a fighter to watch in the future. His fight was marked by a flashy, aggressive style that was constantly in search of a finish. Come the third round he finally found his finish, switching from back control to a float over armbar (think Rousimar Palhares-Ivan Salaverry) that truly was a thing of beauty. From flying knees to aggressive Jiu-Jitsu to a giant suplay landed in the 2nd round, Brooks was entertaining no matter where the fight went, and definitely made an impression on me. I’ll be certain to tune in the next time he’s in action.
Overall, another regional MMA card that had a nice mix between entertaining fights, finishes, and relevant fighters, just the way I like the sport to be. Next on the MMA docket is Bellator 44 tonight, which features Hector Lombard and the Lightweight tournament final between the devastating Patricky Freire and the latest in a growing line of standout wrestlers from Missouri, Michael Chandler. Hopefully it can complete a fabulous weekend of MMA, despite being devoid of the biggest organizations in the game. Judging from what we’ve seen from Bellator thus far this season, I’d venture to say we won’t be disappointed.
Full XFO 39 Results:
Jeff Curran (33-13-1) def. Billy Vaughan (9-9) via Unanimous Decision
Jamie Varner (17-5-1) def. Tyler Combs (13-8-1) via R1 Submission (North-South Choke)
Felice Herrig (5-3) def. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (7-5) via Unanimous Decision
Mike Stumpf (11-2) def. Dan Bolden (6-13) via Unanimous Decision
Dan Aguirre (3-0) def. Terrence Kinney (1-1) via R1 Submission (Triangle Armbar)
Lucas Gwaltney (15-14-2) def. Jonathan Murphy (4-2) via Unanimous Decision
Daniel Stittgen (5-1) def. Jason Graves (2-1) via R1 Submission (Armbar)
Amanda Lavoy (2-4) def. Michele Gutierrez (3-2) via R2 TKO (Cut)
Kent Rexford (1-1) def. P.J. Cajigas (0-3) via R1 Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Will Brooks (3-0) def. Bobby Reardanz (6-8) via R3 Submission (Armbar)
Hector Garcia (2-0) def. Nick Scotti (0-2) via R1 KO (Punches)