On Saturday, November 15th while the rest of the world was engulfed in mixed martial arts overhaul, the Shamrock FC promotion returned to their striking roots. They hosted their first, of hopefully many, Xtreme Fight Night. A celebration of one of the more entertaining facets of combat sports. Mixing mma with kickboxing and boxing it was an entertaining affair showcased in a ring that reminded you of the early days.
The card was littered with local standout talent in all disciplines including a kickboxing match between two former world champions. It was a refreshing change of pace nonetheless for what the rest of the world offered and gave new fans a glimpse of not only some of the grassroots of mixed martial arts but what the future could hold if a promotion like Glory was to make its way here.
The night kicked off with a myriad of kickboxing and mma for the undercard. Highlights of note would be the impressive fight to a draw between Cora Sanders and Gabrielle Labbee. We were already privy to the damage Gabby was capable of but were just as impressed by Sanders. At times, she was the more aggressive fighter controlled the ring with great execution. Some timely placed head kicks and punches were thrown by both ladies with neither truly getting either advantage.
We felt Sanders won the first round while Labbee edged out the second. What may have made the difference for Labbee early was a knock down due to an outstanding leg kick but Sanders countered with her own in the later rounds to even out the match.
A great fight we would see over and over great reason to see the ladies of kickboxing here in our fair city. Shapen Jordan may have pulled out the submission of the night with an insane key lock submission. It had to win submission of the night and it seems as if Shapen has been improving on his ground game since the last time we saw him fight.
Joel Blair - Darryl Cobb (kickboxing)
The first round starts off with Blair trying to use his reach against the smaller Cobb. Great head movement by Cobb neutralizes Joel but he is unable to mount any offense himself. Joel is always busy on his feet. The final seconds Darryl found his rhythm and finished strong.
The second started similar with Blair being a little more aggressive throwing punches and leg kicks. He really brought the fight to Cobb in the second and landed a beautiful front kick to the face of Cobb. His speed is the advantage in the match but the accuracy of Cobb was the determining factor.
Cobb slowed down in the third and continued to eat punches from Blair. Darryl found a nice fury against the ropes on Joel which has been the best offense he had mounted all night. The end of the third continue to go in Cobbs favor which may have won him this close match. The unorthodox striking of Joel would be tough to judge. The judges saw the same thing as it went to a split decision with Darryl Cobb winning (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)
Anthony Livingston - Luigi Fioravanti (kickboxing)
The fight started with a good pace. After an initial feeling out process, Luigi found his range with leg kicks. Soon Anthony joined the fight landing body shots and upper cuts. A close first round that this writer would give the edge to Luigi.
In the second round, Fioravanti found the chin of Anthony and did so often. Soon enough Luigi was too much for Livingston and the corner called the fight. Fioravanti was declared the winner due to stoppage 2:08 in the second round by referee Mike England and a great showing for Fioravanti.
Eric Crittendon - Nick Reeder (boxing)
In the feature bout and only boxing match of the evening, we had a first round winning boxing match for Reeder. While it seemed as if Eric could withstand the work of Reeder, Nick’s hand were too fast and found Crittendon early and often in the 1st round.
After two devastating hooks that stunned Eric, the corner soon threw in the towel and ended the fight. A great night for Nick Reeder who has decided to hang up the gloves. A stand-up veteran and the perfect way to end a very busy night of Kickboxing, mma and boxing action.
We believe that Shamrock FC can find success with XFN as it’s a perfect way to keep fighters busy in between mixed martial arts obligations. As noted earlier, if someone like Glory was able to grace the city with an event Saturday’s crowd proved, they are more than ready to accept that kind of event. While XFN may not even be mentioned among the onslaughts of fights this week, it was still the pure combat alternative that provided more than enough outstanding matches.