I was fortunate enough to attend XFC 16: High Stakes in Knoxville, TN Friday night. It was a solid show, even if being crammed into the small Knoxville Civic Auditorium meant that the press were relegated to floor seats in the crowd. The view wasn't great, but the fights were still entertaining and the energy in the arena was fantastic.
We had three prelims fights before the main HDNet broadcast started. First of all, we had a 180 lb catchweight fight between Shane Machette and Daniel Crockett. Crockett came in heavy at just over 183, which didn't make him popular with the crowd. But he didn't let the boos affect him. The fight went the full 3 rounds, with Crockett getting several takedowns and controlling most of the fight on the ground.
Crockett wasn't able to finish his opponent, but he was dominant for most of the fight, leading the judges to award him the decision win. That takes the Bristol, Tennessee fighter's record to 4-0.
Next up was Chris Coggins vs. Jay Meneghello. This one was over pretty quick. The fighters spent a good bit of the first round on the cage, working for takedowns. When the fight finally went to the ground with Meneghello on top, Coggins was able to lock in an armbar and get the tap at just under 3 minutes into round one.
This was the third fight in a row the Clarksville, TN fighter has won by armbar. His record is now 5-1, and I'm willing to bet we'll see him on another XFC card pretty soon.
The last unaired prelim was the pro debut for both fighters. Local favorite Scott Holtzman took on Brandon Demastes of West Virginia in a short battle that ended with Holtzman's hand raised. It took less than 2 minutes for Holtzman to get the fight to the ground, take Demastes' back, and sink an RNC.
A small side note to this fight: I had the chance to talk with Brandon Demastes' father, who was actually sitting next to me. It was an interesting insight into a different viewpoint: that of someone who knows nothing about the sport, was generally bewildered for most of the event, can't understand why anyone would want to beat someone up for a living, and yet still went out of his way to support his son who just lost his first fight in front of about 10 family members who came to watch. With that kind of family behind him, we'll see this kid in the cage again, and when we do he's going to be winning.
So overall, not a bad undercard. Three fights, two finishes, and some local fighters got to show what they can do. Good stuff.