Tonight, Xtreme Fighting Championships, better known as XFC, makes it HDNet debut with XFC 14: Resurrection in Florida. Based out of Florida, they have run shows in the Sunshine state as well as Tennessee and Kentucky. The last event the promotion held was in 2010, headlined by a featherweight title fight between Jarrod Card and Luis Palomino. Tonight's event will air seven fights on HDNet and is headlined by Jamie Varner, who retired from active competition at last month's Titan FC card. His opponent is Nate Jolly. In the co-main event, UFC veteran Carmelo Marrero takes on Scott Barrett.
Remember when Jamie Varner was the WEC lightweight champion and was constantly talking about how he was one of the best in the world? What the hell happened to that guy? Varner recently retired after losing to super late replacement Dakota Cochrane at Titan FC 20. Obviously it was a short retirement as it only lasted 28 days. Varner is now 1-4-1 in his last six and taking on a dangerous Nate Jolly. Jolly brings in a D-1 wrestling background which he uses to control opponents. He's not much of a finisher and comes in to this fight riding a loss as well. He's got some big upside and judging by Michael Schiavello's twitter, Varner was taking this fight lightly. Varner is more proven but who knows where his head is at in his career.
Marrero was the man who stopped the initial Chieck Kongo hype train. At the time, it was assumed that if Kongo was able to get past Marrero, he would be awarded a shot at the UFC title. Instead, Marrero used his wrestling to control the Frenchman to a split decision. He lost his next two and got the boot from the organization. He was brought back once more as fodder for Ryan Bader and then cut immediately after. He's 3-1 in his last four, with his last fight being a decision loss to Mark Holata. His opponent Scott Barrett was a quarterfinalist in the Bellator heavyweight tournament. Since that loss to Damian Grabowski, he's been on a two fight win streak with both wins coming by TKO. He's got more upside with his power but has questions surrounding his takedown defense. The favorite in my mind is Marrero who has displayed a decent enough chin to get the fight to the ground.
If you were gonna judge this fight based solely on records, Molly Helsel would be an absolutely useless fighter. She's 8-11-1 taking on the 3-0 Kheyfets. Helsel is a NAGA champion with some legitimate grappling skills. Kheyfets defeated Kim Couture in her MMA debut with a triangle choke. She also trains with ATT and has a 5-0 record in Muay Thai. While Helsel brings in more experience, she's mostly a grappler taking on a woman who has showed competency on the ground. The safe bet is that Kheyfets continues her winning streak with another triangle choke victory.
The Rest of the Card
5-1 Josh Clark takes on 8-5 Reggie Pena. Clark is a name to watch as he was 18-1 as an amateur and has finished opponents with leg kicks. Pena has the ability to finish the fight both on the feet and on the ground. Elijah Harshbarger takes on Nicolae Cury who holds a black belt in BJJ and Judo. The money bet is that Cury finishes the fight with a submission. Mike Bernhard brings his 9-3 record in against Mikey Gomez, who is a bit of a wiz on the ground finishing most of his fights with a submission. In the first fight of the evening "the Mulatto Mauler" (seriously that's his nickname) John Mahlow takes on Bruce Connors. Mahlow is the former XFC lightweight champion.