Xcessive Force Fighting Championship returned to the Entrec Centre in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada for the promotion’s 17th event. In addition to the raucous live crowd, the Fite TV audience at home was also entertained by the Professional/ Amateur card.
The card kicked off in a way that set the tone perfectly for the night. Jesse Bull’s 12 second knockout punch in the opening frame dropped Joe Westbrook in the amateur lightweight affair. The momentum of the night would keep on building from there on out.
The following contest showcased fast paced action at a catchweight of 120 lbs. Danny Amberson and Nasser Pega kept up a torrid pace all throughout, with Amberson working hard for takedowns and nailing them often. Pega was active in scrambling, getting back to his feet, and managed to achieved a modicum of success in stand-up exchanges. Danny dictated the pace though and the third round was the most thoroughly in the favor of Amberson. Danny had steady top control, advanced position, and worked ground and pound until the final bell. Danny picked up the unanimous decision win and then things moved into the amateur welterweight ranks.
Brock Holmes took on Ryan O’Connor with Brock working a freestyle approach all throughout. Holmes was constantly working for takedowns but to no avail as O’Connor maintained his upright position. O’Connor was able to achieve some success with kicks and punches when the two fought in that range. This resulted in a split decision with Brock Holmes edging out the win. The amateur featherweight bout that followed marked another quick finish. Isaiah Metituk’s slick grappling work resulted in the action halting in the first frame. Dakota Ruttan escaped the initial triangle choke but succumbed to the armbar that Metituk quickly adjusted into. The hometown hero Metituk got the submission 49 seconds into the fight. This segued into one of the more drama heavy portions of the evening.
Tensions ran high for the in-cage signing of the contract between Kyle Francotti and William Carriere. Kyle was signing this future bout agreement while being set to compete an hour or so afterwards at XFFC 17. The lightheavyweights got right in each other’s faces, the table was flipped before the ink had dried, and the two men had to be separated by several in-cage personnel. The big fight is tentatively set for whenever the next Grande Prairie XFFC show takes place. Since both men are from GP, having it in Grande Prairie would create a palpable energy in the Swan City.
Austin Russell and Grey Patino brought back the live fight action with one of the best bouts of the evening. Grey seemed to be finding success in the first two rounds with a variety of body kicks, right hands, and takedown efforts. The third was a fairly dominant round for Russell who got things to the ground after a head kick and follow up takedown. Austin maintained back control and kept that up for a large amount of the round in a dominant position. Both men were still quite intense after the fight with many personnel in the cage again having to intervene to thwart undesired brawling. The unofficial fourth round thankfully didn’t take place and judges gave the narrow-split decision victory to Grey Patino.
Justin Knoepfli secured the finish and did so in his fight against Adam Rhys Williams. Both men were fast out of the gate but Justin got things to the ground, locked on a rear naked choke, and finished the Amateur Bantamweight contest. Another Grande Prairie lad notched another W to the delight of the Swan city crowd. Also, yet another first round stoppage on this entertaining night of fights. That same trend would continue into the next tilt.
Todd Vatcher and Riley Pequin would then go on to vie for the XFFC Amateur Welterweight Title. A big right dropped Vatcher right from the jump and a head kick shortly after wrapped things up for Pequin. 33 seconds into the first frame and the Dunamis product picked up another W but this time earned some premium hardware in the form of XFFC gold. Riley Pequin’s quick win segued into Matt Baker and Luis Martinez addressing the live crowd about their cancelled bouts. Baker had some less than savory things to say. Matt was none too happy that he wasn’t defending his XFFC Middleweight title as was originally scheduled. Luis Martinez seemed unaffected by the news and was quite gracious in accepting the circumstances of his bout falling out with an opponent who suffered a diabetic episode earlier in that night.
The professional portion of the event began with Steve Macdonald and Kyle Francotti. The catchweight of 210 lbs began and Francotti was again entering the cage at XFFC 17. As the hometown boy Francotti came in, this time with the four-ounce gloves on, he received a thunderous reaction and he secured a body lock takedown early on. The two scrambled with Macdonald landing some solid elbows and Francotti landing some solid knees during the fray. A couple of inadvertent low blows from Francotti to Macdonald unfortunately derailed the action. Referee Jerin Valel penalized Francotti to the discontentment of the Grande Prairie audience. Almost right after action resumed following the second infraction, Macdonald felled Francotti with a multi-punch combination. Kyle fell to the canvas with a resounding thud and Macdonald would embrace the jeers of the crowd up until both men cleared out.
The co-main event bout was then set to go with Randy Mahon and Nick Hrabec going at it in a Lightweight bout. The two 155lb combatants were feeling each other out early on. Mahon committed to a few leg kicks and was achieving some good connectivity to the delight of his hometown Grande Prairie fans. Hrabec would go on to rock Mahon with a head kick though and just did not relent. The flurries never let up despite Mahon’s clearly evident determination in actively trying to defend himself. Less than three minutes into the opening round, Hrabec picked up another finish to add to his record. It was then finally time for the top of the marquee prize fight.
Cody Krahn and Michael Hill went to war in a bout that arguably could have been the fight of the night (along with the aforementioned Patino/ Russell fight). This marked Michael Hill’s first foray into the 185lb division taking on a savvy veteran of the Canadian scene in Krahn. Cody Krahn was feeling things out with his jab, made a point to work the body, and integrated leg kicks as the fight went on. Still though, it was Hill who lead the progression of the fight. Hill began finding his rhythm, there was a clear confidence being established, and there were mounting multi-strike combos as the momentum kept building. There was an obvious respect between the two martial artists that was nice to see in the cage however. That manifested itself into high fives, various smiles after big exchanges, and audible utterances like “touche” as one man would land strikes on the other. As the prize fight wore on, Hill began to wear the markings of this battle. Krahn was bleeding from his big toe, nose, underneath his eye, and his mouth. There were moments of the fight where Krahn exhaled large amounts of saliva mixed in with copious amounts of plasma.
It was a visceral yet inspirational sight as Krahn was clearly breaking through many mental and physical barriers. Both men engaged oftentimes in blood flinging, sweat flying exchanges where both men ate bombs and took damage. Cody didn’t ever waver in his efforts to win despite having a broken nose and despite the brutal effectiveness of Hill’s performance. Michael Hill’s first effort as a middleweight would end up going down as a win as he ended up being given the unanimous decision win. Afterwards though, Michael talked about a return to Welterweight or even an attempt to cut to 155lbs. Michael Hill came to the media table and repeatedly asked “Where’s Sheldon Westcott?”.
Sheldon Westcott is who Michael Hill wants next but XFFC is next looking to take their show on the road. April 28 in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada is the tentatively scheduled date for the next Xcessive Force FC effort.