The XFO is coming to a TV near you this Summer.
A new partnership was announced today between Comcast SportsNet and the XFO that will feature the local MMA promotion in a new weekly series called “The Best of XFO”. Each show will consist of an hour of the best fights in XFO history, as voted on by the fans. Voting is already live on the XFO website, and the series premieres Thursday, June 6 at 11pm CT.
The XFO has long been a springboard for the top MMA talent in the Midwest. They recently announced “XFO Legends“, which is a Hall of Fame of fighters that have made major contributions to the promotion. The first inductees were Jeff Curran, Bart Palaszewski, Clay Guida and Pat Curran. There have been a number of big-name fighters that have fought in the XFO. Felice Herrig, Jamie Varner, Jens Pulver, Kerry Schall and Terry Martin are just a few of the names that have fought in the XFO.
Local cage announcer and ESPN Chicago anchor Ray Flores will host each episode.
“It’s an honor and pleasure to be the host for the Best of XFO,” Flores told Chicago’s MMA. “I’d like to thank everyone involved with the promotion for giving me this opportunity. The show gives viewers a great chance to see the rich history of this amazing organization. I am thrilled to be a part of it, especially on Comcast SportsNet Chicago which does a sensational job of highlighting all of the major local sports teams. I think it’s a perfect match and look forward to seeing what the future has to hold for the XFO on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.”
The next event for the XFO will be the Rocktown Showdown on June 15 in Rockford. Local standouts David Sorensen, Tyler Reece, Dustin Stusse and Chris Conway will all be fighting on that card. Tickets are now available by visiting LocalMMATickets.com.
by Matt Lo Cascio
Praetorian Fighting Championships is the newest promotion to enter the Chicago MMA scene, and they will hold a press conference at Tilted Kilt in Roselle on Saturday at 5pm.
UFC featherweight contender and Team Top Notch fighter Ric Lamas will be on hand to sign autographs and Praetorian Fighting Championships fighters will be there for a meet and greet with both fans and media.
You don’t see many press conferences for amateur MMA promotions, but Praetorian is taking the time to introduce itself and some of their fighters to the public.
“This is just step one in showcasing some of the best the Midwest has to offer,” Praetorian president Alex Martinez told Chicago’s MMA. “It’s our way of saying this is who we are, these are the guys who will be testing their mettle in the cage for you the fan and there is a lot more to come.”
The first Praetorian event is May 25 at the Finish Strong Sportsplex in West Chicago. Team Curran’s Vince Romandine, Counterstrike MMA’s Andrew Potapenko and Patriot Boxing’s John Marino are on the card, and Praetorian will crown its first champions on that night with four title fights.
Martinez said that Praetorian will use a tournament format for their events, similar in style to Bellator MMA. The first event will feature a a series of opening tournament battles to go with the title fights.
“We are taking a page from Bellator with all our bouts slated as tournament bouts with the winner advancing. No question, in the end the tournament winner would have earned a title shot. The difference between Praetorian and the rest of the promotions is we are NOT in the fighter management business nor are we affiliated with any fight team or gym. We are open to everyone and focused on promoting our brand and most importantly the fighter. Amateur fighters are the backbone of this sport, so why not give them our very best as a promotion?”
Lamas and Ray Flores will serve as the commentators for the video broadcast, with Flores also serving as cage announcer.
Here are the four title fights that will go down on May 25:
Check out the first card and buy tickets at PraetorianMMA.com. You can also buy tickets at the press conference on Saturday.
Tyson who? “I didn’t know who he was.” That’s what UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez had to say about boxer Tyson Fury, who called out Velasquez, challenged him to a fight and called him a ‘midget’.
In an interview with Ray Flores for ESPN Chicago, Velasquez describes the only acceptable scenario in which he would fight Fury.
In an interview with Ray Flores for ESPN Chicago, Clay Guida talks about his drop to the featherweight division, how things stand with Dana White and him and how he thinks he picked apart Gray Maynard during their fight last June.
The UFC held its first event at the home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks last Saturday, and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz was there for the action.
In this interview for ESPN Chicago, Wirtz offers his thoughts on what he thinks about the UFC, what was most exciting about the event and if he’d like the UFC back in the United Center.
UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has a sharp tongue, with most of his ire usually reserved for Anderson Silva. But when Ray Flores and I caught up with him at the UFC press conference in Chicago, Sonnen even found some time to take a jab at everyone’s favorite punching bag — the Chicago Cubs.
Rashad Evans has a tough task ahead of him when he battles Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis at the UFC on FOX event in Chicago on January 28th. Evans took part in the UFC press conference yesterday at the United Center, and while he traded some verbal jabs with Davis, the conversation inevitably moved to his feud with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones.
Ray Flores and I caught up with Evans at the press conference, and he did his part to stoke the fires of his feud with Jones in this interview for ESPN Chicago.
Ray Flores was in Vegas for UFC 126 over the weekend and he caught up with Team Curran’s Bart Palaszewski, who recently signed with Headrush.
MMA broadcaster/cage announcer Ray Flores caught up with new UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo to discuss the UFC/WEC merger and his upcoming fight against Josh Grispi at UFC 125. Unfortunately for fight fans, Aldo has had to withdraw from that bout due to compacted vertebrae, which was causing some tingling in his arms, according to Heavy.com.
Flores will be introducing some familiar names to MMA fans at the event. The combatants:
- Former WEC contender Rich Crunkilton
- Pride and UFC vet Marcus Aurelio
- Duneland Vale Tudo fighter Josh Shockley
- MFC and WEC vet Carlo Prater
- Art of War vet Hector Munoz
- UFC vet and submission specialist Drew Fickett
- KO artist and XFO vet James Warfield
- Pride and KOTC vet Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett
The tournament format is having success in Bellator and now Strikeforce. Shine’s lightweight Grand Prix looks like it will continue that excitement.
“I think Shine bringing back the tournament format is exciting for a variety of reasons”, Flores told Chicago’s MMA. “There are so many things that can happen and so many scenarios which can play out. The fighters in this tourney are world class. You have guys that are looking to get back to the UFC and have experienced big fight situations.”
“Then you have guys who are up and coming, solid fighters looking to make a name for themselves. I also think Shine is very fortunate to have Chicago native Jason Chambers at the helm as the COO. Here’s a guy who has a vision, brings excitement and energy to this product. He knows what fans want and it’s great to be along for the ride with Shine.”
It’s an especially great opportunity for Duneland Vale Tudo’s Josh Shockley. He was supposed to fight Mark Miller at Bellator 25, but Miller had to withdraw due to an injury. A killer knockout or sub could make Shockley or any of the other combatants a “You Tube Hero” a la Toby Imada’s inverted triangle. It could be a great career boost.
You can watch the tourney on Friday, September 10th at 8pm Central on pay per view.