I have covered many MMA events. In fact I even covered the famous “Bigfoot VS. Fedor” fight were Bigfoot proved that indeed Fedor was a human being. Last nights show by XFE was perhaps one of the better events that I’ve covered. The “press pass” they issued my gave me total access to the venue. I was not confined to the “press area” as is often the case. For the first time I was literally standing at cageside as the fights happened. I was even closer to the cage than the fighters cornermen. I could hear the impact of every blow as it reverberated off the body of the fighter being struck. It was like standing curbside as two cars smash into each other right in front of you. The sound, intensity and fury of the pugilistic maelstrom was incredible. Watching an MMA fight at home or even live from a few rows back is simply not the same as literally being at cage side. It struck me that for a man or woman to be willing to risk their well being and health in the pursuit of victory in the cage is sublime at best and bizarre at worst. What I saw was not a tickling contest…those fighters were out to hurt each other.
I must say that there was not a single bad fight on last nights card. I’ve been at events where I can’t wait to get home because the fights are so bad. The matchmaker Victor Benscome apparently knows his craft as every fight was exciting and extremely fast paced. I tweeted live the results last night from the event so I’m not going to give fight by fight results, rather I’m going to recap some fights that I found to be particularly interesting.
Magic Mears: This is a kid to watch. Early in the fight he got into a bit of trouble then fought his way back to a brutal KO in round 2. Mark my words, when this kid turns pro put him on your “watch list”.
Damir Bradley: With only two months of training Bradley showed potential. If he gets into the right camp he may develop into a very good fighter. The kid showed great composure in his freshman outing.
Jennifer Lopez: Keep an eye on this fighter. I’ve seen Lopez fight live twice now. She was on absolute fire last night and put on a BJJ clinic. Given time and the proper guidance expect to see Lopez in the UFC in a couple of years.
Steve McCabe: McCabe is my favorite underdog fighter. When I started following McCabe he was 1-8. After his victory last night he’s 6-12. McCabe wins some and he loses some but he’s a tough scrappy fighter that never quits. He’s with a new camp now so I’m expecting McCabe to continue his winning streak. Note to potential opponents of McCabe, “if you book him as a stepping stone because of his record…bring your lunch, he’s a tough dude.”
Diego Pecalat: He’s my second most favorite underdog fighter. Like McCabe he’s much better than his record indicates. Peclat looked very impressive last night and may be perhaps one of the most underrated fighters in the area.
Jesus Martinez or “Chavo” as he’s known: The Martinez brothers are both hard nosed tough as nail fighters that possess heart and technical acumen as well. The combination of attitude and skill makes both Will and Jesus very exciting fighters to watch. There was a bit of pre fight confusion when Martinez’s opponent Chase Owen’s asked for more money for being in the main event at the last minute. The promotions response was to drop Martinez-Owen’s from the main to co-main event. This must have left Jesus less than amused. Note to potential opponents of Jesus “don’t piss him off. Instead of simply beating you he will “beat your ass.” I believe that the two most important characteristics a fighter must have are heart AND talent. Frequently a fighter will possess one to the exclusion of the other. Rarely does a fighter have both. Will and Jesus Martinez have both. Expect to see Will Martinez in the UFC or Bellator tournament soon. Chavo is certainly on the cusp of the major leagues.
Azunna Anyanwu: Zu as he’s known suffered his first loss last night when he was caught early in the first round with a high kick to his neck. I’m no physicist but I know enough about potential and kinetic energy to understand that when any human being that weighs over 265 pounds like Keith Bell does, (Zu’s opponent) kicks you in your head…well good things don’t happen to you. Zu is now 4-1 which is a very solid record. Zu should understand that nobody in MMA…nobody stays undefeated. Every fighter, every athlete for that matter sooner or later suffers a loss. How a person internalizes and grows from that loss really defines the person. Take GSP for instance, when he lost his title to Matt Cera. GSP regained his title in the rematch and has never looked back since as has he carves a trail of victory through the best fighters in the world.
It was an excellent night at XFE. The house was packed and I’m sure there was not a single unhappy fan in the room.
Tags: Azunna Anyanwu, Jesus Martinez, XFE, Zu