XKO 10 took place Saturday, April 9th this was my first event to cover under this promotion. While XKO is considered a “small show” when compared to the larger organizations of Strikeforce and the UFC, they did not disappoint in the slightest. The show was run very well. The sound, video, and lighting were all top notch. Replays and action during the fights were made available on screens for viewers that may not have a good angle of the action. The scheduled fights were run seamlessly throughout the night. There were no unnecessary lags between bouts that plague many promotions. The matchmakers did a great job of pairing up the fights as most were very competitive and offered a variety of exciting finishes for the fans in attendance. That said I have to say thank you to XKO for putting on a great event and I look forward to covering more in the future.
The main event, featured Chris Jones (Mohler Jiu-Jitsu) defending his 155lb title against Chris Pecero (American Revolution MMA) based out of Corpus Christi. This turned out to be a very technical fight (scheduled for 5 rounds) and after the second round had me wondering if we were looking at a fight that would go into the later rounds. Each fighter had good opportunities throughout the bout but eventually a big kick landed for Jones early in round 3 which backed Pecero up and visibly had hurt him. Jones did an excellent job of following up and landing punches which drew a TKO stoppage by the referee. It seemed like a premature stoppage as Pecero still had his hands up and was defending. There is no doubt he was hurt but it would have been nice to see a more conclusive finish for Jones and the opportunity for Pecero to recover even on somewhat shaky legs.
Former WEC and UFC veteran Jake Rosholt is looking to get back into the bigger shows again and took another step in that direction after winning a TKO victory over Brandon McDowell early in the first round. McDowell is a local fighter based in Austin that is one of the most seasoned MMA veterans to date. Unfortunately, his experience wasn’t enough to overcome Rosholt’s pedigree. Rosholt is simply on another level and should be back with a major promotion before too long.
Steven Peterson (North Dallas MMA) and Douglas Frey (The Gym) put on one of the best local fights I have seen in a long time. This fight took place at Bantamweight (135lbs) and was for the XKO belt. The upper hand swung both ways multiple times throughout the fight. As the fight entered the 3rd and 4th rounds it was obvious that each fighter were showing signs of wear; both had endured punishment but seemed ready for 5 full rounds. About midway through the 4th round Peterson was on his knees attempting to get up and Frey held him in a Muay Thai clinch. Frey measured for a big knee to finish the fight and hit Peterson hard. The referee dove in to halt the action as it appeared to have been an illegal knee to the head since Peterson was grounded. Replays sparked controversy and the crowd was not pleased. Peterson was deemed unable to continue by cage side doctors so the fight went to the judges’ scorecards. The scores were as follows: 38-38, 39-38, & 39-37 giving Steven Peterson the unanimous decision and the Bantamweight belt. It is unfortunate that the fight ended this way as both fighters put on a war and everyone deserved a better, more conclusive outcome. I have no doubt that we will see a rematch in the near future which could easily headline an XKO card.
JJ Holmes (Mohler Jiu-Jitsu 1-0) took on Hayward Charles who was making his pro debut. Charles turned out to be a very game opponent for Holmes. Holmes finished the fight in the 2nd round with elbows that forced a stoppage by the referee. Holmes looked good and was tested as he was positionally put in a couple of bad spots throughout the fight. If he can continue to develop as an MMA fighter anywhere near the level of his grappling pedigree, I think we will see him fighting in big promotions down the road.
Alex Russ (The Gym) impressed against Frank Ortega (Elite MMA). Russ came out with a high level of intensity and seemed determined to run right through Ortega. Russ finished Ortega in the 2nd round with a guillotine choke that forces the tap and improves his record to 3-0.
Other bouts on the card:
Faez Miraki (Ironside MMA Pro Debut) wins by unanimous decision over Elijah (Kingdom MMA Pro Debut)
Moises Diaz (The Gym) wins via TKO in the 1st round over Chris Sellers (Texas Fighting Syndicate)
Roy Spoon (Octagon MMA) wins by unanimous decision over Brandon Smith (Star Jiu-Jitsu)
Randy Villarreal (Phalanx MMA) wins by RNC in the 1st round over Mike Sierra (The Gym)
-Matt Little is currently a blue belt under JD Shelley at North Dallas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (NDBJJ) and an MMA writer.