By TXMMA Staff // Cover Photo: Michael Gray
XKO 25 features several prospects of note, and a whole host of fighters looking to improve their records
ARLINGTON, TX – Longstanding area professional MMA organization Xtreme Knockout (XKO) returns with their latest show in Arlington this coming Friday, March 28th. At the time of this writing the show is slated to feature 10 fights with most in not all of the talent fighting out of the DFW Metroplex.
Taking a look at the card strictly from fighters’ records, XKO 25 seems to be a journeyman’s showcase but a closer look shows a few matchups and prospects worthy of additional mention.
Here’s a few worth keeping an eye on:
Top Prospects and Matchups to Watch at XKO 25
Alex Russ (4-2) vs. Sidney Cawdrey (2-3)
The fighter we’re curious to see here is Alex “Warpath” Russ. Though the 32 Fort Worth native hasn’t fought in almost 3 years, he’s always been reputed as a tough explosive fighter. He’s got 4 wins and his only two losses are both to legit high level opponents in Klayton Mai and Steven Peterson out of Octagon MMA. With his career firmly rooted in IT, perhaps it’s not in the cards for Russ to dedicate himself 100% into the dream that is making it into the UFC, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an exciting fighter worthy of watching. As for Sidney Cawdrey, the experienced featherweight out of Texas Fighting Syndicate should give Russ a tough test but he hasn’t fought since 2012 either so, just like Russ, it remains to be seen what he’ll have to offer come fight night.
Dennis Thomas (1-0) vs. Fernando Salas (2-1)
Training out NDMMA/NDBJJ, Fernando Salas has more than proved himself on the grappling mats. In fact both of his recent (2013/2014) pro wins come by way of submission, and his lone loss was by decision way back in 2008. He’s evolved a ton since then and the sky could be the limit for him if he decides to pursue a career in MMA with consistent fights from here on out. Now as for his opponent, we know relatively little about Dennis Thomas but he is undefeated with a lone pro win so that counts for something but at this point, he’s a wildcard.
Michael Sierra (4-6) vs. Ulyses Aguila (Pro debut, 5-1 as amateur)
Making his pro debut at XKO 25 is top amateur prospect Ulyses Aguila. His 4-0 record had him lingering at the top of the 2014 TXMMA Awards and for good reason. Now it’s time to see if this 23 year old prospect can translate his minor league success to the pro level. Taking on Aguila in his debut is Michael Sierra, a seasoned vet who turned pro back in 2009. Michael has been fighting since way back in 2005 though so he’s about as experienced as they come. Though his record may not be the best, you don’t get to have this much time in the game without seeing it all so expect him to be a solid first test for Ulyses.
Kevin Holland (Pro Debut, 5-0 amateur record) vs. Marcos Ayub (1-0)
Last but not least on this list of things to watch at XKO 25 is TXMMA’s pick for the most interesting matchup of the evening. On one side, you have Kevin Holland out of Team Lutter. A 5-0 amateur with 2 titles under his belt, Kevin has proved himself to be one of the top prospects to watch in the entire state of Texas. He combines range and dynamic striking with excellent takedown defense, proficient grappling and a sincere love for the game. Standing across from him will be Marc Ayub, a man who’s quietly gone about his way training for years and going so far as achieving a BJJ black belt under Chris Story at Evolve BJJ. MMA-wise, Ayub achieved a 3-1 amateur record being 2009-2012 but has only fought once as a pro, winning by first round submission at Triple A MMA last year. All in all the matchup between these two is intriguing. Expect whoever comes out on top to have plenty of momentum to carry them through the rest of the year.
XKO 25 – Updated Fight Card for March 28, 2015
- 205 lbs.: Jabari Shakur (1-3) vs. Andre Kavanaugh (4-8)
- 135 lbs.: Jose Soto (1-0) vs. Alonzo Jordan (1-0)
- 170 lbs.: Ramon Jackson (0-2) vs. Lior Shporen (0-3)
- 170 lbs.: Armando Servin (3-2) vs. Justin Miller (2-2)
- 145 lbs.: Humberto Martinez (0-1) vs. Andrew Sosa (1-1-1)
- 125 lbs.: Michael Sierra (4-6) vs. Ulyses Aguila (5-1)
- 135 lbs.: Dennis Thomas (1-0) vs. Fernando Salas (2-1)
- 170 lbs.: Kevin Holland (5-0) vs. Marcos Ayub (1-0)
- 170 lbs.: Moises Diaz (4-7) vs. Randell Kennedy (0-3)
- 135 lbs.: Alex Russ (4-2) vs. Sidney Cawdrey (2-3)