When a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion puts on a show, one would think the promoter would at least have the decency to put somewhat competitive bouts on the card. Decency be damned when it comes to Xplode Fight Series (XFS).
A new video has surfaced of an XFS match between MMA fighter Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and “soccer mom,” Katie Castro, who obviously had no business being in the cage. While organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have made great strides to push the sport of MMA to a mainstream level, XFS is partying like it’s 1993.
Let’s put things in perspective here. Macfarlane has an amateur record of 5-0, with four of those fights being under the XFS banner. In those five bouts, she earned three submissions and a TKO. Meanwhile, Castro has an 0-3 record, was knocked out in all of her matches and never made it past the 28-second mark.
As Bloody Elbow made note of last year, XFS is no stranger when it comes to booking mismatches. Former UFC lightweight Dashon Johnson was 9-0 before making it to the big time. The legitimacy of his record was in question thanks to the ridiculous booking from XFS. In Johnson’s last XFS bout, he took on Jordan Delano, who had a record of 0-10 going into the fight.
It’s clear that some organizations need to grow and stop holding the sport of MMA back.
Update: XFS owner Gregg Sharp spoke with Collateral Damage MMA (via CagePotato.com) to defend the mismatch. Below are some of his quotes that don’t do his promotion any favors:
“I actually thought this would have been a bigger deal six months ago the way we seem to have so many ‘FANS’ out there, but I am not naive in the fact that sooner or later a hater or two would jump on to our YouTube account and make something of nothing.”
Sharp said he believes booking the experienced Macfarlane over the severely outmatched Castro was a good idea when the fight was made.
“I am sorry but this happened SIX months ago, we are not going to or can go back and change what transpired. It was a good decision at the time, but it seems that with so many promotions finding it hard to attract fans and fighters one might assume this is now and issue done more out of trying to defame or discredit XFS so that they can try and re-fill their cards rather than a genuine concern for the sport. Either way I am not going to run from people criticizing or critiquing XFS.”
As CagePotato points out, XFS is known for having laughable one-sided bouts. Meanwhile, Sharp is acting like this is an isolated incident that occurred eons ago. Furthermore, CagePotato brings up more instances where experienced fighters were given tomato cans while competing for XFS.
“Take Walel Watson, for instance, who followed up his four-fight stint in the UFC by facing Anthony Moore (0-14) and Joey Apodaca (0-9) in back-to-back XFS appearances. Or Strikeforce/Bellator vet Keith Berry, who fought 0-0 Josh Gibson in what was billed as a middleweight title fight back in 2012. FYI, Gibson’s record currently sits at 0-6, with five of those appearances coming by first round stoppage under the XFS banner.”
If that wasn’t enough, Sharp said it’s not his responsibility to find a solution for the mismatches seen in his promotion.
“Why do I need to create a solution? How about this… introduce me to an Oil tycoon’s son and allow me access to 20 million dollars and I will take XFS to the next level, return your investment with interest and create a new dynamic for all the fighters in Southern California. Sound good? Well let’s be honest that equation did not work out to well for one Texas based promotion did it? Unfortunately I guess I am not that lucky.”
When UFC president Dana White talks about scumbag promoters, guys like Sharp have to be at the top of his list.