Fiordirosa Cinches 145-pound Title At Xfo 11
Fiordirosa Cinches 145-Pound Title at XFO 11
Report and photos by Dustin DePue
LAKEMOORE, Ill., June 17 — Monte Cox once jokingly dubbed the XFO as the "Extreme Finishing Organization." After Saturday night’s fights, a case could be made to make the name official.
The Lakemoore Banquet Facility, bursting at the seams with its 800-person capacity maxed out, and by some estimates exceeded, was host to ten fights, all of which ended before the final bell.
With XFO champion Tommy Lee relinquishing his title to get married and pursue bigger fights in the future, the 145-pound belt was up for grabs. It was Tommy and the rest of Gilbert Grappling’s hope that one of their own would get a shot at it. Promoters Monte Cox and Jeff Curran made it happen as number one contender and Team Curran fighter Matt Fiordirosa took on Gilbert Grappling’s Andrew Gerdes for the vacated title.
After a night of decisive finishes, the crowd expected fireworks from the main event. Seconds into the fight, the walls of the banquet hall reverberated their howls and cheers as Fiordirosa worked Gerdes over. Starting with a single-leg early in the round, Fiordirosa worked a mix of ground-and-pound and submission attempts. Gerdes had a few tricks of his own with a couple of heelhooks that set off a sequence of high-speed reversals. Fiordirosa was faster, however, and able to out maneuver Gerdes at every tuck, roll, and sweep in their explosive battle for position.
With a minute left, Fiordirosa snatched Gerdes’s arm into a Kimura from side mount. This was the beginning of the end for Gerdes. As he escaped the hold and worked to his knees, Fiordirosa switched position and got hold of the other arm. With seconds remaining, Gerdes tried to weather the storm but the grimace on his face said it all as his free hand hovered over Fiordirosa’s thigh, finally succumbing to the pain and tapping it several times to end the fight.
Team Curran’s Nate Mohr was impressive in his quick knockout of journeymen Alex Carter. Carter always comes out swinging and this was no different as the two exchanged punches before clinching near the fence. Mohr quickly spun Carter into the cage and stepped back to cut loose a barrage of straights that caught him by surprise. A shot to the chin put Carter on the mat. Mohr followed with strikes to the head and body of his turtled opponent forcing the referee stoppage just seconds into the fight.
Crowd favorite Mike Marello took on Jake Haughn in a match of 205-pounders. Haughn looked comfortable on his feet, landing several stiff leg kicks and a high kick that just grazed Marello’s face. Marello countered with knees from the clinch and a takedown.
In the second round Marello timed Haughn’s one-two beautifully, shooting underneath the punches for a smooth takedown. Marello’s punches from the top set up a neck crank that ended the fight halfway through round two.
Don Wendt looked strong tussling with the explosive Eric McLean. Wendt opened the fight with leg kicks while McLean fought for the takedown. Wendt was able to stay on his feet and, with less than a minute gone by, landed a wicked right hook that put McLean to sleep.
In preliminary action, Jay Little played footsy with Mike Belmonte in an exciting sequence of submission attempts before landing a big shot that opened a cut near Belmonte’s eye and sent him to the mat where Little rained down punches for the TKO stoppage early in round two.
XFO 11 Results
Pro Bouts (3×5 minute rounds)
Amateur Bouts (3×3 minute rounds)