The Xtreme Fighting Championships’ Lightweight Championship Tournament bracket is officially set. Regarded by many as the most brutal tournament in MMA, the eight-man tournament begins with four fights at XFC 43 on Nov. 11 at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, with winners advancing to the next round at XFC 44. The final will take place at XFC 45, LIVE on NBC Sports Network.
The first round of the tournament comprises: Jarel Askew (11-6) versus Kenny “The Boss” Cross (11-3), Joziro Boye (17-5-1) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (17-7), “Handsome” Scott Hudson (11-5-1) vs. D’Juan “Dirty South” Owens (18-15-1), and Jose “Know Way” Caceres (15-10) vs. Tom “Big Nasty” O’Connor (8-1).
XFC President Myron Molotky commented, “Our matchmakers scoured the globe for the most dangerous 155-pound fighters they could find, and we’ve got eight hammers throwing down at XFC 43. These fighters know that this is the biggest opportunity of their careers, and they can’t wait to make a statement in the XFC Hexagon.”
Jarel Askew (11-6) vs. Kenny “The Boss” Cross (11-3)
Well-tested Team Alpha Male combatant Jarel Askew is 11-6 heading into his first bout with XFC. The dynamic fighter competes with a lot of flair and is able to finish a fight anywhere, with 10 of his 11 victories being either by knockout or submission. A win on fight night would likely make Askew a favorite to win the whole tournament, so this is the biggest opportunity of his career.
Few if any fighters have entered the Hexagon with as much momentum as Kenny “The Boss” Cross. The Lights Out Championship lightweight champion is the proud owner of an impressive 11-3 record, with 10 of his wins coming by finish. This 26-year-old Michigan hammer most recently scored a dominant decision victory on Dana White’s Contender Series in Las Vegas. He makes his XFC debut as the first fighter signed for the brand’s highly anticipated relaunch and, needless to say, a massive target on his back.
Joziro Boye (17-5-1) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (17-7)
Joziro Boye is one of the most dangerous combatants to recently sign with XFC. The Netherlands fighter is 17-5-1 on the strength of eight straight wins. He has 12 stoppages on his impressive resume that includes bouts around the globe. Holobaugh is certainly his toughest test yet, but he’s got a ton of momentum behind him too.
Kurt Holobaugh enters the XFC Hexagon after most recently fighting for the UFC. One of the most experienced and seasoned fighters to sign with XFC, the former Titan FC lightweight champ has been fighting at a high level since his 2011 pro debut. The super crafty veteran began his career with nine straight wins before his first appearance on the international scene with Strikeforce FC in 2013. He’s eager to show he’s just getting started.
“Handsome” Scott Hudson (11-5-1) vs. D’Juan “Dirty South” Owens (18-15-1)
Scott Hudson has established himself as one of Canada’s top young fighters. He boasts an impressive 11-5-1 record on the strength of four straight impressive wins. He won the BTC Fight Promotions lightweight title in his most recent match. He’s shared the cage with many of the sport’s best, and will be going for his seventh finish on fight night.
A pillar of MMA in the southern states for nearly a decade, North Carolina’s D’Juan “Dirty South” Owens is ready to make the jump to international star. Owens has fought a who’s who of the sport’s best lightweights over the course of his 34-fight career. His resume includes championship bouts in America, Canada and Chile with CES MMA, Rise FC and Inka FC.
Jose “Know Way” Caceres (15-10) vs. Tom “Big Nasty” O’Connor (8-1)
Jose Caceres is looking for his 16th victory in his Hexagon debut. The hard-hitting Brazilian fighter is also shooting for his 10th win by submission. He has the distinction of being the only man to defeat reigning UFC champion Kamaru Usman.
Red-hot Tom O’Connor enters the XFC having already established himself as one of Canada’s best fighters. He brings an impressive 8-1 record into battle. A victory will be his ninth straight, and all but one of his wins have come by stoppage.