ISLAND LAKE, Ill. -- The cancellation of a lightweight main event between former IFL standout Bart Palaszewski (Pictures) and Eric Wisely did little to dampen the crowd’s spirits at XFO 25 “Outdoor War” Saturday at Sideouts Bar. Promoter Jeff Curran (Pictures) said the bout was shelved after Wisely had issues with his blood tests, but the show went on with 14 amateur and 8 pro bouts packed into one evening.
Midwest Training Center’s John Hosman (Pictures) (9-4-1) successfully defended his XFO bantamweight title against Team Tompkins fighter James Haourt (Pictures) (2-4) with a second-round chokeout. Hosman is no stranger to championship fights, as he currently holds a bantamweight belt in two other Midwest promotions, Gladiators Fighting and Extreme Challenge.
Hosman started the fight with a nice scoop slam, but was unable to muster up much offense early on the ground. Haourt scrambled and reversed position, but was rewarded for his efforts with a pair of elbows from Hosman underneath him. Hosman followed with a triangle attempt that was eventually shaken off.
Hosman took advantage of a Haourt slip in the second round, and immediately set to work on trying to secure a leglock. Following another scramble, Hosman landed a few elbows and then locked in a rear-naked choke that quickly left Haourt unconscious.
“I had no idea he was out,” said Hosman, “I ripped it [the choke] for what seemed like three or four seconds, the ref jumped in, and he was out. I don’t know if one of the elbows caught him and made him woozy, or if he was out from the choke.”
In the penultimate bout of the evening, lightweight Pat Curran (3-0) held on to earn a split decision nod over H.I.T Squad fighter Amir Khillah (2-3).
Curran controlled much of the first round on the ground, eventually achieving mount position on Khillah. Curran closed out the frame with a flurry of ground-and-pound, and looked to finish Khillah with an armbar attempt in the closing seconds. While it looked good, Curran did not have enough time to capitalize and the sounding of the horn gave Khillah a respite from the submission attempt.
“I had the armbar but I ran out of time. If I had it for a little bit longer I would have finished it for sure,” said Curran.
The second round saw Khillah take advantage of a Curran slip on a takedown attempt and do some damage on the ground. Khillah followed Curran to the mat and proceeded to issue a beating with punches from the mount. Curran managed to survive Khillah’s onslaught of ground-and-pound to make it through to the third round.
Curran mounted Khillah again in next set, only to be stood up shortly thereafter by the referee, much to the dismay of the decidedly pro-Curran crowd and his cousin and cornerman, XFO promoter Jeff Curran (Pictures). However, Curran thwarted Khillah’s kicking arsenal and brought the action to the canvas once again for the end of the round.
One judge scored the bout in Khillah’s favor, but Curran did enough in the first and third rounds to warrant the decision win.
“The fight was pretty tough, I underestimated the guy, I knew he was a good standup fighter, but his jiu-jitsu wasn’t too bad either,” said Curran. “He was a tough opponent.”
Team Curran fighter Ryan Sturdy (4-1-1) unleashed a ferocious barrage of ground-and-pound striking to earn a TKO victory over Jake Ambrose (3-7) in the first round of their middleweight contest. Sturdy pounced after Ambrose lost his footing on the condensation-drenched mat, and went to work with punches on his downed opponent, forcing the referee to call the fight.
Team No Ego’s Craig Kaufmann (5-2) managed to finish Tom Belt (Pictures) (4-2) in their welterweight match, using a submission hold to set up a TKO. Kaufmann, who spent the majority of the fight on his back, worked constantly from guard attempting a variety of submissions to counteract Belt. Kaufmann finally caught the Team Curran fighter in a tight triangle midway through the third round, and with Belt unable to defend, he went to work with backhand strikes to earn the referee stoppage.
Featherweight Tony Marti (5-1) made short work of Paul Martin (0-4), locking in a quick rear-naked choke after stuffing a Martin takedown attempt for the evening’s fastest finish only 41 seconds into the fight.
Lightweight Matt Veach (8-0) looked dominant in his victory over Brent Mehrhoff (5-4). The H.I.T Squad fighter was in total control throughout the fight, and finished off Mehrhoff in the second round with a rear-naked choke.
Dom O’Grady (5-1) submitted a tough Jeremiah Riggs (1-1) in a welterweight tussle that nearly went the distance. Both combatants flashed some heavy leather in the fight, but in the end O’Grady was able to secure a guillotine choke late in the third, prompting Riggs to tap.
Joe Blake (2-0) started off the pro card with a submission win over Joe Schlotterer (0-1). Blake opened the fight with a bang in the form of big body slam. From there it was only a matter of time before he forced Schlotterer to tap out to an armbar.
XFO 25 “Outdoor War 4” Results
Joe Blake def. Joe Schlotterer – Tapout (Armbar) 1:53 R1
Dom O’Grady def. Jeremiah Riggs – Tapout (Guillotine Choke) 4:16 R3
Matt Veach def. Brent Mehrhoff – Tapout (Rear-Naked Choke) 2:22 R2
Tony Marti def. Paul Martin – Tapout (Rear-Naked Choke) :41 R1
Craig Kaufmann def. Tom Belt (Pictures) – TKO (Ref Stoppage - Strikes) 2:31 R3
Ryan Sturdy def. Jake Ambrose – TKO (Ref Stoppage - Strikes) 2:13 R1
Pat Curran def. Amir Khillah – Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
XFO Bantamweight Championship
John Hosman (Pictures) def. James Haourt (Pictures) â€” TKO (Ref Stoppage, Rear Naked Choke) 3:03 R2