Kenneth Cross (12-3 MMA, 1-0 XFC) suffered an Achilles tear and is out of the XFC lightweight tournament, President Myron Molotky said.
Cross was competing in the XFC lightweight tournament before his injury. Molotky said Cross’s injury happened a couple of weeks ago.
“[It] breaks my heart,” Molotky told MMASucka.
Kenneth Cross Injury Timeline
Cross will require surgery and will likely be out for six months to a year, according to Molotky.
“Kenny reached out right away, and we appreciate the communication on his end,” Molotky said. “He wasn’t sure how serious it was. It was verified last week that it’s going to require surgery.”
Cross made his XFC debut at XFC 43 in November 2020 in the quarterfinals of the promotion’s lightweight tournament. He defeated Jarel Askew via ground and pound TKO three minutes into the second round to advance. However, the injury will cut his run short.
“They tell me it’s a year at least,” Kenneth Cross posted on Instagram. “[They say] worst injury for athletes, good luck you’ll never be the same … #wearenotthesame #justwatch #roadtorecovery”
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The XFC is looking for Cross’s replacement in its lightweight tournament and is currently speaking with fighters.
“The fighters who we’re talking to are going to be recognizable names to all the MMA fans out there,” Molotky said. “Based on name alone, his replacement will probably walk in, and everyone will assume that’s going to be the new favorite for the tournament at 155. But I can tell you, I don’t know that that’s going to be the case. Our 155’s are looking really, really good. I believe that they believe they can take it all.”
Kurt Holobaugh, Tom O’Connor, and Scott Hudson round out the other three lightweights who advanced following XFC 43. The promotion is also running a welterweight tournament. Whoever replaces Cross in the 155-pound bracket will step into a semifinal position.
“We want to make sure we get the right type of fighter, what we’re looking for to continue to build the roster,” Molotky said. “If we make a great decision, maybe that is the guy who wins and goes onto our SuperFight series. We’re beating the bushes. We’re looking at a lot of applications for it. We’ve got managers from all over the world pushing for their fighters to get into that slot. We’ll end up making the right decision at the end of the day.”
XFC’s next event is XFC YoungGuns 1, which is slated for March 27. The card will feature an array of prospects, some of whom are contracted “young guns” the XFC will take special consideration in developing before they’re eventually placed into a tournament once they’re deemed ready.
XFC 44, which is when the lightweight and welterweight tournaments will resume, has no set date. Molotky said the promotion is looking at either late April or early May.