XFC YoungGuns 1, scheduled for March 27, marks XFC’s foray into its “YoungGuns” series since its recent relaunch.
The card will primarily feature prospects – both professional and amateur – some of whom are signed to XFC YoungGuns developmental contracts and others who could be offered one should they impress the promotion, according to XFC President Myron Molotky.
XFC YoungGuns 1: The Future
YoungGuns is the promotion’s first step of the XFC’s three-point business model. Fighters who impress while signed to YoungGuns contracts could move on to compete in XFC tournaments, while tournament winners will be signed to super fights, according to Molotky. The YoungGuns series, which largely features fighters aged 26 or less with five or fewer professional fights, is crucial to laying the foundation of XFC’s potential.
“I believe [YoungGuns] to be the future for the organization,” Molotky told MMASucka. “We’re trying to build a homegrown roster. With YoungGuns, it’s going to take a few years for these kids to develop and get them to the point where they fit in the XFC tournaments. Eventually, the hope is they become part of the XFC Super Fights series.”
Fighters signed to YoungGuns contracts who are slated to compete on XFC YoungGuns 1 include Enzo Perez, Cody Linne, and Austin Bashi. Luis Conde-Navarro, who fought at XFC 43 in November, is also a YoungGun. Bashi scored a unanimous decision over Perez on the XFC 43 card.
At XFC YoungGuns 1, Bashi is set to fight Mason Iacobellis; Perez will fight Tony Clanton; and Linne is scheduled to square off with Maika Samson.
The XFC will take a hard look at other fighters competing on the card to see if they have “true value” to be signed to the YoungGuns system, Molotky said.
YoungGuns is the XFC’s “developmental” pipeline, according to the president.
“Those are the kids we’re going to focus on, build our roster, and eventually turn it into a tournament form,” he said. “Right now, it’s just discovering these kids. We’re not going easy on them. We want to make sure their potential is to be this world-class athlete. That they’re well rounded. Most importantly, they fit into what we’re looking for in a fighter. Someone who will get right in there and bang from the start.”
YoungGuns to Watch
When searching for potential prospects to sign to YoungGuns contracts, Molotky said he looks at them the same way he does tournament and super fight competitors.
“Personality always plays a part for any organization; or it should, in our opinion,” Molotky said. “We want these kids who bring it inside and outside the Hexagon. When we’re looking at the trials, they’re looking for that special kid. That kid who really stands out. To narrow it down to a specific type of fighter is very difficult, but we know it when we see it. Those are the kids who are signed right now.”
Molotky named a couple of fighters he is personally “super, super high” on: Davi Young and Chad Decker.
Young went 6-0 as an amateur and is slated to make his professional debut against Quran Walker on XFC YoungGuns 1. Decker is a 3-1-2 amateur fighter competing against Billy Wilson (6-0) on the same card.
“I really want to take a look at [Young],” Molotky said. “Chad Decker is going to be something really special. I think Chad will be making his pro debut after this fight. We’re definitely going to be looking to put him inside the YoungGuns development league.”
Molotky noted his list of XFC’s top prospects is not finite, as he plans to speak with more fighters when he travels to Shawnee, Oklahoma, the site of the card.
“With respect to all the kids on the roster for this event, I don’t want to leave anyone out, because I’ll learn a lot more when I get to Oklahoma and get to meet them, talk to them and get to see them inside the cage,” Molotky said.
The card is set to be headline by Braden Smith (10-4 MMA) and Franklin Patterson (6-5 MMA) in a middleweight tilt.
The XFC is looking at Smith as a potential middleweight tournament fighter, according to Molotky. Patterson could steal his thunder with an impressive performance of his own, however.
“Everyone is stepping inside the cage,” Molotky said. “It’s really a true opportunity for all to make an impression on us and show us who you are and why we should be considering you for our next event. We want to see it.”
A Message to Shareholders
The XFC is the only publicly-traded MMA organization trading over-the-counter under the ticker $DKMR. Molotky addressed shareholders in an open message.
“First of all, we appreciate the enthusiasm,” he said. “We’re gaining more and more. When you look at the volume from the publicly-traded side, more and more fans are becoming involved and becoming owners with XFC. We appreciate that. I think what’s great is the understanding that, hey, it takes time to build. Since we’ve gone public, we’ve only had one event. The expectations are to continue putting on great events, showing the combat sports world that we’ll be able to pull it off with our trials, our YoungGuns events and our numbered events; the next one being XFC 44. I believe in it, obviously. It’s what I do for a living. I’m very excited about the future of XFC.”
XFC 44 is projected to take place in either late April or early May, Molotky said.
XFC YoungGuns 1 is slated to go down live from the FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma on Saturday, March 27. The card will air live on FITE TV, and Molotky said the XFC is in the late-stage development phase of getting its own video-on-demand channel.