Xplode Fight Series (XFS) recently come under fire after a video showed what seemed to be an untrained "soccer mom" get brutally knocked out by a trained mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.
If you haven't seen the video click here to get up to speed.
Now, XFS owner Gregg Sharp is speaking out, saying that he sees nothing wrong with the fight -- which occurred six months ago -- and the controversy is nothing more than a YouTube "hater" trying to kick up some dust. After all, this isn't the first -- or the last -- time that a fighter has been knocked out in the blink of an eye in any MMA promotion.
Check out his rebuttal and explanation of how the fight between two winless fighters came to be (via Collateral Damage MMA):
"I am good! I actually thought this would have been a bigger deal six months ago the way we seem to have so many "FANS" out there, but I am not naive in the fact that sooner or later a hater or two would jump on to our YouTube account and make something of nothing. Yes, I believe that nothing is the correct term to deal with this one. Let's strip the names and gender away and take an objective look around the world of MMA... A 0-0 fighter debuted against a 0-2 fighter and the knockout was vicious. Does this not happen on every level of MMA short of the UFC? Of course it does. Now let's add back the players real slow and see why there is nothing wrong with the equation and we can look across the board at promotions and sanctioned events all the way up to the big leagues and see that having a fill-in opponent happens quite a bit. Ilima Macfarlance who makes her Pro debut is a terrific amateur fighter, Katie Castro who at the time is 0-2 is a not so terrific fighter, but a willing and game competitor...Ilima's opponent pulls out, she has family that has flown in from Hawaii and across the country and we all have a decision to make. It's a cold evening so the fighters are wearing a top and bottom Katie unfortunately did not have a politically correct top/bottom for the viewers out there, hence the term Soccer Mom but, she is agreeable to step in last minute. Do we look to make a fight happen with the resource that is available or do we cancel the fight. First person we ask is her trainer is he accepts the fight, then we ask Katie if she accepts the fight. We then get her pre fight with the doctor, wrapped up and they fight. Ilima wins by knocking Katie out and that is it. If we were not in San Diego, no one would care. If we did not have tons of talent that has come through our show no one would care. But, in the end, six months later and now everyone cares."
Even if he could change things, Sharp says what's done is done and he isn't apologizing for those who are trying to discredit his promotion.
"I am sorry, but this happened SIX months ago, we are not going to or can go back and change what transpired. It was a good decision at the time, but it seems that with so many promotions finding it hard to attract fans and fighters one might assume this is now and issue done more out of trying to defame or discredit XFS so that they can try and re-fill their cards rather than a genuine concern for the sport. Either way, I am not going to run from people criticizing or critiquing XFS."
The fight was not sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) -- it took place on the San Pasqual Indian Reservation in Valley Center. Still, Sharp isn't going to shy away from the criticism that had it been under the CSAC's jurisdiction, the fight would have never taken place.
Something Sharp isn't so quick to buy, using the recent Bellator 133 event -- which went down in Fresno, Calif., earlier this year -- that saw Cody Sons (0-1 as a professional and 0-3 in his three previous amateur bouts) take on (and eventually lose to) John Paul Elias, who was undefeated (2-0) at the time, via a 55-second knockout.
"Ok please explain then how Cody Sons who was 0-1 as a pro 0-3 in his last 3 as an ammy, So 0-4 in his last 4 was sanctioned to fight John Paul Elias 3-0 in Bellator 133 in Fresno under CSAC? Are you saying that XFS is now being held to a higher standard than the matchmakers at Bellator and CSAC? Is this not an egregious match up that was actually matched and accepted three weeks prior to the show? Did someone out there other than Cody actually think he was going to win? How is it that Ken Tenario who is actually 0-23 (Two different Sherdog profiles) is commissioned to fight in any State Athletic Commissioned promotion? Guys that haven't trained for years that are horrible fighters are called off the couches all the time and they are licensed and thrown to better talent. Do you want me to play historian and look at who is not fighting the best competition out there and who's allowing it? This would be a 1,000 page article! If you look closely enough, which isn't very close at all, you will see "what after the fact assessments" are called mismatches on 80 percent of all fighters' records in the big leagues. It happens, all the time, the only reason this one is so prevalent is that someone drank some "Haterade" and looked to cause me some grief. But instead Ilima is now in the front of the line in a ton for a ton of top level promotions and most importantly Katie is fine and doing well.
It appears that Sharp and XFS have a valid (albeit not great) argument. And perhaps this all could have been avoided had the promotion insisted that one of its female fighters not enter the cage in a blouse and yoga pants.