“XFC 18: Music City Mayhem” hits Nashville, Tenn., this Friday, June 22 and will air live on HDNet. XFC President John Prisco joined us on Pro MMA Now Radio this past week to discuss the card, the growth of the XFC, promoting women’s MMA and the current state of the MMA industry.
Recognized as probably the number one regional show in the nation now, the XFC continues to book quality cards filled with quality talent. And although based out of Florida, the XFC travels to other states, other markets, and put top local fighters on their cards. And then they come back and do it again. And again. And it is a formula that is working.
On XFC’s growth
Prisco talked about the success of the XFC and their growth process. “We had a vision from the very beginning and we followed it,” he said. “I really believe that if we followed that path we would get noticed. We were fortunate and we always just had a good product. It was always a very entertaining show and we always really worked hard at finding very talented fighters and matching them up real tough. It’s a real easy philosophy. You know, the sport is 25-years-old. The most talented fighters are undiscovered. UFC does not corner the market on the most-talented fighters.”
“So now you got to go out in the community and you got to find these guys. Once you find them, you’ve got to promote them well and put them on a big stage and let them be seen. Once they’re seen they become names and they can brand themselves with the XFC and they can grow with our promotion. It’s not rocket science, but it’s something really very early on we looked at and said, ‘You know what, this is the path we need to follow.’ And we’ve followed it all along and it’s worked for us.”
On women’s MMA
The XFC has been a strong supporter of women’s MMA since early on. Prisco said, “We’ve always been a believer in the females in MMA. The talent pool is growing now dramatically and it’s very exciting for us. We’ve always had a female bout on our cards for a long long time now, and now every other fight card we’ll probably have two female bouts.”
“You have to be real careful and match these girls up properly, but there’s plenty of talent out there and we’ve been very blessed with fighters like Heather Clark, Felice Herrig, Marianna Kheyfets. These girls are extremely talented and they’ve made us look good by putting on one hell of a show when they go out there. We’re very proud of our female division and it’s growing, and rightly so, they deserve to be in the cage. I’ve always been a believer that they are athletes, they’re incredible athletes and we’re excited to have them as part of the XFC stable of fighters.”
On the current state and future of MMA
We also talked with Prisco about the current state of mixed martial arts. We asked him if he was happy with where things are and where he thinks things are headed. “I am happy with what’s happening in our industry. I really believe our industry is going to be around forever,” Prisco said. “I see other promotions coming up and making moves. I don’t think UFC can hold onto this and be the premiere promotion forever. I just don’t and I think you’re starting to see some chinks in the armor now.”
“You can’t do as many shows as they’re doing and have names on every card and I think that they’re coming to the realization that they’re not invincible and it’s going to be tough for them to maintain the market share that they’ve done. I can guarantee you, we’re going to keep growing, and as a result we’re going to pull from some of that. And you know what, that makes our industry a healthier industry.”
“It doesn’t work if its just one major promotion. It doesn’t work in anything guys. Burger King and McDonald’s wouldn’t be as good as they are if they weren’t challenged by competition. You’ve got to have competition to keep a healthy industry and we’re here to compete. We’re not here for second place. I don’t buy into that crap. At the end of the day, I want to be the biggest promotion.”
You can listen to our complete Pro MMA Now Radio interview with XFC President John Prisco, as well as our interview with XFC 18’s Scott Holtzman on the audio player below. Jeff Hobbs also called in. He is the manager of Nashville MMA fighter Dustin West, who will be competing on the first televised fight Friday night against Knoxville’s Joe Ray.
Check out more ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) coverage of XFC 18, including our interviews with headliner John Salter and women’s MMA fighter Heather Jo Clark, who were guests on Pro MMA Now Radio the week before last. Follow XFC on Twitter at @officialXFC, follow John Prisco on Twitter at @JohnXFC and visit the XFC website and check out the complete XFC 18 fight card at www.officialxfc.com.