Former UT linebacker, Ovince St. Preux will fight at XFC 8 in Knoxville

PRO MMA ( has received word from the XFC (Xtreme Fighting Championship) on the first two officially signed fights for their April 25th card, which will be held on the University of Tennessee Campus in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The XFC held the first professional mixed martial arts event in Tennessee history on February 20th, 2009 in Knoxville and now they are returning for another “first.” The April 25th event will be the XFC’s first nationally televised fight card and will broadcast LIVE on HDNet. This is a big step for the XFC promotion as well as MMA in Tennessee.

When Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) president John Prisco brought the Southeast’s largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion to Knoxville’s Thompson-Boling Arena on February 20, his goal was to introduce live MMA to Tennessee sports fans by producing the first-ever professional MMA fight card in Tennessee state history.

The Knoxville News Sentinel declared XFC 7: “School of Hard Knox” an “entertaining show,” remarking: “Thompson-Boiling Arena – like the state of Tennessee – has seen its share of sporting events through the years. But never anything like this.” Leading MMA website raved: “Tennessee’s first sanctioned Pro MMA card saw a lot of action and some exciting upsets. Overall, a great event.”

Now, with the XFC returning to Thompson-Boling Arena on April 25, Prisco’s goal is considerably more ambitious.

“Mark my words, we’re going to establish Knoxville, Tennessee – in front of a live, national television audience on a Saturday night – as a legitimate MMA powerhouse and one of the elite cities in North America to stage a major fight card,” Prisco announced. “XFC 7 built a strong foundation right in the heart of Volunteer Nation, and the feedback we received from the fans was nothing short of phenomenal. But this upcoming show – XFC 8: ‘Regional Conflict’ – has more undiscovered talent in do-or-die matchups than any other fight card you’ll see in all of 2009. The eyes of the Mixed Martial Arts universe will all turn to Thompson-Boling Arena on April 25 to witness the next generation of MMA champions, and I’ve never been prouder to have the XFC affiliated with an event than this one.”

XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” will showcase the fastest-rising young prospects and top emerging MMA superstars from Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky and North Carolina in a series of contender-versus-contender elimination bouts. The show will air live on HDNet, the national cable network that’s owned and managed by billionaire Mark Cuban. Founded in 2001, HDNet is now available on AT&T, Bright House Networks, Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Vizio, and more than 40 NCTC cable affiliate companies in all 50 states.

No word yet if Mark Cuban will personally attend the event.

Prisco announced the first two featured bouts of XFC 8: “Regional Conflict”:

· Undefeated Bruce “The Noose” Connors of Orlando, Florida versus Jarrod “The Wild Card” Card of Jacksonville, North Carolina in a featherweight contenders’ bout.

John Prisco labeled Connors “the best young featherweight outside of the WEC” and the 6-0 fighter certainly brings a compelling biography to the cage: A sniper scout with the U.S. Marines who served two tours in Kosovo and Afghanistan – as well as an officer with the police department’s elite SWAT team – Bruce Connors credits his military background for providing him with the discipline and tenacity necessary to become a future world champion.

“I don’t have a real flashy personality outside of the cage,” Connors freely admitted. “I just work hard, fight harder, and never surrender. I turned down a multi-fight contract with another national MMA promotion to fight in Knoxville with the XFC, and that’s because I truly believe in Prisco’s vision of finding the next great MMA superstar. All I have to do is stay undefeated and keep on winning, and that’s all I’ve done my entire career. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for a young fighter, and I’m gonna give you absolutely everything I’ve got in Knoxville.”

The highly-regarded Jarrod “The Wild Card” Card (9-2-1) served in the U.S. Navy, works with the Marines at Fort Lejeune as a civilian contractor and aircraft expert, and looks forward to facing Connors on April 25.

“Bruce is obviously considered one of the fastest-rising 145-pounders for a reason,” said Card. “But even though I respect Bruce as a fighter and applaud his service to our country, business is business, and the winner of our fight will be the hottest featherweight outside of Zuffa. I’ve got an edge in experience and power, and at age 29, I’m at the absolute peak of my abilities. Let’s find out which fighter is better – and which fighter is hungrier. April 25 is gonna be an all-out war between two of America’s warriors, and all I can say is, I want this victory more than I’ve wanted anything else my entire life.”

· Ex-University of Tennessee linebacker and “wedge-busting” special teams ace Ovince St. Preux versus Ombey “Kryptonite” Mobley of Tampa, Florida in a special attraction light heavyweight showdown.

At XFC 7: “School of Hard Knox,” Ovince earned the “Knockout of the Night” with a spectacular, one-kick KO of the trash-talking CT Turner in the first round, raising the crowd to its feet and sending Turner straight to a Knoxville hospital. Directly before their bout, Turner had taunted the Vols-loving audience by doing an exaggerated “Gator Chomp” while walking to the cage, playing up his Florida roots.

“People are still congratulating me on that victory,” remarked St. Preux from his training camp at the Knoxville Martial Arts Academy. “The win over Turner literally changed my life. I humbly ask all of Volunteer Nation for their support once again as I fight for the first time on national television. This is my one shot at the big time, and I know firsthand from my football-playing days in Neyland Stadium and my current career as a fighter that nothing on earth is louder than a rabid Knoxville crowd. With home field advantage on my side, there’s no way I can lose!” St. Preux has a combined 12-2 pro and amateur record.

His opponent, Ombey Mobley, is a hard-nosed ex-convict and former pro boxer (4-0) who trains with CT Turner in Tampa, Florida. “Ovince landed the luckiest kick in MMA history with both his eyes closed, and now he’s running his mouth like he’s frickin’ Chuck Norris,” complained Mobley. “And I definitely ain’t impressed by the fact that Ovince used to wear orange and white on Saturday mornings while the Vols got their skulls stomped by the Gators. Hell, back when I was in the joint, we used to see plenty of boys from Tennessee who’d look and talk just like Ovince. And just between you and me, we used to pass around those Tennessee boys like a pack of smokes. Mobley versus St. Preux is a blood-feud that’ll end with my right boot stuck inside the hometown hero’s [expletive]. He’s a dead man walking.” Mobley is undefeated (4-0) as an amateur and will be making his pro debut.

XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” takes place on April 25 at Knoxville’s Thompson-Boling Arena. Tickets are now available at the Thompson-Boling Arena box office and Tickets Unlimited outlets, including Cat’s Music, Disc Exchange, and Fye Music.

You can learn more about the XFC by visiting their website at Check back with PRO MMA ( regularly as more fights are announced for XFC 8: Regional Conflict.

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