XFC Primed for Welterweight Expansion


After last Friday’s XFC 24 event the Florida based Xtreme Fighting Championships has seen fit to bolster its welterweight ranks with two exciting new acquisitions.

Undefeated prospect Ian Stephens (4-0) returns to the organization in which he went 2-0 with back in 2010 and boasts a superb wrestling background that has formed the backbone of his fledgling career. The Georgia native was a 4x State Finalist and 1x State Champion at Lafayette High School and while attending Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga Tennessee, he captured the 184lb National Championship. Ian finished out his college wrestling career at Lindsey Wilson, where he was a National Runner Up and 2x All American. Now a college graduate, Stephens can focus his attention solely on mixed martial arts, as he looks to make an immediate impact in the XFC Welterweight division.

When quizzed about signing for XFC and becoming a full time fighter he said: “I’m in a great position and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve always been a part-time fighter, never able to commit to the sport like I wanted to because of school. It’s really going to be exciting to see how far I can take this and how good I can be, now that I can train full-time and give this the attention it needs. And then to top everything off, I now have a home with the XFC. It’s such a relief to know that I don’t have to wonder when or where my next fight is going to come from. I can truly focus on training now.”

Another XFC returnee will be Ladarious Jackson (0-1) who made his professional debut last Friday at XFC 24, during the untelevised portion of the card. Jackson may have chalked up a disqualification loss, but he impressed the XFC brass enough with his dominant display prior to the foul and has secured a multi-fight deal with the company. Like Stephens, Jackson comes from a wrestling background and was a 2x State Champion at Gulf High School, in New Port Richey, Florida. During his Junior and Senior seasons, Jackson also won National Championships at the Duels in Dallas, Texas.

When asked about his new contract, Jackson was excited and understandably relieved: “It’s hard to explain how happy I was when Mr. Prisco (XFC President) contacted me after the show. I was really glad he was able to see past the foul and the outcome of the fight and concentrate on how I performed during the fight. This is a huge opportunity and accomplishment and I can’t wait to build on this and show everyone what I can do.”

The XFC Welterweight Division is certainly beginning to gather pace, and a future showdown between these two new signings could well be on the not so distant horizon.

Luke Cho Yee is a writer from the UK who has followed MMA since before the term was coined, from the inception of the UFC to the glory days of PRIDE. A keen martial arts practitioner himself, he cannot wait to see how the sport continues to evolve.