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XFS owner speaks out on ‘Soccer Mum’

Jim Edwards



Riding high off the crest of the wave that was UFC Fight Night 68 New Orleans it saddened me today to hear the response given by XFS owner Gregg Sharp when questioned about circumstances leading to the disgusting fight between Ilima Macfarlane and Katie Castro, aka ‘Soccer Mum’.

Mr Sharp last week spoke to CollaterelDamageMMA Magazine about the fight – here is a summary of his responses:

– The online uproar around the fight was making ‘something out of nothing’ and that ‘these things happen all the time’
– That things like this ‘happen on every level of MMA short of the UFC’
– They felt pressured to book a fight for Macfarlane as her family had flown in from Hawaii
– XFS seemingly have a worryingly thin matchmaking process
– Castro’s soccer mum attire was a consequence of it being ‘cold’ in the arena.
– Unless Castro can show evidence of development she will not fight in XFS again.

You have to read some of this to full believe it. If you’ve not seen the fight yet we’ve pasted it for you again below:


Rather than give any element of remorse Mr Sharp quickly disregarded the growing uproar the video is causing online with the MMA community:

I am good! I actually thought this would have been a bigger deal 6 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.

When probed further on whether this was really ‘making something out of nothing’, Mr Sharp went on at length to respond with some further nonsensical booking knowledge:

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.

Mr Sharp then tries to further strengthen his argument saying that it would have been the wrong decision to not have the fight given Macfarlane’s family had flown in to watch her fight:

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.

With regards to the process of the booking Mr Sharp commented:

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.

When questioned on whether it was a good match-up or not Mr Sharp responded with a response out the handbook of a politician:

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.

But how was it ever classed a pro fight that was commissioned:

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? … you will see “what after the fact assessments” are called mismatches on 80% 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.

And lastly commenting on the status of Katie Castro’s fighting career:

I cannot answer that for everyone else only for us and right now Katie has worked with us three times and has never complained and has always been a terrific and gracious fighter even in defeat. But after 3 losses we cannot ask her to compete with us, even last minute, unless we are sure that she has been training and can compete with some effective skill set. Also when a fighter gets knocked out “cold” we make them sit for 6 months anyway. But does that mean she won’t fight again? I can stop that. There are a lot of fighters that have fought with us that I won’t let back in the cage. But then they just move over to another promotion. It happens all the time. That list is a long one as well.

Pretty shocking stuff it has to be said. Let us know what you think to this response on Twitter – @MMALatestNws

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UFC looks for undefeated fighters for the next season of TUF



As the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close in a few weeks, UFC has set tryouts for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter on December 12th but there is a catch, participates must hold an undefeated record.

Titled The Ultimate Fighter 27: Battle of the Undefeated, the next installment of TUF will be looking for male fighters with an undefeated record with a minimum of 3-0 to apply for the show. The casting call asks for featherweights and welterweights but in the early stages of tryouts, a weight class will be decided later in the process.

Fighters must be aged between 21 – 34 and will grapple and light spar in front of UFC matchmakers and must be prepared to stay in Vegas until December 16th.

It is unknown what the future of TUF will be after the TV deal with FOX ends next year but the show has been a success for the company and many fighters to emerge from The Ultimate Fighter have become champion including current interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas coming from past seasons of the show.

This will be the third time in a row that a gimmick will be added to the show that has been on the decline in the ratings in recent years but yet to use only undefeated fighters. An undefeated streak can be one of the most prestigious records to keep in mixed martial arts with the wins and losses being so vital in a fighters career.

Who will keep their zero? Who will be the next Ultimate Fighter? Who will be the coaches?

These questions will be answered when the new season of TUF begins shooting in January and the show premiering later in the year.

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies



MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.

Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!


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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures



After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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