In the final installment in this series of three post-event interviews from XFC 7: School of Hard Knox, I bring you interviews from XFC President John Prisco and XFC Lightweight Champion John Mahlow, who served as one of the commentators for the night's event.
Check after the jump for both interviews.
FightTicker: Congratulations on a great show, John – what are your thoughts on it?
John Prisco: I’m very happy overall. There was a good fan reaction to a lot of the fights. We have something we can build from, no doubt.
FT: What kind of attendance do you think you ended up with tonight?
Prisco: It could be in the low threes [thousands]. It was a Friday night and I knew that was going to be a challenge. We were promoting in Nashville and Chattanooga and all, but a lot of people would have had to miss work to come tonight. Our next event [April 25] is a Saturday and I know it’s going to be a tremendous night.
FT: What kind of things do you have planned for the April event?
Prisco: Well, I can tell you “O” is coming back [Ovince St. Preux] [Laughs]. We’re going to be promoting it big; there are a lot of stories to be told based on what happened tonight. It’s the beauty of MMA. Like with Chevelle Hallback [losing], it just shows you – a lot of things happened tonight that you wouldn’t have expected and that’s MMA. It’s one of the reasons why everybody is so charged about this sport.
FT: You made history tonight, hosting the first professional MMA show in Tennessee. Obviously you had an excited crowd – how did you feel about being the first pro show in Tennessee?
Prisco: It was an honor. It was an honor working with this [athletic] board, they were very professional. I don’t think you could’ve started a pro MMA event in a state better than we did tonight, so we’re very happy.
FightTicker: John Mahlow, XFC Lightweight Champ and Commentator tonight – what did you think of the event?
Mahlow: The event went really good. John [Prisco] like usual put on a really good show. Got the right match-ups and put on a phenomenal show. Couple of upsets of course, with CT Turner getting knocked out and then Chevelle Hallback getting submitted with a triangle – but hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
FT: What was your favorite fight of the night?
Mahlow: The one with Rafaello Oliveria and Robert Thompson – they went at it pretty good. Everybody was expecting Rafaello to finish him really easy and it started to be more of an interesting fight, especially for myself because he might be a future prospect for a fight for me [Oliveria moved up to 170 for this fight] so it was good to see him fight a little bit longer and see what he had in his gameplan.
FT: When do you think your next fight might be?
Mahlow: I talked to John, I’m going to be out a little while, I have an injury I need to get fixed and once I get that fixed I can fight at 100%. The last few fights I’ve had I’ve not been 100%. They’ve still been dominating fights, but I’d like to see what I can do at 100% - I’ve been about 70% so I’d like to be 100% and come back and show everybody what I can really do.
FT: What were thoughts on the unexpected ending to the main event with Barrett’s injury?
Mahlow: Stuff like that happens sometimes, and it’s not the way people like to win. I’m sure Chad would’ve liked to have had a real good fulfilling fight, gone three rounds and just banged and then that way everybody could’ve seen what he’s made of.
FT: Was this your first time commentating?
Mahlow: For commentating, yes. It’s not my first time on TV, I’ve done interviews and different news releases and things like that. I did a thing in New York where they actually did a “Things to do in Florida” thing and they had me come in as the XFC Champ and basically did a newscast, with the news bulletins and things like that, so it really doesn’t bother me, doesn’t make me nervous or anything like that.
FT: You train down at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, but you also have your own gym?
Mahlow: Basically what I do is go down to ATT – there’s Wolfpack and there’s Coconut Creek, but they’re both American Top Team. The Wolfpack is the one I go to for all my standup stuff, which is in Sunrise, just south of Coconut Creek. I’m part of a group called SOG Defensive Tactics and Ancient City Martial Arts and we actually have a school doing stuff with the military, but we also work with civilians, too, and I do the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and my partner Mike does all the Hapkido and we do kids classes and stuff like that. It helps pay the bills.
Overall, a really entertaining show. Prisco was extremely approachable and very candid in his comments both before and after the show. It was also nice to speak with Mahlow - I hope he gets his injury taken care of soon so he can get back in the cage. He's a beast at 155.