This weekend, the XFC will once again take over Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee for their sophomore show in the state, XFC 8: Regional Conflict. Among the high profile matches featured on the card, set to be televised live on HDNet, is a Light Heayvweight match-up between Ombey Mobley and the FightTicker.com KO of the Night winner from XFC 7, Ovince St. Preux.
Check after the jump for my profile on Mobley and comments from him about his upcoming fight with St. Preux.
In a recent Press Release on St. Preux, Mobley was characterized as a "hard-nosed ex-convict and former pro boxer." Surprised that the XFC would speak of Mobley's status as an ex-con, I contacted Mobley to speak to him about his upcoming match against St. Preux and how he felt about the press release. We caught up via phone and Mobley took some time out of his training to speak with me.
Mobley, 4-0 as an amateur, is making his pro debut against St. Preux who is 2-2 as a pro and was 10-0 as an amateur. Mobley characterized his upbringing as one on the wrong side of the tracks, doing what he had to do to survive and playing the cards life dealt him. He broke it down simply enough when he said there are two types of people in life - "Fighters and victims. I'm no victim."
Mobley spoke of his transition from boxing to MMA as an evolution and that he feels quite confident going into his pro debut against St. Preux. Although relatively new to the MMA game, he has surrounded himself with quality trainers and training partners, people he refers to as a great team to be a part of - helping him really focus on his Jiu Jitsu and catch wrestling as he prepares for the fight - more like a family - including guys like Mike Yanez and C.T. Turner. Mobley stressed the importance of this, saying "I have strong family values, and my team is my family."
When I asked what kind of advice C.T. was giving him about St. Preux, Mobley didn't mince words when it came to the topic. However, his words didn't seem to come from anger but more a sign of his eagerness to step into the cage and prove himself. Mobley specifically stated that he's not a boastful person as much as some may think. And about Turner's advice, he simply stated that there was no advice to give, that 99 times out of 100 C.T. would have won that fight.
A quotation from Mobley in the previously mentioned press release stated, "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...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. He’s a dead man walking.”
However, Mobley wasn't past a little humor either. When I asked him how he saw this weekend's fight going, he stated that he saw himself looking like a movie star and that after beating St. Preux he'd be the next Hollywood movie story.
Candidly addressing his status as an ex-convict and the characterization of it in the press release, Mobley stated, "There is nothing to glorify about being an ex-con or a felon. The comments have angered me because I'm not that type of person. What has happened in the past is not a reflection of who I am today. I want to be viewed for my skills in the cage like any other fighter and to be glorified for my victories."
Mobley made it a point to take some time to thank Coach Mike Yanez and his team for getting him ready for this, St. Preux for having great courage to take the fight against him, Brawl and Maul for taking care of his team and his family and finally, the XFC for giving him this opportunity.
Although I was admittedly somewhat skeptical of Mobley based on what I'd initially read, even in briefly speaking to him it was easy to see he's not just some ex-con fighting because he likes to pick a fight. He's just a fighter doing what many others are trying to do - prove that he belongs in the world's fastest growing sport. Saturday night, he gets that chance.
(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)