A large crowd was in attendance at The Gym, 921 West Mayfield Suite 112, in Arlington for XKO 15 sponsored by Corona Light and was treated to a fantastic night of mixed martial arts action. Along with seven action packed fights, UFC Hall of Famer "The Natural" Randy Couture, Johny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks, UFC veteran Guy Mezger, and Ultimate Fighter 15 semi-finalist James Vick were in attendance. Vick is no stranger to XKO having fought multiple times with the promotion. Two-time boxing world champion Paulie Ayala was ringside as well enjoying the night’s festivities.
In the two hundred and five pound main event, UFC veteran Jake Rosholt (12-3, Dallas, Texas) was up against six foot five inch Matthew Thompson (16-9, Austin, Texas). Rosholt began the fight strong with a sharp left hook and leg kicks. Thompson countered by landing combinations and keeping his opponent at a distance. Rosholt continued to land powerful leg kicks causing Thompson to hit the mat and pull guard. Rosholt was in a dominant position unleashing a savage ground and pound and went for an arm triangle but wasn't able to finish the fight. Thompson was able to get to his feet but Rosholt landed more big shots and Thompson hit the floor again. Rosholt looked to be in control of the fight but Thompson used his height and skill to secure a knee bar at 4:18 of the first round and take the tough victory. "I took more punishment than I would have liked," said Thompson.
The co-main event of the evening was between the very popular Roy Spoon (7-4, Dallas, Texas) coming to the ring with his customary cowboy hat and the extremely talented Hayward Charles (4-4, Fort Worth, Texas). Both fighters were coming off loses and looking to get back in the win column. Each began the fight throwing right hands then Charles landed a kick to the groin and was warned by referee Jay Stafin. After Spoon was given time to recover from the illegal kick, he threw combinations and strong leg kicks but Charles attacked and took Spoon to the ground. Charles, an accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor, wasted little time securing a guillotine choke and forcing Spoon to tap at 1:52 of the first round. Charles was overwhelmed with joy after the victory and showed it by falling on his back in the middle of the cage and smiling.
In one of the most skilled and competitive fights of the night, Casey Hudson (0-1, Arlington, Texas) representing the Fitness Fight Factory and Joseph Salas (1-1, Westmister, California) fought three exciting rounds at a grueling pace. Each fighter had there moments in the first round with Hudson securing multiple takedowns and Salas attacking with knees and combinations from all angles. Hudson came on strong in the second and third rounds. Hudson landed multiple right hands that stunned Salas and a big left hook that sent his opponent to the mat in the third round. Salas was very skilled on the ground and kept his aggressive opponent at a distance and escaped further damage. Salas took the unanimous decision victory with all judges scoring the fight 29-28. Many at ringside felt the fight could have gone either way and a rematch between the two great combatants would definitely not disappoint.
A great night of MMA action and not enough can be said about the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Without their professionalism and quality staff, promotions like XKO wouldn't be able to have quality events for the fight fans of Texas. Dickie Cole, head boxing administrator of combat sports, and Arturo Martinez are at each event making sure that each fighter is taken care of and every event is held with the high standards, the TDLR is known.