FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” Main Event Now a World Championship Title Fight
Undefeated Bruce “The Noose” Connors Will Battle Jarrod “The Wild Card” Card for the XFC Featherweight World Title — with Rising Heavyweight Contender Bobby Lashley Presenting the Championship Belt to the Winner
Knoxville, TN: The XFC announced today that the highly-anticipated featherweight showdown between undefeated Bruce “The Noose” Connors (6-0) of Orlando, Florida and Jarrod “The Wild Card” Card (9-2-1) of Jacksonville, North Carolina will now be for the XFC featherweight world championship. The two 145-pound fighters will battle in the main event of XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” on Saturday, April 25, at the 21 thousand-capacity Thompson-Boling Arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee. The event will be televised live nationwide, exclusively on HDNet.
Rising heavyweight contender Bobby Lashley (2-0) will be at XFC 8 as a special guest, and the former two-time ECW world champion will present the custom-designed world title to the winner.
“I’ve gone on record as saying that Bruce Connors is the best featherweight I’ve ever seen outside of the WEC,” said XFC president John Prisco, “but Card is a tremendous natural athlete with a ferocious mean streak, and I’d actually give him a slight edge in power and experience. We’ve only crowned two other world champions in the history of the XFC [lightweight champion John Mahlow and bantamweight champion Jason Goodall], and it’s because we’re fanatically protective of the sanctity of our title belts. Whoever wins this fight will be a champion in the full sense of the word. Connors versus Card is a matchup that industry insiders are just salivating over, and it’s one of the most compelling fights that the XFC has ever had the privilege of promoting.”
XFC 8 features the fastest-rising young prospects and top emerging superstars from Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky and North Carolina in a series of contender-versus-contender cage fights. The combined professional and amateur records of all fighters currently assigned bouts is 130-22. “That means our fighters will enter the cage with a winning percentage of over 85 percent,” noted Prisco. “That’s virtually unheard of in today’s MMA, but this card is just loaded with do-or-die matchups between the top young talent in the entire Southeast. These are the champions of tomorrow — and the next generation of Mixed Martial Artists.”
Bruce Connors served two tours in Kosovo and Afghanistan as a sniper scout with the U.S. Marines — and later utilized his elite combat skills as an officer with the Florida police department’s SWAT [Special Weapons and Tactics] team. Training out of Gracie Barra Orlando, Connors exploded onto the MMA scene with a 6-0 record, earning multi-fight contract offers from numerous national promotions. All of Connors’ six wins are by first-round knockout or submission.
“A world title represents the ultimate achievement for anyone in the fight game,” said Connors, “because it means that you’re the absolute best at what you do. It’s the pinnacle of a fighters’ career and the reason why we push our bodies beyond the breaking point every day in training camp. I learned a little bit about mental toughness on the battlefields overseas, so I really hope I’ll be able to maintain focus on Jarrod Card and concentrate on executing my game plan, but I won’t lie to you: Fighting for the XFC world title on live TV is a dream come true, and I can’t help but smile from ear-to-ear when I think about what it would be like to wear that belt around my waist. On April 25, I’ll pay any price to win that championship.”
His opponent, Jarrod Card, also has a strong military background: Formerly a member of the U.S. Navy, Card currently works with the Marines at Fort Lejeune as a civilian contractor and aircraft expert. In his most recent fight, Card battled Jeff “Little Popeye” Bedard, a three-fight veteran of the WEC, where “Little Popeye” went 2-1. Bedard entered the bout with a sterling 9-1 record, but was quickly overwhelmed by Card’s lightning-fast hands and offensive onslaught. Card decimated Bedard, forcing the corner of “Little Popeye” to throw in the towel at the end of round one.
“In the eyes of the media, I was the underdog against Jeff Bedard, and according to the media I’ll be the underdog once again when I fight Bruce Connors,” said Card. “But that’s just perception. In reality, there are no favorites and there are no underdogs once the steel cage door swings shut and the bell chimes. All that matters is who fights harder — and whose heart is bigger. I’ve got nothing negative to say about Bruce. He’s a class act and a great young fighter. But I know me, and when we lock horns in the center of the cage — with the XFC featherweight world title on the line — I honestly don’t see how he can survive. I want that championship belt so badly, I can taste it. It’s the first thing I thing I think about when I wake up in the morning — and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night. Maybe it’s becoming an unhealthy obsession, but I need that title. He’ll have to break me to take it.”
Johnny Najjar is the president of Masis Boxing Belts, a family-run business that’s been the preeminent designer and manufacturer of world titles for over 60 years. His belts have been worn by every major boxing champion of the past half-century, including Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, and now the Klitschko brothers. Najjar is personally hand-designing the XFC featherweight world title belt, and according to Najjar, his not-yet-completed creation will symbolize the sacrifice and discipline required to become a world champion.
“This is more than a trophy; it’s a work of art — an 18-karat gold-plated masterpiece!” exclaimed Najjar. “Over 200 man-hours will go into the XFC championship title. Its magnificent design truly symbolizes the bravery and fearlessness of the modern day MMA gladiator. Since the age of Pharaohs in ancient Egypt, championship belts have symbolized that — for just one fleeting moment in time — the title-holder has achieved true greatness and everlasting immortality. I know that Bruce Connors and Jarrod Card will put each other through hell and back to win the XFC featherweight world championship — and whoever prevails will have a title belt worthy of the occasion, I promise you that!”
XFC 8: “Regional Conflict” takes place on April 25 at Knoxville’s Thompson-Boling Arena. Tickets are now available at the Thompson-Boling Arena box office and Tickets Unlimited outlets, including Cat's Music, Disc Exchange, and Fye Music