XFC will take a look at rising prospects on Saturday night when presenting their first “YoungGuns” card. While a COVID-19 stricken year is enough to make XFC President Myron Molotky excited to run events, he’s also looking forward to creating depth in their roster with the start of the new series.
The YoungGuns looks to search for rising talent in MMA that can put on strong performances and become mainstays of XFC.
The format is only the second time that XFC has run an event since relaunching in 2020. The promotion had their first event back in November, where they kicked off two tournaments and had appearances of former UFC fighters like Andre Soukhamthath and Danielle Taylor.
Along with running their flagship events, Molotky hopes that the YoungGun shows can help develop talent earlier in their careers.
“In 2-3 years these fighters are our roster,” Molotky told MMA-Prospects. “We aren’t a feeder league, we are looking to build and groom our own roster. We develop this roster so fighters develop, and they are treated with respect by XFC, thus wanting to stay with the promotion,” Molotky continued. “This builds loyalty between us and these young fighters.”
The first YoungGuns event comes after finding fighters through tryouts in 2020. The appearance allowed XFC officials to watch many compete for the next step, or first step, of their professional careers.
“We had tryouts [with] about 300 athletes, [and] we need to narrow down to 100,” Molotky stated. “We have the grass roots strategies, this is a great opportunity.”
Molotky looks forward to finding names who can be a star. According to him, some fighters possess that “it factor” which shows their ability early on.
The people they looked for in the tryouts had a lot to do with age and experience in MMA.
“We look on the younger side,” the XFC president told MMA-Prospects. “25 or younger, under five career professional fights, [but] we can stretch it a bit if we like someone. We have some amateurs on the YoungGuns card looking to go professional.”
Although a card or idea like YoungGuns may not catch the attention of the casual viewership, it will definitely for the hardcore fan base. With a style like YoungGuns, it allows XFC to internally build their roster for the future.
Molotky praises the XFC family for their ability to build even higher the incredible reputation from both previous and current fighters. The upcoming show will be their second event since rebooting in 2020. However, the XFC brand carries a legacy that includes dozens of events from the late 2000s to mid-2010s. Molotky notes that UFC fighter Michel Pereira is an example of how the promotion has been able to build up fighters before.
“We found him, developed him, gave a platform, [and he’s] forever part of our family,” Molotky said.
When asked about names to look out for, Molotky mentioned many fighters who will appear on Saturday. Among them was Austin Bashi, who won his first pro fight for the promotion last year. He also name-dropped Cody Linne, who is making his pro debut and coming from the gym of UFC fighter Ben Rothwell.
Molotky was high on Hawaiian talent Maika Samson and Quran Walker, who will both be appearing under the XFC banner for the first time. He predicted Walker’s fight with Davey Young as “fight of the night.”