Jackson Small was scheduled to defend his XFC featherweight title for the first time but a late injury to James Bishop had the promotion searching for an opponent with days to the event. Up stepped veteran Jai Bradney to take a catchweight non-title fight.
The bout headlined XFC 37 which took place at the Mansfield Tavern on Friday night.
Within the first 15-seconds, Bradney caught Small with a standing head-arm choke which he used to get the takedown. Bradney put all his weight into finishing the choke though was unable to force the tap. Bradney transitioned to mount which allowed Small to regain an open guard where he kicked out and escaped back to his feet. A stiff lead right connected and a swinging left clipped Bradney, sending him to the canvas as Small immediately capitalised throwing heavy ground-and-pound to get the stoppage.
After winning just one of his first three bouts, Small has now racked up four wins on the trot which also includes victories against regional prospects Josh Togo and Bevan O’Malley. Bradney drops to 16-17-1 in what was his second loss in the space of a week.
“I want to first thank Jai Bradney for taking the fight on short notice. My opponent pulled out so I really appreciate him taking it,” Small told the crowd in his post-fight speech.
“I didn’t want to like you, but you’re an alright guy,” he jokingly added before thanking his coaches, training partners and partner.
Also in pro fights on the card, former title challenger Andrew Mills (8-3) proved too much for Craig Callaghan (5-6) while David Butt (8-11) secured a first-round triangle choke submission over Josh Robson (3-6) . Earlier David Martinez (2-0) edged Ethan Thomas (1-1) via split decision.
The pro-am card also features a XFC amateur bantamweight title bout which was won by Aaron Tau in spectacular style as he stopped Ben Edmonstone in the second round with strikes.
Fight Card (Pro):
Started Martial Arts training after watching Mr Miyagi and Daniel-son in Karate Kid back in 1987. By the time MMA arrived many years later, I was hooked. Coverage of local MMA was via scarce posts on forums like the Underground and Sherdog. I embarked on covering the sport in 2002 and since then have written thousands of articles for both print and online media, before branching out and starting Fight News Australia in 2010. Outside the site, I dream of riding in an F1 car.