Two of the Volunteer state’s top lightweights are on a collision course for XFC 20. Chris Coggins will venture into enemy territory to face hometown favorite Scott Holtzman at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum on Sept. 28th live on AXS TV. Both fighters are coming off strong performances in the XFC cage earlier this year and are looking for a win to make their way into title contention for the XFC lightweight title.
After dropping a close majority decision to Undefeated XFC star Nick Newell in an instant classic at XFC 17, Chris Coggins bounced back with an impressive first round submission over Austin Lyons in June. It only took 83 seconds for the SSF standout to secure an armbar that forced the Ultimate Fighter alum to tap. Now, with a big win under his belt and some national exposure from his war with Newell, Coggins has parlayed the attention into a fight with the undefeated Scott Holtzman on AXS TV.
“Chris Coggins proved to me back in April that he is one of the best lightweights in not just Tennessee but the entire country, with his war with Newell,” exclaimed XFC President John Prisco. “Newell won the first and third rounds, but in the second Coggins dominated him so badly that one of the judges scored it 10-8 for Chris. That fight could’ve easily been a draw. Newell has finished every opponent he has faced except Coggins in the first round. Chris is tough and very well rounded. We are going to test him again Holtzman in Knoxville.”
With a record of 6-2 it’s hard to consider Coggins an underdog, but that’s the mentality he has as he prepares to enter the cage at XFC 20. “Scott is a big dude,” said Coggins. “He will be bigger than me and that’s fine. He is a big guy and looks the part on TV. But the guys he has smashed aren’t really that good, in my opinion. I’m not impressed with his standup. He likes to overwhelm his opponents with his size but it’s going to be hard to hold down a hellion like me for 15 minutes. He hasn’t been pushed in a fight.”
And don’t think Coggins doesn’t think about a potential rematch with Newell. “I understand Nick is fighting for the XFC lightweight title later this year so a win at XFC 20 might put me in position,” said Coggins. “I really want a rematch with Nick. If I have to beat Holtzman first, so be it.”
After an impressive run as an amateur, Scott Holtzman has turned heads with two straight XFC wins in his young professional career. At XFC 16 earlier this year, ‘Hotsauce’ earned praise from former UFC champion Pat Miletich for his performance after submitting Brandon Demastes. “This was one of the best pro debuts, I’ve ever seen…” said Miletich. And at XFC 18 Holtzman continued to impress with his dominant first round TKO win over Matt Metts. Now, Holtzman will take another step up in competition to take on the veteran Coggins.
“Coggins is a great opponent and a good test for me” said Holtzman. “He is a tough guy with some credible wins. I’m looking forward to getting in there with him. I think it’s great he says he is the best lightweight, if you don’t have confidence in yourself in this game then you won’t last long. I’m not in this organization to fight bums and the XFC puts nothing less than the regions best in the cage. Chris has some credible wins, so he could easily be considered the best. This is a great opportunity to prove myself and I plan to do so. The fans will get a fight with a ton of excitement and action. There will be some heavy leather and some well rounded MMA. You will NOT want to miss this one! ”
“This is a big fight for Scott,” said Prisco. “He has looked very impressive in his fights for us earlier this year and now we are going to test him against Chris. Chris is very tough and has been in some wars and we are going to see what Scott is made of. If he gets through Coggins in Knoxville he immediately becomes a contender for the title at 155.”
XFC 20: High Octane is presented by ICRealtime and will take place on Sept. 28th, 2012 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, TN. There are 13 fight scheduled for the night beginning at 6:30pm, with the promotion going live on AXStv/HDnet at 9pm. Tickets are on sale now at www.Beafantickets.com and all information pertaining to the event can be found at www.officialxfc.com. Be sure to follow the promotion daily on Facebook & Twitter ‘@officialxfc” and sign up for the XFCinsider newsletter today!