XFC 18: BJJ Standout Cory Robison Meets Michael Graham on Stacked Undercard
The fight card for XFC 18 is a who's who of MMA rising stars from the Southeastern United States. Main event fighter John Salter has competed against some of the best middleweights in the world. His opponent Reggie Pena is one of the best at 185 in the state of Florida.
The co-main eventers, Scott Barrett and Gabriel Salinas Jones are two blue chip heavyweights with a very bright future in the sport. But, lost in the shuffle of this stacked card is Nashville's own Cory Robison. Robison may not be a household name in MMA just yet, but to those in the grappling world 'Checkmate' is a living legend.
Robison is one of only 8 Americans to win the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Brazil. He is one of the most decorated mixed martial artists in not just Tennessee, but the entire country. His accolades include:
- 2010 Pan Am Bronze medalist
- 2009 World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion
- 2009 Pan Am Gold medalist
- 2009 European Champion
- 2x Brazilian National Champion
After dominating the jiu jitsu scene for several years, Robison began to turn his attention to MMA and was selected to compete for Strikeforce as an amateur in January of 2011. A few months later he captured Tennessee's WKA Bantamweight title. Now, after a perfect 4-0 amateur record, the Tennessee Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy product will make his pro debut at XFC 18.
Standing in Robison's way at 'Music City Mayhem' is former amateur standout and Clarksville native Michael Graham who will also be making his pro debut in Nashville. Like Robison, Graham finished his amateur career with a perfect 4-0 record and wants to prove a point by beating Robison and stealing his hype in the process.
XFC President John Prisco is excited to see Robison in action and wants to see for himself what the buzz is all about.
"When we started working on the Nashville card a name that kept popping up was Cory Robison," explained Prisco. "I did a little research and I was blown away at this kid's credentials. Nobody goes to Brazil and wins jiu jitsu tournaments. There are so many politics involved and Brazilians always come out on top. But Cory went over there and dominated. I'm really intrigued to see what he does in the cage. He's a monster on the ground and I hear he's been putting in solid work on his standup over the past year.
"Let me tell you, Cory is going to be tested in Nashville. Michael Graham may not be on Cory's level on the ground, but he's got a decent ground game and has very good hands. If he can keep this standing, Cory could be in trouble. You can win all the grappling and jiu jitsu tournaments you want, but when you get punched in the face things change. I'm excited to see how it shakes out and I'm glad these two young men will have an opportunity to fight in front of their families, friends, and thousands of XFC fans on a big stage."
In addition to Robison vs. Graham, XFC 18 is loaded with rising stars from Tennessee on the undercard. Johnathan Ivey vs. Devan Plaisance, Nate Landwehr vs Billy Mullins, and Justin Pennington vs. Dave Hurst will round out the untelevised portion of the show.
XFC 18: Music City Mayhem is sponsored by ICRealtime Security Solutions and will air live on HDnet from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN June 22nd, 2012. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.com. To learn more about the XFC, please visit www.officialxfc.com and follow the promotion daily on Facebook & Twitter (@officialxfc).