Daniel Vizcaya drove over sixteen hours to compete for an opportunity of a lifetime. On Saturday, June 10th alongside his coach from Full Mount MMA, Vizcaya was put through several rounds battling each step against over a hundred other hopefuls for a contract to compete on an upcoming XFC card. After ten hours, it was decided, that he was deserving a televised fight and it made the sixteen hour drive well worth it.
Entering the Fighting Arts Academy in Springfield, MA, home to XFC fighter Nick Newell, there were over a hundred hopefuls mixed in weight classes and gender anxious to earn their spot. The rules of the audition were simple, at any time they could tap you on the shoulder and say you were out, and just that fast it was over for you.
The first round saw two minutes of pad work to show what you had. Few people were eliminated in this round as it was really just to determine if you had the correct foot work and striking ability.
Then everyone was separated by weight class. Flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight were all grouped together; as were light heavyweight and heavyweights. There were a good number of lightweight and welterweights, but Vizcaya was one of two middleweights. They both were given the option to work with the smaller guys or the bigger guys. Vizcaya opted to work with the heavyweights as there were no light heavyweights in the room.
Outsized by at least 40 pounds, Vizcaya then had to showcase how good he truly was. The second round was just jiu jitsu positioning; escaping guard, control of your opponent, etc. While it wasn’t his forte, his wrestling base was able to help him enough to pass this round.
Then it was time to showcase his skills. In the third round he took every one of his opponents down, almost at will. His opponents tried and tried, but could not get him to the matt. The fourth round was a scramble from a wizzer position and like the previous round he took everyone down but was never put on his own butt.
The fifth round people started to take notice of Vizcaya as it was a single leg takedown drill. Both fighters would start in a single leg attempt, and Vizcaya always got the takedown. But what impressed people the most, was when he scooped up a super heavyweight and had him over his shoulder. The crowd called for a slam, but Vizcaya showed professionalism by putting him down gently.
After this fifth round, a lot of cuts were made. The hundred or so hopefuls were now down to just ten men and six women. Vizcaya again was paired with a heavyweight for the last two rounds. The sixth round was Muay Thai only sparring. Vizcaya, the shorter and smaller fighter, decided to use his speed and try and jump in and out to avoid anything his opponent could throw. It wasn’t completely successful, but it was enough to keep him in for the seventh round.
The final round was sparring again, but this time it was mma sparring. Vizcaya was now able to use all of the tools in his belt, including wrestling. He took his opponent down five times in the two minutes. It was during this round that XFC President John Prisco knew he had to give Vizcaya a televised fight.
Vizcaya is still awaiting the final contract to determine which show he will be on. He could be fighting on the XFC 19 in Charlotte, NC or at XFC 20 in Knoxville, TN.
Vizcaya is coming off his victory over Brandon DelPrado at XFO 43.
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