Welcome to On the Radar, where we preview up-and-coming arts events to mark your calendar for. Today's edition is all about the return of next weekend's epic MMA battle that's sure to make Labor Day weekend anything but uneventful.
The Tampa-based mixed martial arts promoter Xtreme Fighting Championships returns with an explosive ten-bout card after a tour of the Southeastern U.S. and Germany. In the main event on the Evolution fight card, the yet-undefeated Roger Bowling from MMA Bigshow faces former finalist of The Ultimate Fighter 6 reality show, Jon Koppenhaver (pictured) — better known as the War Machine in MMA circles. Jason Goodall defends his XFC Bantamweight title against Pablo Alfonso from Miami in the co-main event and title bout, scheduled for five rounds of five minutes each. Also on the fight card is Chris Beast Boy Barnett, who faces off against three-time Florida State wrestling champion, Daniel Perez. Perez gained notoriety when he knocked out ex-Buccaneer and TUF Heavyweight contestant, Marcus Jones, in 22 seconds flat at the World Fighting Championships 6. In one of two pro debuts of the evening, recent XFC Open Fighter Tryouts winner, Julien Williams, fights Jiu Jitsu ace, Jeremy Buttercup Thurlow. Sat., Sept. 5, 7 p.m., St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Dr., Tampa, $15-$140, stpetetimesforum.com. — Astrid Bidanec