MMA fighter and still undefeated kickboxer Peter Stanonik flipped the script on Friday, taking gold in the 8-man tournament that was Xtreme Fight Night 369 last weekend. He faced 3 opponents in a little more than 2 hours time and scored 4 knockdowns across the board, taking the prize money of $10,000.
This was Stanonik’s first appearance in the cage since the unfortunate incident that took place at Bellator 245, where kickboxing legend Raymond Daniels brutally kicked Stanonik’s groin twice to end the bout as a no-contest.
The Glory Kickboxing veteran would recover and later reveal a few months later that he was part of the 8-man tournament that was XFN 369. The tournament consisted of pro kickboxers, Matt Dixon, Ariel Juarez, Brutus Glenn, Blayne Slavik, Roderick Stewart, AJ Weathersby, and UFC Veteran Jake Lindsey.
The event would take place at the River City Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, streaming exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. It was originally going to be held in December, however was postponed to February 19.
Starting off the tournament, Stanonik was matched up with 2nd degree black belt, AJ Weathersby in the quarter finals.
The first round began as a very close competition. Both men were landing, however Stanonik was seen getting the better of the exchanges. Late into round 1, “Da Ronin” would find an opening in his opponent’s armor, unleashing a devastating punch to knock down Weathersby in the last 10 seconds of the opener. He slowly popped back onto his feet with the bell sounding.
UFC Champion Frank Mir and his fellow commentator would describe him being ‘saved by the bell.’
Over the course of the next 2 rounds, the match would be divided almost equally in terms of success. The chess match on the feet was back-and-forth. When the final bell rang, the cageside judges would score it in favor of Stanonik, via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28).
The Ambush Muay Thai product would rest up with his team until his time was up for the next round. His next assignment of the night was undefeated pro, Blayne Slavik, who was coming off a KO in round 1.
This would prove to be quick work for Stanonik. After being on the backfoot for the early minutes of the fight, Slavik would showboat, throwing a feinting volley of punches like a showman. However, Stanonik would show him up, flipping Slavik with an straight left.
The referee would not let the show go on for Slavik and it was marked as a KO win for Stanonik, his place now secured in the finals against “Magic” Matt Dixon.
Dixon, an alumni of Dana White’s Contender Series, was riding off of 2 decision wins in the tournament against the likes of Ariel Juarez and Jake Lindsey. He was undefeated at 7-0 as a pro going into the Welterweight final with the Bellator fighter.
As the saying goes, “somebody’s ‘O’ has got to go.”
Peter Stanonik III took no time dismantling the bright prospect in his third fight, with back-to-back knockdowns of Dixon. The sequel series of strikes left Dixon out on the ground and outside the title picture.
Stanonik would be crowned the XFN Welterweight Champion, not having fought at that weight class prior in his kickboxing career. Stanonik left the arena with a perfect 10-0 record and $10,000 added to his bank account.
“I thought it was a good test.” the new champ told MMA Island. “Ain’t never fought that big and felt good about it. Wanted three knockouts but eh, two will work.”
Training out of Ambush Muay Thai in San Antonio, he was cornered by coach Bobby Peek, who had nothing but praise for his fighter’s performance.
“The entire experience was great.” Peek said. “Pro kickboxing fights are very hard to come by, so the chance to fight 3 times in one night was something he couldn’t pass up.”
“This was one of the few times that things went exactly the way we expected it to. I wasn’t surprised but to be able to go up a weight class and fight 3 times in one night is definitely a nice feather in his cap. We knew the first fight was the finals in our eyes. That kid was big and had a lot of hype behind him being undefeated as a pro, signed with Lion Fights and a lengthy impressive amateur career.”
“Pete took so some damage winning in the first fight but was able to perform 2 more times and win those by KO.” Peek continued. “In the finals, he fought a guy that was 7-0 in kickboxing and completely outclassed him. In my opinion, the most impressive thing was Pete’s ability to switch styles and fight the way he needed to for each opponent. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”
It is uncertain at this time on whether the XFN Champion will return to MMA or continue his undefeated streak in the kickboxing ring next.