If you live outside the middle Tennessee area, you may wonder why we’re even talking about Luke Sanders. But at XFC 18: Music City Mayhem, the undefeated Nashville-based fighter will look to show fans watching HDNet across the country that he is a future contender in the making, and make it difficult for those fans to stop talking about him.

Sanders has lived in the Volunteer state ever since he could walk. The featherweight started his schooling at Centennial High School, where he played hockey, winning a state championship. He then transferred to Montgomery Central High School in Clarksville. While there, Sanders found an interest in wrestling and went on to add another state title to his trophy case with his newfound sport.

Luke Sanders (R) (Facebook/Luke Sanders)

Luke Sanders (R) (Facebook/Luke Sanders)

With the sport of mixed martial arts growing more and more every day, Sanders became intrigued with fighting and enrolled at Ed Clay’s Nashville MMA gym. After two years of training and with three fights under his belt, Sanders is comfortable with the guys he’s working with and is prepared to step into the XFC cage.

“I’ve been working with Lance Patrick on Muay Thai and Shawn Hammonds, a Pan Am gold medalist, on jiu-jitsu,”  Sanders told The MMA Corner. “The focus coming into the fight is to just be in shape, make sure the skills are sharp, and the timing is there.”

Going face-to-face with the high school wrestling standout will be Zachary Sanders, who trains out of Lexington, Ky. Luke knows little about his opponent, but feels it will be a good match-up for him.

“He’s 4-1 with a couple of submissions and TKOs. I would guess he’d like to be on the ground more from what his record shows,” critiqued the Nashville fighter. “He looks like a tough kid, so I’m excited to fight him and it should be a good fight.”

There are many strategic guys in the world of mixed martial arts, but the majority of fighters come in just looking to throw down with their opponent. Sanders is one of those that is just eager to get in the cage and put on a good show.

Luke Sanders (L) (Facebook/Luke Sanders)

Luke Sanders (L) (Facebook/Luke Sanders)

“My mindset is wherever it goes, I’m going to make it exciting,” stated Sanders. “I don’t like to be boring. It’s a fight and that’s what I’m going to make it. Whether it be standing up to get the job done, I’ll get it done there. If it goes to the ground, I’ll wrap it up. You can have a game plan, but that might change, you never know. You just gotta go wherever to get the W.”

Something new for the young fighter will be fighting on television this Friday for the first time in his career. Many competitors are filled with nerves when making their debut on a national telecast, but Sanders is excited to compete on HDNet.

“I feel great about it,” admitted Sanders. “Just being able to let people know that I’m making progress in my career and starting to get exposure feels really good. It’s all a blessing to see stuff come together that I’ve been working for.”

This will also be the first time Sanders will compete for the Xtreme Fighting Championships promotion, but he already feels like it is an organization where he can be satisfied.

“I’ve always heard good things about XFC, and so far so good,” said Sanders. “They seem awesome and are a big promotion. (But) I like to take it one step at a time and get this one out of the way, and if something comes up from those guys, then I’d love to work with them again and build a relationship.”

With this being his debut with the promotion, look for Sanders to put on a show to get his name out there to fans around the country. Nashville MMA’s own had one final statement to make to the MMA community.

“It’s gonna be fireworks, so don’t blink. Make sure you tune in to HDNet and catch it live if you aren’t going to be in Nashville at the Municipal Auditorium. It’s going to be excitement.”

Luke would like to thank his sponsors: Lotus Energy Drink, Franklin Oil Stop, The Lionshare Group and Serenity Alternative Medicine. He would also like to thank Lance Patrick, Shawn Hammonds and everyone at Nashville MMA, as well as XFC and The MMA Corner.

Top Photo: Luke Sanders (Jack Bratcher/ProMMANow.com)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.