Fight For It XVIII Featured Bout: FFI stalwart Dakota Gray faces a strong challenge from the artful striker Zion Bailey

When Dakota Gray meets Zion Bailey in one of Fight For It XVIII’s most anticipated kickboxing matches, Gray will need to refer to his fight with DeVon Delorier. Delorier was able to establish his kicking range and make it difficult for Gray to enter, attack, or manage a sustained attack. Bailey is similar in style to Delorier but is much more willing to move forward rather than counter.

But at this point in his still young career, Dakota Gray is practically a veteran. As he has grown from the youth divisions of Fight For It into the adult division, he has become much stronger and can mix up combos, starting to develop true punching power. Where he can give Bailey problems is in repeated clinches designed to wear down the athletic Bailey. Afterwards he should follow it up with a mixture of strong boxing and leg kicks, similar to Dutch-style kickboxing.

Bailey is an active competitor. His last fight in Oct. 2023 saw him win by unanimous decision. His dynamic kicks and body punches create the illusion that he is faster than most of his opponents. In reality, he is masterful at slowing them down and then overwhelming them with pressure and volume attacks.

The outcome will see Gray winning by decision if he can diversify his attacks high and low. But Bailey could see victory if he can keep Gray on the end of his strikes and vary the range with punches and long kicks. Fans can expect a lot of volume alongside hard-hitting action.

Fight For It XVIII kicks off 2024 with a powerful card of kickboxing and MMA action at Charlotte’s Grady Cole Center on Saturday, Jan. 27. Catch every moment live or streaming via pay-per-view. Kickboxing prelims start at 3 p.m., and the MMA card ignites at 7 p.m. Tickets for the live event and pay-per-view stream are available now via

And be sure to download the Fight For It app on on The App Store or Google Play to pick your fantasy winners at Fight For It XIV. The pool is free to play and will award the top three scorers with their share of a $500 cash prize.