A good cross section of the Auckland MMA community, sprinkled with West Auckland’s most glamorous, turned out for the Strikeforce-promoted Supremacy 8. Being only one generation removed from my Westie heritage, the drive out to Henderson’s West Wave Aquatic Centre almost felt like going home. The fact that I was, indeed, returning West to cover an MMA event juxtaposed my past and present.
After bearing witness to the monster that was Supremacy 7, I knew there would be no way that I could ever let myself miss another Supremacy. Not natural disaster, nor zombie apocalypse, nor birth of my first child would ever get in my way.
This heavily stacked card was headlined by two title fights, which included Heavyweight champion Sam “Striker” Brown defending against Porirua’s Pete Aberdeen.
The patron crowd were barely able to settle into their Woodstock eight percenters before they were treated to a dramatic tussle between Dre Rahupere and Mararau Williams. Williams' strength gave him the upper hand as he was able to take Rahupere down and rain down vicious shots on him.
Rahupere attempted to counter from his back by applying an arm bar. However, Williams shook it off and went back to his ground and pound. Seemingly unaware of his game plan, Williams suddenly found himself trapped in a triangle choke which he submitted to. Giving the packed house a full fight's worth of action in barely a round.
Heavyweights Mika Maliefulu and George Williams collided over three rounds like two freight trains. Despite his size disadvantage, Maliefulu’s better technique, conditioning and precision were apparent early as he caught Williams with right hands. Furious exchanges defined the first round, however, they seemed to take their toll on Williams. The fight went to ground early in the second, where Williams was able to sweep to mount. His ground and pound seemed ineffectual, though, and he was unable to capitalize on his positional advantage. Seemingly tied up going into the final round, both combatants threw caution to the wind and tried to assert their will on the other. Maliefulu’s left hook was doing some serious damage, when Williams shot for a takedown. Unable to secure and taking heavy fire, Williams’ corner threw in the towel to save their fighter further punishment.
In a fight of the night performance, Ev Ting eked out a split decision win over game Mark Abelardo. Ting’s flashy offence highlighted his kickboxing pedigree during the opening round, and Abelardo appeared outgunned on his feet. Aberlardo had more success in the second round, attempting a guillotine choke before taking Ting down and getting intohis guard. Unfortunately, his efforts appeared to be in vain as he was unable to translate position into advantage. Going into the third, both fighters knew they needed the round to secure the win. Ting scored a brief takedown before pushing Abelardo up against the cage. Unable to advance and with the round seemingly tied up, Ting took his foot off for a brief second allowing Abelardo to explode and slam Ting to the mat. His ground and pound was rabid, but it was simply a case of too little, too late as the bell signalled the end to a thrilling match.
The first title fight of the night saw champion Dan Hooker withstand some early pressure to submit challenger Scott MacGregor. MacGregor opened the bout showing movement of head and foot, before eating a head kick. His grappling chops proved fruitful as he was able to get Hooker’s back. The champion showed his mettle in getting back to his feet, but Hooker quickly seized on a MacGregor mistake and locked him up in a guillotine. Unable to free himself and running short of oxygen, the challenger tapped out before the end of the opening stanza.
Heavyweight champion Sam Brown came out to an applause worthy of the most decorated Roman gladiator, before wearing down and choking out Pete Aberdeen in the second round. Aberdeen seemed tentative at first before attempting a guillotine. Brown was able to escape and muscled his opponent against the cage for the remainder of the round. The champion was able to exert his better hands in the second round, and seemed a puzzle Aberdeen could not work out as he was reduced to whipping leg kicks. Sensing his moment, Brown picked up the challenger and drove him into the mat, beating and bloodying him from side control. The effective punishment was wearing Aberdeen down, and he unwillingly gave up his back before Brown softened him up with some more punches and sunk in a rear naked choke for the win.
Although smaller than its predecessor, Supremacy 8 was still the same slick promotion with the kind of great matchups that I had come to expect from the crew at Strikeforce gym. The support given to all the fighters, particularly Heavyweight king Sam “Striker” Brown, is only further proof of mixed martial arts' ascension in our popular culture.
Dre Rahipere(Hibiscus MMA) beat Mararau Williams (Strikeforce Gym) by submission via triangle choke in round 1
Calib Lally(JR McGyver/Crolin Gracie) beat Norten Craig (Syndikit MMA) by decision
Rob Farquhar (Oliver MMA) beat Geoff Rauporo (Strikeforce Gym) by knockout when the referee stopped the fight due to strikes in round 2
Simon Scott (City MMA) beat Arthur Lasike (Shuriken MMA) by submission via rear naked choke in round 3
Anton Milnes (Syndikit MMA) beat Paul Paitai (Strikeforce Gym) by submission via leg triangle in round 3
Sese Start (Strikeforce Gym) beat Victor Kololo (Shuriken MMA) by decision
Aaron Mitchel(Hybrid MMA) beat Steve Kopeke (Faith MMA) by submission via guillotine choke in round 2
Beau Rawiri (Strikeforce Gym) beat Yukon Kemp (Syndikit MMA) by knockout when the referee stopped the fight due to strikes in round 1
Mika Maliefulu( Oliver MMA) beat George Williams (JR McGyver/Crolin Gracie) by knockout after Williams’ corner threw in the towell in round 3
Ev Ting(Auckland MMA) beat Mark Abelardo (Strikeforce Gym) by split decision
Supremacy Lightweight Title Fight
Dan Hooker (Strikeforce Gym) retained his title against Scott MacGregor (Timaru Freestyle MMA) by submission via guillotine choke in round 1
Supremacy Heavyweight Title Fight
Sam Brown (Strikeforce Gym) retained his title against Pete Aberdeen (Porirua MMA) by submission via rear naked choke in round 2.NZFighters article here