Fighting for the glory, the title and possibly even New Zealand pride, "Hot" Rod MacSwain (Strikeforce) got cage-bound with top Australian fighter Ian "Hitman" Bone (Body Torque) for the South Pacific Welterweight Title. Already one of the brightest stars on the New Zealand MMA stage, albeit a savagely competent and skilled one, MacSwain's name got a lot brighter with his victory over Bone at Supremacy 7.
Proving that you don't need to lose any blood to win an MMA fight, MacSwain forced the win in the first round with an armbar submission that seemed to infuriate the Australian. But there was nothing he could do, and the belt was strapped around MacSwain's middle with a flourish that set the crowd alight at the YMCA Stadium in Auckland.
Fighting top matches here at home, and across the Tasman in Australia, is one thing, but all signs point to a fight in Hong Kong for "Hot" Rod early next year. After that? Well, UFC doesn't seem unlikely if this bright young star keeps rising.
With Strikeforce onboard it was a good bet that the event would feature some of the best young fighters around. And they didn't disappoint. Well-matched fighters came together to choke, strike, punch, kick and submit to each other in true MMA style; adding another surge of energy to the building wave of MMA popularity that was captured by Sky Sport on the night.
Sam "Striker" Brown (Strikeforce) is another fighter riding that MMA wave. In defence of his NZ Heavyweight title, Brown struck down another challenger to his crown in a three round battle that also gave his opponent, Marc Creedy (Fightshop NZ), his due. Creedy gave as good as he got, but was put out by the referee as he struggled under the final assault.
If you weren't fortunate enough to hear the slap of connecting fists, feel the glare of the sodium lights, catch a glimpse of the stunning ring girls, or smell the sharp metallic scent of victory, then watch out for Sky Sport's coverage of Supremacy 7 early next year.
Of course if you can't wait that long, get the whole blow-by-blow report from our cage-side reporter Craig Bailey:
Antz Moala (Strikeforce) vs Rob Baxter (FightShop NZ)
Much of the opening round is spent on the ground. Baxter mounts Moala, but finds himself in a guillotine and has to struggle and slam his way free. He shoots on Moala, and is caught in another guillotine in the second, but escapes and manages to control the top position with his ground and pound. Both fighters seem intent on keeping it on the ground during the third, and Moala secures Baxter's back. Baxter is able to spin, and reverts back to pounding on Moala from the mount as well as attempting to finish Moala via submission.
Rob Baxter won by unanimous decision.
Spida Hunter (GroundWorx BJJ) vs Daniel Brady (Hibiscus MMA)
Brady comes out fast, but is taken down by a clinch. Hunter manages to pass guard and begins to rain down strikes from the mount position. After a sustained barrage, Brady has had enough and taps out.
Spida Hunter won by submission (strikes) in Round 1.
Jason Walker (Douglas BJJ) vs Vaughn Antonio (FightShop NZ)
They go to ground with Walker inside half guard. He is able to pass to side control, then mount, where he works his ground and pound. Walker is unleashing vicious punches and, although Antonio attempts to roll, he is not defending himself intelligently and the referee is forced to stop the contest.
Jason Walker won by TKO (strikes) in Round 1.
Forrest Goodwin (Strikeforce) vs Peter Clinch (FiGi Training/Honey Badgers MMA)
Clinch shoots early and manages a single leg takedown. From inside guard he attempts a choke, but Goodwin escapes and ends up on top where he fails to lock in a kimura. Both show very technical jiu-jitsu in jockeying for position. Clinch opens the second with another single leg takedown and the jiu-jitsu is marked by strategy. Clinch seems to be in dominant positions more, and he is able to get back control on Goodwin. From here he locks in a rear naked choke, and Goodwin taps.
Peter Clinch won by submission (rear naked choke) in Round 2.
Kaiwhare Kara-France (Strikeforce) vs Ray Karaitiana (Syndikit MMA)
Both are cautious early and the exchanges are evenly contested. Kara-France steps inside and uncorks a flurry of punches which have Karaitiana's back to the cage. Kara-France takes him down briefly before landing a hard head kick followed up by a flush punch, both of which appear to rock Karaitiana badly. Smelling blood, Kara-France swarms Karaitiana on the ground, and the referee stops the fight to prevent Karaitiana taking any more punishment.
Kaiwhare Kara-France won by TKO (strikes) in Round 1.
Mitch MacKay (FiGi Training/Honey Badgers MMA) vs Bjorn Reirson (FightShop NZ)
MacKay seems intent on taking the fight to ground and lands a takedown. Reirson attempts an armbar early; however, he is slammed to the mat by the pressing MacKay. MacKay shows his superior jiu-jitsu as he easily mounts Reirson, gets his back, and applies a rear naked choke before his opponent taps out.
Mitch MacKay won by submission (rear naked choke) in Round 1.
Roman Hunt (Strikeforce) vs Luke Jumeau (Incorporated Martial Arts)
Both exchange takedowns in the early goings, however, it is Hunt who ends up in Jumeau's guard. Jumeau attempts an armbar, but Hunt breaks free and is dropping shots from inside guard. He passes to side control, and Jumeau continues to look for submissions from his back. Hunt scores a couple of takedowns at the beginning of the second but, from guard, Jumeau locks in a tight triangle choke. As tough as he is, Hunt just can't escape the vice-like grip as the life is slowly squeezed out of him. Unable to hang on any longer, Hunt eventually taps.
Luke Jumeau won by submission (triangle choke) in Round 2.
Cole Davids (Strikeforce) vs Rob Joyce (FightShop NZ)
Davids comes out aggressively trying to land. He takes Joyce down and lands in his guard. Davids is really coming on strong with his vicious ground and pound game. He manages to posture up and drops sledgehammer right hands until the referee steps in to stop it.
Cole Davids won by TKO (punches) in Round 1.
NZ Heavyweight Title Fight
Sam Brown (Strikeforce) vs Marc Creedy (Fightshop NZ)
Champion Brown starts the bout letting go of his dynamite hands. Creedy, who only took the fight on short notice, looks to clinch early and pushes Brown up against the cage. However, he is unable to accomplish much from this position, other than not giving Brown enough room to punch. At the start of the second round, Brown drives Creedy across the ring and dumps him on his back. The champion works some ground and pound, before passing to half guard then mount. Creedy does well to escape, and reverts back to pushing Brown up against the cage. They begin to trade on their feet and Brown lands a hard jab and right hand. Creedy connects with a huge overhand right at the start of the third, but he is taken down and being mauled on the ground. Brown is just wailing on him from the top position, and the referee has seen enough.
Sam Brown won by TKO (strikes) in Round 3.
South Pacific Welterweight Title Fight
Rod MacSwain (Strikeforce) vs Ian "Hitman" Bone (Body Torque)
The feature bout of the night saw NZ champion "Hot" Rod MacSwain take on Australian and Rize Champion, Ian "Hitman" Bone. The well-muscled Bone lands a takedown early in the opening stanza. MacSwain manages to sweep, where he finds himself on top and attempts an armbar. Bone gives up his back briefly, before swivelling into Macswain's guard. He appears to be in control of the bout as he uses his ground and pound, until MacSwain is able to trap him in an armbar and torque Bone's limb until he can't take the pain and taps out.
Rod MacSwain won by submission (armbar) in Round 1.