Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cameron Fails To Stop The Fool Monty

In claiming the lives of 670 New Zealand males a year, and being the most registered cancer in the country, prostate cancer is serious business.  And just as the afflicted brave fight the disease with everything they have, so would the 14 combatants of the Woodstock Reserve Fight For Life.Fight for Life 2011 league vs rugby   Taking themselves out of their chosen field of physical excellence and putting their health in harms way in order to selflessly pay tribute to sufferers while raising both awareness and funds.
Rather than being a simple vehicle for fund raising, this installment would also serve to answer a question heatedly slurred between two of New Zealand’s biggest fraternities;  What is tougher?  Rugby Union or Rugby League.
Although the results, in reality, lend little weight to the discourse, for the general public, it would scratch a curious itch as legends of union and league collided.  Headlined by former world title contender Shane Cameron facing league icon Monty Betham, the card would also feature household names Wendell Sailor, Carlos Spencer and Christian Cullen.
West Auckland’s Trusts Stadium served as host to our best and beautiful (plus us media degenerates) as men donned tuxedos and women competed for our attention.  Only random patches of the stands remained unoccupied as throngs steadily spilled inside and the anticipation and good times formed a thin fog that those in attendance fought to see through.
In the opening bout, former NZ Maori rep Slade MacFarland’s superior conditioning and punch output proved the deciding factor in his decision win over former Warrior’s ace Jerry Seuseu.  These two juggernauts set a fast opening pace with MacFarland landing right hands and having the better timing. 
Both threw caution to the wind in the second, planting their feet and exchanging heavy shots however the pace would prove more than Seuseu could handle as he began to tire and only throw single punches. 
MacFarland pushed the pace further in the third, landing a good uppercut and generally outworking his foe to gain a unanimous judges nod.
Hayley Holt beat Paige Hareb by unanimous decision
Hayley Holt and Paige Hareb turned in a fierce fight of the night performance over three rounds.  Holt’s advantages in size and reach were evident early and she displayed no duty of care toward her manicurist as she dished out huge right hands forcing the referee to administer a pair of standing eight counts. 
Hareb’s determination was evident in the second as she manages to turn the fight.  Bobbing and weaving into range she couldn’t miss with her left hook.  All the pressure forces Holt to cover however she connects with a right hand near the end of the round backs off her opponent.
Both fighters left it all in the ring in an extremely competitive final round.  Holt and Hareb exchange right hands and left hooks respectively and the final thirty seconds are combated The bout between Carlos Spencer and Awen Guttenbeil was declared a split drawlike neither wants to lose.  Unfortunately, a winner must be crowned in the match and Holt takes a unanimous decision on the back of her first round success.
Former All Black first five dynamo Carlos Spencer’s superb physical conditioning only afforded him a draw with dual league international Awen Guttenbeil.  Spencer displayed good head movement in the first round as both tried to find their range.  The fighters went toe to toe in the second round, with Guttenbeil’s success coming from boxing from the outside. 
With Spencer being two rounds down going into the final stanza, he needed to find something special.  This didn’t seem possible as Guttenbeil trapped him in the corner midway through the round.  Then, seemingly with still some of that magic in his pockets, Spencer pulls an overhand right from behind his ear and unleashes it on Guttenbeil, who is given “the stanky leg” and is on a street that he doesn’t know the name of.  As the referee attempts to step between the fighters, Spencer, overtaken by some kind of preternatural bloodlust, wings hooks that drops the ex Warrior and Kiwi on the seat of his pants.  Guttenbeil is able to beat the count but was clearly relieved to hear the final bell.
Shane Cameron beat Monty Betham by unanimous decision
Going into the feature bout, Shane Cameron’s team reasoned that their fighter would have nothing to gain.  A fringe world title challenger beating a part timer proves nothing whilst a, unimaginable, loss would completely derail his fighting career.  These notions would prove founded as Cameron lumbered to an uninspired decision win over Monty Betham. 
The former Warriors hooker never displayed any kind of fear towards Cameron as he repeatedly gestured his foe to engage him.  Cameron’s strategy was obviously to attack the body early however he seemed to lack any kind of foot or hand speed to catch up with Betham’s movement or crack his defense. 
Betham’s only real offense came from flurrying out of clinches as he danced around the ring, played to the crowd and shook his head in denial when Cameron landed flush.  Although entertaining, this approach is not the generally accepted way to win bouts. 
The fight would devolve in the fifth round, as both refused to break from a clinch and continued to punch long after the referee’s order to cease.  Despite advantages in every facet of the sport, and with five rounds of fatigue weighing on Betham, Cameron was unable to forge any dents as he continued to land hooks to the body and right hands. 
By the end, the rambunctious crowd had been seduced by Betham’s antics and, despite on the wrong end of a wide decision, he was given applause for both lasting against a seemingly insurmountable foe and providing entertainment while doing so.
Although events like Fight For Life aren’t exactly like anything promoted by the Marquess of Queensberry, the boxing-entertainment provided circumstantial evidence to a societies inquisition while simultaneously raising awareness about towards, as well as helping to KO, one of our countries most prolific knockout artists.  With efforts such as those of promoters Mammoth Events, with any luck, the referee will halt the bout sooner rather than later.
Slade MacFarland beat Jerry Seuseu by unanimous decision
Wairangi Koopu beat Matua Parkinson by unanimous decision
Hayley Holt beat Paige Hareb by unanimous decision
The bout between Carlos Spencer and Awen Guttenbeil was declared a split draw
Isaac Luke beat Christian Cullen by split decision
Liam Messam beat Wendell Sailor by unanimous decision
Shane Cameron beat Monty Betham by unanimous decisionNZFighters article found here

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Friday Night Fights

A thick and boisterous crowd filled the Auckland Boxing Association last Saturday as it played home to the Glozier promoted ‘Friday Night Fights.’  The varied card showcased everything from first timers to top New Zealand ranked light heavyweight Soulan Pownceby and cruiserweight Vaitele Soi, the latter of whom had only fought four days prior.  With eleven corporate fights and five professional bouts, those in attendance could afford to blink.  Action would only be in surplus.
Monica Tai showed off a neat combination of slickness and power in stopping Margo Smith in two rounds.  Tai impressed all from the beginning, utilising her head movement and firing combinations at every opening which were a far cry from her “Brawla” moniker.  Smith attempted to push the pace but ended up on the receiving end of right hands.  The second round saw Tai become more comfortable and plant her feet, delivering hard single shots.  A right hand counter hurts Smith and the referee has seen enough.
As the old adage goes, the fastest way between two points is a straight line, and it was exactly this approach that helped Junior Bilbar stop kickboxer Hadleigh Donald in the opening round of a furious dustup.  Neither hold anything back as the opening bell sounds and both feel the impact of the others punches.  Bilbar begins to lay back on the ropes and fire off straight hard shots, which is a strategy that serves him well.  A three-punch combination swiftly introduces Donald to the floor and it doesn’t seem like Jon Conway trained fighter is able to make it back up.  He does but is almost immediately wobbled by a straight right which forces a standing eight count.  With Donald on wobbly legs, Bilbar empties the tank for an electrifying win.
In the first professional bout of the evening, Lee Oti put all his skills on display in a knockout victory of Dicky Pereira.  Oti’s movement takes center stage in the first round as he provides Pereira with difficult angles, deftly moves away from punches and punishes his mistakes.  Pereira has some success with his right hand in the second and Oti answers by turning up his power game and landing hard hooks and crosses.  Oti begins to press more in the third and, in the next round, sits Pereira down with a straight right hand.  Sensing that he has worn down his opponent’s resolve, Oti rushes in and wings punches that drop Pereira in the corner.  Although he rises, Pereira is bloodied and beaten giving the referee every reason to call a halt to the contest.
Although game, Peter Tovi’o was forced to retire after the fourth round in his bout against Soulan Pownceby.  The bout appeared to be a mismatch early, with Pownceby seemingly unable to miss and Tovi’o offering only wild, single punch responses however his unwillingness to capitulate made the bout difficult for his foe.  The third round, in particular, provided toe-to-toe action as Pownceby’s best bounced off Tovi’o and were answered in kind.  This courageous stand was destined to be limited by time and Tovi’o began to wilt in the fourth, was wobbled by an overhand right and his own punches became lethargic. 
Vaitele Soi continued improved his undefeated record to 19-0 (18KOs) with his first round decimation of Filipo Masoe.  Both clearly are adverse to any involvement from the judges and trade furiously early on.  A huge Soi power shot nearly blasts Masoe into next week and he finds himself on his back  early.  Able to beat the count, Soi bulls him into a corner and starts letting his hands go.  After copping some right hands, and unable to actively defend himself, the referee steps in to stop the carnage in the very first round.
Anna Leilua beat Veronica Maxwell by knockout in round 1
The bout between Peter Morrow and Jai Hill was declared a draw
Dan Fleming beat Shaun George by unanimous decision
Monica Tai beat Margo Smith by knockout in round 2
Gavin Speak beat Mike Burkett by majority decision
James Tonga beat Matt Sakavia by majority decision
Joel Smith beat Andre Choi by majority decision
Junior Bilbar beat Hadleigh Donald by knockout in round 1
Riaan Malaau beat Nathan Matonga by majority decision
Jordan Tolova’a beat Norman Iopu by knockout by round 3
The bout between Nick Suka and Kurt Mahani was ruled a majority draw
Lee Oti beat Dicky Pereira by knockout in round 3
Soulon Pownceby beat Peter Tovio by knockout after Tovio retired after round 4
Hemi Takarua beat Simi Tietie by knockout after Tietie retired after round 1
Rohit Sing beat Anmal Tiger by knockout in round 2
Vaitele Soi beat Filipo Masoe by knockout in round 1NZFighters article found here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shuriken proves a Shore thing with Rising Soldiers

November 12th saw Shuriken MMA return to the North Shore Events Center following their extremely popular ‘Armageddon’ in April and, on the surface, ‘Rising Soldiers’ looked to be a carbon copy.  Packed house?  Check.  High quality explosive bouts?  Check.  Brandon Ropati?  Check. Shuriken would, once again, prove this to be a winning formula as all in attendance were served up 13 mixed martial arts bouts encompassing Corporate, B Class, A Class and Professional bouts.
Arthur Lasike and Wesley Higgins declared war on each other in an early Fight of the Night candidate.  Lasike seems intent to brawl early as he wings heavy punches and walks through everything offered in return.  A huge hook shakes Higgins to his shoes near the end of the first round and he is lucky to survive the round.  He is able to return the favour in the second, dropping Lasike, but he is unable to capitalize.  The final stanza is tight as Higgins lands right hands while Lasike counter-punches effectively.  After seemingly leaving everything they have in the ring, the judges find this bout too close to call and ask these gladiators to squeeze out one more round.  When the dust settled, it was Lasike still standing tall, as he won the final round on the back of his takedowns and precision punching.

                                              (Video produced by Jacob Toms - Ten 8 Media/NZFighters)
Brad Ramsey sets the standard for the A Class bouts with his first round knockout of Keanu Roberts.  Barely giving his opponent time to think, Ramsey jumps Roberts early and the fight goes to the ground.  Ramsey unleashes heavy ground and pound and, due to accumulation of punches, the referee is forced to step in and save a tenderized Roberts from further punishment.
CrossFit proponent Logan Price was given a jiu-jitsu lesson by Yakob Brown in another A Class bout.  Price reels from a right hand early before he is taken down.  Brown softens up his foe with punches from the top before Price gives up his back and is submitted with a rear naked choke in the opening stanza.
Seemingly wanting to be part of the ‘first round crew’, Sam Gascoigne submitted Alex Redhead with a guillotine choke barely a couple of minutes into the contest.  Redhead shoots early on his adversary, and slams him to the mat, however Gascoigne manages to trap him in a guillotine.  No matter how hard he tries, Redhead can not free himself and is forced to tap out.
Professional Light Heavyweight Brandon Ropati continued to impress after steam rolling Australia’s Piki Te Ringa in under a minute.  Both fighters clinch early before Ropati picks up Te Ringa and almost drives him through the floor.  Te Ringa makes it back to all fours however Ropati connects with a couple bombs before a vicious uppercut relieves his opponent of his senses and drops him hard on his face.  The display further put the New Zealand Light Heavyweight on notice as “The Wrath” improved to 4-0.
Jazz Collins beat Makere Phillips by split decision
MMA B Class Bouts
Leyla Okay (Roundhouse) beat Leiarra Radonich (Gracie Barra) by unanimous decision
Yukon Kemp (Syndikit MMA) beat Daemen Sani (Auckland MMA) by split decision
Matt Yeoman (Ground Control) beat Mike Su (Shuriken) by submission (rear naked choke) in the first round
Charles Wardle (Tu kaha Gym) beat Max Toaka (Syndikit MMA) by majority decision
BJ Yeoman (Ground Control) beat Mathew Samson (Integrated Fighting) by split decision
Adam Stringer (Shuriken MMA/Gracie Barra) beat Samuel Kim (A.U.M.M.A) by split decision
The bout between Arthur Lasike (Shuriken) Wesley Higgins (Integrated Fighting) was original called a majority draw however Lasike would end up beating Higgins by split decision after a fourth round
MMA A Class Bouts
Brad Ramsey (Hybrid MMA) beat Keanu Roberts (Syndikit MMA) by KO (punches) in the first round
Yakob Brown (JR Macgyver/Crolin Gracie) beat Logan Price (Shuriken) by submission (rear naked choke) in the first round
Sam Gascoigne (Gracie Barra) beat Alex Redhead (Tu Kaha Gym) by submission (guillotine choke) in the first round
Pro Class International Bouts
Pumau Campbell (JR Macgyver/Crolin Gracie) was disqualified in his bout against Hana Janan (Australia) after delivering an illegal upkick in the first round
Brandon Ropati (Gracie Barra) beat Piki Te Ringa (Australia) by KO (punches) in the first round - 1mins 13secsNZFighters article found here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

King for a Day, Cool for a Lifetime: King of the Ring MAX

Elite Thai Kickboxing (ETK) has long been one of, if not the, premier kickboxing promotion in the New Zealand scene.  Headed by former K1 World Champion Jason “Psycho” Suttie, it’s fighters embody a pedigree not often seen on these shores.
Their latest instalment, King of the Ring MAX, would contain an 8 man middleweight tournament headlined by Anz ‘Notorious’ Nansen facing off against Erik ‘The Mustang’ Nosa for the vacant WKBF World Heavyweight championship.
City Lee Gar prospect Brad Riddell quickly established himself as a front runner with his Brad Riddell [City Lee Gar, Auckland] vs Brendan Varty [Harleys Kickboxing, Masterton]second round decimation of Brendan Varty.  Varty’s early volume and combination punching couldn’t rattle the super cool Riddell, who picked his openings and landed dynamite lead hooks. Varty continues to press during the second round, as he is able to corner Riddell and rip hooks to his body.  This is a strategy that works well for him until Riddell uncorks a left hook that puts Varty on a street that he doesn’t know the name of.  Although he rises, he is instantly buckled and the referee is forced to step in as he is helpless to stop the pressure.Joey 'The Filipino Kid' Baylon vs Chris Wells [SMAC]
In the toughest draw of the preliminary bouts, Joe Hopkins won a hard fought decision over Dmitri Simoukov.  Simoukov appeared to have trouble with Hopkins southpaw style early and eats a knee to the head that deposits him half way across the ring.  Tough as all get out, Simoukov makes it to his feet and lasts the rest of the round.  The second stanza is far more successful for ‘Molotov’, who is able to trade with Hopkins in a back and forth round.  Hopkins starts to use his length in the final round and controls most of the action.  Knowing that he needs a big round, Simoukov ups the tempo however it is not enough in the eyes of the judges.
In a rematch, Lightweight contenders Chris Wells and Joey Baylon threw volleys of kicks and punches at each other over three furious round in the evenings first ‘Superfight’.  Wells took control of the bout by pushing the pace and landing kicks to the body over the first two rounds and a spinning back kick in the final stanza to take a unanimous judges nod.
The King of the Ring tournament continued with the semi-final bouts.  In the upset of the tournament, Edwin Samy edged Brad Riddell on the judge’s cards.  Riddell’s sharp boxing was on display as he landed hard right hands and was able to stifle Samy’s offence.  Samy started to exert himself more in the last two rounds, which was seemingly enough to take an unpopular decision.
Joe 'Southpaw' Hopkins vs Girish Rae
In the other semi-final, Jo Hopkins was clinical in dispatching the towering Girish Rae in the opening round.  Hopkins showed little respect for Rae’s power and hurt him with every straight left he landed.  Rae is bulled into a corner before a left hand and a knee put him out for the count.
Local favourite Antz ‘Notorious’ Nansen battered Erik Nosa for four rounds in a brutal display to capture the WKBF Heavyweight title.  Nansen wasted no time in the ring, getting into
Antz Nansen vs Erik Nosa
the groove early and showing poise in picking his openings.  Nosa was game but ultimately overwhelmed as the ETK prodigy blasted him with hooks, dropping him in the third, and
Joe 'Southpaw' Hopkins vs Edwin 'Electric' Samy
twice in the fourth, until he was unable to answer the referee’s count.
Despite the wear and tear of the two previous bouts, Jo Hopkins and Edwin Samy went toe-to-toe in the King of the Ring MAX middleweight final.  The first round was tightly contested as both landed their share of punishment.  Samy’s technical style served him well in the second stanza as Hopkins seemingly had trouble working him out.  Sensing a close fight,
both competitors went to war in the final round and, as Samy got the better of the exchanges, Hopkins started to box more and control the distance.  In the end, the judges award a split decision, and the King of the Ring middleweight title, to Jo “Southpaw” Hopkins in a fight that could’ve easily gone the other way.
Joe 'Southpaw' Hopkins


The bout between Ricky Hita [ETK] and Travis Green [Strikeforce] was declared a no contest as Hita appeared to injure his knee in the first round.
King of the Ring Preliminaries
Brad Riddell [City Lee Gar, Auckland] beat Brendan Varty [Harleys Kickboxing, Masterton] by TKO in round 2
Edwin 'Electric' Samy [ETK, Auckland] beat Sonny Sadler [Hardmans Gym, Northland] by unanimous decision
Joe 'Southpaw' Hopkins [City Lee Gar, Auckland] beat Dimitri 'Molotov' Simoukov [ETK, Auckland] by unanimous decision
Girish Rae [Fi-G Training, Dunedin] beat Taylor Holland [Pathai Gym, Auckland] by unanimous decision
Professional Lightweight Bout
Chris Wells [SMAC] beat Joey 'The Filipino Kid' Baylon [ETK] by unanimous decision
King of the Ring Semi-Finals
Edwin 'Electric' Samy [ETK, Auckland] beat Brad Riddell [City Lee Gar, Auckland] by split decision
Joe 'Southpaw' Hopkins [City Lee Gar, Auckland] beat Girish Rae [Fi-G Training, Dunedin] by knockout in round 1
WKBF Heavyweight Championship bout
Antz 'Notorious' Nansen (ETK, Auckland) beat Erik 'The Mustang' Nosa (Bustler’s Gym, Sydney) by knockout in round 4
King of the Ring MAX Final
Joe 'Southpaw' Hopkins [City Lee Gar, Auckland] beat Edwin 'Electric' Samy [ETK, Auckland] by split decisionNZFighters article found here

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Westie Democracy: Supremacy 8

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 mmaapocalypse, 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 intoMark Abelardohis 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.
Sam Brown vs Peter Aberdeen
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.
Sam Brown
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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Judgement Day 2: This Time It’s Not Biblical

Having already survived the now-cancelled Judgement Day on  May 21st, it was only fitting that I viewed any kind of projected apocalypse with relative apathy. For I had sold all my earthly possessions and made peace with anyone I felt I had wronged.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the weird hermit down the street and the librarian who continually fines me Soulan Pownceby beat John Conwayappreciated it. However, as I am now forced to buy another car, find another job and cancel all the sponsorships of children from places I could never pronounce, the whole experience reeked of another “Wolf” call that I was more than willing to heed. 
The absolute storm that was heaved at Auckland on Friday night piqued my interest as an actual precursor to the action. As it turned out, the only judgement came in the ring as a large contingent of fight fans braved the elements to seek refuge from the torrential downpour inside the Auckland Boxing Association Stadium for the Bruce Glozier promoted Judgement Day 2 boxing show.
Headlined by the WBO Asia Pacific Light Heavyweight title bout contested by Soulan Pownceby and John Conway, the evening presented a mix of corporate and professional bouts showcasing the talents of such names as Afa Tatapu and Robert “The Butcher” Berridge. 
Afa Tatapu beat Lightning LupeIn early corporate boxing action, heavyweight Goliaths Becoy Paleaseina and Mike Tauliili thrilled the crowd in a bout that was filled with bombs powerful enough to level a small city. 
Paleaseina went after his opponent from the first bell, winging his dynamite lead hook and throwing everything with bad intentions. Tauliili began to return fire more during the second round, but Paleaseina used his head movement to create countering opportunities. At the end of the round Tauliili had had enough, giving Paleaseina the knockout win.
Top ten Kiwi Heavyweight Afa Tatupu made short work of Lightning Lupe by stopping him in the opening round. Lupe appeared outgunned right from the opening bell. Although game, it wasn’t long before Lupe was trapped against the ropes and under heavy fire that forced his corner to throw in the towel.
New Zealand Light-Heavyweight contender Taito Raturere continued his unbeaten run with a third round TKO win over Peter Tovio. Raturere utilized his advantages in height and reach over the course of the entire bout, becoming more precise as his opponent began to look more wild. Midway through the third round, with their fighter seemingly unable to find a solution, Tovio’s corner wisely halted the fight.
Taito Raturere beat Peter Tovio
Meanwhile in the main event, it was Soulan Pownceby that retained his WBO Asia Pacific Light Heavyweight title with an eleventh round knockout over seasoned veteran John “The Rebel” Conway. 
Pownceby controlled the action for much of the fight, landing sharp combinations and hard crosses. Conway had more success between round three and six, but Pownceby’s punches looked to be wearing him down. It only seemed like a matter of time over the second half of the fight as Conway continued to eat the punches Pownceby was serving up.
Pownceby lost a point in the eleventh round for leading with his elbow, but he immediately came back and landed a right hand which looked as though it rocked Conway. The ensuing pressure eventually put Conway on the deck. And although he was able to beat the count, the legendary fighter looked like he had run out of steam as the defending champion landed a slew of unanswered punches before the referee stopped the fight in his favour.
It was a superb performance by Pownceby, with bouts both dramatic and captivating; and then, with the rain promising to hang up its gloves and the next biblical rapture now scheduled for October, fight fans could return home knowing they had witnessed something significant. 


Coraline Wood beat Chardei Savage by unanimous decision
Andrew Taniwha beat Doug Simpson by knockout in round 2
Becoy Paleaseina beat Mike Tauliili by knockout in round 2
Sione Siale beat Prince Brown by unanimous decision
David Craig beat Steve Raffaelli by unanimous decision
Joe Bethan beat Kuiesa Etuale by unanimous decision
Lee Oti Tupai beat Filiata Mailata by knockout in round 3
Afa Tatapu beat Lightning Lupe by knockout in round 1
Robbie Berridge beat Mose Ioelu by disqualification in round 2
Taito Raturere beat Peter Tovio by technical knockout in round 3
Soulan Pownceby beat John Conway by knockout in round 11NZFighters article here

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rāhoroi Night Is Alright For Fighting: King of the Ring

Maybe it’s the unpredictability, maybe it was a childhood of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, or maybe it’s just the fact that I am a product of the YouTube generation, with an attention span so incremental and sporadic that I expect to view an event that is a whole career jammed into one digestible evening. Whatever it may be, I always found myself Nato Laauli (Alpha Thai Boxing, Wellington) beat Tafa Misipati (ETK)attracted to tournaments as they always provided unpredictable battles of attrition where there is no way to plan for your opponent. 
And so the ASB Stadium would hold the Elite Thai Kickboxing promoted ‘King Of The Ring’, an action packed affair including an 8 man heavyweight tournament combined with contests for national and world titles. 
Favourites Antz Nansen and Nato Laauli established themselves early with strong performances in their preliminary bouts. In many people’s eyes, the two finalists were sown up however the semi-final matches would test many of the certainties Josh 'Jaguar' Hetagained for the initial bouts. Antz Nansen would turn out another strong performance in decisioning Henry Taani with the other semi-final, an excitement fest between Joshua ‘Jaguar’ Heta and Nato Laauli, going right down to the wire. After seeming dominant during the first two rounds, Laauli has the fight brought to him by Heta, who is looking to mix it up. The draw declared by the judges only whets the appetite of the crowd as they thirst for another round much like the heavily contested third. When the dust finally settled, it would be Heta whose hand would be raised in a bout that could of gone either way. 
Bronwyn Wylie (ETK) beat Tegan Papasergi (HANGAR 4, MELBOURNE)
In the first world title bout contested of the evening, Bronwyn Wylie took on Melbourne’s Tegan Papasergi for the WFBK Featherweight title.  The aggressive Wylie pushed forward early while Papasergi tried to establish distance with her kicks.  The Australian just couldn’t keep her opponent off her as Wylie simply walks through anything Papasergi throws. Roger Earp (Elite Thai Kickboxing) beat Joseph Concha (BULLDOG GYM, SYDNEY)This unrelenting pressure would prove decisive as Wylie is awarded both a unanimous decision and the WKBF Featherweight belt.
Roger Earp was pushed to the wire by Joe Concha in defending his WKBF Junior Lightweight title. Earp started the bout landing combinations however Concha began to work him out and counter effectively. Every round was up for grabs as the two combatants did everything they could to win each three minute stanza. The split decision awarded to Earp would be testament to the competitiveness of the bout.
'Notorious' Antz Nansen (ETK, Auckland)Three 3 minute rounds is now the only thing that stood between either Antz Nansen or Joshua Heta, $7,000 in prize money and the King of the Ring title. Eleven minutes between challenger and champion with the final a classic battle of pairing an unstoppable force with an immovable object. 
Nansen comes out early exerting pressure and he slips a Heta attempt and lands a four punch combination before the bell.  The intensity is thick in the second round with ‘Notorious’ landing heavy punches. Heta is as tough as they come and exchanging willingly but a spinning backfist gets his attention. In one of the most exciting rounds witness in New Zealand kickboxing, Heta EVE GORDON - King Of The Ringand Nansen go toe-to-toe in the final stanza.  Nansen’s spinning backfists and right hands seem to be the defining factors, although this is something that can only be assumed by the sound they make as Heta doesn’t believe in taking backward steps. After three gruelling battles, ‘Notorious’ Antz Nansen would be crowned ‘King of the Ring.’
The crew at Elite Thai Kickboxing succeeded in putting on another entertaining show.  All bouts exciting and consequential, all fighters game and without any lull in the action. This would lead to one reporter being heavily entertained.

King of the Ring Results

Oneil Wiperi (SMAC) beat Ricky Hita (ETK) by unanimous decision

King of the Ring Tournament Preliminaries
Nato Laauli (Alpha Thai Boxing, Wellington) beat Tafa Misipati (ETK, Auckland) by unanimous decision
Antz Nansen (ETK, Auckland) beat Junior Ioane (Highlanders, Napier) by TKO-R1    
Josh 'Jaguar' Heta beats Omar Gabriel by unanimous decision
Henry Taani (South Auckland Lee Gar, Auckland) beats Sasha Kunts (City Lee Gar) by unanimous decision

King of the Ring Tournament Semi-Finals
'Notorious' Antz Nansen (ETK, Auckland) beat Henry Taani (South Auckland Lee Gar, Auckland)
The fight between Josh 'Jaguar' Heta (Sa Ming Jai, Northland) and Nato Laauli (Alpha Thai Boxing, Wellington) was declared a draw after three rounds. After a fourth round, Heta was declared the winner.

James Gordon (ETK) beat Rod MacSwain (STRIKEFORCE) by split decision
Bronwyn Wylie (ETK) beat Tegan Papasergi (HANGAR 4, MELBOURNE) by unanimous decision
'WILD' Roger Earp (Elite Thai Kickboxing) beat Joseph Concha (BULLDOG GYM, SYDNEY) by split decision

King of the Ring Tournament Final
Antz 'Notorious' Nansen (ETK, Auckland) beat Josh 'Jaguar' Heta (Sa Ming Jai, Northland) by unanimous decisionNZFighters article here

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Armageddon It – Shuriken MMA on the Shore

Brotherhood. It's a term used to describe a collective of people whose shared experience or beliefs are so great that it literally binds them like family. Brotherhood transcends race, creed, class, geographic location and, when it counts, it is your brothers that pick you up and dust you off.Armageddon, Shuriken MMA
And thus was the case with Shuriken MMA South Africa, who graciously accepted our hospitality in providing opposition at the MMA show Armageddon, held last Saturday on Auckland's North Shore; with the proceeds helping to rebuild Strike Force Canterbury, which was severely damaged in both the September and February earthquakes. Tragically, South African coach Kevin Thomas passed away in the week leading up to the fight, and all involved champed at the bit for the chance to honour what was lost.Armageddon, Shuriken MMA TJ Masters
The local MMA community came out in full force, to the tune of 2200 fans packing the North Shore Events Centre and filling the rest of the space with their vocal support. A cocktail of kickboxing and both A and B class MMA bouts awaited, headlined by three professional bouts between the South African and Kiwi contingents.
Colossus Geoffrey Ruaporo was explosive in making short work of TJ Masters. Clearly intent on swinging for the fences, Ruaporo’s first landed right hand put Masters down and the follow-up pressure was a mere formality.
Selby Devereux faced off against Fernando Junior in a tough bout dominated (at least early) by ground work. All Junior’s hard work would come unstuck in the third, however, as a simple slip was pounced on by Devereux, who worked for his opponent’s back before sinking in a rear naked choke.Armageddon, Shuriken MMA
In a fight of the night performance, Mikaele Maliefulu weathered some vicious ground and pound before stopping Leo Pole with strikes. The fight was all Pole for the first two rounds, until he was dropped by a hard right in the third round. Rather than capitulate, Pole made this a genuine ‘fasi’ as the two stood toe-to-toe. Maliefulu continued to get the better of the exchanges, and the referee called it off as Pole was not actively defending himself.
In the co-headliner, crowd favourite Brandon Ropati squared off against South African James Rennie. Both fighters had some success on the ground, but Ropati’s size and strength proved to be the determining factor as he ground out a unanimous decision win.Armageddon, Shuriken MMA
Main event fighters, Cole Davids (NZ) and Donavin Hawkey (South Africa), put on a clear fight of two halves. Hawkey’s power and precision punching controlled the show early as every punch he threw was crisp and intended to hurt. His hands appeared to be too much, until mid-way through the second round. Davids swept Hawkey from the bottom and mounted; from where he started throwing the kitchen sink at a seemingly tired Hawkey. The referee had seen enough at this point and rightfully called off the contest.
Full credit to the worldwide Shuriken family, who put on perhaps the best MMA show seen on our fair shores. Regardless of result, all the fighters' efforts were a fitting tribute to the MMA brotherhood, Strike Force Canterbury and I am sure Thomas would only have been proud with the warriors on display.


Cole Davids (Strikeforce) beat Donavin Hawkey (KTFA/Shurikan SA) by TKO (strikes) in the 2nd round
Brandon Ropati (Gracie Barra) beat James Rennie (KTFA/Shurikan SA) by unanimous decision
Ronald Dlamini (KTFA/Shurikan SA) beat Damian Lee (Gracie Barra) by unanimous decision
Mikaele Maliefulu (Gracie Barra) beat Leo Pole (Strikeforce) by TKO (strikes) in the 3rd round
Selby Devereux (Gracie Barra) beat Fernando Junior (Tu Kaha Gym) by submission (rear naked choke) in the 3rd round
Lance Vale (Shuriken MMA) beat Leka Skipworth (Strikeforce) by KO (strike) in the 1st round
Victor Kalolo (Shuriken MMA) beat Mark Jelicich (Tu Kaha Gym) by TKO (strikes) in the 3rd round
Arthur Laske (Shuriken MMA) beat Hakopa Hux Wilkie (Tu Kaha Gym) by majority decision
Adam Christian (Shuriken MMA) beat Luwayne Lowe (Ground Control) by unanimous decision
Geoffrey Ruaporo (Strikeforce) beat TJ Masters (Roney BJJ) by TKO (strikes) in the 1st round
Sese Start (Strikeforce) beat Marley Mackay (Shuriken MMA) by submission (rear naked choke) in the 1st round
Kavi Rai (Auckland MMA) beat Kadin Leuten (Roundhouse Kickboxing) by split decision
Alex Redhead (Tu Kaha Gym) beat Adam Wellington (Shuriken MMA) by submission (rear naked choke) in the 1st round
Michael Hunter (Submission MMA) beat Dave Lucas (Shuriken MMA) by split decision
Caleb Lally (Roney BJJ) beat Matt McMeeking (Shuriken MMA) by unanimous decision
Ev Ting (Auckland MMA) beat Jimmy Moorhouse (Roundhouse Kickboxing) when the referee stopped the bout due to injury
Jessie Sabine (Shuriken MMA) beat Ruiha Epiha by split decisionNZFighters article