Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hendersonsanity! Supremacy 9

Headlined by two title fights, Supremacy 9 once again returned to the Wild Wild West.  Only, unlike the movie Wild Wild West, there would be no Will Smith, no steampunk and everybody in attendance actually enjoyed the show.
Stacked to the brim with 12 professional fights, Supremacy 9 featured two championship bouts supported by two contender matches with the prestige of the card being more than enough cause for the throngs of sleeves and fighterwear that packed out Henderson’s West Wave Aquatic Centre.
Jacques Marsters earned his Supremacy Welterweight title in getting past Luke “The Juggernaut” Jumeau in a tough affair.  After a close first round, Marsters started to control action and centre of the ring in second.  He began to stalk Jumeau, who had success countering the ever pressing Marsters and using his movement to avoid the inevitable firefight.  Marsters is well bloodied by the third round however he is still pushing the action and trying to pin his opponent down.  With his octagon control and in bringing more power to the exchanges, Marsters was awarded a unanimous judges nod.

In the co-headliner Dan “The GraveDigger” Digby was taken the distance for the first time in 18 bouts by Peter “The Bear” Clinch in winning the Supremacy Middleweight strap.  Digby brings the fans to their feet early with a big slam however Clinch controls the fight on the grown with his ground’n’pound.  In the final stanza, Digby comes alive and, as the fight goes to ground, is virtually launching himself at Clinch in order to land blows.  Able to stay in the top position for the majority of the round, Digby goes all out during the final 30 seconds with a rear naked choke attempt as well as some nasty ground’n’pound however late call up Clinch’s chin lasts him until the final bell.  
Steve Warby threw his hat into the heavyweight contender scene with a first round knockout of Mika Maliefulu.  Both seem keen to keep the result out of the judges hands as they start winging their own with reckless abandon.  A Warby right hand gives Maliefulu the stanky leg and slumps him against the cage.  The strikes that follow force the referee to step in.
The always-entertaining Isreal Adesanya once again showed his athleticism in stopping James Griffiths in the opening round.  Adesanya’s advantage in reach is evident from the outset and his Muai Thai striking almost start from the other side of the cage.  He unleashes a flying knee that hurts Griffiths badly.  Smelling blood, Adesanya pounces and rains down blows on his fallen opponent with the referee calling a halt to the bout to save Griffiths further punishment.
Supremacy NZ Welterweight Championship
Jacques Marsters (Strikeforce Gym, Canterbury) beat Luke “The Juggernaut” Jumeau (Incorporated Martial Arts, Hamilton) via unanimous decision
Supremacy NZ Middleweight Championship
Dan “The GraveDigger” Digby beat Peter “The Bear” Clinch (Hooligan MMA, Dunedin) via unanimous decision
Steve Warby (City MMA, Auckland) beat Mika Maliefulu (Olivers MMA, Auckland) via knockout  in the first round
Scott MacGregor (Timaru Freestyle Martial Arts) beat “Dynamite” Doug Higgens (SMAC Gym, Auckland) via submission (armbar) in the first round
Pane Hauraki (Fierce Fitness, Napier) beat Kevin Bently (Strikeforce Gym, Auckland) via unanimous decision
Isreal Adesanya (City MMA, Auckland) beat James Griffiths (Crolin Gracie/JR McGyver, Tauranga) via TKO in the first round
Beau Rawiri (Strikeforce Gym, Auckland) beat Andrew Mangi (Syndikit MMA, Tokoroa) by knockout in the first round
Kieran Joblin (Shoot, Grapple, Roll, Christchurch) beat Dre Rahipere (Hibiscus Coast MMA, Auckland) by knockout in the second round
Caleb Lally (Crolin Gracie/JR McGyver, Tauranga) beat Yukon Kemp (Syndikit MMA, Tokoroa) by split decision
Forrest Goodwin (Strikeforce Gym, Christchurch) beat Rob Baxter (Highburry BJJ, Palmerston North) by submission (armbar) in the first round
John Vake (Olivers MMA, Auckland) beat Brent Tumoana Shadbolt (Marcelo Lopez BJJ, Hamilton) by unanimous decision
Yakob Brown (Crolin Gracie/JR McGyver, Tauranga) beat Roy Moka (Journey MMA, Auckland) by knockout in the second round

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Inside the Fire: Fire Power 2 Boxing Explosion

Lee Oti laid claim to the WBF International crown and the top spot in the New Zealand division with his tough but unanimous decision win over game Lee Milner.  The bout headlined the Glozier Promotions “Fire Power 2 Boxing Explosion,” which also featured top cruiserweights Vaitele Soi and Junior Iakopo.
Oti spent the early rounds attacking the body of Milner, who pressed the action throwing right hands upstairs.  By the third round the nose of Milner had been bloodied by a left hook.  Oti began to box from a distance and land well timed overhand rights where his opponent had staked a claim to the center of the ring.  Milner had success keeping the fight in close, where his strength and mauling style began to wear down Oti.  This is where the fight would stay, with Oti boxing and using his length and Milner having moderate success inside.  Milner threw the kitchen sink at Oti in the final round but was unable to pin down his elusive foe.
Now on a six fight burn, Oti looks set for a showdown with fellow top local Steve Heremaia who he has split a pair of bouts with previously. 
Vaitele Soi and Junior Iakopo thrilled the crowd with one of the finest bouts this country has ever seen.  Both showed tremendous poise in the early goings, picking their shots.  Soi was dominant in the early goings, exploiting openings and unloading heavy when he was able to pin Iakopo to the ropes.  Iakopo showed good movement but had his head snapped back with 1-2 in the third and ate a three-punch combo in the following round.  In forcing Iakopo to fight off the ropes, Soi was able to catch his opponent until Iakopo connected with some counter left hooks of his own that seemingly changed the momentum of the fight.  Both were happy to begin trading in close however it is Iakopo that is getting the better of the exchanges, with the fifth stanza being his best of the fight and Soi seeming to tire.  The sixth and final round saw some vicious exchanges before Soi managed to establish some distance and stick and move until the final bell.  Soi continued his unbeaten run with a majority decision win that everyone in attendance would call for a rematch for.
In undercard action Rohit Singh scored a vicious 14 second (including count) stoppage over Ali Maruf.  Singh flattened Maruf with the first punch of the fight and Maruf lay unconscious for a couple of minutes until he could be revived.
Isaac Peach controlled the action with a longer reach and tighter punches in his unanimous decision win over Peter Tovio.  Peached boxed a good fundamental fight, utilizing his reach and using his jab to set up right hands while Tovio lept in and generally tried to take Peach’s head off with every punch.
Ratuere was able to wear down Junior Toelefoa for a third round knockout.  Toelefoa’s speed and movement are blurring early as they offset his disadvantages in size and power however Ratuere’s strength started to show in the second and he began to hurt Toelefoa with every punch that eventually forced the referee to stop the action.


WBF Light-Middleweight International Title Bout

Lee Oti beat Brad Milner via unanimous decision

Vaitele Soi beat Junior Iakopo via majority decision
Taito Ratuere beat Junior Toelefoa via knockout in the third round
Elisara Sii Uta beat Bob Gasio  via majority decision
Roger Adlam beat Jake Paul via unanimous decision
Isaac Peach beat Peter Tovio via unanimous decision
Rohit Singh beat Ali Maruf via knockout in the first round


Solomon Kiri beat Jordan Tolovaa via majority decision
Tai Tupou beat Christ Awheto via knockout in the third round
John Falevaai beat Peter Mauga via unanimous decision
Jerry McFarland beat Samuel Kay via majority decision
Sione Siale beat Norman Iopu via knockout in the first round
Ken Stowers beat Jonny Van Altvorst via unanimous decision
Stallone Munn beat Troy Penio via majority decision
Mafi Lutu beat Sealu Setu via knockout in the third roundNZFighters article found here

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Super Sweet ICNZ16

Undefeated as a professional ICNZ Light Heavyweight champion Brendan “The Wrath” Ropati is starting to make some ripples in the world scene.  A blend of size, speed and athleticism, the Oliver MMA trained fighter underwent his toughest test against Bellator and King of the Cage veteran “Smilin” Sam Alvey s the headlining bout at ICNZ16.
The flagship event for the Industry of Combat.  ICNZ16 showcased five professional bouts supported by five A-Class fights.  Also on the card, “Dynamite” Doug Higgins would attempt to defend his featherweight strap against tough Brit James “Scraps” Saville and Simo Postings drops to lightweight to fight Sam Gascoigne.
The packed crowd at the North Shore Events centre were treated to a hard fought battle as Ropati successfully defended his title in gaining a unanimous nod.  The opening round saw both feel each other and set their distance and they landed kicks to the body and traded combinations before Ropati was able to land a takedown in the second.  While attempting to gain his opponent’s back, he is thrown off and Alvey is able to work his way into Ropati’s guard and administer some ground and pound. They continue to exchange equally on
Brandon "The Wraith" Ropati (Oliver MMA) beat Sam "Smilin" Alvey (Team Quest USA)
their feet in the final round before Ropati is deducted a point for an apparent eye gouge.  Fully aware of the close nature of the bout, “The Wrath” begins to push the pace however he is greeted with Alvey’s best punch of the fight.  With time running out, and with both fighters hungry for the win, they exchange wildly until the fight is over.
Ropati fought a great tactical fight against an opponent with legitimate experience in a premier promotion, showing maturity and poise and, when Alvey was able to get the better of the exchanges,  he didn’t let his emotions or pride get in the way of the ultimate goal of victory.  The sky seems the limit for the Steve Oliver protégé as he proved he could cope with a serious step up in competition.
In the co-headliner, James Saville laid waste to ICNZ Featherweight champion “Dynamite” Doug Higgins in only one round.  The action was fast, as “Scraps” steps inside and drops Higgins with the first right hand he throws.  Saville pounces on his opponent and his follow up blows almost seem purely academic as the referee steps in to save Higgins from any more punishment.  
Sam Gascoigne continued to make his presence felt in the lightweight division after decisioning Simo Postings.  The first round was highlighted by a massive Gascoigne takedown and Postings closing the round pounding away inside his opponent’s guard.  Postings defends well from his back in the second however he finds himself on the defensive for almost the entire round.  This continues in the third, with Postings face now looking like something painted by Jackson Pollock.  Now behind on all the cards, Postings throws the kitchen sink at Gascoigne and is able to land a hard overhand during the final ten seconds.   
A Class 80kgs:
Mike Potae (Core MMA) beat Kenton Rushbridge (Auckland MMA) via decision
A Class 67kgs:
Phillip Brown (Oliver MMA) beat Dustin Terill (Southern Tribes Taranaki) via majority decision
A Class 83kgs:
Benjamin Yeomin (Ground Control MMA) beat Vince Lowe (Team Submission) via unanimous decision
A Class 83kgs:
Selby Deveroux (Oliver MMA) beat Zahn Buchanan (Intergrated Fighting) via unimous decision
A Class 80kgs:
Nick Allan (Team Submission) beat Benoit Auvray (Gracie Oceania NZ) via unanimous decision
Pro-class Heavyweight:
Mika Maliefulu (Oliver MMA) beat Sean Morris (Independent) via submission (armbar)
Pro-Class Heavyweight:
After three rounds, the fight between Pane Haraki (Fierce Fitness)  and Steven Warby (City MMA) was declared a draw.  After a fourth round, Steven Warby was announced the winner via split decision
Pro-Class Lightweight:
Sam Gascoigne (Oliver MMA) beat Simo Postings (Team Submission) via unanimous decision
Pro Class Featherweight:
James Saville (Caged Steel UK) beat Doug Higgins (Smac/Auckland MMA NZ) by knockout in round 1
Main Event - Pro Class Light Heavyweight:
Brandon "The Wraith" Ropati (Oliver MMA) beat Sam "Smilin" Alvey (Team Quest USA) via unanimous decisionNZFighters article found here

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Roots Bloody Roots: ICNZ’s Grassroots 2

The fight game is a brutal mistress and, if you don’t respect her, she will spit you out and move on with the guy at her work who laughs at her jokes.  In fact, her history is riddled with those spurned and her wrath extends further than the fact that you’ve been hanging out with your “loser mates again.”
Thus, I’ve always had a great respect of those who lace up the gloves and risk it all.  To be a champion.  To scratch that combative itch.  To entertain the fans.  And first fights can often seem like first trysts, over way too fast and not at all what you were expecting.
As a prelude to ICNZ16, Grassroots 2 featured 9 B-Class bouts, with many of the combatants being sent on their maiden voyages.  All the hours of technique, conditioning and pain would now be put on display and a lot of the icebergs and rogue waves in front of them were also finding their way through uncharted waters.
Early crowd favorite Kevin “KevDav” Davis offset a size differential with good all-round skills in gaining a decision win over Jordan Porter.   Porter, despite taking the fight on a couple of days notice, strikes well from the outside early before Davis catches him coming in with a standing guillotine.  “KevDav” begins wrenching on his opponents neck like he is trying to tear it off for what seems like an age until Porter is able to free himself before the round ends.  Davis takes his opponent to the ground in the second as he lands shots to the body.  A stray limb is all the opportunity Davis needs as he attempts an ankle lock before Porter sweeps into the mount, then side control, and punishes Davis’ body.  With the cards seemingly locked up, Porter comes out swinging in the third.  He takes down Davis, and mounts him, however Davis is defending well and taking minimum punishment.  This classic ‘striker versus grappler’ battle is close with Davis winning on two of the three judges cards.
Mike Williams scored a dramatic third round knockout over Eruera Piwari.  Williams’ advantage on the feet was apparent early and Piwari keeps him honest with a huge slam.  Piwari works for a triangle attempt and Williams is able to hold on until the end of the round.  Both are more cautious in the second round, throwing single strikes and attempting to set up opportunities.  The final round sees Williams assert himself on his feet, outgunning Piwari as they both start to fatigue.  As the clock ticks down, Williams’ shots are starting to find a home.  With only 4 seconds left on the clock, a Williams punch knocks Piwari clear into next week in a knockout of the night worthy performance.
In women’s action, Krissy Pettman used her better grappling to defeat Tairi Ford.  Ford has some success with the right hand early but Pettman is able to push her up against the cage, take her down and work the body.  This pattern repeats in the second, and it is unfortunate that we don’t get to see Ford use her hands more, as it is punctuated with Pettman attempting a guillotine.  Once again, Ford is unable to keep her distance in round three as Pettman clinches and muscles her against the cage wall.  Pettman’s jiu-jitsu comes into play as she transitions seamlessly from guard, to side-control to full mount, always maintaining the dominant position and earning a clear unanimous decision.
B Class 113kgs:
Ali Hau (Oliver MMA) B class beat Maifea Maifea (Brasa Jiu Jitsu) via split decision
B Class 80kgs:
Julius Poananga (Core MMA) beat Patrick Childs (KRMA Auckland) via submission (armbar) in the first round
B Class 78kgs:
Kevin Davis (Intergrated Fighting) beat Jordan Porter (Strikeforce) via split decision
B Class 83kgs:
Vahid Unesi (Oliver MMA) beat RJ Peke-Raa (Wanganui MMA) via submission (Americana) in the first round
B Class 77kgs:
Mike Williams (Shuriken NZ) beat Eruera Piwari (Hybrid MMA) via knockout in round three
B Class 77kgs:
LJ Stephenson (Oliver MMA) beat Garth Ludic (Midas Fight Academy) via unanimous decision
B Class 69kgs:
Matthew Yeoman (Ground Control MMA) beat Jordan Dennis (Kapiti Boxing) via technical knockout (injury) in round one
B Class 73kgs:
Ray Daniels (Oliver MMA) beat Dave Stephenson (Independent) via submission in round two
B Class 59kgs:
Krissy Pettman (Oliver MMA) beat Tairi Ford (Lakeside BJJ) via unanimous decisionNZFighters article found here