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

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