Top MMA News Recaps AFC 2
It was an exciting night at the Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria, BC last night as AFC put on its second and best showing event, AFTERSHOCK. The majority of the fights ended quickly as the fight fans were treated to five submissions, four TKO’s, one huge KO and only one fight going the distance to a unanimous decision.
The ZUMA team, led by Adam Zugec in Victoria, had a great showing at this event, winning all three bouts involving ZUMA fighters – Josh Spong, Nick Drieger, and Diego Wilson. Strikeforce’s first women to hold their 135lbs World Title belt, Sarah Kaufman, was at the event to corner her ZUMA teammates.
Another star at the event was special guest referee UFC fighter Mac Danzig.
There was not much hype for this main event, as former UFC fighter Kalib Starnes was rumoured to be initially fighting another former UFC fighter, Jason Day, at 185lbs. It was then released that Starnes would be matched with seasoned veteran Marcus “the Loudmouth Assassin” Hicks at 185lbs. This fight was then moved to catchweight of 190, but, to no one’s surprise, at the weigh-ins, Hicks showed up at 201lbs. Starnes then went on the scale fully clothed weighing in at 194lbs and proceeded to pass Hicks a piece of cheesecake to poke fun at Hicks’ eating regimine. The fight was then moved up again, to 200lbs.
To add to the shenanigans, which was this match up, AFC misprinted the programs and stats to read that Hick’s record was 18-10, when in actuality his record is 10-19.
Maintaining his sense of humour, Starnes entered the cage to “The Muffin Man”, further teasing Hicks for his issues with cutting weight.
(UPDATE: In fact, it was learned later that Starnes’ daughter picked the song Starnes came out to and it had nothing to do with Hicks as posted by Kalib Starnes on this post)
Luckily for the fans this fight did not last long. Hicks and Starnes met immediately in the center of the cage going straight to the clinch with Starnes pressing Hicks against the cage. Starnes then tossed Hicks in an easy take down to the mat into side control, then gaining a full mount. After a miniature ground and pound Hicks quickly gave up his back where Starnes gripped a deep rear naked choke for a tap out.
Winner- Kalib Starnes, submission by rear naked choke 1:22 into the first round.
This fight, which the majority of the fans thought should have been the true main event, would turn out to be the Fight of the Night. This fight was a re-match between the two rivals Nick Hinchliffe and Dan MacIver who last met at King of the Cage Impact held in Nanaimo Oct 18, 2008. At their last meeting, Dan MacIver won by a submission due to punches. In this bout, Hinchliffe would have his vengeance.
The first round started off quick as MacIver came out swinging for the fences, but not landing any solid punches. Hinchliffe brought MacIver into a clinch against the cage and landed a solid takedown early in the round. The fighters once again stood and MacIver landed a nice head kick before being dropped by a flurry of punches from Hinchliffe. On the ground, MacIver gave up his back then allowed Hinchliffe to gain a full mount and rain down some ground and pound. Hinchliffe would get another shot at MacIver’s back and in the full mount before the fighters stood and exchange some solid punches until the buzzer.
The second round started and ended with a bang when Hinchliffe came out swinging and landing a huge solid right hook rendering MacIver unconscious against the cage.
Winner- Nick Hinchliffe by KO- :27 into round 2.
During a post fight interview in the cage, Hinchliffe was asked what the driving force was behind is training and aggression in the cage. His classic response, “It’s my wife, she drives me crazy…….. I love her.” Also asked on what’s next for his career, he stated “You’ll see me right here with a fat AFC belt around my waist.” This last comment matches up nicely with one that Kalib Starnes made after his win over Hicks “I’d like to come back and challenge [Nick] Hichliffe for the [AFC] middleweight title.” Top MMA News caught up with Hinchliffe after the event to confirm he would accept the challenge, “Yeah, I heard him [Starnes] call me out. That sounds like a great fight, I’d do it for sure.”
Phil Freidman, fighting out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nevada, defeated UFC 4 veteran Jason Fairn in a short Heavyweight fight. Fairn started the round landing a solid leg kick but was quickly taken down by the bigger Phil Freidman. Freidman gained a full mount, Fairn gave up his back and the fight was finished via Rear Naked Choke only 38 seconds into round 1.
Winner- Phil Freidman, submission by rear naked choke- :38 round 1.
One of ZUMA’s up and comers, Diego Wilson, made his debut at 135 after previously being ranked by Top MMA News in the Top 10 for Featherweights. Diego Wilson submitted Whitehorse native, Ryan Leef with a quick Rear Naked Choke at 1:58 in round 1. This win over previously undefeated Leef, brought Wilson’s record to an impressive 5-0. Top MMA News looks forward to seeing more from Diego Wilson.
Winner- Diego Wilson, submission by rear naked choke- 1:58 round 1.
One of four fights on this card featuring debuting fighters was a Heavyweight tilt between former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Justin Shaw and Nathan Williamson from Bella Coola, BC. This fight also ended quickly as Shaw landed a huge slamming takedown into rear side control to open up the round. From Williamson’s back, Shaw landed some nice hard punches to the face, opening up a cut over Williamson’s left eye. Referee Mac Danzig stopped the fight to allow the fight doctor to have a look at the eye and it was all over.
Winner- Justin Shaw, TKO by Doctors stoppage- :58 round 1.
Top MMA News caught up with Justin Shaw after the event to ask what was next on his MMA schedule. “I have the BC Lions summer training camp coming up soon, so I may have to take a break, but I am willing to fight whoever AFC wants when I can figure out my schedule.”
Another ZUMA fighter on the card, Nick Driedger, won his bout with some controversy over 145lber Patrick Besarra out of Yellowknife, NWT. Besarra seemed to be dominating the beginning of the first round, opening the fight with some huge punches, one opening a small cut over the right eye of Dreidger. Dreidger then took down Besarra into a full guard before spinning out and standing the fight back up. Besarra then held down the center of the cage, throwing odd jabs out to a circling Driedger and landing a nice superman punch followed by a quick punching combo. After a slip, Dreiger gained a full mount and started landing some huge elbows and ground and pound punches. Then the buzzer sounds, this is the controversial part of the fight, the buzzer had sounded with 1:20 left in the first round. Once referee Matt Danzig notices the mistake, he places the fighter back in their ground positions, with Driedger on top with a full mount. Driedger then simply continues to ground and pound Besarra until Danzig stops the fight, with 18 seconds left in the first round.
Winner- Nick Driedger, TKO by ground and pound- 4:42 round 1.
Another quick fight saw Derek Medler(IMMA) take down Dave Logan(North Vancouver) into a tight guillotine choke for an early submission.
Winner- Derek Medler, submission by guillotine choke- :48 round 1.
One fighter I look forward to seeing more from is 135lb Josh Spong from Duncan, BC. Spong entertained fans with consistent solid striking against opponent Tim Jeffreys(Prince George, BC). Spong opened the fight with a solid right hook and Jeffreys answered with some knees from the clinch followed by a nice punching combination. Spong then landed a four punch combo hurting Jeffreys with his hard right hooks. Jeffreys then slips, allowing Spong to mount and ground and pound Jeffreys until Ref, Matt Danzig stops the fight.
Winner- Josh Spong, TKO by ground and pound- 2:38 round 1.
The remainder of the preliminary fights were all debuts for their participants. The only fight to go the distance to decision was an exciting bout between Chris Jones (Victoria, BC) and Josh Bohnen (Maple Ridge, BC). These fighters maintained an exciting three rounds exchanging solid combinations and submission attempts. Bohnen, achieving a takedown in each round, was declared the better fighter. I also look forward to seeing more fights from Josh Bohnen.
Winner- Josh Bohnen, Unanimous decision (30-27)
Tristan Connelly (Victoria) slammed opponent Jimmy Phan (Duncan) into side control, attempted a guillotine, Phan spun around giving up his back and allowing Connelly to grip a tight rear naked choke.
Winner- Tristan Connelly, submission by rear naked choke- 2:26 round 1.
An exciting fight to open the night, Karl Bergen (IMMA, Victoria) struck his way to victory with a first round TKO over Cody Heatherington (Port Albernie, BC). The fight opened with Heatherington landing a coupe of leg kicks, Bergen then answered with a solid combination, hard leg kick, superman punch and knees from the clinch to end the fight.
Winner- Karl Bergen, TKO knees- 3:35 round 1.
Top MMA News is looking forward to the next entertaining card from Darren Owen and Jason Heit at the Armageddon Fighting Championship 3.