AFC 3 Evolution Recap
Headlining the event was 5 time UFC Vet Kalib Starnes versus Nick Hinchliffe. Kalib is coming off a loss to Falaniko Vitale via submission in March while Hinchliffe is riding two straight wins, the last via submission in May over Craig Brown. The two squared off for the first ever AFC Middleweight Title Belt. The morning of the fight, the fan votes were at a deadlock – 51% in favor of Hinchliffe, 49% for Starnes. Both fighters were on the AFC 2 card and both won their respective fights.
There was even more star power in the crowd tonight as UFC heavyweight Frank Mir strolled around the arena and took time for an in-cage interview. And could that be Sidney Silva, Wanderlei’s brother, cornering Mike Hackert? It sure is….
The team at ZUMA had another good showing tonight. Their fighters went 2-1 while ZUMA fighter Diego Wilson clinched Submission of the Night with a quick and ruthless arm bar at 0:46 of the first round.
KO of the Night: Top MMA News gives KO of the night to Darcy James after a phenomenal performance against the very tough and very talented Connor Wood. James came out hard and dazzled the crowd. He was relentless, barely giving Wood the chance to find his footing.
On to the recap:
Dan Ring 0-0 vs Conner Riddell 1-0
The first fight of the night was very exciting and very, very close. Here’s how Top MMA News breaks it down:
Round 1. Ring and Riddell locked up quickly and exchanged knees against the cage. Riddell, at a big 155, landed two hard rights followed by a left and right kick. The fighters continued to exchange knees while Riddell landed body shots against the cage. Riddell managed to slam Ring to the ground but it wasn’t long before they were standing again. Riddell threw a high kick to Ring’s head before they locked up again. Ring threw elbows, but they didn’t seem to be doing much damage. Ring then took over for awhile taking Riddell down, feeding him shots to the head with a few elbows here and there, then took his back. The fighters got back to their feet where Riddell returned a few elbows and the two locked up again, Riddell throwing knees at Ring. The round ended with two more take downs from Riddell and a few more body shots for good measure.
Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 Riddell.
Round 2. Round two started with Dan Ring swinging hard. He landed a big right hand, locked up with Riddell, and followed with a big knee to the body. Riddell returned a big knee to Ring and landed some nice body shots. Ring took over for a while with a big power combo, big knee, and with about 2:40 left in the round, a few big right hands. Ring ate a right hand in return but returned the favor again adding a knee to the face of Riddell. With 1:19 left Riddell opened up and landed a few punches followed by a takedown. Ring landed a pretty kick to the body before the round ended with a nice jab cross combo by Riddell.
Top MMA News scores this round a very, very close 10-9 for Ring.
Round 3. Riddell came back landing two rights to the body and one to the head. He went for the take down but Ring ended up on top of him in half guard. The two were back to their feet quickly. Ring kept the power going by landing 3 big rights followed by a nice uppercut. With 2:40 to go Ring landed another nice body shot. Riddell managed another takedown but Ring reversed it, got into side control, mount, and ended up taking Riddell’s back. Ring tried to slip in a rear naked choke with about 1:25 to go but Riddell fought it off. Before the round ends, Ring goes in for one last attempt to end the fight by rear naked choke but doesn’t have enough time before the bell rings.
Top MMA News scores the last round 10-9 for Ring who decisively took this round.
The fight goes to decision and the judges score it a draw: 28-29, 29-29, and 29-28. We told you it was a very, very close fight!
Theo Brisley 2-2 vs. Iury Aquiano 1-0
Round 1. Aquiano started the round with a big leg kick but was taken down quickly by Brisley. Theo tied him up in guard while Iury went for body shots. The two fighters went back and forth taking each other down. Iury landed some nice, big body shots on the ground and next thing you know they’re standing up again. On their feet Iury landed a big kick to the head of Brisley but soon after Brisley took his back on the ground and slid into mount but Iury avoided the danger and landed some short quick elbows. It wasn’t easy since Brisley wraps up and controls well on the ground. With the fighters back on their feet, Iury landed another kick to the head followed by a left hook and another takedown with about 30 seconds to go. The round ended with a few nice rights by Iury in guard.
Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Iury Aquiano.
Round 2. The second round was a quick one. The fighters quickly meet on the ground again. Brisley takes Aquiano’s back and moves into side control. It looked like Aquiano was about to reverse but he rolled into Brisley’s awaiting guillotine choke. The end
Theo Brisley defeats Iury Aquiano via Submission by guillotine choke at 1:14 of the second round.
Sarah McLeod vs. Keri Scarr
At weigh-ins, Sarah McLeod surprised everyone by coming in far underweight. The size difference between the two women in the cage was obvious. McLeod came out swinging but was overwhelmed by Scarr. Scarr landed a number of right hands while McLeod managed one big punch before a struggle against the cage which ended with McLeod taking Scarr to the ground and an unsuccessful guillotine attempt. Scarr fed McLeod punches from guard and dominated with right hands to the face and body as well as knees to the body. The referee had to separate the two women and it looked like Scarr was given a warning for kneeing to McLeod’s face on the ground. The round ended with a flurry of punches and big combinations from Scarr. As the bell sounded, it appeared that a few punches were still being thrown…but that’s just speculation.
The fight was called at the end of the first round. Sarah McLeod was unable to continue.
Keri Scarr defeats Sarah McLeod by TKO (referee stoppage) at the end of the first round.
Dajan Kajic vs. Adam Gabel
Round 1. Gabel opened up the round with leg kicks and a nice jab. Kajic followed it up with a hook while Gabel started to swing for the fences. The two went to the ground but Kajic quickly got up and periodically kicked Gabel while he waited on his back. Waited for what? Not sure. Kajic got into side control soon after, slipping into mount before taking Gabel’s back. It looked like Kajic was going for a body triangle while feeding Gabel shots to the head. Kajic then moved into rear naked position, straightened Gabel out, tightened up and that was all she wrote.
Dajan Kajic defeats Adam Gabel by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:37 of the first round.
Was the extra weight too much for Gabel?
Darcy James vs. Connor Wood
Round 1. James opens up the round with a big leg kick, followed by another…followed by another. Add to that a couple of big right hands and a knee to the face. He finished the first flurry with a nice take down and some knees. Back on their feet, the two fighters squared off again. Darcy James took full advantage with a series of right hands, a left which left Connor rattled and a final overhand right which dropped Wood and sealed the deal. Darcy came out hard and finished quick.
Darcy James defeats Connor Wood by KO at 1:36 of the first round. Top MMA News awards Darcy James knockout of the night for this one.
Myles Dearden vs. Derek Medler
Round 1. Myles Dearden opened the round with a leg kick. Derek Medler quickly returned the favor. Both fighters were then warned for a couple of close low blows. Derek Medler managed to take Dearden down and tried to lock in a guillotine but Dearden squeaked out. Back on their feet, both fighters traded more leg kicks before Medler got on top of Dearden in side control, then locked his arm up while feeding him punches. Medler continued to dominate, controlled Medler’s back and landed some big right hands before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Derek Medler defeats Myles Dearden by TKO due to strikes at 2:56 of round 1.
Shawn Pauliuk vs. Misha Cirkunov
Pauliuk took this fight on very short notice after Marcus Hicks, who was scheduled to fight Misha Cirkunov, pulled out due to injury.
Round 1. Misha opened up the fight with wild punches and a big take down. Shawn got back to his feet but was quickly taken down again. Misha took his back, landed a big left, big right, opening up Shawn Pauliuk’s right eye, and as quick as it started, it ended by referee stoppage. Misha Cirkunov was absolutely dominant in this fight.
Misha Cirkunov defeats Shawn Pauliuk by TKO due to strikes at 0:57 of the first round.
Rob McCormack vs. Justin Shaw
Round 1. The second these two stepped into the ring you could feel this wasn’t going to be just any ordinary fight. The difference in body composition was startling. Shaw opened up the round with a barrage of punches, took McCormack’s back, landed huge right hands and that was it for McCormack. If you think this blurb is too short and lacks detail, what can I say? The fight only lasted 19 seconds.
Side note: Shaw was visibly and verbally upset by the outcome (he “didn’t really get a chance to fight”) but newsflash, you won the fight…in 19 seconds…suck it up, princess.
Justin Shaw defeats Rob McCormack by TKO (verbal submission due to strikes) at 0:19 of the first round.
Dan Lin vs. Diego Wilson
Round 1. In the words of Josh Spong, “Oh Gosh, I am excited.” Round one opened with a quick jab by Diego. He wasted no time getting into mount and started feeding some crazy hard and quick punches to Lin’s face. Diego quickly took his back, rolled him over, slipped his leg over Lin’s face and had his way with him. Diego locked in the arm bar to stop the fight at 0:46 of round one.
Controversy: As soon as the referee stopped the fight, Lin was adamant he never tapped and was not in enough trouble to warrant the stoppage. From Top MMA News’ vantage point, Diego looked like he had that armbar locked in and the ref stopped the fight before Lin’s arm could snap.
Diego Wilson defeats Dan Lin by Technical Submission (armbar – referee stoppage).
Top MMA News awards Submission of the Night to Diego for this one. Power, speed, agility and efficiency. Diego wasted no time getting into the cage and finishing this fight. This guy is an animal, watch out.
Dan MacIver vs. Mike Hackert
Round 1. The round opened with an inside leg kick by Dan MacIver and a stuffed takedown attempt. For the first three minutes of the round both fighters showed a lot of patience against the cage. Hackert was sneaking in some good knees while they battled. Both fighters seemed to be looking for the takedown. When MacIver finally scored one, Hackert landed a big left from MacIver’s guard, followed by a big right. MacIver started looking for the triangle but couldn’t quite get to it. Hackert followed this up with another right. MacIver managed to reverse the ground position to take top position before the bell rang. Top MMA News scores the first round 10-10 (that’s right, a draw…it was extremely close).
Round 2. Dan MacIver landed a decent knee to the head of Hackert. Both fighters were looking for the takedown again. Hackert landed a nice right to the body while both guys fought for position. After some jockeying on the ground, the referee stood them up with approximately 2:45 to go. Hackert got in another successful takedown with 2:25 to go. The ref stepped in again and Hackert let loose with big knees to the body. One, two, three. The third knee to MacIver’s body looked like it hurt him. MacIver slid to the ground quickly where Hackert continued with the hard strikes. Top MMA News scores the second round 10-9 for Hackert.
Round 3. Dan MacIver looked gassed at the beginning of the last round. Did that last big knee really hurt him? Hackert landed another leg kick as the two fighters found themselves up against the cage again. As they got to the ground it looked like Dan MacIver scored a square knee to Hackert’s chin but Hackert remained unphased. This guy was tough. As soon as they got back to their feet, Hackert managed yet another takedown then followed it up with hammer fists to MacIver’s face. Hackert briefly got into mount, then half guard before landing another hammer fist. The referee stepped in to stand them back up with 1:20 left in the round. MacIver threw one last kick but Hackert caught it and took him back down with 1 minute to go. In the dying seconds MacIver made one last push for the win and took Hackert’s back but not with enough time to secure a choke.Top MMA scores this fight 30-28 for Hackert.
Mike Hackert defeats Dan MacIver by Unanimous Decision. The judges score it 30-28 (10-10, 10-9, 10-9).
Baz Cunningham vs. Nick Driedger
Round 1. In a highly anticipated fight, ZUMA’s Nick Driedger did not disappoint. Driedger came out with a flurry of punches. He quickly picked Cunningham off his feet and slammed him to the mat. On their feet again, Nick connected with a quick Left, Right, Left combination followed by a couple of quick, clean uppercuts. Cunningham was looking slow on his feet at this point and had probably hoped to get to the ground sooner. He paid for it by eating a ton of punches. Driedger continued his attack looking sharp with clean strikes. Cunningham then looked for the takedown and succeeded…except Driedger reversed it, took control from the side then quickly took Cunningham’s back to finish the fight by rear naked choke.
Nick Driedger defeats Baz Cunningham by Submission via Rear Naked Choke at 2:18 of the first round.
With that submission win, ZUMA rounds out the night with a record of 2-1 at AFC 3.
Bastien Huveneers vs. Robert Drysdale
In this co-main event, Robert Drysdale, who holds numerous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championship titles, made his MMA debut.
Round 1. Early in the round Drysdale took Huveneers down and we got the feeling the fight was over after that. Drysdale passed his guard, transitioned into half guard and finally side control. One minute and 12 seconds in, Drysdale submitted Huveneers via side choke. Drysdale was on another level, he was so composed and so fluid that he made it look too easy.
Drysdale defeats Huveneers by Submission via Side Choke at 1:12 of Round 1.
Kalib Starnes vs. Nick Hinchliffe
The Main Event of the evening.
Round 1. Hinchliffe came out swinging and landed a nice left hook. Starnes responded with a big leg kick and two inside leg kicks. Hinchliffe tried to return the favor but Starnes caught the kick and took him down. The two fighters fought for position, Starnes briefly entered butterfly guard then moved to full guard. Starnes did a very good job of controlling Hinchliffe’s wrists but he still managed to land a big blow to Starnes’ body with about 2:20 to go in the first round. Starnes continued to control from the bottom. After about 3 and a half minutes, Kalib swept his legs over Hinchliffe with one arm in hand and pulled tight, stretched out, and secured the win with an arm bar at 3:49 of the first round. Swift and pretty.
Kalib Starnes defeats Nick Hinchliffe by Submission (armbar) at 3:49 of the first round to become the first ever AFC Middleweight Champion of the World.
Congratulations to all of the fighters for a very strong showing and a very exciting event. That’s it for tonight!