Australian Fighting Championship
24/08/2013 19:30 AEST
On Saturday August 24th at the prestigious Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, fans will be able to witness the biggest mixed martial arts event in the southern hemisphere. The Australian Fighting Championship is unleashing AFC6.
What makes this event so special is the make-up of the card. Headlining the night will be Australia’s top lightweight fighter in Nick ‘Banjo’ Patterson. He will be looking to bring the title belt back home to Australian soil after Daniel ‘The Hangman’ Hooker successfully defended his title against Rusty ‘The Wrecking ball’ McBride at AFC5. Hooker (9-4) is on a 4 fight winning streak and has taken his last 6 of 7 fights. He is a well-rounded fighter with finishing ability both on his feet and on the ground. Fighting out of Auckland New Zealand, Hooker is not going to be giving up his belt lightly. Banjo however will have the huge hometown advantage as he has one of Australia’s biggest followings around the country. Banjo (11-3) has more experience than Hooker and has won his last 7 of 8 fights. He will be looking to add the AFC belt to his other swagger of titles. This fight is going to go off with a bang.
The Co-Main event of the evening is probably going to receive more global coverage than the main event itself. This is going to be watched by not only MMA fans across the world but talent scouts for the UFC no doubt. Australia’s Robert ‘Ruthless’ Lisita (11-5) will be taking on Brazilian BJJ juggernaut Rodolfo ‘The Nightmare’ Marques (14-2). Brazilian media outlets have been buzzing about Marques stepping out onto Australia’s biggest MMA stage in what will be the second Brazilian representation of the night. Hailing from Rio De Janeiro , Marques has trained with Jose Aldo- feather weight champion of the UFC, Renan Barao UFC Interim Belt holder and Eduardo Dantas-Bantamweight Bellator champion.
This fight is going to be a tough, fierce contest which will be a battle of stamina, skill and ground game. Lisita is no foreigner to the ground having finished over half of his wins via submission. This is going to be a great battle between 2 of the highest calibre fighters going around.
AFC6 is such a hot topic in Australian MMA right now due to the two tournaments that are running in the Welterweight and Middleweight divisions. AFC5 saw the start of two 8 man knockout tournaments commence. AFC6 will see the semi-finals of these tournaments with the 2 winners of each division guaranteed a title shot at AFC7 in November. What makes this so interesting is that the UFC is about to commence an Australia Vs Canada ultimate fighter series. This will feature Australia’s best Middleweight and Welterweight fighters, so all eyes will be on AFC6 to see who will progress in the tournament and give themselves a shot at being noticed for the UFC’s Ultimate fighter series.
Middleweight Semi Final number 1 is between Bor ‘Playbor’ Bratovz, the Slovenian war machine who is coming off a massive .23 sec KO of Rick Alchin at AFC5 taking on the still undefeated Daniel Kelly who now sits 5-0. Kelly knows how to win; he also knows how to wear down his opponents. The 4 time Judo Olympian is going to have his work cut out for him in this big step up in competition against the powerhouse Bor ‘Playbor’ Bratovz.
Daniel Kelly is one TOUGH character. One of the highlights of Kelly’s career was the massive win over Fabio Galeb at AFC4 which won fight of the night, had both fighters going over the ropes and also won MMA: Inside The Cage fight of the year. Standing in his way of a title shot stands the Slovenian beast, Bor ‘Playbor’ Bratovz (8-3) who fights for WFC (World Freefight Challenge) in Slovenia. Bor is tough, fast and ready for anything. Thankfully Kelly has one of the toughest chins in the business and he may just need it against ‘Playbor’. Kelly will have a swagger of hometown support and will need every inch of it against a fighter of Bratovz’s calibre. Kelly may have won MMA: Inside the cage’s fight of the year last year but Bratovz won KO of the year with his last win at AFC5. This will be huge!
In the second of the Middleweight Semi-finals we have Vik ‘The Spartan’ Grujic Vs Steve ‘Steamroller’ Kennedy. Both fighters had solid victories in the first round at AFC5, the Spartan went the distance with ‘The Grasshopper’ Daniel Way and Kennedy arm barred Cole Davids into submission in the first round.
Vik ‘The Spartan’ Grujic will be coming up for his 3rd fight with the AFC and never disappoints in the ring. The Spartan is a family man outside the ring but inside it’s war. Sitting with a 6-2 record Vik will be coming up against the more experienced fighter in Steven ‘The Steamroller’ Kennedy who sits at 12-6. That won’t faze The Spartan though; he’s a tough warrior who will have the home ground advantage on his side.
Steven ‘The Steamroller’ Kennedy has a ton of experience under his belt. He will be looking to secure a title shot in November and he is not concerned in voicing his opinion on how he thinks this fight will go. The Steamroller has won 6 of his last 7 fights and will be taking in a ton of confidence into AFC6. This is a fight not to be missed and a tough battle the AFC fans are looking forward to!
The Semi-Final Welterweight Tournament will kick off with Australian Corey ‘Major’ Nelson and Brazilian Walber ‘Tete’ De Barros. ‘Major’ had a tough win at AFC5 over Alex Volkanovski over 3 rounds; he is now on a 4 fight winning streak and looking in great shape. With a record of 14-4-1, there is plenty of experience under his belt. A fighter who loves to stand and bang Nelson has 9 of his wins coming by way of knockout. Nelson has recently taken out the Nitro Welterweight title and now currently holds 4 Australian title belts. The only one he has yet to claim is the AFC belt.
Walber ‘TETE’ De Barros is Brazilian born and bred although now resides in Melbourne Australia. This is the first time we will see this BJJ machine in action in the Welterweight tournament. We missed the chance to see Walber at AFC5 due to his opponent Zein Saliba failing to make weight. This has built up the anticipation of what to expect from De Barros and what he will bring to the table against the ‘Major’ Corey Nelson.
It’s going to be a stand up specialist Vs a ground specialist. Walber is a professional fighter that has no problem going the distance. He has a 6-4 record with all but 2 going all the way. What we do know is that Walber is going to bring a unique Brazilian fighting style, plenty of BJJ and a will to show the fans of the AFC just what he’s made of. The Major will have to be on his game in order to have a shot at the title at AFC7 in November.
The second Welterweight Semi-final match-up is between ‘The Celtic Kid’ Jake Matthews, who is fresh from another first round KO recently. He’s coming up against ‘The Punisher’ Dean Purdon who made Peter ‘The Bulldog’ Davenport tap in the first round at AFC5.
If you haven’t yet heard of Jake you have been living under a rock. This is one of, if not Australia’s most promising up and coming MMA prospect. Currently sitting at 5-0 the teenage prodigy also boasts a 10-0 amateur record, all at the age of 18. Jake has incredible hands and is no slouch on the ground either. Having finished every fight inside 2 rounds Jake is one to watch in the Welterweight tournament. Keep an eye out for Jake, he may soon become a household name in MMA in years to come.
Dean ‘The Punisher’ Purdon will be fighting for the AFC for the third time. The build-up to his first round tournament fight with Peter Davenport was huge. Wearing a mask at the weigh-ins and during his walkout and with the song ‘Why can’t we be friends’ was total theatre. Once he was in the ring though, it was all business. Up against a huge ‘Bulldog’ hometown crowd and wearing nothing but a pair of black speedos ‘The Punisher’ managed to take the fight to the ground and had Davenport tapping in the first few minutes. Undefeated and holding a 4-0 record, Purdon has a way of finding the win. Coming up against Jake Matthews at AFC6 already has some people touting a potential fight of the night. This is not to be missed!
The undercard for AFC6 will also feature some of Australia’s best up and coming talent. Keep your eye out for the write up which is coming soon. The AFC continues to bring the biggest and most professional MMA fights to Australia. With fighters across 4 countries and the biggest names in the sport, AFC6 is going to be a night not to be missed.