Eternal MMA 50 to feature Heavyweight Championship Grand Prix

On February 22nd at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland, Eternal MMA hosts its 50th show, featuring a stacked card of New Zealand and international talent. Given the imminence of UFC Auckland the following day, there are sure to be a host of fight fans in the city attending the event.

The event will be broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass.

The card heavily features now-famous Auckland MMA gym City Kickboxing, and is starting to take shape, with seven fights already announced, in addition to a 4-man heavyweight MMA grand prix tournament to determine the Eternal MMA Heavyweight Champion.

4-Man Heavyweight Tournament

The event will feature a 4-man heavyweight MMA tournament from which one man will claim the vacant Eternal MMA Heavyweight title. The tournament competitors are as follows:

Jack Tuave - Infinity MMA - 3-2

Tuave is a stone-fisted slugger who shocked onlookers with his ferocious 10-second knockout of Alex 'the God' Simon - a man who many thought was unstoppable - at Gladiators Cage Fighting 8 in November 2019. Tuave's heavy hands are going to be a big factor in his opponents' tactics.

Damian Maru - Canterbury Fight Centre - 4-2

Damian 'the Don' Maru trains in Christchurch under legendary New Zealand MMA pioneer Karl 'Coach Hostile' Webber. A well-rounded fighter with solid striking and grappling, Maru has a stifling clinch game and vicious elbows. He is the most experienced MMA fighter in the tournament and a former New Zealand champion, winning the ISKA Heavyweight NZ MMA title in 2018 with a first-round TKO of Mika Maliefulu.

Cody Brooks - Warrior World Gym - MMA debut (19-4-1 Muay Thai)

Brooks is putting it all on the line as he steps into a professional heavyweight championship grand prix in his MMA debut; one of the scariest things a person can sign up for in this world. Brooks is no stranger to danger, though, having an extensive Muay Thai background and bringing all 8 of those weapons into the cage. The big question will be: how will his takedown defence look against the more experienced grapplers?

Henri Burns - City Kickboxing - 1-2

Henri Burns hails from the illustrious City Kickboxing gym in Auckland, voted Gym of the Year in 2019 by prominent news media site MMAJunkie. Do not let Burns' record mislead you - every fighter coming out of CKB is going to be well-prepared, with the gym having won 9 out of 10 professional MMA bouts in 2019. Burns will have the advantage of training alongside two UFC champions and will be gunning for that belt.

Undercard Fights

Six professional bouts and one amateur bout have been announced on the undercard, as follows:

BJ 'Quicksand' Bland (CKB. 14-10-0) versus Iain 'Switch' Blade (Lost Boys. 1-4-0) - Lightweight Pro MMA

Carlos 'the Flying Fijian' Hicks (CKB. 2-0-0) versus Dimps Gillies (Bodyshot FC. 4-1-0) - Welterweight Pro MMA

John Vake (CKB. 11-6-0) versus Mikey 'the Samoan Warrior' Vaotuua (Central Coast MMA. 5-9-0) - Welterweight Pro MMA

Shem 'Money' Murdoch (Dunedin Kickboxing/Sub Factory. 1-3-0) versus "Phar" Jack Jenkins (Absolute MMA. 5-2-0) - Featherweight Pro MMA

Talor Wetere (CKB) versus James 'Goldy' McBride (Lost Boys. 0-2-0) - Lightweight Pro MMA

Carl Van Roon (CKB) versus Paul McMah (Lost Boys. 1-3-0) - Lightweight Amateur MMA

Jaysun Sun (CKB) versus Lex Sele (Lost Boys) - Featherweight Amateur MMA

There are still plenty of spots left on this card which will be filled over the next few weeks. Even standing alone though, the above fights promise to be spectacular. With the UFC in town, this is sure to sell out. Get your tickets at the Eventbrite website.

Written by Harry Greenfield

Harry Greenfield is New Zealand Fighter’s Executive Editor. Residing in Christchurch, he has a passion for combat sports, especially MMA, and is our man on the scene down south.

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