Colmore reigns supreme at Gods of War
A one-night elimination tournament was fought under K1 rules to determine the ISKA 69.5kg South Island Champion on Saturday at the Foundry in Christchurch, as part of King of Kings 7: Gods of War.
NZ Fighter South Island correspondent Harry Greenfield headed along to check it out with photography courtesy of Nicole Randall @ RawPhotography.Mx
Quarter Final 1: Shaun Colmore (Canterbury Fight Centre) vs Shem Murdoch (Team Murdoch Dunedin)
The first fight saw Shaun Colmore and Shem Murdoch settle the beef which had been brewing since August 2017. Colmore was the aggressor early, staggering Murdoch with a crisp 1-2 as he ate leg kicks in return. Colmore stalked his adversary without rest, landing swift jabs and lead hooks to take the first two rounds decisively. In the third, Murdoch found his rhythm and had some offensive success, pushing Colmore backwards with a barrage of punches and knees, but Colmore rallied late with a furious volley to take the unanimous decision victory.
Quarter Final 2: Charlie Baker (Proactive Riccarton) vs Sam Haggitt (Canterbury Fight Centre)
In the second quarter-final, Charlie Baker faced the ever-staunch figure of Sam Haggitt. After a brief feeling-out process, Haggitt threw caution to the wind and began slinging punches with murderous intent. Through the maelstrom, Baker saw his opening and cracked Haggitt with a punch which sent him reeling back on wobbly legs. Baker tried to capitalise on his opening, but in his aggression was caught flush by a spinning backfist which sent him crashing to the canvas. On the restart, Haggitt smelt blood and unleashed combination punches, slugging Baker with a left hook which sent him down again for the TKO victory.
Quarter Final 3: John Pyers (Maui Tu Moana) vs Dion Hodgetts (Canterbury Fight Centre)
The third quarter final bout was a rematch between Dion Hodgetts and John Pyers, with Hodgetts claiming a decision win in their first outing. This time, Pyers found success early with effective offence, throwing iron shins and keeping Hodgetts at bay. Hodgetts was patient, finding his opening and striking viper-quick with a cracking front kick to Pyers' chin which sat him down on the canvas. At the end of the round, Hodgetts struck again like a ninja with a beautiful jumping scissor knee which dropped Pyers a second time and earned him the TKO victory.
Quarter Final 4: Ian Blade (Elite Fight Complex) vs Rod Rarere (Fightscience Queenstown)
The last quarter final saw Ian Blade take on Rod Rarere, who both exchanged in the centre early, before Rarere blasted Blade with a right hand which staggered him. Blade followed up with a clubbing right hand of his own which pushed Rarere back. Shin clashes punctuated the exchanges of the second round, with Rarere's face bloodied by the unorthodox offence of Blade. A kick from Blade saw Rarere catch a toenail in his eye, and the bout was called off, with Blade being awarded the TKO victory.
Semi Final 1: Ian Blade vs Dion Hodgetts
In the first semi-final, Hodgetts came out hard with a leaping scissor knee which rocked Blade. Hodgetts kept Blade on the outside with leg kicks and straight punches, throwing knees when he closed the distance. Hodgetts showed the variety of his arsenal, clanging his left shin off the dome of Blade and using his momentum to fire a spinning backfist to follow. Blade upped his aggression in round three, firing his own headkicks before the steel shin of Hodgetts connected in return and sent sparks through his skull, clobbering him to the canvas. As they re-engaged, Hodgetts unleashed a shellacking offence which wilted Blade and caused his corner to throw in the towel. TKO Hodgetts.
Semi Final 2: Sam Haggitt vs Shaun Colmore
In the second semi-final, the two men widely thought of as the tournament favourites met in the centre, where the crisp boxing of Colmore clashed with the taekwondo-style kicks of Haggitt. Both men unloaded heavy ammunition, with fight-ending potential in every punch, the thud of leather on flesh echoing through the building. It was Colmore who kept his opponent on the back foot, but Haggitt landed perhaps the hardest shots of a close first round. Early in the second round, Haggitt's knee failed and he crumpled to the ground. He regained his feet to continue but was clearly compromised, having torn his ACL. The bout was called off, and the TKO awarded to Colmore.
Final Bout: Shaun Colmore vs Dion Hodgetts
Bruised and battered, these two training partners squared off; elite fighters putting their friendship aside for 6 minutes of hell. Colmore was the bully early, but his pressure ran him into the clinch and knees of the taller Hodgetts, who wobbled Colmore in his own corner in the first round. Amidst the ensuing chaos, Hodgetts delivered two knees in the clinch - the second of which cracked Colmore on the jaw - and was deducted a point by the referee for throwing more than one strike before breaking.
In the second round, Colmore came out aggressive, varying his attack, and again was met with the concrete knees, slashing leg kicks, and stinging straight punches of Hodgetts. Colmore perhaps edged a close round with ring control and effective punching, digging the left body rip and landing the left hook upstairs. In the third, Colmore's lead leg was clearly compromised from the systematic abuse of his three opponents, but he kept the pressure on with forward movement and accurate punches. In a razor-close historic battle, both men displayed ferocity until the final bell, culminating with Colmore being awarded the unanimous decision and the title of ISKA 69.5kg South Island Champion.