XFC FIGHT NIGHT ANDERSON V AFOA
Too composed, too skilled, too experienced and just too good.
Dunedin man Brogan Anderson put on a polished performance when he won the main event at the Xtreme Fighting Championship (XFC) In Mosgiel, Dunedin on Friday night.
The professional light heavyweight fight saw Anderson defeat Otara’s Mose Afoa via a 1st round rear naked choke with just 2min 22 seconds gone in the three x five minute scheduled fight.
The win saw Anderson take his record to 11 wins three losses while Afoa fell to 2-1.
Both men looked to find their range early before Afoa connected with a clean left hook with about a minute gone.
Anderson backed up against the cage and covered up while Afoa landed a body and head shot.
Picking his moment Anderson exploded with a counter punch left hook dropping Afoa to the canvass.
The 29-year-old Hammerhead fighter pounced on the prone Afoa (Core MMA/Cross fit OFB) while Afoa manoeuvred himself to to the side netting.
With Afoa crouched over and attempting to fend Anderson off Anderson landed some accurate left head shot’s.
Knowing he was in serious trouble Afoa attempted to get to his feet, but in the process he made the fatal mistake of giving Anderson his back.
That was all “Arm Collector” needed as he collected Afoa’s throat and locked in the choke forcing the 27-year-old to tap.
It was an impressive all round display from Anderson.
He showed a fine chin, calmness under pressure, a solid knockdown punch and a ruthless instinct to set up and finish the fight.
Anderson, whom only returned to Dunedin the week of the fight after spending two months preparing at the Jackson Wink MMA academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico was thrilled with his performance after just over a year out of the cage.
“It has been a long time coming and there was a bit of pressure so it feels really good to get back in there and perform,” Anderson said.
He said he would have liked a bit more time to work his ground and pound but he was happy to put Afoa down and finish him like he did.
“I am not too fussy on how things happen”.
“I am just happy to get the win,” Anderson said.
It was Andersons first light heavyweight fight since 2014, but with Afoa weighing in 5.4kg over the 93kg limit at Thursdays weigh ins it could easily have been a heavyweight scrap.
Anderson said light heavyweight was likely just a one off and middleweight is where he sees his future.
Getting fights at middleweight proved allusive for Anderson over the past year, but now he just wanted to climb the rankings in Australasia and claim the number one spot at middleweight and then earn a spot in the UFC.
The Tapology website currently has Anderson regionally ranked as number 2 in Australasia.
For Afoa it was a trip down south he would rather forget after having to endure a horror weight cut coming down from 112kg.
While Afoa looked a sombre figure post fight his Core MMA trainer Joesef Hamblin was more positive.
“It is a game of inches aye and it wasn’t his night tonight but we are down but never out and he is on a good path now and will come back stronger,” Hamblin said.
In an impressive 9 fight amateur 3x3 minute scheduled undercard Christchurch’s Universal Vale Tudo (UVT) ruled the cage with a perfect four wins from four fights.
All four fighters showed the grit and resilience synonymous with Karl Webber trained fighters.
Debut Lightweight Carlisle Cooksley was quite simply ferocious as he dismantled Lem Chang (Hammerhead MMA) via a 1minute round one tko.
Team mate Hone Milne (2—1) displayed some fine grappling skills to earn a 38 second round one arm bar v Brent Chilton (Hammerhead MMA).
UVT middleweight Nathan Nudgeway (1-0) won via unanimous decision in one of the fights of the night and UVT welterweight Jason Kainui (2-0) showed courage galore to win his welterweight stoush via unanimous decision after spending pretty much the entire first round fending off Hanu Out’s (Academy of Combat) attempts at securing a rear naked choke.
Webber was understandably elated with his team’s efforts.
“We do it for each other and with a team spirit this is what happens,” UVT coach Karl Webber said.
Hammerhead MMA won four fights, including Anderson’s.
Tyla Watt (Hammerhead) put on a showy display when he beat Hammerhead Queenstown’s Nate Marsh via unanimous decision.
Watt (2-0) produced some monumental take downs that at times saw him warned by referee Apii Taia for carrying.
He showcased some good volume punching as well as some stylish kicks, including a spinning head kick that missed its mark but was impressive all the same and he often had Marsh weary of what he had in his arsenal.
Hammerhead teammates Ropata Paora and Ryan Tapsell teed off on each other like they were mortal enemies as they stood and banged it out for the majority of the fight.
Tapsell (2-0) eventually winning via tko on the ground after wearing a gallant Paora down in the 3rd round.
Hammerhead Queenstown stood proud with two wins from three fights.
In the only female fight of the night Queenstown’s Mel Webster won a 73kg catchweight punch fest in a phone booth style of fight v Dunedin’s Leanne Scorgie (Hammerhead MMA).
Both women went at it like their lives depended on it before the younger Webster won via split decision.
While the 57-year-old Scorgie lost she won the respect and admiration of the crowd in bucket loads.
Light heavyweight James Thompson (3-2) came back from a tough first round full of leg kicks and some determined ground n pound to beat Christchurch’s Emilio Munoz (Checkmat BJJ).
The taller Queenstown man utilised his superior reach advantage in rounds two and three to land some crisp lead uppercuts, body shots and straight punches, eventually winning via unanimous decision.
XFC New Zealand director/promotor Matt Toa was full of pride post show.
He said while many people may not have been familiar with some fighters he knew once they got into the cage all fight fans had to do was wait for the bell to ring and the entertainment would come from there.
On a personal level Toa was proud of his Hammerhead MMA club’s efforts and how his fighters “hung in there till the end” whether they won or lost.
He was impressed with Andersons return however when he got tagged he admitted to being a bit worried.
“Those sort of moments are not good for my blood pressure when our fighters get tagged, but he returned it with a good shot and got into a strong position,” Toa said.
Toa was equally impressed by the Hammerhead Queenstown affiliated club.
“The main thing I always stress when people are using our brand and our name is to keep our morals, so not only is Jason (Smith) doing that there are also some really awesome team members up there,” Toa said.
In summing the night up Toa said he was “elated” and he was looking forward to doing it all again next year.
Pro main event:
Brogan Anderson v Mose Afoa
Anderson win via rear naked choke 2min.22secs into round 1
Jason Kainui v Hanu Out
Kainui via UD.
Hone Milne (Universal Vale Tudo) v Brent Chilton (Hammerhead MMA)
Milne via arm bar 38secs into round 1.
Tyla Watt (Hammerhead MMA) v Nate Marsh (Hammerhead Queenstown)
Watt via UD.
Nathan Nudgeway (Universal Vale Tudo) v Tama Samuel (Hammerhead MMA)
Nudgeway via UD.
James Thompson (Hammerhead Queenstown) v Emilio Munoz (Checkmat BJJ)
Thompson via UD.
Ryan Tapsell (Hammerhead MMA v Ropata Paora (Hammerhead MMA)
Tapsell via TKO round 3.
Female catchweight 73kg
Mel Webster (Hammerhead Queenstown) v Leanne Scorgie (Hammerhead MMA)
Webster via UD.
Grant Harris (Hammerhead MMA) v Luiz Christofeletti,
Harris via tko.
Carlisle Cooksley (Universal Vale Tudo) v Lem Chang (Hammerhead MMA)
Cooksley via round one tko.