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Saturday, 11 September, 2010 - Warrant of Fitness, Auckland
It was another night of great fights, rowdy entrances and big hits as the people from City and North Shore Lee Gar pulled out all the stops to host a searing Trans-Tasman event. Lighting up the YMCA Lagoon Stadium, and Panmure's, Saturday night there were enough big names and big fighters to drag even the most cautious of fans to their feet.
Getting things moving in the ring, and starting off the night in style, were a quick succession of fighters that counted the likes of Ricky Campbell and Josh Heanga among their number. Kicking, elbowing, kneeing, and punching their way through the early evening, the show kicked into an even higher gear with the appearance of NZ title holders Slava Alexeichik, Victoria Nansen, Chris Wells and Geoff Ahipene.
Chris Wells (SMAC) VS Geoff Ahipene (Bulldogs Gym)
The match up between NZ title holders Geoff Ahipene and Chris Wells was a contrast of styles. Ahipene started slowly, and tried to use his height to dictate the range and pace of the fight. However, Wells wasn't having any of it. His work rate and intensity, coupled with his burrowing, brawling style smothered, then overwhelmed his taller opponent to give Wells the decision unanimously.
Willy Rewi (Wairoa Gym) VS Joey Baylon (ETK)
In a match-up between two of the best in the division, the character of the fighters showed early: a show of mutual respect as made before the bell. It was a high-paced and action-packed round that kicked off the fight, slowed by two stoppages for accidental low blows. Heading into the second round, there was a lift in intensity as the fighters warmed to the occasion. Working the ring, and one another, over, no quarter was given and none expected by the fighters. Baylon rocked Rewi early in the third round with a solid uppercut, but Rewi replied with a flurry of blows that set Baylon back in the corner. The pace never slowed, but Rewi began to gain ascendancy toward the end of the round, and finished strongly with punches and a flying knee that gave Rewi a majority decision.
Slava Alexeichik (Leegar) VS Edz Erimiha (Strikeforce)
Beginning with a first round feeling-out by both fighters, the intentions soon became clear as both fighters attempted head kicks and elbows. Round two ratcheted up the intensity level, with Alexeichik's elbows whistling past Erimiha's head on many occasions. Erimiha responded with solid work to the body, and a lead elbow that opened up Alexeichik's forehead. It was an intense round that was in stark contrast to the coolness and focus of both fighters. Erimiha started the third round with another brutal lead elbow to Alexeichik's face that put him in the corner, and then followed it up with a series of body rips and over the top elbows that knocked Alexeichik to the canvas. Alexeichik returned from the count bloodied, and clearly hurt, but unbowed. However, the punishment had taken its toll. Shortly after the restart, a flurry of kicks and clubbing elbows by Erimiha put his opponent down for the last time, giving him the upset result of the night.
Victoria Nansen (SMAC) VS Huia Poi Poi (5 Elements)
In the battle for the WMC NZ Light Heavyweight title there was a refreshing element of theatre to the entrances of the fighters, both of whom smiled and danced their way to the ring. However, the smiling soon stopped and it was all business as soon as the bell sounded. Poi Poi started fast, her aggressive, straight-forward style getting her in to land a few looping rights to Nansen's head. In the second round, Nansen used the clinch to good effect. She negated a lot of Poi Poi's straight forward offence, and used it to launch a barrage of knees to her opponent's body. This was clearly effective as Poi Poi's focus shifted to stopping the knees instead of launching her hands. By the third round the pattern of the fight had been established: the clinch was dominant with Nansen landing elbows and knees, and Poi Poi teeing off with stinging hooks. Reaching the end of the fourth round, the effect of Poi Poi's punches were beginning to show above the left eye of Nansen, but the clinch was still working for her. Nansen's patience and knees to the body took their toll as fatigue began to rob Poi Poi's offence of some of its venom. Nansen took the opportunity she had created to control the large part of round five and take a unanimous decision.
Babee Nansen (SMAC, NZ) VS Teegan Papasergi (Jaiphet Gym, Australia)
The last of the women's fights for the night was another clash of contrasting styles and physiques. In one corner was the powerful and aggressive Babee Nansen, and in the other was the relaxed, strategic, and much taller Tegan Papasergi. Round one started with a mighty push kick by Papasergi that put Nansen on her back. The kick proved prophetic as the fight was dominated by Papasergi, who used her height and movement to control the range of, and therefore the pace of ,the fight from start to finish. The very game and fierce Nansen upped the ante every round, but the composure and technique of the Australian met, then raised it right to the end to give Papasergi the unanimous decision.
Davor Matarugic (Leegar, NZ) VS Jared Grigor (Jaiphet Gym, Australia)
It was a showcase of kicks from the Aussie during the first three rounds, and it wasn't until the fourth that the fight began to open up. With Davor beginning to score with his hands, the fourth and fifth round saw an improved performance by the New Zelander. But in the clinches the strength and experience of Grigor proved the difference between the two, and he took the win for his 35th birthday present.
Full fight results:
Quade Taranaki WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Trent Nathan (17yrs) (Ivan's Gym)
Tyler Harrison (HBC MMA) DRAW VS Shane Young (GC MMA) DRAW
Lian Whitefield (City Kickboxing) WON VS Malissa (R.O.A.)
Adam Ryan (NS Lee gar) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Evander (GC MMA)
Josh Heanga (H. Clan Kickboxing) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Totoro (R.O.A. - Gisborne)
Leong Su-Lin (Jai Kickboxing) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Kelly (R.O.A.)
Harvey Gartiza (NS Leegar) WON BY SPLIT DECISION VS Ricky Campbell (Strikeforce)
Jerry Seagar (NS Leegar) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Shane de Mone (ETK)
Chris Wells (SMAC) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Geoff Ahipene (Bulldogs Gym)
Willy Rewi (Wairoa Gym) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Joey Baylon (ETK)
Edz Erimiha (Strikeforce) WON BY TKO - R2 (2.55mins) VS Slava Alexeichik (city Lee gar)
Victoria Nansen (SMAC) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Huia Poi Poi (5 Elements)
Teegan Papasergi (Jaiphet Gym, Australia) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Bay Bee Nansen (SMAC, NZ)
Jared Grigor (Jaiphet Gym, Australia) WON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION VS Davor Matarugic (Leegar, NZ)
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