AFC 2 returned to the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre for its biggest event to date. The third instalment for the AFC picked up where the AFC Fight Nite left off, it was a night of explosive action and spectacular finishes.
One of the big complaints of MMA fans, is fighters fighting for safe decisions, well there was none of that as the fighters really turned it on for the Melbourne fans, finishing eight of the nine fights.
Middleweight title fight: Hector ‘Lightning’ Lombard vs Jesse “JT Money” Taylor
The main event of the night was electric. The atmosphere went to another level after the talented Alexandra sang the Australian national anthem and Emcee Perry Cale revved the crowd up with a sensational introduction for our adopted son Hector. Hector paced quickly and confidently, his finely tuned body twitching with anticipation. It was like watching the countdown to an explosion – there was a visceral and nervous energy hanging in the air. Standing across from him Jesse “JT Money” looked calm, collected and ready to face the man many regard as the best fighter outside the UFC and Anderson Silva’s biggest threat.
Jesse opened the fight with a head kick, showing no signs of being afraid to play to Hector’s strengths. He followed with a quick takedown which was reversed in stunning fashion, putting Hector on top. Hector showed he wasn’t afraid to play to Jesses’ strength either, electing to stay in a wrestling match with Jesse, landing punches and elbows. The fight returned to the feet, only to end back on the ground as Jesse went for a telegraphed takedown. The wrestling match and battle for positional dominance continued and Hector managed to land some big elbows. In a lightning quick scramble, Hector stood, grabbed a hold of Jesse’ leg and fell back into a heel hook finishing the fight immediately in stunning fashion.
In the co-main event, AFC veterans Dylan “The Villain” Andrews and Ross “White Devil” Dallow collided. Both fighters had losses in the first AFC, Andrews to Jesse Taylor and Dallow, a controversial loss to Jeremy May. Since then both fighters had impressive wins leading into this show down and this fight would establish one of the top middleweights in the country. After a very quickly feeling out process the Villain landed some big shots and Dallow was stunned and fighting on instinct, throwing some shots with his head leading in for a takedown. A very composed Andrews continued to land big shots and not over commit, landing a knock down blow and finishing the fight on the ground by TKO.
Next up Bellator’s “Polish Prodigy” Marcin Held took on the Hawaiian striking sensation Kaleo “Light’s Out” Kwan. Both fighters were fearless, standing and exchanging in the pocket early swinging for the fences. They separated to regroup and refocus and Marcin launched into a spectacular rolling knee bar. Showing the ever improving knowledge of the Melbourne MMA fans, they responded to the stunning move with enthusiasm as Marcin locked in the knee bar and finished the fight with what has got to be a contender for submission of the year.
Soa “The Hulk” Palelei returned to take on the Korean Son Hai Suk. Soa’s strength and conditioning and diet have continued to improve and his physical transformation has been nothing short of spectacular and speaks volumes for his dedication. The fight lasted a mere 28 seconds as Soa used his size and weight advantage to full effect, pushing Suk into the corner and finishing quickly with vicious ground and pound. The emphatic victory proves again that Soa is the number one heavyweight in the country.
A Crowd favourite Nick “Banjo” Patterson took on a determined James Fairman in a heavy handed slugfest. It was a back and forth affair with both fighters landing some big shots. Banjo looked composed while dealing with the constantly engaging Fairman and eventually landed a big shot that dropped Fairman to the canvas where he ended the fight emphatically with ground and pound.
Rusty “The Wrecking Ball” McBride took on the veteran Richard Buhrman and established his dominance early with vicious striking. After some big unanswered knees against the ropes Buhrman fell and Rusty pounded away for a ground and pound finish.
The New Zealand ICNZ lightweight champion Daniel Hooker took on durable Yuma Ishizuka. Both fighters took a measured approach, peppered with moments of brilliance. Ishizuka’s flying triangle was a highlight, but Hooker – steady as she goes, shrugged it off and with clever movement got the better of the striking. Ishizuka’s endurance faded as the fight went on and Hooker continued his striking dominance and got a well-deserved decision – the only decision of the night.
Ben “Hard” Hansen looked for his second AFC win taking on Jack Becker in a hard fought contest. After an early scrap landed both fighters on the ground, Hansen locked up Becker’s leg and tried for an early finish with a knee bar. The pair exchanged leg lock attacks. Hansen persisted with the leg locks as Becker freed his leg from immediate danger and delivered some shots. It was Becker however who would have success with the knee bar, mixing up his attacks before forcing Hansen to tap with some cunning jiu jitsu work.
Troy Williams vs Sam Summers
Troy “The Weapon” Williams fought the Queenslander Sam Summers in what would be another great win for Williams, proving “The Boy” has really grown into a weapon. It was a strong display of striking, wrestling and jiu jitsu as Williams constantly pressured the attack to eventually secure the victory via arm bar.
All in all, it was a spectacular event full of crowded pleasing finishes with a fantastic atmosphere and I already can’t wait to see the next instalment at AFC