Australian Fighting Championship 5 Recap: Daniel Hooker defeats Rusty McBride to retain Lightweight Title

Daniel Hooker - AFC 5

Daniel Hooker (pictured) made it two from two against Rusty McBride in the AFC 5 main event on Friday night (May 10) and this time the win was far from controversial. The Kiwi needed just 1:35 to Submit the local favorite and defend the Lightweight Title.

On the front foot from the outset, Hooker looked to set the pace early with his Boxing. Moving backward and searching for angles, McBride did well to match his taller opponent’s striking, however got dropped by a solid right hook with 4:27 left in the round. Hooker wasted no time claiming McBride’s back, and after a lengthy period searching for a Rear-Naked Choke, finally got the win. With this victory, Hooker remains undefeated in the promotion after three appearances and also extends his unbeaten run to four. 

The first stage of the promotion’s Welterweight Title tournament wrapped up on Friday night with Corey Nelson, Dean Purdon and Jake Mathews progressing through to the next round after claiming victories. Walber De Barros vs Zein Saliba was reportedly scraped due to Saliba missing weight.

Corey Nelson continued his impressive run in 2013, dominating the previously unbeaten Alex Volkanovski in the co-main event. After snapping off a kick to the mid section followed by a pair of head kicks, the noticeable larger of the two NSW fighters finished the fight with an uppercut early in the third.

Dean Purdon made short work of Peter Davenport to advance to the next stage of the tournament, wrapping the kick boxer up early then snatching the win via Rear-Naked Choke. Davenport looked for the quick finish with a flying knee at the opening bell, however purdon quickly tied the experienced striker up before taking him to the canvas and submitting him.

Undefeated 2012 Victorian BJJ Championships gold medalist Jake Matthews handed New Zealand’s Luke Jumeua his second consecutive career defeat with a submission in the second period. After spending the majority of the bout in top position, Matthews eventually found the Kiwi’s back and forced the tap via Rear-Naked Choke. 

In the first round of the Middleweight Title tournament, Daniel Kelly, Bor Bratovz, Vik Grujic and Steve Kennedy all advance through to the semis with wins.

Chris Birch landed some big shots early and did well to escape Daniel Kelly’s mount once, but no such luck for the Queensland fighter on the second occasion. Kelly got the tap via Rear-Naked Choke midway through the first stanza after tripping Birch into mount then taking his back. 

Rick Alchin was no match for Slovania’s Bor Bratovz on the night, losing by KO in just 23 seconds. In what was his Australian debut, Bratovz dropped the Aussie with a solid right hand to claim his Middleweight semifinal birth.

In an all local encounter, Vik Grujic overcame a sizable height disadvantage to unanimously outpoint Daniel Way, and in the process halt a two fight skid. “The Spartan” did well to close the distance on his lanky opponent and drag him to the canvas throughout the three rounds.

West Australian fighter Steve Kennedy booked a spot in the next stage of the Middleweight tournament with a first round submission win over Cole Davids of New Zealand. Davids looked to attack the legs early before being taken him to the ground, where after several attempts, Kennedy was eventually able to lock in a Kimura and force the tap.

The Welterweight and Middleweight Title tournament semifinals will take place on August 24 at AFC 6.

Rory O’Connell handed Ivo Dos Santos his first MMA defeat on Friday night. The 23 year-old Sydney fighter outboxed the Olympic Judoka before ended it in the second round by TKO. The referee waved the match off after O’Connell dazed Dos Santos with solid knee before finishing him on the feet with strikes.

Ten year Australian combat sports veteran Ian Schaffa made his much anticipated MMA return, after nearly three years on the sidelines, against New Zealand’s Kieran Joblin. The Shooto veteran’s fairy tale comeback wasn’t to be however, losing to the Christchurch native by a belly down Armbar in the first round. The Trans-Tasman clash re-illustrated the dangers associated with hosting MMA contests in a ring after at one point, Schaffa was sent crashing through the ropes as the Kiwi drove in for a takedown.

Australian Fighting Championship 5 was held at the Melbourne Pavillion in Melbourne.

AFC Lightweight Championship:

  • Daniel Hooker def Rusty McBride via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 1

Welterweight Tournament:

  • Corey Nelson def Alex Volkanovski via TKO (Punches), Rd 3
  • Dean Purdon def Peter Davenport via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 1
  • Jake Matthews def Luke Jumeau via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 2
  • Walber De Barros progresses due to opponent Zein Saliba not making weight

Middleweight Tournament:

  • Daniel Kelly def Chris Birch via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 1
  • Bor Bratovz def Rick Alchin via KO (Punches), Rd 1, 0:23
  • Vik Grujic def Daniel Way via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Stephen Kennedy def Cole Davids via Submission (Kimura), Rd 1

Single Fights:

  • Rory O’Connell def Ivo Dos Santos via TKO (Punches), Rd 2
  • Kieran Joblin def Ian Schaffa via Submission (Armbar), Rd 1
  • Jordan Lucas def Joel Fisher via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Lana Kate def Amy Adam via TKO (Punches), Rd 3