The main event at Hex Fight Series 18 in Melbourne last night lived up to all expectations, and brought in much anticipated stand up fireworks. Local heavyweight Ben Sosoli weathered an early onslaught in his rematch with Kelvin Fitial to come from behind and secure a spectacular KO finish in the opening frame of the contest.
Fitial did not hold back from the get go and aimed to bring it to Sosoli with a flurry of explosive strikes. Sosoli was game though, and reciprocated with each exchange. A hard right hand and left hook connected cleanly for Fitail which backed up Sosoli momentarily. As Sosoli was recovering, the two combatants were tangled in a clinch. Sosoli opted for uppercuts while his opponent engaged with strong uppercuts, elbows and knees. Sosoli disengaged and both fighters were again locked in for a stand up war. An exchange on the feet ensued, and resulted with a massive left hook connecting for Sosoli, which then floored his opponent to the canvas. Sosoli followed through with powerful ground and pound until the knockout stoppage was declared by the referee, avenging a 2017 loss to the the Saipan native in the process.
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With the win, recent TUF 28 contestant Sosoli moves to 7-2 and makes a clear case for a UFC call-up. Following the loss, Fitial drops to 15-9-2.
Light heavyweights Nathan Reddy and John Fraser went to battle in the co main event. Each fighter had their strong points and highlights through out the duration of the match. Reddy dropped Fraser with a massive overhand left midway through round two and was explosive whilst in stand up exchanges, while Fraser opted to use a variety of strong kicks that kept Reddy at bay. Ultimately, Reddy’s grappling superiority, successive takedowns, ground and pound and control, were definitive keys to being awarded the unanimous decision victory.
Now on a seven-fight win streak, Reddy continues to impress taking his record to 9-1. Wales’ Fraser, meanwhile, drops to 2-2 post match.
Also on the main card, American vet JJ Ambrose took on durable Kiwi Beau Rawiri. Ambrose, who accepted the challenge on short notice, secured the takedown early, then worked from mount and eventually sunk in a tight guillotine choke forcing the stoppage midway through the first round. Also on the night, Sydney based Saeid Fatahifar and local Victorian Dane Beeby went toe to toe in the striking exchanges, but in the end Saeid Fatahifar’s grappling was too strong, getting the job done with a unanimous decision victory.
David Lewellin is a Melbourne based contributor for Fight News Australia.