Australian Fighting Championships (AFC) returned to what was a sold out Melbourne Pavilion on Sunday afternoon where two belts were awarded to team mates Brandon Sosoli and Alex Volkanovski, taking home the AFC heavyweight and featherweight titles respectively.
There was much anticipation for the event, especially with the heavyweights returning to the AFC arena, and the title, which was left vacant by now UFC fighter Soa Palelei, being up for grabs.
In the main event, Andre Meunier was welcomed by a roaring ovation from the spectators, as he was the home-town favourite, his opponent Brandon Sosoli entered the AFC hexagon looking calm and ready for business.
The bout started with Sosoli throwing a jab as Meunier quickly reciprocated by throwing punches in return. Sosoli then changed levels by shooting in for a takedown which put Muenier onto the canvas. Sosoli quickly went to work raining down strikes from top position. Meunier showed great strength getting to his feet with Sosoli on his back, before eventually being brought back down. Sosoli then resumed vicious ground-and-pound which forced the referee to stop the bout only 1:43 in, thus earning Sosoli the victory and making him the new AFC heavyweight champion.
It was much the same in the semi-main event as Alex Volkanovski took on New Zealand’s James Bishop in an AFC featherweight title bout. During the feeling out process early in round one, Volkanovski began the fight with a kick and then a double jab that setup his takedown. From the top, Volkanovski pounced with devastating ground-and-pound, which resulted in the fight being stopped by the referee. The official stoppage came at 1:39 in the first round which takes Volkanovski’s win streak to seven fights.
Volkanovski adds another title to his collection with the win, and the Freestyle Fight Gym walk away with two AFC titles from the night.
Local Victorian Judoka Kitt Campbell had a gruelling and highly contested three round match-up with South Australia’s Shane Mitchell before walking away with the unanimous decision. Much of the fight played out with Campbell getting takedowns, being active from top position and attacking with submissions. Mitchell remained active in both striking and grappling, he was also able to scramble onto his feet numerous times however Campbell went home with the deserved decision.
Also of note on the card, Mikey Vaotuua upset hometown favourite Peter Davenport via unanimous decision, while Western Australian fighter Brandon Zdrilich defeated AFC favourite John Beirouti. It was also not a good night for Judo Olympian Ivo Dos Santos who was on the wrong end of a highlight reel knock-out by Darwin Sagurit.