Hometown favorite, Nick ‘Banjo’ Patterson was upset by NSW fighter Abel Brites on Saturday night, as he captured the Hex lightweight title via a late fourth round submission. Post-fight, 32 year-old Patterson, a veteran of over 21 professional fights, announced that he would be retiring from MMA. Also on the night, Melbourne based American Charlie Alaniz impressed as he took the flyweight title with an entertaining unanimous decision over tough Japanese Pancrase veteran, Senzo Ikeda.
Hex Fight Series 3 took place at the Melbourne Pavilion in front of a sold out crowd, with many fans eager to support their local MMA heroes. The event was also streamed live on Go Fight Live.
The vibe in the arena was very different to the previous Hex shows as there was a carnival feel to this one. Spectators were given the option to feast on an outdoor barbecue with fairy floss and popcorn on offer indoors, to compliment the Carnival theme that Hex produced, to add to the overall fan experience. During the break prior to the flyweight title, Hex announced that the promotion had partnered up with long-running Japanese fight promotion Pancrase MMA.
A hyped up Patterson entered the cage to a thunderous Melbourne crowd which cheered him on. Abel Brites looked calm and collected entering the cage. Patterson made his intentions known early on with a flurry of knees and punches, dropping Brites to the canvas. Patterson landed on top with Brites looking for a submission from the bottom. Patterson then called Brites to his feet allowing his opponent to stand up. Patterson charged forward pushing Brites to the cage as they clinched. A stand up exchange then ensued. Brites managed to go for a guillotine choke but Patterson popped his head out. Patterson finished the round on top as he worked at the body with successive punches.
Round two began with Brites throwing kicks, Patterson caught one and took Brites down, landing on top. Brites flipped Patterson over and began throwing elbows, Patterson then got to his feet, but was quickly taken down, however with movement managed to counter wrestle and get Brite’s back. Patterson tried to flatten Brites and work for a rear-naked choke, while Brites was fighting the submission at the same time also throwing punches in return. Patterson continued to work for the submission but was struggling to sink in the choke, while Brites continued to fight back. Brites then burst out of the rear-naked choke by turning his body, but Patterson countered yet again and managed to land on top, ending the round.
Round three started off very similar to the previous round, as both fighters exchanged kick for kick. Brites went in again for the guillotine choke but Patterson fought his way out by managing to get the top position and began to work from there by throwing down punches, with Brites also keeping busy from the bottom. The ref then stood both fighters up, before Patterson threw a spinning back kick, showing his versatility. Patterson had his hands down low, Brites engaged with a clinch. A flurry from Patterson then ensued as he pushed away. Patterson then took Brites down, landing again on top. Both fighters were again kept busy attempting strikes from their respective positions. Patterson pushed away and stood up. Brites then went in for strikes. The round ended as both fighters were battling it out in the clinch.
Round four ensued as Patterson looked visibly tired. Brites threw a side heel kick and shot for a takedown, with Brites ending up in side control before throwing devastating punches and mixing it up with hammerfists and donkey kong type strikes. Patterson then attempted to stand up but got caught in a very tight guillotine, forcing him to tap 3:35 into the round, thus awarding Brites the victory and the new inaugral lightweight title. Post- fight, Patterson announced his retirement, stating his plans are to spend more time with his family and running his gym.
The co-main was an explosive and high paced battle which lasted all five rounds. Much of the fight had Charlie Alaniz moving forward, throwing big winding punches and then working for takedowns. His opponent, Japan’s Senzo Ikeda proved too resilient to keep down and figure out in the striking, whilst he threw jabs to keep the distance and to counter. In what was a display of unorthodox striking, Ikeda attempted kicks from all angles to keep Alaniz guessing, as well as remaining weary of shooting in for takedowns. Alaniz’s wrestling at the end of the day, however, proved too strong, earning him the Hex Fight Series flyweight title over the bloodied up Japanese fighter.
Also on the main card was a bout between WA’s Shantaram Maharaj, fighting out of Steven Kennedy’s new Gym Kickass MMA, and Melbourne based Brazilian Nova Uniao fighter, Rodolfo Marques, who now coaches and fights out of Extreme MMA. It was a quick and entertaining battle, with Marques going in for punches and kicks soon after the opening bell. Marques then successfully got a takedown. Maharaj showed courage by fighting from his back and attempting to defend but quickly succumbed to Marques’s superior grappling and submitted just 1:04 into round one via a rear-naked choke.
Also of note on the card, undefeated fighter Andrews Mills from Sinosic / Perosh Martial Arts in Sydney fought against local favorite Daniel Way, who is now based at Five Rings Dojo on the Gold Coast. Mills remained undefeated on the night by taking home the unanimous decision.