AFC 18 Recap: Youngster Issac Hardman claims AFC lightweight title

Australian Fighting Championships made its International debut in mainland China at AFC Xi’an Stadium in Xi’an, with a two-night show spectacular starting on Friday and finishing with a title fight to culminate day two on Saturday night.

Australian Fighting Championships 18 day two was headlined by Brisbane youngster Issac Hardman who took on New Zealander James Bishop for the AFC lightweight title. Integrated MMA product Hardman was able to earn the title over Strikeforce trained Bishop via a referee TKO stoppage finish in the second round. With the victory, Hardman was awarded with the lightweight title and remains undefeated at 7-0.

In the co-main event, crowd favourite and AFC MMA club representative Zhu Jun defeated Korean fighter Sun Uk Do via TKO in the second round. Zhu Jun made his debut last year at AFC 17 and now takes his record to 2-0.

Also on the card, Bellator veteran Arlene Blencowe made quick work of fellow Aussie Rhiannon Thompson with an early round one KO. With the win, Blencowe moves to 9-6 and is now on a two fight win streak. Thompson falls to 4-3 post match.

Popular Geelong based fighter Peter Davenport was victorious over American Harris Norwood in round two as the referee put a halt to the bout after Norwood signaled that he could not go on. With the win, Davenport (4-5) is welcomed back to the winning column after hat-trick of losses over tough competition.

Day one of AFC 18 was headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between between Judo specialist and UFC/Bellator veteran Rameau Sokoudjou up against Brazilian Marcelo Tenorio. The rematch ended brutally via ground and pound in round 1 as Sokoudjou pummeled heavily on a visibly bloody Tenorio. Post-match Sokoudjou made it known that he would like to take on current light heavyweight champion Jamie Abdallah next, in which Abdallah accepted after entering the cage.

In the co-headliner, Melbourne’s own and XFC Australian top team product Kaan Ofli was able to secure a rear-naked choke submission win in round two over Japanese veteran Munehiro Kin in a featherweight bout while also on the night, promotional regular Mikey Vaotuua fighting out of Lions High Performance Centre in Sydney was victorious against local Chinese competitor Yufei Zhao. The match was put to a halt in the second round due to a tight rear-naked choke which forced the hometown fighter to tap.

Night 1 Results:

  • Rameau Sokoudjou def. Marcelo Tenorio via TKO, Rd 1
  • Kaan Ofli def. Munehiro Fujita via Submission, (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 2
  • Mikey Vaotuua def. Zhao Yufei via Submission, (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 2
  • Xiao Long def. Chris Wase via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Glenn Sparv def. Yuki Sasaki via TKO, Rd 1
  • Ruslan Uulu def. Amin Yaqubi via TKO, Rd 1
  • Masoumeh Togan def. Zhou Lin via Decision (Majority)

Night 2 Results:

  • Issac Hardman def. James Bishop via TKO, Rd 2 – AFC Lightweight Title
  • Jun Zhu def. Sun Uk Do via TKO, Rd 2
  • Arlene Blencowe def. Rhiannon Thompson via TKO, Rd 1
  • Peter Davenport def. Harris Norwood via TKO, Rd 2
  • Tetsuya Seki def. Nikos Trepca via TKO, Rd 3
  • John Mitchell def. Wu Chenglin via TKO, Rd 1
  • Mohammad Issa Poursalamati def. Jiang Kefeng via Submission, Rd 1

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David Lewellin is a Melbourne based contributor for Fight News Australia.