AFC Director Adam Milankovic Interview – February 2014

Soa Palelei with Adam Milankovic

(Photo: Soa Palelei with Adam Milankovic (right) via Facebook.com)

With the Australian Fighting Championships (AFC) next event – AFC 8 coming up this Saturday night and being headlined by Bernardo “Trekko” Magalhaes taking on Nick Patterson, Fight News Australia caught up with AFC director and match-maker Adam Milankovic to get his views on current state of his promotion.

Fight News Australia: You’ve had big names appear in AFC such as Sean McCorkle and Jesse Taylor. How do you go about scouting fighters for the AFC?

Adam Milankovic: All the talent that we’ve had on comes from fighters sending in constant emails from all around the world. We have a lot of applicants from Brazilians coming into Australia now, but the talent in Australia is getting big enough as it is! We are more interested in trying to promote Australian talent at the moment with the likes of Daniel Kelly & Jake Matthews and all the guys who have gone to TUF (Aus vs. Canada). I live and breathe the sport and watch as many shows as possible to see the up coming talent. Matching the cards has become a lot easier due to the fact the talent here is getting so good. We have all these young kids who have been training since they were 14-15 years of age and now they are 18 and are just so good.

Internationally, all the fighters are all coming to us. We are just about to sign George Sotiropoulos to a 4-fight deal. We are very close to finalizing the deal and he has said he doesn’t want to fight in any other show in Australia. 

Fight News Australia: I thought he had signed with Titan FC?

Adam Milankovic: No, I can confirm that I’ve spoken with George’s manager via email and he has confirmed he wants to do a 4-fight deal with us. The contract will be confirmed within the next couple of days and we are aiming to have him on our show on the 3rd May in NSW.

Fight News Australia: Will George Sotiropoulos get the next title shot against Daniel Hooker if he is definitely signed?

No, the winner of  Nick “Banjo” Patterson and Bernardo “Trekko” Magalhaes will. These guys fight and deserve to get that title shot as they’ve done the hard yards. George will have to do what these guys have done to get the shot. He has come off a losing streak in the UFC so he will have to test himself against our boys and see how he goes. Daniel Hooker would run straight through George Sotiropoulos at the moment I believe.

Editors note: Following this interview, George Sotiropoulos did announced through his facebook page that he had signed with Titan FC. Fight News Australia also confirmed with the Titan CEO, that the deal was exclusive.

Fight News Australia: Where is the future of the AFC heading and who are some fighters you want on your show that you have not had yet?

Adam Milankovic: We are planning to run a Pro-Am series this year for the AFC. This will involve fighters with 3 or less fights competing in a tournament style series ran over 3-4 shows. We’ve put this out to the gyms, which has generated a lot of attention and I think this will really let us scout the best talent in Australia. We are planning on putting an event on every 8 weeks from now. 

We have guys on the show like Joel Fisher who is on the transition from Australian Muay-Thai Champion to MMA. He is 2-1 currently and his loss came to Jordan Lucas in his debut fight via split decision. Jordan Lucas is a tough match up for anyone let alone a debuting fighter. I train with Joel Fisher down at Extreme MMA and the way Joel has picked up wrestling within one year is unbelievable. I watch all these new fighters and he is one to watch out for, I think he is going to be a superstar. 

Another fighter is Jordan Lucas who is still young and progressing so quick. 

We have a Brazilian, Daniel Almeida from Extreme MMA in Byron Bay who fights at 95 kilograms and I really want to get him on the show at light heavyweight. 

We’ve also been speaking with Peter Graham and he is happy to come back and fight for the AFC title, but it is a matter of finding the right match up for him. 

Fight News Australia: In your last event, AFC 7, we saw Gustavo Falciroli en-route to stopping his opponent Kai Kara-France before Kara-France fell out of the ring and was unable to continue. The result was declared a no contest which Falciroli is looking to overturn via an appeal. What was your take on the ending and what is the future of the tournament due to the result?

Adam Milankovic: These guys train there a**’s off and at the end of the day I think they deserve to be rewarded the correct decision. I’ve re-watched the footage and you can clearly see Kara-France had been knocked out prior to falling. I’m trying to push that through the sports combat board and we are hoping to have that overturned so Falciroli can continue through the tournament to fight against Charlie Alaniz.

Fight News Australia: In your next event, AFC 8 what is the biggest fight you are looking forward to, and is there anything special planned for the event?

Adam Milankovic: I’m really looking forward to Alex Volkanovski vs Rodolfo Marques. Alex shows you just how much he wanted to fight by going up to 77 kilograms to fight Corey Nelson and he begged me for that fight. For a lighter guy he put on a really good show and that’s why we brought him back to fight Luke Catubig at 70kg. Alex has now dropped back 66 kilograms to take on this fight against Rodolfo. Rodolfo fights out of Jose Aldo’s gym in Brazil who has also fought some big names. He lost against Robert Lisita a couple fights ago and I believe that was partly due to having a 14 month lay-off prior.

Banjo Patterson vs Bernardo “Trekko” Magalhaes will be another great fight. I think it has a big potential to be an ugly fight as Trekko has a weird style and if it stays on the fight, I think Banjo can knock him out as he is dropping down to 70 kilograms. He has a lot of strength and has great hands on him and I don’t think people understand how good his wrestling is.

We’ve got Mark Hunt coming down to watch this show as well as the shadow Minister John Eren. I think this is a really important step to getting the cage ban lifted in Victoria as John Eren is a big fan of getting the Mark Hunt vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva rematch in Victoria. John is going to be making a speech to the crowd in regards to pushing for the cage ban to be lifted. 

Fight News Australia: A lot of people felt Corey Nelson should have made it TUF: Nations, how do you feel about that and was it difficult to get him a match-up with most of the top welterweights in the country being signed or on TUF?

Adam Milankovic: He didn’t make it on TUF due to some previous legal troubles but he has now changed his life around and is a different kid.  Skill-wise, he should definitely be on TUF though and is the best welterweight in Australia as far as I believe. 

He’s fighting Rich Alchin as they’ve had a bit of a feud, they really don’t like each other. Corey is fighting in May for a title because he won every fight in the previous tournament so this is more of a grudge match in the mean time. I’m 100% this fight will end in a knock out and it will be a great fight to watch. Rich Alchin has taken a number of tough fights and even at higher weight divisions,  which is why his record is not great but he’s been training hard at Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Sydney. He is confident he is going to bring the fight to Corey and only one punch can change the whole fight. 

Fight News Australia: Thank-you for your time Adam.

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