Anton Zafir TKO’s Ryan Heketa in first to defend Nitro title

Nitro 13 - Anton Zafir vs Ryan Heketa

After just over a year out of the cage, school teacher Anton Zafir make a successful comeback on Saturday night, stopping Ryan Heketa to defend his Nitro welterweight title.

The bout headlined Nitro MMA 13 which took place the Logan Entertainment Centre in Logan City, Queensland.

Based out of Whitsundays MMA, Zafir started the bout with a solid one-two combination that Heketa smiled off. Zafir again come in with the one-two but this time finished it with a takedown. Zafir went to work with short forearm strikes and knees to the body while inside half-mount. The strikes continued before Heketa attempted to get to his feet. Zafir stayed on the Gold Coast based fighter and unloaded with heavy punches from the top and with Heketa covering up but not looking to improve position, the referee halted the contest. 

The win came 4:12 into the opening round for Zafir who takes his record to 7-1. It was Zafir’s first defense of the welterweight title he captured back in March 2014, with a win over Corey Nelson. Nelson has been heavily campaigning his case for a rematch since then, with the promotion also showings signs that they are interested. So look out at that possibly going down later in the year. 

With both having one win each against each-other, Hale Vaa’sa and Ben Kelleher met for the third time in the co-main event. Unfortunately it would prove to be short-lived as Kelleher dropped to his back clutching his leg following a small exchange. The fight was straight away waved off with Vaa’sa being very sportsmanlike in showing concern for his injured opponent. 

The official verdict gave Vaa’sa the win, 46-seconds into the bout. 

In a fast paced and entertaining flyweight bout, Shannon McClellan submitted Commonwealth Games wrestler Shane Parker to put himself first in line for a flyweight title shot. The first round was competitive with both fighters securing takedowns but struggling to keep their foe down. Parker in particular had a couple big slams while McClellan peppered with quick punches. A scramble in the second allowed McCellan to secure mount where he threw heavy strikes. Parker looked to escape via the back-door, however McClellan moved to north-south, before taking the back. There he locked up the rear-naked choke to get the tap.

McClellan immediately jumped on the cage where he motioned for the title belt. Current Nitro flyweight champion Luke Morris was in attendance and was keen observer of the bout.

In a middleweight bout, Anthony Johns from Heartbreak & PUMMA gym won a unanimous decision over Maui Tuigamala, while Tristan Murphy secured a massive KO win over Gerhard Voigt.

Results (A-Class):

  • Anton Zafir def Ryan Heketa via TKO (Punches), Rd 1, 4:12
  • Hale Vaa’sa def Ben Kelleher via TKO (Leg Injury), Rd 1, 0:46
  • Shannon McClellan def Shane Parker via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 2, 2:02
  • Anthony Johns def Maui Tuigamala via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Tristan Murphy def Gerhard Voigt via KO (Punch), Rd 1, 1:37
  • James Klingner def Kimo Smith via TKO (Punches), Rd 2, 0:43
  • Martin Tucker def Craig Lankester via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 2, 2:58
  • Darwin Sagurit def Tahiwi Sellars-McGee via Decision (Unanimous)

Results (B-Class):

  • Michele Evans def Keohu Smith via TKO (Punches), Rd 3, 1:31