Australian Fighting Championship 22 Preview: Christakos vs. Zafir

Australian Fighting Championships 22 hits the Melbourne Pavilion this Saturday night, with two title fights set to headline a stacked card.

An interstate match between New South Welshman Theo Christakos and Queensland’s Anton Zafir will take place for the AFC welterweight title in the main event.

Former UFC fighter Anton Zafir, fighting out of Whitsunday Martial Arts, holds a professional record of 8-3, and most recently is coming off a victory at AFC 20 where he defeatedt Hoshi Friedrich in Melbourne late last year. A UFC veteran, Zafir’s three career losses have come at the hands of UFC calibre opponents.

Both combatants are coming off round one victories over their respective opponents at AFC 20. The challenger & KMA representative, Christakos (8-2) is riding a three fight win streak and currently holds the Brace welterweight title.

In the co-headliner, veteran Tasmanian Stu Dare will challenge rising Finnish prospect Glenn Sparv for the AFC middleweight title. Dare (8-5) most recently challenged for the Hex middleweight title, where he lost to eventual UFC signee and NZ based standout Israel Adesanya (video). Tiger Muay Thai product Sparv (17-4) is a versatile fighter and has had experience throughout his career competing internationally on enemy soil.

Also on the night, experienced UFC veteran Steve Kennedy returns after more than 14 months away to take on Filipino Arben Escayo in a welterweight bout. Also of note, former power lifting champion and KO artist Alex Simon makes his anticipated AFC debut against fellow powerhouse Lio Ilalio in what is set to be an explosive heavyweight contest.

Fight Card (Pro):

  • Theo Christakos vs. Anton Zafir – Welterweight title
  • Glenn Sparv vs. Stu Dare – Middleweight title
  • Steve Kennedy vs. Arben Escayo
  • Alex Simon vs. Lio Ilalio
  • Anthea Paton vs. Caitlin McEwen
  • Darcy Balhas vs. Dane Beeby
  • Oscar Kong vs. Reza Almasi
  • Phil Warwicker vs. Cam Dempsey

Fight Card (Amateur):

  • Michael Cianciaruso vs. Zach Madrid
  • Shane Smith vs. Mahesh Fernando
  • Mark Hesterman vs. Mitchell Brunton
  • Sandy Starkey vs. Jasmine Hibbert
  • Ben Patching vs. David Pau’uvale
  • Zoe Sheppard vs. Linda Hafoka
  • Jordan Andrewartha vs. Pat De Domenico
  • Jodi Hayward vs. Chantal Humberstone

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