Gerhard Voigt needed just 1 minute and 30 seconds to get his hand raised and dispatch Mohammed Naim from the middleweight tournament at Brace 26 on Saturday night.
The entertaining scrap headlined the opening round matchups of the promotion’s 2014 Championship Tournament which took place at the Big Top in Sydney’s Luna Park.
The second group of first round matchups will take place on May 17 at the AIS Arena in Canberra (Brace 27). The promotion will also be launching their Amateur series ‘Ascend’ on May 3 from the North Sydney Leagues Club in Cammeray, NSW.
The SPMA trained Kiwi rocks Naim early with a right hand before dropping him with an array of punches. Impressively, Naim finds his feet soon after and lands a left hand which backs Voigt up. Momentarily however, as Voigt then retaliates with a right, before connecting with a left hook which sends Naim crashing to the canvas. The referee is quick to call a stop to the contest.
The co-main event featured another short-lived middleweight clash as Boxing Work’s Billy McAlees booked a spot in the next round of the tournament with a first round TKO of 10th planet Jiu Jitsu gym’s Shane Phillips.
On the front foot from the opening bell, McAlees begins with a solid straight right. Phillips ties him up and works for a trip, however it’s McAlees who gets the fight to the ground. Phillips does well to get back to his feet, but is met with more right hands once there. McAlees then drops him with a punch kick combination and finishes the one-sided encounter on the ground with strikes.
Luke Standing was looking to bounce back from a first round TKO loss to Martin Nguyen in his featherweight tournament fight with JJ Van Aswegen, it wasn’t to be however, as the former title challenger found himself in a similar position in the opening round, with the same result in the end.
Standing looked confident as the two men engaged at the opening bell. Van Aswegen attempts an early kick which Standing catches before dumping Van Aswegen to the canvas. Choosing not to make it a ground battle, Standing steps back and allows Van Aswegen to stand. He’s met with a punch combination from Standing. Van Aswegen fires back with a left hook which Standing ducks. A second left hand from Van Aswegen finds it’s mark soon after however. Van Aswegen does well to cover up as Standing puts together combinations. Luke hits the canvas soon after and Van Aswegen lands in full guard where he rains down elbows and punches. The referee steps in and calls it off and it will be some time before Standing is back up.
The sole bantamweight clash of the night featured an all local affair as Sydney fighters Darwin Sugarit and Giancarlo Embradora met to decide who advances to the next round of the tournament.
It was a tentative start from both fighters as they met in the opening seconds. Embradora tests the waters with a leg kick, which he follows up with a left hook soon after. Sagurit pushes him up against the cage but Embradora reverses and scores a takedown. After some time with both men looking to advance their positions, Sagurit does well to wind up on top as the 10 second warning sounds.
Sagurit goes on the offensive at the start of the second with a high kick. Embradora blocks it, Sagurit then lands a solid leg kick. He lands a left hook soon after and follows it up with a low kick which catches Embradora below the belt. As the referee jumps in to separate the two men, Sagurit lands an additional strike which sparks an outcry from the crowd. Embradora spends a short time recovering and as the fight restarts the fighters embrace. Back underway and Embradora scores a textbook double leg takedown. Sagurit again scrambles well and winds up on top before once again the bout is halted as he then lands an illegal blow to the back of Embradora’s head. They touch gloves on the restart and the round ends with both fighters going toe to toe.
Sagurit opens up with combinations to begin the final round before Embradora dumps him to the canvas with a takedown. Sagurit lands piston like short elbows from the bottom as Embradora peppers his face with short punches from half guard. Sagurit gets it back to full guard on the 10 second warning and the third round ends. The judges score the bout unanimously for Embradora.
After 3 years on the MMA sidelines, Steve Micallef made a successful return to action with a hard earned unanimous points decision win over Hoshi Freidrich to advance to the next round of the welterweight tournament.
The fight begins with both guys swinging for the fences from the get-go. Micallef connects with a left hand before forcing Freidrich up against the cage. He trips the Tasmanian to the canvas and lands in full guard where he connects with short shots to his head. They’re soon standing once more, but only briefly as Micallef once again gets the fight to the canvas and moves into side control. Freidrich gets it back to full guard as Micallef works towards his back. Right on the buzzer, Freidrich lands a kick to Micallef’s face and the referee decides to deduct 1 point. Micallef is obviously rocked by the illegal blow and stays down clutching his face for a period of time.
The second frame begins much like the first as both men come out throwing haymakers. A spinning back fist from Micallef misses its mark. Micallef scores another takedown and moves straight in to half guard where he peppers the face of Freidrich with short punches. Freidrich works back to his feet and Micallef locks up a standing guillotine choke right on the 10 second warning and the round ends.
Unlike the opening rounds the final chapter sees both fighters take a more tentative approach to begin. Freidrich lands with a kick to the body before tying Micallef up against the cage where he searches for a double leg. He’s unsuccessful however as Micallef reverses position before breaking and landing a body kick of his own. He trips Freidrich to the canvas again and the round closes out.
Micallef walks away with the decision win and post fight expresses his dissatisfaction with his performance.
The Jamie Mullarkey faithful were in full force with the Central Coast based featherweight receiving the loudest ovation of all the fighters on Saturday night. And after a major first round scare against 10th planet’s Josh Pacastaning, the Magnus Martial Arts gym product dominated the final minutes with relentless striking to win by a TKO early in the third.
Mullarkey takes centre cage and comes forward with punch combinations. Pecastaing pulls guard and within seconds locks up a tight looking triangle choke. Mullarkey eventually pops his head out and Pecastaing holds on to the arm and looks to extend the armbar. The preceding minutes saw Pecastaing on several occasions close to forcing the tap however Mullarkey showed great defensive skills to stay alive and on the 10 second warning breaks free and stands, sparking the crowd into celebration mode. The round closes out with Mullarkey coming forward throwing combinations.
A touch of gloves marks the start of the second chapter. Mullarkey lands an uppercut as they reengage. Mullarkey is obviously overwhelming Pecastaing with strikes as he desperately searches for a takedown. He’s eventually forced to pull guard, however Mullarkey stands back up. Pacastaning is back up and Mullarkey returns to the front foot with combinations. Overwhelmed once more, Pecastaing stumbles to the canvas as Mullarkey and the referee both coax him to stand. The round ends soon after.
Pecastaing is bloodied up as the final frame commences. He throws a kick but Mullarkey catches it and connects with a right hand. Mullarkey lands a left right combination and Pecastaing hits the canvas. Mullarkey pounces and the referee is forced to wave the contest off.
Chris Lofts and Connor Murphy met in the opening bout of the night. The 3 round encounter, which was the sole light heavyweight contest of the evening, was awarded to Tasmanian fighter Connor Murphy, who utilised his wrestling to control the resilient SPMA product throughout the fight.
An early exchange to begin the bout sees Murphy land with a right hand. He ties the SPMA fighter up against the cage for some time before Lofts eventually turns him and works towards a double leg takedown. He’s unsuccessful however and changes attack by landing a knee to Murphy’s head. Murphy attempts a double leg takedown of his own but is also unsuccessful. His gets it on the second attempt as the 10 second warning sounds. The round ends with Lofts back on his feet.
Murphy scores a takedown early in the second. He gains mount soon after as Lofts attempts to get back to his feet. He lands short shots once there before Lofts works back to half guard and then full guard. The second round ends soon after.
Lofts lands a grazing superman punch as they reengage in the final round and Murphy quickly takes him down. Lofts is back up soon after and Murphy wrestles him against the cage. Lofts works towards Murphy’s back then tries to trip him to the canvas but pulls Murphy on top of him into full guard. They’re both back standing now and the fight ends with Murphy controlling Lofts on the cage.
- Gerhard Voigt def Mohammed Naim via KO (Punch), Rd 1, 1:30
- Billy McAlees def Shane Phillips via TKO, Rd 1, 1:54
- Jan Johannes Van Aswegen def Luke Standing via TKO, Rd 1, 2:32
- Giancarlo Embradora def Darwin Sagurit via Decision (Unanimous)
- Steve Micallef def Hoshi Freidrich via Decision (Unanimous)
- Jamie Mullarkey def Josh Pecastaing via TKO (Punches), Rd 3, 0:49
- Connor Murphy def Chris Lofts via Decision (Unanimous)
Image credit: SPMA Moorebank Gym Facebook page