A new amateur welterweight champion was crowned last Saturday, as Diellon Lihari captured the title from Jacob Lepage in the main event of Demolition Fight Series 10, scoring a unanimous decision victory and the title.
The first round saw the challenger push the pace on the champion, taking down Lepage and retaining dominant positions throughout the round, including multiple rear-naked-choke attempts after transitioning to the back. Lepage was able to reverse position multiple times throughout the fight, however Lihari was able to counter these reversals and maintain in control.
Lepage came into the second round with more vigour, shooting on Lihari and pushing him against the cage, where he looked to utilise his cage wrestling. Lihari was able to reverse this position against the cage, and again use his grappling to take Lepage down, attempting to lock in a kimura throughout the round. This theme continued into the third and final round of the bout.
This win raises Lihari’s amateur record to 6-2, as Lepage suffers his first loss and now sits at 5-1. Lepage is the current Demolition middleweight champion and captured the welterweight title in his last fight against Mark Furnari.
Lihari was offered this fight on four weeks’ notice after suffering a decision loss to Artemis Trepca at Path to Hex 20. While the quick turn around did add some stress to the camp, Lihari says he and his coaches were confident in his ability heading into this fight.
‘I fought four weeks ago. I got offered this fight the day after…I had a chat to my coaches and a few of my training partners and we were like “f**k it. We know what needs to change, it’s nothing that is going to take time. Let’s just give it a crack, see how we go.” And it went pretty well tonight I feel.’ Lihari said.
‘I know where I stand on my grappling. I never doubted my grappling in this fight.’
After spending the past 12 weeks in camp, Lihari is looking to rest a little, however his eyes are set for another fight at the end of the year.
‘I started this year in terms of competition really strong. I’ve had three MMA fights, one jiu jitsu match on Fusion…I’ll probably just train off camp for the next 2, 3 weeks…let the body relax a little bit and from there I’ll see what happens next. Look to pick up some fights…not slowing down.’
The co-main of the evening saw undefeated amateur strawweight champion Winona Greenhalgh defend her title against Mietta Stathopoulos via split decision.
The opening round saw the pair lock into grappling exchanges, with both champion and challenger using cage wrestling to pressure their opponent. Stathopoulos attempted a guillotine, however Greenhalgh was able to escape from the choke and get the fight back to the feet, where the pair traded effective striking, before Greenhalgh ended the round with a takedown attempt.
The second round also showcased both striking and grappling, the two again trading heavy strikes and mixing in their grappling. The latter part of the round saw Greenhalgh maintaining a dominant top position, landing ground and pound strikes throughout while Stathopoulos worked to maintain guard and look for submissions, which she nearly found as she moved Greenhalgh into a seemingly deep armbar as the round finished.
Greenhalgh seemed to look for that top position again in the final round, landing a big takedown and keeping on top in the round.
Greenhalgh now sits as 5-0 as an amateur, and earns her first title defence since winning the belt against Ashliinka Rachwalski at Demolition 9 in February. While Greenhalgh says her goal is to turn pro, she will be looking to speak with her team to decide what the next step for her career will be.
‘It’s going to be up to my coaches to see where I’m at. I really want to make it to the UFC. Probably have a couple more amateur fights if they want me to or go professional if we can’t find anything. We’ll just see what comes really.’
Speaking about the armbar in the second round, Greenhalgh said that a mix of skill and toughness kept her persevering.
‘I had my thumb twisted so she didn’t have it, I didn’t feel it. I heard my corner say there’s ten second left and I thought “That’s not on, I’m no tapping to that, it’s not worth it.”.’
Heading into the third round, Greenhalgh said she and her corner was aware of the need make a statement to close the fight.
‘From the second round my coaches were like “yeah it’s a bit close.”…So coming into the third I knew I had to step it up here. Got that big takedown at the end.’
A proud Aboriginal woman, Greenhalgh’s mouthguard sports the black, red, and yellow of the Aboriginal flag, as well as streaks of these colours braided into her hair, something that Greenhalgh says she’s proud to bring with her into the cage.
‘I’m aboriginal, it’s coming up to NAIDOC week so I thought I’d represent. I love my culture.’
Demolition Fight Series 10 results
Dillion Lihari def. Jacob Lepage via decision (unanimous) – Amateur welterweight championship
Winona Greenhalgh def. Mietta Stathopoulos via decision (split) – Amateur strawweight title
Akram Naman def. Rozay Hassan via submission (rear naked choke), rnd 2 – Amateur lightweight title
Mark Funari def. Tom Kovac via decision (unanimous) – Amateur super lightweight title
Mal McDowell def. Jawad Rajabi via decision (unanimous) – Amateur bantamweight title
Jett Fisher def. John Loughhead via submission (rear naked choke), rnd 3 – Amateur featherweight title
Shaun D’souza def. Sami Rust via KO (strikes), rnd 1
Finn Vantslot def. Caleb Oladimeji via TKO (strikes), rnd 3
Eray Gedik def. Jurnee Sargent via KO (strikes), rnd 1
Ben Patching def. Ben Dawes via submission (guillotine choke), rnd 2
Mustafa Wardak def. James Buckle via submission (rear naked choke), rnd 2
Jacob Harrison def. Dan Bouvard via submission (triangle choke), rnd 1