The MMA Clinic’s Mitch Martin was two rounds down before coming back and forcing a last round TKO stoppage over Jason Petropoulos to secure a third consecutive title.
The bantamweight title fight headlined Eternal MMA 38 which took place at the Titaniun Security Arena in South Australia. It was the promotion’s second event in the state after making their debut their back in April.
Petropoulos started strongly, successful with a double-leg takedown where he was able to ground-and-pound against the cage for the majority of the first round. With 90-seconds left, Martin reversed though was forced to defend an omoplata and leg-lock before finishing the round with a standing kimura attempt of his own.
The challenger again got the fight to the ground, this time by giving up on a takedown to pull guard where he utilised a deep guard to reverse. Petropoulos continued with ground-and-pound with the 25-year-old moving to mount. He unloaded with strikes and took the back, with a body-triangle locking his opponent into place, he searched for the neck. Martin found space to turn and obtained top position but in a repeat of the first round, he was made to work, countering Petropoulos’ active guard.
The pace had taken it’s toll on Petropoulos as he took in deep breathes between rounds with Martin having an extra pep in his step as he came out, needing a finish to guarantee the title home would return home with him. Petropoulos failed with a takedown attempt and made the mistake of pulling guard. With the superior cardio, Martin easily escaped the submission attempts, passed guard and unloading with heavy shots from the top. Martin momentarily got swept though recovered with a kimura sweep. The punches continued and with Petropoulos exhausted and not defending himself, the referee halted the contest.
A challenging and testing fight for the champ as he moves to 6-0 and breaking the promotion record with his third consecutive title defense.
“I was definitely down two rounds to none. There’s no doubt about that,” Martin told the crowd post-fight.
“I felt him getting more and more tired and it’s kind of where I came to fruition, in the last round. When they’re a bit tired, I come from behind and drag them into deep waters with punishment.”
In the co-main event, Antonio Caruso scored the biggest win of his career as the local remained undefeated with a first-round submission over veteran Jai Bradney.
The 27-year-old was rocked with a shot in an exchange early as lost his balance. Bradney unloaded with punches from the top however Caruso quickly found space to escape back to his feet. Bradney continued to come forward looking for the finishing blow. Clinched against the cage, Caruso, a BJJ Brown Belt, ducked under his opponents arm to take the back and get the fight to the ground. There he locked up the body-triangle and forced Bradney to tap.
Earlier in the night, former champion Myles Simpson scored a stoppage victory over Bret Jacobsen while Paul Loga out-wrestled Daniel Williams to a unanimous decision victory.
The fight between Anthony Bynoe and Luke Howard was cancelled less than hour before the event with Bynoe deemed unable to compete.