Eternal promotions finished the year on a high with Callan Potter winning a split points decision over New Zealand’s B.J. Bland.
The event bout headlined Eternal 40 which took place at the W.A Italian Club in Western Australia.
Potter, the Eternal lightweight champion, moved up to welterweight for this clash and didn’t look undersized in the cage. Neither fighter wanted to take a backward step. Bland countered nicely to marginally land the better strikes in the opening round though Potter controlled the cage and action when the two clinched. Judges could see it either way.
The second round was going the way of Bland as he pressured and landed the cleaner punches but with two remaining in the round, Potter secured the Uchi Mata throw to put Bland on his back. Without hesitating Potter, who trains out of Renegade MMA, transitioned to mount and looked to lock in the rear-naked choke submission. Bland worked his way out of it but was on the end of a huge elbow that cut him open. With blood pouring out, Potter again took the neck but Bland was able to see out the round.
The twists and turns continued in a frantic last round. Bland’s combinations found their mark as Potter took them on the chin and continued to come forward. An ill advised takedown attempt from Bland had him defending a kimura though with sweat on his side, he was able to swivel out. The Cify Kickboxing trained fighter rained down punches before Potter escaped back to his feet. The final two minutes were frantic, with both tiring fighters continuing to give it their all, landing heavy punches in what was one of the rounds of the year.
Potter was awarded the split decision win two judges scoring it in his favour 29-28 and the other in Bland’s favour.
“BJ is so tough. I can’t put enough words into how tough he is. Give him another round of applause. That was unbelievable,” Potter said in his post-fight speech.
Asked about a potential UFC call-up, Potter told the crowd, “I just want my chance. It’s the first time I’ve gone to a decision but even then I think it (was) fairly entertaining. I like to go for finishes but look, all I want is my opportunity.
“I don’t take easy fights. I fight whoever is put in front of me and I give 100% each time. If that’s what you are after in the big leagues, sign a brother up.”
Potter is now 17-7 as a pro and has only lost once in his last ten outings, that coming to former UFC fighter and submission specialist Marcin Held.
Luke Jones secured the biggest win of his career as he submitted Jesse Medina. Jones, the brother of Dan Jones who also fought on the card, was put on his back in the first round but quickly recovered to scramble back to his feet. As the round went on, he gained confidence and that continued in the second, as he in particular landed heavy leg kicks on his opponent. A strong right rocked Medina who immediately shot in for a takedown. Jones switched it to get the top position, mounted his opponent and sunk in the rear-naked choke when the back was shown.
New Zealand heavyweight Carlos Ulberg won a unanimous decision over John Martin Fraser. The 28-year-old got the better of the exchanges, landing strikes from the centre of the cage as he also stuffed and defended a handful of takedown attempts from Fraser. Judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 to the City Kickboxing trained fighter.
Fighting two weights above his normal weight division, Mark Familari was unable to overcame Daniel Jones who dropped his opponent with a left. Jones followed up with strikes on the ground before the referee halted the contest, arguably a few strikes to early which was protested by Familari. Nonetheless another victory for the Synergy Martial Arts trained fighter who moves to 6-0 as a pro.
Earlier, Noke Martial Arts trained Glen Pettigrew secured his third win on the trot, defeating Josh Della in a welterweight bout. Coming close with a submission in the first round, Pettigrew finished it in the second round, choking out Della with a rear-naked choke submission. Pettigrew moves to 6-2.