Eternal MMA 52 crowned two new champions in the promotions flyweight and featherweight division; while a perfect performance by the lightweight champion kept the belt around his waist.
The bout headlined Eternal 52 which took place at Southport Sharks on Queensland’s Gold Coast and was broadcast live on the streaming platform, UFC Fight Pass.
Having recently made the move to the CMBT Training Centre, Ross looked relaxed as the exchanged leg-kicks early. Erceg pressured forward and had the reach advantage. Ross landed a pair of a one-two and countered nicely however Erceg didn’t look flustered as he continued coming forward. A big right from Erceg crumbled Ross and the Western Australian fighter jumped on top where he transitioned to mount. Ross slipped out of the back only for Erceg to scramble and take the back where he was able to lock up the rear-naked choke submission to force the tap 4:28 into the contest.
Big win for the Wilkes Academy trained fighter who moves to 5-1 as a pro. It’s a big loss for 30-year-old Ross who drops to 12-5.
“That was not the way I thought it was going to go. I thought I was going to win. But f**king one round and I f**cking choked him. Can’t have a better performance than that,” Erceg told the crowd in his post-fight speech.
In the semi-main event, Australian Top Team trained Josh Togo successfully defended the Eternal lightweight title with a pristine performance against former UFC fighter and Australian veteran Ben Wall.
It was a cautious beginning from both fighters in the opening minutes, Togo taking the centre of the cage and successfully defending a takedown attempt from his opponent midway through the first round.
Wall immediately upped the tempo in the second round however Togo’s lateral movement kept him at distance and the fight standing which is just where he wanted it. A high-kick rocked Wall and Togo immediately followed up with a body shot that dropped him. Togo pounced immediately with follow up shots to get the referee stoppage.
It’s a fifth win in a row for Togo who moves to 9-3 while Wall drops to 10-8-1.
“To be honest, with the finish, I was just taking my time, picking my shots. That was part of the gameplan,” Togo answered in his post-fight speech.
“We knew what Ben was going to come with. He is a tough grappler. We just had to stick to the gameplan. Secured it, did the job and it paid off,” he added
Rewatch Josh Togo VS Ben Wall on UFC Fight Pass. Next up MAIN EVENT: Shannon Ross VS Stephen Erceg.
Heavy leg kicks were exchanged early as the two fighters loaded every strike. In the last couple minutes of the first round, Jenkins wrestled Pereira to the cage and secured the takedown. The Victorian looked to lock up a crucifix but that allowed Pereira to escape back to his feet.
The second round was contested entirely on their feet with neither fighter landing anything that rocked their opponent until the final 20-seconds when a head-kick from Jenkins landed flush.
Jenkins changed it up early in the third round with a copybook body-lock trip where he was able to straight away secure the back. Pereira is no slouch on the ground himself and wriggled to seated single-leg to reverse into half-guard. Pereira went to work straight away and opened up a cut under Jenkins’ left eye. Jenkins escaped back to his feet and straight away went into attack mode, successfully landing punches.
It was arguably all still up for grabs as the fight went into the championship rounds but the judges wouldn’t be needed. Jenkins had taken the back and was attacking the neck when Pereira suddenly tapped before the submission had properly been locked up.
It was revealed post-fight Pereira may have suffered a broken jaw and with Jenkins attempting to lock up the choke, it became too much and Pereira was forced to tap, 4:01 into the fourth round.
Jenkins captures the featherweight belt and moves to 6-2 in what was also his Eternal debut. Pereira drops to 6-4.
“We just wanted to keep it in my range and not let him settle because he is so dangerous if you let him sit in his range. So the plan was to get in his face and put him on the back foot and I think we did a great job.
An emotional Jenkins thanked his team-mates and also took the opportunity to raise awareness for training partner Sy Leafa.
“Before I get off the mic. my homie over in Thailand, Sy Leafa. He had a brain haemorrhage in a fight a couple of months ago. He is still in Thailand in a coma so we are trying to raise some funds to bring him home. So if you could help by going to our Go Fund Me page to help bring him home, that would be greatly appreciated.”
First time in Eternal MMA history, we go to championship rounds!
Also on the card, in arguably what was her toughest test, Chelsea Hackett overcame veteran Rhiannon Thompson via a unanimous decision while Kyle Noke trained John Martin Fraser needed just 25-seconds to knock-out Khan Deatta in a middleweight contest.
The main card started off with a comeback victory from Rafael Vilches as he submitted Cody Watego in the third round.