Eternal MMA 36 Recap – Diego Pereira edges Sam Hibberd; wants title shot next

Six years to the day when Eternal MMA held their first event and the promotion returned to the same venue last night for their 36th event.

It was a technical battle in the main event with Diego Pereira edging a decision win over Sam Hibberd from Absolute MMA.

Pereira started actively with pin-point striking and the two featherweights clinched for a large portion of the opening round with Pereira predominantly pushing his opponent against the cage where they exchanged short punches and knees.

Hibberd landed a strong double-leg takedown in the second round but Pereira immediately worked back to his feet as he pressured his opponent against the cage. Hibberd remained active, landed short strikes but neither fighter looked to give an inch as they continued to pummel for dominant position. A forced referee stoppage briefly separated the two before they ended up against the cage again.

With a tight first two rounds, Pereira showed urgency in the last round as he started it with a flurry of heavy strikes. The two wrestled against the cage which led to another referee restart. Hibberd immediately shot in for a takedown however Pereira worked back to his feet. Hibberd looked for a standing kimura which was countered nicely by Pereira getting a short trip takedown. The last couple of minutes of the round Hibberd took control, landing a pair of takedowns and a small suplex.

It wasn’t enough though as the Southside MMA trained Pereira pulled out the split points decision win.

“These are the type of fights I need,” Pereira said in his post-fight speech in the cage.

“The fights early in my career that will push me so I can go back to the drawing board with lots to work on and improve, to comeback a complete fighter.”

Asked what he wanted next, Pereira responded. “You know what’s next. Give me that featherweight belt”.

The featherweight belt is currently held by MMA Clinic’s Ryan Gray.

In the semi-main event, Aaron Blackie was feeling slightly under pressure after losing for the first time in his last outing but the Higgins Fighting System trained fighter was able to bounce back with superior peformance over Jordan Wallace. A Judo Black Belt, Blackie looked a different fighter from his last outing, stayed composed and ultimate took the back in the second round where he was able to force the tap.

There is no rest time for Blackie who already has his next fight booked in a fortnight’s time. He rematches Jesse Medina on Aftershock 30 in Gladstone.

Also on the card, in a rescheduled bout from the cancelled Nitro event, Daniel Almeida secured a tight kimura submission to defeat fellow veteran Jeff King.

The amateur portion of the card was action packed and got the night started on the right footy. Six of the amateur bouts ended via KO or TKO stoppage.

Results (Pro):

  • Diego Pereira def. Sam Hibberd via Decision (Split)
  • Aaron Blackie def. Jordan Wallace via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 2, 3:36
  • Daniel Almeida def. Jeffrey King via Submission (Kimura), Rd 1, 3:35

Results (Amateur):

  • Casey O’Neill def. Kristy Obst via TKO (Punches), Rd 3, 2:48
  • Chanthou Sin def. Tom Taylor via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Mitch Bayliss def. Callum Dudley via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Cody Watego def. Jack Williams via TKO (Punches), Rd 1, 1:42
  • Linda Hafoka def. Molly O’Connell via Decision (Majority)
  • Rafael Vilches def. Michael Letizia via KO (Head-Kick), Rd 2, 1:45
  • Mack Gorrie def Jordan Payne via KO (Punches), Rd 1, 0:48
  • Chris Thorne def. Joe Marsden via TKO (Punches), Rd 2, 0:54
  • Alvarro Navarro def. George Dailly via TKO (Punches), Rd 2, 2:07
  • Liam Skelton def. Alex Atutahi via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Taavet Taevakiiker def. Kane Sullivan via Decision (Unanimous)
Started Martial Arts training after watching Mr Miyagi and Daniel-son in Karate Kid back in 1987. By the time MMA arrived many years later, I was hooked. Coverage of local MMA was via scarce posts on forums like the Underground and Sherdog. I embarked on covering the sport in 2002 and since then have written thousands of articles for both print and online media, before branching out and starting Fight News Australia in 2010. Outside the site, I dream of riding in an F1 car.