Eternal MMA held their second event in as many nights on Saturday with the lightweight and middleweight titles going on the line.
It was an intense main event clash between former Hex welterweight champion Kitt Campbell and Queensland-based Welsh fighter John Martin-Fraser who left the cage victorious in a grueling battle.
Campbell had quite a team in his corner with current UFC light-heavyweight Jimmy Crute joining former UFC fighter Callan Potter and Australian Judoka Duke Didier all assisting. Martin-Fraser wasn’t to be outdone though, with UFC veteran Kyle Noke joining Martin-Fraser’s Ignite MMA coaches.
After a battle of words in the lead-up, both locked eyes once they were in the cage and refused to look away. Campbell was winning the early exchanges, got the fight to the ground, and using his reach to his advantage to land heavy leg-kicks.
Both fighters had to be separated by the referee at the end of the round as they met face-to-face, exchanging words.
Martin-Fraser on the front foot but the pace had slowed by the second-round. A much more steady output from both with Campbell starting to do some damage with the leg-kicks. An accidental eye poke momentarily halted the action before the two exchanged combos and after the round ended, words again.
Arguably down two rounds to none, Martin-Fraser needed to turn the tide and he did just that in the third round. Campbell changed his gameplan and started to walk forward more which allowed Martin-Fraser to utilise his dirty boxing to his advantage. Campbell did secure a takedown however Martin-Fraser popped back to his feet and finished strong with a pair of uppercuts.
Martin-Fraser continued where he left off in the previous round but this time, changed levels to get a takedown of his own. On his back, Campbell had no answer and the 28-year-old Martin-Fraser went to work from the top position in half-guard. After taking multiple strikes, the referee warned Campbell to improve his position but as the punches continued, Campbell could not escape and the referee halted the contest.
Big win for Martin-Fraser who improves his record to 5-2 and has three wins on the trot. Campbell drops to 10-6 with a third straight loss.
The lightweight title fight between champion Josh Togo and challenger Daniel Hill took a similar path with one fighter arguably up in the early rounds before the tide turned, this time with Dan Hill walking away as the new champion.
Togo looked like a champ should early in the contest, composed and mixing it up nicely from the outside, particularly firing off heavy leg kicks. Togo looked comfortable in the first, defended a pair of takedown attempts, and really peppering the lead leg.
The slippery canvas, which proved to be an issue most of the night, started to return as the fighters had an extra obstacle to overcome. Both seemed to show good sportsmanship to acknowledge when a slip was as a result of the canvas rather than a strike and allows them to get back to their feet. Togo countering with intent but Hill doesn’t take a backward step, continues to come forward. Togo finished the round strongly.
Much the same in the third round with the output from both impressive. Togo sneaked in a takedown midway through the round and was inside full-guard before Hill returned back to his feet. Hill relentless in coming forward and Togo not throwing as many kicks anymore, preferring to try and strike with his opponent.
As we went into the championship rounds, Togo secured the early takedown but before he could get to work from the top, Hill used the hip-bump sweep to reverse. The 24-year-old challenger straight away got the back and locked up the rear-naked choke to submit Togo.
YOUR NEW ETERNAL LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION. Dan Hill sinks in a rear naked choke in the fourth round. #EternalFightWeekendPosted by Eternal MMA on Saturday, March 20, 2021
Hill is your new Eternal lightweight champion and keeps his undefeated record intact by moving to 5-0. Togo drops to 9-4.
The fight most impacted by the slippery canvas was the lightweight contender bout between Brentin Mumford and Dimps Gillies. Both fighters fought through it and put on an entertaining back-and-forth battle. It went the distance where Mumford was awarded the unanimous decision.
Great sportsmanship was shown from both fighters at the conclusion of a grueling affiar.
In his post-fight speech, Mumford had picked Togo to reclaim his lightweight belt but will now make plans to face Daniel Hill for the title.
Josh Kuhne got the biggest ovation of the night as he continued his barrage up the ranks, albeit, in controversial fashion tonight as he stopped Trevor Sinclair.
Replays showed what the referee missed in the heat of the action. Kuhne landed an accidental knee to the groin as they both attempted knees against the cage. With his killer instinct, Kuhne capitalised as Sinclair tried to protest the low-blow. A big right would drop Sinclair and the follow-up shots finished the contest. Sinclair would be wobbly getting back to his feet but continues to protest the low-blow.
Notably, Sinclair acknowledged in a social media post after the fight, commenting, “It is what it is. I shouldn’t have taken my eyes off the opponent.”
Also on the main card, Mirwas Kakar won a unanimous decision over Rafael Vilches while Jamie Sporne dominate with 30-27 across the board in his decision over Peter Templer.
The event took place at Carrara Stadium on Queensland’s Gold Coast with the main card broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass.