Veteran Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Gustavo Falciroli took home the XFC bantamweight title, by submitting Julian “Julz The Jackal” Wallace in the main event of XFC 27.
The event on Saturday night, which was the new management’s first offering, took place at the Mansfield Tavern in Queensland, Australia.
After a semi-heated weigh-in, Falciroli wasted no time in throwing the first strike as he immediately looked to take out Wallace with strikes as he pushed him against the cage where the pair jostled for wrist control. Falciroli dragged Wallace to the ground, where he was able to posture up and land short elbows. Wallace did well to resist Falciroli’s advances. “The Jackal” escaped back to his feet and landed heavy punches that sent Falciroli on the back foot and looking to cover up late in the round.
The two exchanged early in the second frame before Falciroli closed the distance and decided to pull Wallace down to the ground. Wallace found space as he stood back up where he again went on the attack, landing a big right among other heavy strikes. Falciroli body-tripped Wallace back to the ground and there he locked up a triangle choke. The former CFC and AFC bantamweight title holder, adjusted to tighten the submission however was not immediately able to get the tap from Wallace as “The Jackal” gave the referee the thumbs up. Falciroli looked to adjust to the arm, before ultimately securing the tap with a modified triangle choke.
Both fighters gave credit to each other in their post-fight speeches with Falciroli crediting two local fighters, Daniel Lima and Adrian Pang as fighters he looked up to. It was an important victory for Falciroli who trains out of Absolute MMA in Melbourne alongside UFC fighter Daniel Kelly. Falciroli came into the contest on the back of a TKO loss to Darwin Sagurit in March.
As the two buried the hatchet, Wallace went on to explain that he would never purposely disrespect someone of Falciroli’s calibre and his actions in the lead-up were simply to hype up the fight.
It was a disappointing night for Muay Thai champion Michael Badato who made an unsuccessful first step to MMA, losing out to Brogan Anderson via first round TKO.
The Kiwi, who had spent time preparing at Jackson Wink academy in Albuquerque, wanted no part of Badato’s striking perfectly timing a double leg to take the fight to the ground in the early seconds. Underneath in side-control, Badato struggled to find the space to get back to his feet as Anderson went to work. The Team Hammerhead, Dunedin product moved to mount and started to rain down strikes and with Badato not showing signs of improving his position, the referee halted the contest. Badato immediately protested the stoppage however with no signs of improving his position, the stoppage was justified. The official time at 3:07 into the fight.
South Korean fighter Sung Hwa Han and New Zealand’s Kieran Joblin will battle it out for a contract with Japanese promotion Pancrase, after both fighters were victorious in their ‘Road to Pancrase’ bouts.
Joblin, who came into the fight losing only twice in his last 13 bouts, secured another victory, this time against Ethan Duniam. Duniam had his moments in particular late in the round, where the Tasmanian Wing Chun practitioner was able to secure back-mount with hooks in as he looked for the rear-naked choke submission. Joblin, though, escaped everything Duniam threw at him and never truly looked in danger as he dominated from the top position to take home the unanimous decision.
South Korea’s Sung Hwa Han, who is currently training at Integrated MMA in Brisbane, overcame Auckland fighter Pumau Campbell in an entertaining bout. Both fighters threw an impressive array of strikes in what was a technical battle spent predominantly on the feet. Han started to get the better of the striking exchange as he pushed the pace landing impressive kicks, body-head combinations and finding a home for his uppercut. The New Zealand’s face was showing signs of a battle, but he never was completely out of it, and gave it his all in the final seconds in attempt to steal the fight however it was not enough as Han walked away with the judges decision.
Infinity Martial Arts fighter Robbie Paraha looked impressive in his welterweight fight against Joel Fahey. The bout hit the ground early with Paraha being active in his search for a submission. A BJJ brown belt, Paraha dropped back and secured the heel hook submission to get the tap, 1:41 into the bout.
Earlier on the card, a relaxed and composed Bevan O’Malley had a slow start in his bout against late replacement Beau Luxford. Luxford pushed the pace early, however O’Malley upped the tempo in the second round where he secured the rear-naked choke, to get the tap.
Issac Hardman won a hard fought bout against a resilient opponent in Glen Pettigrew. Hardman, landed the cleaner power punches of the two, constantly pushing the pace and ultimately taking home the unanimous decision.
In the other pro fights on the card, Nick Skidmore won a decision against Matt Thompson while James Vake secured a TKO victory over Josh Robson.