Melbourne based promotion Hex Fight Series returned for show number twenty on Friday night. The event took place at the Melbourne Pavilion with the main event featuring local Victorian and former Hex champion Kitt Campbell taking on Guam based JJ Ambrose in a welterweight contest.
The visitor would walk away the victor after getting the unanimous decision nod. Throughout the three-round contest, Ambrose predominately controlled the grappling exchanges including when it hit the canvas.
Campbell looked to keep the fight standing, while his American foe aimed to use his wrestling & jiu-jitsu to nullify Campbell’s striking game plan. When striking exchanges ensued Campbell looked dangerous with the use of his explosive kicks and hand speed. Reach was also a clear advantage for Campbell when popping out his one, two combinations.
In the early stages of round two, Campbell landed cleanly with a headkick, and continued on with heavy hooks, one of which connected right on the temple & momentarily staggered Ambrose. While Ambrose was grounded Campbell followed up with a soccer-kick and the referee was forced to deduct a point.
Although Ambrose was aggressive with his takedowns, Campbell did show great takedown defense early on, but the relentless pace set on by Ambrose was visibly grueling and energy-sapping. Campbell held his own on the ground reversing on occasion and getting ground and pound of his own, but overall the continuous takedowns, grappling control along with multiple submission attempts was enough to secure the win for Ambrose.
With the win, Ambrose moves to 34-8-2, while Campbell drops to 10-5 following the result.
In the co-headliner, Melbourne based American Raja Shippen fighting out of Absolute MMA was matched up against local stand out Michael Barber of Resilience MMA. The featherweight contest was much anticipated as both fighters were well known for their versatile striking styles.
Shippen’s experience shun through as he was calm and collected throughout the match. Early on a few back and forth battles in the clinch ensued against the fence. Shippen’s Muay Thai clinch made it difficult for Barber to unload to the head, but Barber was able to attack with punches to the body while in the clinch. Shippen used his knees well from the position.
As Barber came forward with a combination of strikes, Shippen connected with a perfectly timed spinning elbow instantaneously leaving Barber motionless on impact.
Post-match, experienced veteran Shippen moves to 18-12-1, while Barber drops to 3-3
Also on the card, Melbourne based French Judoka Kevin Jousset was impressive in his unanimous decision win over local Victorian Mat Myers. Jousset’s grappling proved too strong in the end demonstrating & landing multiple Judo throws, securing grappling control throughout most of the match, along with a number of submission attempts on his counterpart. Myer’s proved to be a very tough opponent though. Despite dealing with cuts and defending a barrage of submission attempts, Myer’s continued fighting on searching for a way to victory until the bell sounded the end of the fight.
Due to last-minute pull-outs, the final fight card had six fights scheduled.
*Picture via W.L Fight Photography