Queensland based promotion Nitro MMA returns this Saturday with another jam packed event scheduled to be held at the Logan Entertainment Centre in Logan City, Queensland.
The event will be headlined by a trio of title fights with Townsville fighter Ian Bone (pictured left) featuring in the main event when he defends his Nitro welterweight title for the first time when he takes on highly touted Corey Nelson from Sydney. Both men are tipped to be leading contenders on the next international season of The Ultimate Fighter featuring Australia and Canada as the two opposing teams. A win for either fighter would be a massive step in the right direction for selection in the reality show.
Bone has been inactive from MMA competition having last fought back in July 2012 where he captured the Nitro welterweight title. There, Bone submitted Ben Mortimer with a second round rear-naked choke submission to get the win. Nelson comes into the fight on a four fight win streak with all four bouts finishing via KO or TKO. His most recent fight was as part of the Australian Fighting Championships Welterweight tournament where he defeated Alex Volkanovski in the first round. Nelson is also scheduled to fight against Brazilian Walber Brito de Barros in the next round of the AFC tournament scheduled to occur in August.
In one of the most highly anticipated rematches of the year, the ever entertaining Julian ‘Julz The Jackal’ Rabaud will look to wipe the only loss off his record when he faces fellow Gold Coast based fighter Chris ‘Kewl Bonez’ Morris for the vacant Nitro bantamweight title. The two originally squared off on Fightworld Cup 10 back in November 2011 where a slam from Morris forced an early end to the fight after Rabaud suffered an injury which had him sidelined for a while. Fans of both fighters have not held back on social media in the lead-up which has led to coaches of the fighters asking for respect to be shown. Come Saturday though, expect a heated fight when they meet in the cage. Morris is coming off a decision victory over Shannon McClellan back in March, while Rabaud defeated Jacob Mahony in July last year by a TKO stoppage late in the fight.
Rounding off the title fights will be a middleweight contest with undefeated Integrated Martial Arts youngster Tyler Manawaroa coming up against Taipari Rikihana. Manawaroa was a final candidate for the “TUF Smashes” series before being omitted due to being under the age of 18. Now of legal age, a win here will no doubt put the TUF selectors on notice. Manawaroa recently moved to the middleweight division where he submitted William Namoa with a first-round submission back in March. His opponent, Impact MMA fighter Rikihana stepped up on a few weeks notice to replace Semir Celikovic. The powerful 30 year-old will be looking at upsetting and gifting Manawaroa his first career loss.
After suffering his first career loss to Sam Kei at Nitro 7 last year, Chris Lokteff has moved to the heavyweight division where he recently secured his first career submission win after previously winning all his bouts by KO or TKO. He makes his return to the Nitro promotion where he is scheduled to Five Rings Dojo fighter Cameron Bracewell who has yet to taste defeat in his three professional bouts.
In a lightweight clash, Port Macquarie fighter Sam Bastin will come up against Alex MacDonald. After starting his career winning only two fights in his first seven, Allegiance youngster Sam Bastin has resurrected his career with three straight victories which includes a second round TKO stoppage over Rob Hill back in May. His opponent will be locally based Alex Macdonald who will have the home-crowd support when he enters the cage with a 5-1 professional MMA record.
Matthew Frincu returns to action after he last defeated Rhys Murray back at Nitro MMA 8. He comes up against Fightcross MMA striking coach Nathan Ngan.
In a female MMA bout, Integrated MMA fighter Jessy “Jess” Rose-Clarke (pictured right) will meet newly crowned womens boxing world champion Arlene Blencowe at bantamweight. Both fighters are looking at making an impact on the local scene in what is expected to be an entertaining clash of styles.
Also on the card, Michael Roger will meet PUMMA fighter Tim Moore in a 58kg catchweight bout, while former Brace Bantamweight Title holder Ed Arana returns to action when he faces Shannon McClellan.
The opening fight on the card will have Rings Toowoomba based fighter Matthew George take on Mitchell Mallett.
- Ian Bone (Champion) vs Corey Nelson
Vacant Nitro Bantamweight Title:
- Chris Morris vs Julian Rabaud
Vacant Middleweight Title:
- Tyler Manawaroa vs Taipari Rikihana
- Chris Lokteff vs Cam Bracewell
- Alex MacDonald vs Sam Bastin
- Matthew Frincu vs Nathan Ngan
- Arlene Blencowe vs Jessy Rose-Clark
- Tim Moore vs Michael Roger
- Shannon McClellan vs Edwin Arana
- Matthew George vs Mitchell Mallett