The inaugural Brace championship tournament kicks off on March 15 at the Big Top in Sydney’s Luna Park. At this early stage, the promotion has released 9 matchups in 5 weight divisions for the 2014 season opener (Brace 26), with the fight card order to be announced at a later date.
Luke Standing vs JJ Van Aswegen
Former Brace featherweight title challenger Luke Standing (4-1, pictured), and undefeated submission specialist JJ Van Aswegen (2-0) will meet in the opening round of the featherweight tournament. Standing, who fights out of the Sinosic / Perosh gym, will be looking to rebound from his first round TKO loss to Martin Nguyen at Brace 24, while Newcastle’s Van Aswegen (Beston Gracie) will endeavor to keep his unblemished record intact after submitting Adam Corbett and most recently Kris Spence at Brace 23.
Josh Pecastaing vs Jamie Mullarkey
Pankration World Champion Jamie Mullarkey (6-1), of the Magnus Martial Arts gym on the Central Coast, is currently riding a two-fight win streak with victories over Luke Hume, and most recently, David Greaves, who he outpointed at Roshambo 2. His sole loss to date came against former Brace featherweight champion, and newly signed ONE FC fighter, Martin Nguyen. Mullarkey will face BJJ purple belt Josh Pecastaing from the 10th planet Jiu Jitsu gym in Melbourne. Pecastaing, who also holds a black belt in Zen Do Kai and a second degree black belt in Koryu-Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu, will be making his pro MMA debut on the night.
Jordan Lucas vs Richie Ivory
Jordan Lucas and Richie Ivory will meet in the first round of the bantamweight tournament in what is set to be a battle of Victorian based fighters. Twenty year-old Lucas, of the Nemesis gym in Melbourne, is currently undefeated after 4 outings, and will be looking to build on a first round submission win over Adam Corbett at AFC 7. Born in Ireland, and now residing in Bendigo after moving to Australia in 2011, Richie Ivory’s pro record stands at 3-2 (according to Sherdog.com). Ivory is the head instructor of BJJ and MMA at the Carlson Gracie Team in Bendigo and will be making his Australian MMA debut on the night.
Darwin Sagurit vs Giancarlo Embradora
Unsuccessful in his AFC bantamweight tournament endeavor, in which he was outpointed in a fast paced and fan friendly encounter with explosive Victorian Charlie Alaniz, Giancarlo Embradora will now turn his sights to fellow Sydney fighter Darwin Sagurit.
Steve Micallef vs Hoshi Friedrich
Undefeated after 5 pro appearances, with notable wins over Lenny Kent, Jay Cobain and Kiwi veteran Pat Crawley, Sinosic / Perosh product Steve Micallef will make his MMA return after 3 years on the sidelines. Micallef is set to face Melbourne’s Hoshi Friedrich, who is currently 1-0 professionally after submitting Eddie Trewin at Valor 6.
Gerhard Voigt vs Mohammed Naim
Auckland born Gerhard Voigt, who now resides in Sydney where he trains out of the Sinosic / Perosh gym, and Mohammed Naim will meet in the first round of the middleweight tournament. Voigt will be looking to bounce back from a first round TKO loss to Billy McAlees — who also joins this season’s middleweight tournament — in the Brace 21 main event. Naim, who fights out of the Lions Den gym in Sydney, will be making his Australian return after fighting overseas since 2011.
John Mitchell vs William Namoa
After going 1-0 as an amateur, Sydney’s John Mitchell went on to face fellow middleweight tournament hopeful, Gerhard Voigt, in his pro debut at Brace 19, where he was stopped in the second round with punches. Mitchell is set to face ATT product William Namoa.
Billy McAlees vs Shane Phillips
As previously noted, Boxing Work’s Billy McAlees is sitting at 2 wins with no losses after beating both Mikey Vaotuua and Gerhard Voigt. McAlees faces Queensland’s Shane Phillips for a spot in the second round of the middleweight tournament.
Chris Lofts vs Connor Murphy
Chris Lofts, SPMA’s fourth product for the night, and Tasmanian Connor Murphy will meet in the sole light heavyweight bout. Lofts (1-1) is coming off a submission win over Adam Sarkis at Cage Conquest 2, while Murphy outpointed David Codrington in his last outing at Valor 3.