Australian Fighting Championships 16 took place Saturday night, with a strong Melbourne crowd welcoming the promotion back to local fight venue the Melbourne Pavilion. The card was headlined by a short-lived heavyweight title fight between Brandon Sosoli and Tai Tuivasa.
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The challenger, Tuivasa entered the venue to almighty cheers and chants from his vocal supporters. The Sydney fighter, who trains out of Lion’s High Performance Centre under the Te Huna brothers, looked confident and was eager to get in the cage for the upcoming battle. Sosoli entered the arena looking calm and collected.
The bout began with the combatants moving towards the centre of the cage and testing the waters during the feeling out process. Tuivasa then rushed forward with punches, Sosoli opted for the clinch and was forced back towards the cage. Tuivasa landed with a hefty elbow up close which dropped Sosoli on impact forcing a stoppage of the fight at only 21 seconds of the first round.
With the highlight-reel KO finish, which follows his demolition of Gul Pohatu in December, Tuivasa is crowned the new AFC heavyweight champion and remains undefeated in MMA.
In the co-headliner fight, Queensland youngster Issac Hardman took on hometown fighter Kaan Ofli. The lightweight match was a fast paced, back and forth battle with both fighters trading heavy shots throughout the match. On occasion, the two were able to drop each-other in striking exchanges. Through his utilisation of his reach, jabs and leg kicks, while demonstrating control of the fight, Hardman was awarded the victory by unanimous decision.