The latest event in Australia was a success. The right mix of exciting prospects, controversial officiating and the local favourite winning the main event meant fans went home happy.
RAWLINGS def HAM – unanimous decision
It all kicked off with Rawlings making hard work of a spiky but much smaller opponent, so much so the two looked like they compete in different weight classes. Sadly, Rawlings did not use her bulk and power to bully the impressive Ham. Instead she attempted to stand up against the more technically precise and faster foe. Ultimately the advantage paid in the latter rounds, but 30-27 from two of the judges? Vastly inaccurate. It is a shame there is not a lighter division for Ham to ply her trade as she will have won a few more fans from the outing.
KELLY def CARLOS jnr – TKO rnd 3
In the upset of the night the gnarly but game vet Kelly scored a shock third round barrage to end the fight against the potential future title challenger. Widely expected to be an opponent to take a few shots then buckle, Kelly obviously forgot to pick up that memo. All was going to plan in the first as Carlos had total control on the mat. The ju-jitsu champion really should have finished it then and there with a full round of back control. His weaknesses then began to tell – a jittery stand-up game lead to his demise in the subsequent rounds. Still, one bad showing does not make a fighter and his prospect status will be preserved. A future confrontation versus Camozzi would be shrewd. Clearly superior in all facets but enough of a name to gain some respect.
MATTHEWS def CASE – sub rnd 3
This was a fun fight. Matthews looked the bigger fighter but Case had the nous and awkward style to challenge the rising star of down under. The early exchanges saw Case being the aggressor with tidy combinations versus single power shots from Matthews. The tide soon changed in the second and third when Matthews found a home for some crippling body kicks which lead to the eventual smothering in the third when Case had faded. The direction of travel from here is interesting. He has done enough to earn a headline act in his native Australia, but a true test would be to put him on a plane and begin to break the US market, and top 15. A tantalising match would be against Iaquinta. Talented counter striker, young and looking for a fight after time out with his injury, he also has the baggage of angering fans so Matthews would get some support away from home.
MAGNY def LOMBARD – TKO rnd 3
Could easily have been stopped in the first round when Lombard burst his gas tank and unleashed a tirade of unanswered strikes. Should have been stopped in the second when Magny unloaded multiple undefended blows upon the proned Lombard. Eventually was stopped when Magny assumed top control in the third. The problem with Lombard is not with his lack of cardio, but his lack of learning. Every single fight he goes out swinging then stutters around empty for the next two rounds. Either the guy has no ambition or no self-control – either way it is obscenely frustrating to watch. Magny, however, has the coachability of a piece of plasticine. He needs a chance to test himself against the elite of a monumentally stacked division, and Hendricks would be just that. Coming off a couple of dodgy showings but with proven pedigree we can see if Magny will only ever be an also ran.
HUNT def MIR – KO rnd 1
Another walk off KO from Hunt. This guy packs serious dynamite in that right hand and uses it with startling aplomb. Cocked and laden in his arm, we were waiting for it to connect. And boy it did not disappoint. However, this is a loss that should leave Mir contemplating his career. He needs to think of his health, his record and his direction. The man is a hero of the sport and has nothing left to prove. It is time he hung up the gloves and helps nurture the future generations with his vast experience. Hunt on the other hand still has golden aspirations. With most of the top 10 already signed up, he needs to sit back and enjoy the chaos in the knowledge that his stock is high. The likely destination of the Kiwi is against the Rothwell vs Jnr Dos Santos winner.
MATCHES TO MAKE –
Antonio Carlos Junior vs Chris Camozzi
Jake Matthews vs Al Iaquinta
Neil Magny vs Johnny Hendricks
Mark Hunt vs Ben Rothwell / Jnr Dos Santos winner