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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Legion wrap up.

Sunday, 24th of April was Legion Fightsports’ charity mixed event in Launceston. With a total of 19 bouts, including Muay Thai and Grappling, there were both exhibition and pro fights on the card. Hobart Martial Arts Academy (HMAA) fielded the largest group of competitors of any gym, with four entrants across three grappling tournaments and four Muay Thai bouts.
All HMAA competitors represented with distinction and showed the kind of spirit we strive for. I have always said the outcome of a match is secondary to the way in which it is contested, and by that measure I couldn’t be more proud of the way every one of our competitors conducted themselves. Thanks also to Carla Johnson for the wonderful photos and the videos of the matches!

Brodie "The Spider Monkey" Nunn opened proceedings with a Muay Thai exhibition match against Cobra Muay Thai’s Russell Dalco. Brodie showed great composure in his match letting his technique and training do the talking. While no winner was decided on an exhibition match, Brodie performed exceptionally well and set the bar high for the rest of the evening.

Brodie getting his hands wrapped by none other than "Super" Steven Maxwell

Next up was Brett Boatwright, who fought Hybrid Training Centre’s Dylan Sass. Brett used his range to control the pace of the first round well, landing solid leg kicks and making good use of the right cross. Landing three consecutive takedowns after catching his opponent’s kicks highlighted Brett’s skills. Unfortunately Brett got clipped early in the second, and despite answering the eight count and continuing to fight, wasn’t able to get out of the second round. It was a true demonstration of warrior spirit when facing off against a stronger opponent. Great job Brett!

Brett landing one of three devestating takedowns.

Ethan Gallahar stepped up next against Abaddons Legion’s Branden Fulham. Once again this was an exhibition bout so there was winner declared, but both fighters put up a good fight, showcasing very different styles. Ethan used his long range effectively and landed plenty of high kicks, as well combinations to the head and body. Ethan’s clinch work was on point and he was in the fight to the last second, just like with Brodie, I am so excited about Ethan’s future!

Ethan landing a body shot on the tough Branden Fulham

Last but by no means least, HMAA coach Mat Stennings took an exhibition bout against Abaddons Legion’s head coach Zach Robinson. This was definitely a fan favourite and highly anticipated match. Mat was typically strong and technical in the clinch and made great work of covering distance to setup leg kicks and great body shots. It is fair to say that at the end of the bout Muay Thai was the real winner of the bout.

Coach vs Coach - Mat vs Zach

On to grappling. In the opening round of the middleweight tourney the first HMAA competitor was the 17 year old Dani Effendi who took on HTC Judo Brown belt Hamish McLaren. While Dani lost a close decision, he secured a takedown on a takedown specialist and was attacking the entire time. Huge credit has to go to Dani for showing he was absolutely at home in a division of tough adult competitors.

HMAAs youngest competitor on the day, 17 year old Dani Effendi, with coaches Adam and Gerry

Next up was Brad Hutchison who met with BJJ Tasmania’s Mark Edmunds; the match was back and forth with submission attempts, and sweeps traded back and forth from the first second. Brad came close on a foot lock and a knee bar, as well as showing some lovely X guard work. Unfortunately, Brad was caught in Mark’s famed “Cattle Clutch” (rib crush) and was forced to tap.

Brad looking to transition into a knee bar

Opening proceedings in the heavy weight tourney was, HMAA representative Kieryn Wright up against BJJ Black Belt Chris Stone. Kieryn was patient and technical in securing a spectacular takedown and worked well on the top. After avoiding a committed kimura attempt, Kieryn took the back and sunk in the rear naked choke for the finish. In the final’s Kieryn met BJJ Tasmania’s Brown Belt Kane Brewer in what was a technical and faced paced match. Kieryn succumbed to an armbar from Kane’s guard after a gutsy performance to that point. Great job Kieryn!

Kieryn and his first round opponent Chris Stone pose with the ring girls
The final entrant was HMAA/Maromba representative Neil Campbell in the lightweight tournament. After putting on a show, Neil made quick work of his first match, submitting Kuzushi MMA coach Heath Howard with an ankle lock before winning the final against Bayden Mandich via Gogoplata. Of course there’s no disputing that the real victory went to Neil’s fight attire.

Neil "Flamboyant" Campbell takes out the lightweight tourney.

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