As you all know I cover live MMA events in Auckland and in the future have plans to get around our country to cover some of the other regional MMA events throughout New Zealand..
My 1st trip out of Auckland’s Central suburbs is up to the sunny Hibiscus Coast to attend Hibiscus Coast MMA‘s Battle On The Coast 4 at the classic Silverdale United Rugby Football Club, about 25 minutes North of Auckland City on The Hibiscus Coast. I arrived as the doors opened and the familiar sound of club-house murmur and laughter began to fill my ears as the sweet smell of the club fat-fryer fills my nostrils, working overtime on this coolish Spring evening providing great Rugby Club feeds for the punters.
I lived on The Coast for a few years when I was younger and Coasties are great people, always love their fun but especially love their sport, including combat sports and the huge numbers already here are testament to this and the excellent management that has gone into the event.
5 minutes from 1st bell the call for ‘all fighters to the changing rooms’ rolls over the PA as people start shuffling in the crowd as loved ones offer their support to the men, women and young ones taking part in the nights fights. Looking around I see the younger members being lovingly wished farewell by their parents and supporters.
Looking further into the depths of the club it almost looks full already and you can feel the staunch local support beginning to brim as more people pour in and officials begin to take their positions before New Zealands own Richie Hardcore jumps in the ring and kicks off festivities as only he can!
Fight 1 | Sharday Patuwai VS Crystal Cook – Modified Muay Thai
Patuwai, fighting out of R.O.A Whakatane decides to forego headgear and local Hibiscus Coast MMA (HBCMMA) girl Cook lands some great early strikes, she has some amazing power in her right hook and by the end of the 1st round she has thrown heavy leather for almost a full 90 seconds. Patuwai seems a little fresher as she goes back to her corner for instructions and the bell.
Patuwai wades to the centre and invites Cook inside where she lands heavy shots to the guard of Patuwai and excellent push-kicks and round-house kicks to the body. At the half-way mark in round 2 she’s still throwing hard and landing some good shots. Great exchange as both girls meet in the middle and work their boxing for a bit. Cook finishes the round aggressively. Patuwai will need to look for a stoppage in the last round to come out on top.
Cook still looks fresh and aggressive, Patuwai is composed as ever and throwing measured hand strikes. Cook lands a heavy body shot but starts to eat a few straight shots as the girls separate and circle each other before a brief clinch in the middle. Cooks corner ask her to rely on her fitness that seems to be dropping off as Patuwai is now the aggressor and finishes the fight strong!
This one goes to the judges as Richie jumps in the ring and makes the announcement of a Unanimous Decision win to the hometown girl Crystal Cook in an awesome 1st fight on the card.
The crowd catch their breath before 2 young warriors are on their way out to the ring to their respective theme tunes. Both boys look ready to go to work and the crowd give each of them hearty cheers as they are announced.
Fight 2 | Rhyme Loto vs Te Ariki Pomana – Modified Muay Thai
Both boys showing good combos here as Loto fighting out of HBCMMA presses the pace and shows good defense. Pomana of R.O.A Gisborne lands a solid shot to the face and Loto comes back strong. Pomana shows great high kicks but Loto pressures him into the corner and lands some knees to the body before an accidental low blow. Pomana lands a big head-kick and then the boys exchange in a great flurry to end the round.
Heavy leather again as Loto lands a knee then wades in with combos and great kicks. Pomana evades a lot of it and stays calm as he picks a few shots and lands a knee to the body. Another clinch where the boys exchange knees and accidental low-blows before the round ends. The warmed up crowd are incredibly supportive of their local boy and Loto receives a huge cheer between rounds.
Pomana lands a flying knee from the bell and Loto seems to be conserving energy and picking his shots while using his defense effectively. Pomana lands a huge head-kick and knee as the round reaches halfway and Loto replies with a big body-kick. More combos and great exchanges from both boys as the round winds down ahead of the last bell.
Richie is back in the ring to announce the judge’s decision, this time going against the local boy in the favour of Te Ariki Pomana in a great battle by these 2 young warriors! Definitely part of the future of the sport.
Another heartbeat between fights and we have 2 new young Muay Thai fighters in the ring ready to go at it.
Fight 3 | Ashley Grant VS Maire – Modified Muay Thai
Both boys start slowly being older than the previous fighters, Grant of ROA Gisborne appears to have the height and reach advantage. Maire, lone representative of Hellensville Kickboxing lands a superman punch and Grant turns him into the ropes before landing some knees. Maire lands a nice inside leg kick before the clinch where he catches a glancing low-blow from a knee. The referee breaks the action, checks the fighters and starts again. A bit of movement from the boys and then Maire is rocked by what looks like a liver-shot which ends the fight in the 1st round, good stoppage in another glimpse of the talent yet to come of age in our sport!
Richie’s back revving up the already excited crowd and announces the winner, Ashley Grant of Rangataua O Aotearoa Gisborne by TKO from body-shot (knee).
Credit: The Ultimate Writer – Dylan Gilmore of Shuriken NZ MMA
Fight 4 | Michael Isaac VS Dylan Gilmore – Modified Muay Thai
Gilmore fighting out of Shuriken NZ MMA starts at pace landing some awesome shots and forcing Isaac of East Coast BJJ & Whakatane MMA back against the ropes. Isaac takes a deep breath and bites on his gum-shield as he wades in and lands some great combos! Both men exchange furious strikes and flurries in a fight that’s on the razors edge. Gilmore lands a solid lead-leg kick and the pace settles as both men pick shots as they tire. Isaac attempts a leg-sweep but is swept himself and then cautioned for it.
Gilmore lands a heavy straight right and follows up with tentative straight punches before landing an inside leg kick. Isaac seems hesitant and his breathing is very heavily. Isaac lands a solid left as Gilmore attempts to close the distance. Ryan “Polar Bear” Hogan, another Shuriken warrior, calls for Gilmore to control the center of the ring and relax as both men throw solid combos before the end of the round.
Both men come out strong and land combos as Gilmore begins to look settled and throws good counters while blocking leg kicks. He closes the distance and lands a soft knee to the body before the men separate and measure each other again. Isaac has spent much of the fight in the corner and Gilmore lands an uppercut and two left hooks. Gilmore lands another body shot but misses the end of the combo before landing a solid body kick as Richie Hardcore calls the last 10 seconds and the crowd who had fallen quiet with anticipation erupt into life. Both men give each other a final glance and throw a flurry as the bell goes.
This one goes the way of the North Shore local from Shuriken NZ MMA, Dylan Gilmore in an incredibly well-fought Unanimous Decision. The crowd show their support and applaud feverishly for both fighters as they leave the ring area.
As I look down the list of fights for the night to see who’s up next I see the familiar name of Shuriken NZ young fighter Tom Wundheiler, he fought at July’s Proving Grounds MMA Event but sadly I wasn’t as prepared for that as I was for this event and didn’t cover his fight, apologies Tom, as I’ve said to you in private, it’ll never happen again! 🙂
Fight 5 | Bradan Grant VS Tom Wundheiler – Modified Muay Thai
Tom starts off aggressive throwing a spinning wheel kick and then pressing Grant, another member of R.O.A Gisborne, against the ropes and working some clinch and dirty boxing. The action settles a minute in and Wundheiler begins to throw long strikes from outside eating a couple of straight punches from Grant on his way in as he looks to close the distance. They meet in the middle and there’s a flurry from both young men, slipping each others shots. Grant is playing the counter-attack game and lands a good punch at the bell.
Wundheiler comes out very strong but so does Grant as both young men clinch and end up on the ground. Glove touch and they’re back at it again. Tom looks relaxed and throwing good strikes as Grant is still playing the counter game and landing well too. The pace that Tom Wundheiler keeps is phenomenal and Grant is tiring as they both return to their corners between rounds.
Wundheiler looks fresh and dangerous throwing solid switches and closing the distance into the very tire Grant. Grant lands some good leg kicks and strong clinch game before the referee breaks them up. Wundheiler is still very aggressive keeping a wicked pace and showing his conditioning. Richie calls last 10 seconds and Grant throws everything into it as they both finish very strong to the cheers of the crowd!
This one goes to the judges and comes back as a Split Decision to Tom Wundheiler, congrats Tom, awesome victory!
Back to Womens Modified Muay Thai again as R.O.A Whakatane representative and Tyler Perkinson takes on MMA Pound fighter Kimi Taaineiti in a real David & Goliath match-up.
Fight 6 | Tyler Perkinson VS Kimi Tuaineiti – Modified Muay Thai
Tuaineiti comes out very strong and active throwing heavy shots and lands a knockdown 10 seconds into the fight. She maintains huge pressure the entire round, despite being a whole foot shorter than Tyler Perknison. Round ends with Kimi throwing an overhand right that just misses.
Tyler lands a leg kick that drops Kimi giving her more confidence. She looks settled and more methodical as she stalks and avoids Kimi’s combinations. Kimi’s corner call for technique as her huge support crew go nuts for her! Tyler misses a knee attempt and slips to the ground and springs back up. Kimi lands some heavy shots and combos including big right hands as Perkins absorbs strikes and replies with a knee at the bell.
Kimi comes out aggressive and Tyler leans away as she’s on the ropes eating strikes. The referee breaks them up and Kimi looks tired but very determined as she lands some overhands but is countered by knees to the body. Perkins looks gassed as she heaves a sigh before throwing a leg kick that is checked. Kimi lands heavy shots to the head and the MMA Pound crew go nuts as Richie Hardcore announces last 30 seconds. Both girls are gassed but swinging going into the bell.
This one goes Unanimous Decision to Kimi Tuaineiti in a very well won fight and a great display of Women’s Modified Muay Thai!
Fight 7 | Phil Patuawai VS Luwayne Lowe – Modified Muay Thai
Phil Patuwai of R.O.A Whakatane starts with some kicks before Luwayne Lowe of Undisputed MMA faints some strikes and lands a solid straight right. Phil lands a push kick and then checks an inside leg before landing his own outside leg kick in reply. Lowe lands a pair of jabs but the right overhand following them is blocked. The fight slows as both men are more tentative and conserving energy. Patuwai avoids a spinning wheel kick and just misses his own counter inside leg. Round ends with both men looking solid.
Both men feel each other out and are throwing a lot less strikes. Lowe lands some soft strikes as does Patuwai before a clinch and break. Both men looking tired as they measure each other before Lowe rushes and lands a few solid blows, working a solid jab ahead of the bell.
Lowe shows great athleticism with some spinning techniques ahead of a clinch that is broken up by the referee. Lowe looks fresh and light on his feet while Patuwai works the inside leg kick before he is hit by a body kick. Lowe throws some more spinning techniques and appears to be loose before catching a kick and dumping Patuwai. He measures and lands a combo, then another body kick before landing a heavy outside legkick that appears to hurt Patuwai. Lowe lands a punch then knees to the body before the final bell.
The crowd show their appreciation of the battle as Richie bounds into the ring for another announcement, this time going to Luwayne Lowe via Unanimous Decision. Great fight.
Fight 8 | Mikaera VS Rhyan Ropati – Muay Thai
Both men show their composure as the fight starts slow and methodical. Both men landing and Mikaere lands a heavy outside leg kick ahead of a solid exchange. Solid body kicks and knees along with great leg kicks and awesome combos. Truly solid Muay Thai technique on exhibition. Both men trade and land as the round ends.
Both men resume a furious pace as Balmoral Lee Gar representative Ropati lands heavy leg and body strikes and a superman punch that seems to hurt his opponent making him back-pedal and cover up. Ropati looks to keep the pressure on but both men have slowed by now as each have landed and thrown a good number of strikes. Ropati seems rejuvenated, landing crisp kicks as then clinch-work as Mikaere finds some energy and lands a combo as the round closes out.
Ropati lands a couple of strikes but both men are hesitant. Ropati lands a leg kick and drops Mikaere who responds with leg kicks in return as Ropati searches for the power shots heading into the middle of the round. More heavy leg kicks from Mikaera as Ropati winds up a superman into a clinch with knees that just miss. Richie calls the last 15 and Ropati lands some solid headshots making Mikaere stumble and move backwards as the bell sounds.
Judges call it as a Unanimous Decision to Ropati of New Zealand’s legendary Balmoral Lee Gar. Great fight and a true showing of excellent Muay Thai technique and conditioning.
Fight 9 | Camron Tukua VS Billy Pohahau – Boxing
Starts tentatively as both men measure with their jabs in the early stages of the fight. These are huge heavyweights and Tukua from Auckland MMA looks a few inches taller and the heavier man. Tukua has very heavy hands and lands some glancing blows to local HBCMMA man Billy Pohahau’s guard. Tukua looks to stalk and a combo. Pohahau has great defense and shows the speed of his jab with some nice double-jabs from outside as the round comes to an end with a big cheer from the crowd.
Both men come out energetic and throwing heavy but Pohahau looks to be a lot fresher, working his jab from what seems like the other side of the ring as Tukua throws very heavy leather in return. More methodical and less action in the round as both men save energy and work great technique and head movement leading to a lot of glancing combos and near misses. The crowd are getting into it as the bell sounds ahead of the 3rd and final round.
Pohahau is again methodical and throws a solid over-hand right that is countered by some short punches from Tukua. Pohahau is a master of closing distance and lands some jabs and a solid right to an eruption of “Billy!” calls from the packed home crowd. Things get a little scrappy due to fatigue but Pohahau lands the jab and over-hand combo a few times leading into the last 30 seconds. Pohahau finds another gear and finishes with a huge flurry that gets everyone in attendance fired up!
Richie’s back with the judges decision going to hometown hero, Billy Pohahau in a very technical display between these two huge Heavyweights who show each other great respect after the decision with an embrace.
Fight 10 | Rob Manuel VS Mose Afoa – Boxing
The crowd are into this one straight away as Rob, another representative of East Coast BJJ & Whakatane MMA starts off strong with good combos that mainly glance off the guard. Mose from Balmoral Lee Gar comes to life a minute in and he’s the smaller man with a speed advantage. Mose looks a lot quicker as he backs Manuel into the corner with some straight shots and a hook that lands. Manuel lands a solid head shot and body shot. Both land jabs and wing some big shots as Robs corner call for combos as the bell sounds with a cheer and calls of encouragement to both men from the now packed crowd.
Manuel throws solid jabs and slips solid punches as both men move nicely as they start to loosen up going into the second round. Moses corner ask for some basics as he closes the distance and hits another flurry to the delight of the Lee Gar supporters. Both men land solid strikes and the action stops momentarily as Rob smiles and invites Mose back into the center of the ring. Mose accepts and lands a heavy overhand right then left hook behind it that pressures Rob into the corner again. The crowd cheer and Mose looks to close the distance and go to work, but lets him off the hook in the last 5 secs as both men begin to look tired.
Richie calls for “the 3rd and final round!” as the men rush into the middle of the ring, both beading sweat with the cheers of their supporters building to a roar. Mose works solid jabs into the corner and Rob looks very tired but still dangerous and energetic as he battles his way off the ropes again. Mose is faking and changing levels as he presses rob into the corner again then lands a flurry half way through the round, the last shot visibly dazing Rob. Afoa smells blood and this time closes in and throws a left hook that lands then a flurry that seems to last the entire final 30 seconds. Bell sounds and the crowd erupt as the men embrace and head to their corners awaiting the decision.
Richie calls it as a Split Decision for Mose Afoa of Balmoral Lee Gar in an excellent Boxing match between these two warriors, the crowd show appreciation as the men and their corners leave the ring area.
Fight 11 | Brandon Quesada VS Johnny Davies – Boxing
I’ve seen Brandon Quesada of Integrated Fighting before at the last event I covered, he was unlucky on that occasion falling into a 14 second armbar by Shuriken NZ MMA’s Luke Fruean. I’ve got an interview with Luke that will be up this week so look out for that.
Knowing that Brandon was coming off a loss, I was looking forward to seeing him come out fighting and he didn’t disappoint as he starts at 110kph but is caught by the more measured and technical local man out of HBCMMA, Johnny Davies. Quesada’s corner call for him to settle down, work technique and deliver more body-shots. Davies hits Quesada with a solid straight shot that rocks Quesada but seems to awaken the beast as he lands 8 solid strikes to the head and body in the flurry of the night! The crowd go nuts and his corner call for him to deliver more “to the body”. Davies is hit by another flurry that finishes with a Quesada hook straight to the jaw that floors Davies who is saved by the bell as the locals call out their support for Davies between rounds .
There’s a discussion in the corner and Davies looks weary and hurt. The crowd applaud him as his corner choose fighter-safety over victory and throw in the towel between rounds.
Brandon Quesada has bounced back from his loss and takes the victory that illustrates his power and will. Great come-back fight!
Fight 12 | Matt Howley VS Jesse Harrison – MMA B-Class
Tonights only MMA bout is between two relative locals in Matt Howley of North Shore Kickboxing and Jesse Harrison of Shuriken NZ MMA.
Howley lands a few soft shots to the head as Harrison counters nicely and changes levels to land the take-down. Howley lets him up and then both bite down on their gumshields and sit in the pocket swinging as the crowd begin to roar. Harrison checks an inside leg kick and lands a very solid left hook. He’s faster than Howley and is landing great counter shots and a very solid jab as he catches a kick and sweeps Howley to the ground. Howley shrimps and scrambles to his feet, lands a jab but is countered and he looks tired as he eats a leg-kick. Harrisons corner call for him to “lead with the right hand” and he responds with a left, right, leg kick combo before the bell sounds and the vocal crowd cheer.
Round 2 and Harrison and Howley exchange leg kicks and Harrison lands a 1, 2 into a leg kick again, repeating his winning combo from the end of the first round. Howley lands a good takedown and looks to move to side-control as Harrison uses a right under-hook to stand up. A few more strikes miss from each man and Howley again changes levels to nail the take-down. He dives in a little too quickly and lands in a triangle from Harrison working off his back and then transitions to the arm-bar for the finish halfway through the 2nd.
Richie comes into the ring and makes it official with the Submission via Arm-bar in a dominant performance as the crowd applaud.
Fight 13 | Selby Devereux vs Matt Dyat – Modified Muay Thai
This is the 4th fight I’ve watched with Balmoral Lee Gar representative Selby Devereux and I know the guy is a gamer. The crowd are pumped and Matt Dyat of North Shore Kickboxing receives a very warm welcome as he is announced.
Both men show some kicks but no-one landing. Devereux throws a heavy head-kick that is blocked and Dyat lands a body kick but misses telegraphed body shot. Devereux looks relaxed as he throws a leg kick that is checked. Dyat looks hesitant as he changes stances and rushes in with a flurry. Devereux times the overhand left that glances off Dyats forehead as both men keep the pace, throwing and landing solid combos going into the bell.
The crowd are amped as both men start off aggressively, throwing and landing heavy leg kicks and a few cheeky punches. Devereux is relaxed and Dyat continues to telegraph his heavy body kicks making them easy to avoid. Devereux ties him up going into the ropes as both men reset off the seperation. Selby lands a nice hook in a messy exchange as Dyat comes forward and throws knees to the body. They exchange wild misses as Selby lands a superman punch just after the bell. The crowd gasp and Dyat smiles at Devereux whose expression shows there was no malice there, great fight and awesome warrior spirit that the crowd appreciate loudly with calls of support to both fighters!
Devereux presses the pace and bullies Dyat early with leg kicks and combos. Dyat looks cautious and is moving well but looks to be limping as he wings uppercuts and hooks. Selby looks relaxed and is waiting for an opportunity to get in and work. Both men tie up and Dev pushes the pace again throwing a punch from that looks to come from across the ring before they clinch to the cheers of the crowd. They are seperated and both men start throwing heavy heavy leather as Devereux is dropped in the last 30 secs in a half-slip, half-leg kick. Devereux lands a heavy kick but eats punches as both men show their heart going into the bell.
Both fighters smile and embrace in a great show of sportsmanship and camaraderie as Dyat appears to be limping back to his corner. The crowd cheer as Richie comes into the ring and announces the winner via Split Decision – Selby Devereux of Balmoral Lee Gar.
Fight 14 | John Vake vs Arthur Lasike – Muay Thai
In the Muay Thai main event we have Arthur Lasike fighting out of Shuriken NZ MMA against John Vake of legendary Muay Thai camp Balmoral Lee Gar.
The bout starts with a frantic pace as both men throw and land solid punches. The pace settles as the men work jabs and front kicks, both landing some leg-kicks that ring throughout the entire club. These men are huge and incredibly well conditioned. Both men land some more slapping kicks and combos as Lasike seems to be getting the best of the exchanges. Lasike lands a nice body kick right hand combo as they clinch into the ropes and are separated by the referee. Lasike lands a nice knee and checks an outside leg kick as the bell sounds.
Coming out of the bell, Lasike lands a solid outside leg kick and both men exchange straight right hands before they clinch. Vake attempts a superman kick but Lasike spins and chases him into the corner before clinching and both men work knees. The referee breaks them up and Lasike looks dangerous out of the break as he lands a knee to the body and overhand right. Both men pause in the centre and Lasike eats a kick to his biceps before throwing Vake in the corner and landing a knee in the clinch. Another heavy kick lands to Vakes body as the bell sounds and the crowd erupts with support!
Everyone is on the edge of their seats as the final round begins with a nice flurry and Lasike lands 2 inside leg kicks to the upper thigh of Vake, perfect placement. They tie up and Vake lands a knee as Lasike clinches and they exchange knees. Lasike is really aggressive but eats some straight punches and a step in knee to the body before being driven into the corner. The crowd cheer as he comes out swinging and landing as they both give knees in the clinch. Lasike misses an overhand right and is turned into the ropes before the referee breaks up the action. More knees from Vake as the bell sounds and both men looking exhausted and confident return to their corners then to the center of the ring with Richie for the decision.
This one goes to the Shuriken NZ MMA fighter – Arthur Lasike in a great show of heart and Muay Thai technique from both of these men!
Fight 15 | Nick “BadBoy” Denz vs Sonny Te Wao – Boxing
Both men make their way to the ring and as Sonny Te Wao fighting out of Oliver MMA South Auckland walks past my position, he calls out to training partner Brown Buttabean sitting to my right and the two embrace as BB wishes Sonny luck for the fight.
Nick Denz is a huge local man that definitely has the majority of the packed crowd on his side – this is going to be great!
Te Wao lands a huge combo to start that shows his power by rocking Denz who receives a standing 8. The crowd cheer and Te Wao supporters call for him to “knock him out bro” as the count ends and the fighters kick off again. Te Wao is getting the better of the standup so far and lands some heavy shots much to the delight of many in the crowd. Denz supporters call for him to use his jab and he starts to work some decent technique as the round comes to an end.
Denz starts with a nice jab and Te Wao launches a new assault via a combo that lands well, possibly rocking Denz again, Sonny has so much power despite being the shorter man. Denz technique comes in to play as he lands good combos including solid shots to the body that Te Wao shrugs off as he showboats and almost eats a jab. Te Wao looks to be clowning a little now, or may be fatigued and Denz’s pedigree boxing shines as calls of support start to fly from the feverish crowd. Brown Butterban calls for Sonny to “work for it” as he begins to tire greatly towards the end of the round. Denz finishes strongly and again shows his boxing technique is crisp and appears to have recovered from the earlier standing 8 count.
Richie calls for the crowd to stand up for round 3! Denz is ready and Te Wao meets him in the middle and lands a solid hook then uppercut. Denz responds by throwing great combos and technique and lands some solid straight punches. Te Wao is visibly tired and Denz sees this and lands some more solid shots. The crowd, now squarely in Denz’s corner call for body-shots and a tired Te Wao wings haymakers even landing one as the fight approaches its final 30 seconds. Denz remains strong on technique and Te Wao whos jaw is on the floor looks incredibly tired as Richie announces the final 10 seconds! Both men swing until the bell in an awesome 3 round boxing main event – What a battle!
Richie enters the ring and calls for the crowd to “put it together for these two bombers!” as the crowd show their appreciation!
This one is a nice comeback for local fighter Nick “BADBOY” Denz as he works great boxing technique and shows his conditioning to take the Unanimous Decision in a great end to an excellent night!
Thanks to all the fighers, gyms, trainers, organisers and anyone involved in the night and a huge, special thanks to Mr Loto for the opportunity to attend and cover the fights!
#Chur #TheUW #