Mixed martial arts: Brutal clash expected in Anderson v Haraki

Brogan Anderson will be hoping third time is a charm when he co-headlines the main event in the Hammerhead Productions fight night at the Caledonian Gymnasium tomorrow.

After two unsuccessful title fights earlier this year, the Team Hammerhead fighter will again be put through a stern test when he meets Pane Haraki (Fierce Fitness, Hastings).

At stake is the Supremacy Fighting Championship professional light-heavyweight title.

Haraki has an extensive career in kickboxing and has spent a couple of years with two of the best Muay Thai clubs in Thailand.

He goes into the fight with a seven-win, two-loss record in mixed martial arts, while Anderson's record is six wins and four losses.

Hammerhead promoter Matt Toa expects a brutal clash between two men with heavy hands and a strong pedigree of striking power.

He said while Anderson's two previous title shots were unsuccessful, he battled hard and showed great courage.

In the co-main event, Hammerhead's Ricky Welsford and Josh McDonald (Strikeforce) square off for the International Sport Karate Association's South Island amateur featherweight title.

Welsford, a former New Zealand wrestling representative, is undefeated from three fights, while McDonald has had two wins from as many fights in the featherweight division and one at lightweight.

Toa said that, due to their inexperience, it was not uncommon for amateurs to have limited fight records compared with professional fighters.

''It's about giving promising fighters the chance to get some amateur experience and defend their titles a few times before turning professional,'' he said.

He said Welsford was relentless on the ground and McDonald had some fine boxing abilities, so it should be a contrast of styles.

Toa said three other featherweights were in line for a title shot, with two of them fighting on the undercard.

Hammerhead's Craig Wright fights Invercargill's Milnour Aupouri. Toa said the winner would fight Dunedin's Ricky Curline (Hooligan) later in the year, and that winner would eventually challenge the title-holder.

Two other men eyeing up potential title shots will face off. Hammerhead's Matt Eden fights Christchurch's Dan Reveley in a welterweight clash.

A win for Eden puts him close to a rematch with ISKA South Island amateur welterweight champion Matiu Thoms.

Thoms stomach-kicked Eden into defeat earlier this year before winning the title against Jason Smith, whom Eden beat within about 40 seconds at Hammerhead's in-house fight night last month.

A win for Reveley moves him back into title contention after a surprise loss last month in Christchurch.

There are 11 MMA fights and two kickboxing fights tomorrow.

Title fights are three 5min rounds and the remaining MMA fights are three 3min rounds. Kickboxing fights are three 2min rounds.

Doors open at 5pm and the first fight is scheduled for 6.30pm.


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