Mixed martial arts: Toa eager to mark comeback fight with revenge win

Matt Toa has revenge on his mind.

Toa (33) begins his comeback to mixed martial arts (MMA) when he squares off against Christchurch's Benji Kney (36) at the Olympic Fight Centre in Mosgiel tonight.

It will be the third time Toa has fought Kney and he is confident of reversing two previous losses to the Eastside Ground and Pound fighter.

''I am definitely looking to avenge those losses and while I'd like to win by knockout I will be happy with just the win,'' Toa said.

He said the fight eventuated when he and Kney were matching up other fights.

''Benji mentioned he had been training so I thought why not have a go at heavyweight on my way down to light heavy and give the crowd a super-fight.''

He has a 14-win, 12-loss record compared with Kney's seven and five.

Kney is a tough, seasoned fighter and as both men like to throw heavy hands it is highly probable the fight of three rounds of three minutes will not go the distance.

Both professionals last fought Steven Warby in 2012, with Toa's ending in a no contest after he received illegal knees and Kney's finishing with a knockout loss.

''The training I did in Thailand earlier in the year will be put to good use,'' Toa said.

He does not need to look far for inspiration after his team-mate, Apii Taia, beat Kney by technical knockout earlier in 2012.

The under card sees nine Team Hammerhead fighters facing off against four other clubs across six MMA and four kickboxing bouts, including two exhibitions.

Toa said the smaller show was not replacing the yearly Hammerhead Productions main events and was simply an extra one with an emphasis on amateurs gaining experience without the pressure of the big stage, and identifying fighters for those main shows which start on May 31.

One matchup of interest will see debutant Hammerhead Rikki Mckernan take on Invercargill's Tom Heads (Tumatauenga) in a light heavyweight MMA clash.

Toa said it would be a contrast of styles because Heads had some fine boxing skills and Mckernan was an accomplished grappler who had recently won gold at the Otago grappling championships.

Tim Ellis will have his second kickboxing fight within three weeks after an unsuccessful stint at an eight-man tournament in Sydney.

The 74kg fight will see Ellis take on Louis Bentley (Sitnarong Muay Thai).

Both men are similar in height with long limbs, and Toa is expecting a hard and fast fight.

Females Bex Scholten and Sanna Karlsson (Sitnarong Muay Thai) will face off for the second time after Karlsson won their first kickboxing bout by decision about a fortnight ago in Wanaka.

The first fight is scheduled for a 6.30pm start and a capacity crowd of 300 is expected.

Add a Comment






Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter