Queensland’s biggest MMA promotion ‘XFC’ returns to action this week with XFC 29. In a last-minute change, Matt Vaile has been forced to withdraw from the original Main Event, a Welterweight title fight with Brogan Anderson. The withdrawal has led to the promotion of the lightweight battle between Issac ‘Headsplitter’ Hardman vs Pumau Campbell. The event has 16 fights slated in what should be an incredible night of action, showcasing the best of Australian Mixed Martial Arts.
Usually held at the Mansfield tavern, XFC will be hosting this event at the Logan Metro Sports Centre in Crestmead for the first time in its history. XFC promoter Matt Walton indicated that the move of location was a natural progression in the growth of the promotion. “Mansfield Tavern is a great venue, and very crowd friendly. It has been the home of the XFC for many years, and only the XFC has been able to pack it with MMA fans. But when we purchased XFC, our goal was to grow the promotion. The Logan Metro Sports Complex is a world-class facility. We have plans for some shows that may be better suited to the Mansfield Tavern, but for now, it’s all about the Logan Metro Sports Complex.”
According to XFC promoter Matt Walton, the move to a venue that specialises in hosting larger events should be a great move for the XFC fighters and fans alike. “The grandstand seating is fan friendly, and the mezzanine level gives our fighters and corners the chance to sit down and relax while enjoying the fights themselves. The food and drinks package is great for our table seats, and there is even a canteen for our other guests to buy food and drinks from throughout the night. Plus the small things that other venues don’t offer, like proper change rooms, warm up areas and showers. The talent in MMA is going to a whole new level in Australia, and the fighter experience needs to replicate that.”
The use of a larger facility has also allowed the XFC to invest in world-class equipment, and provide the fighters with the an exciting opportunity to test their skills in a larger cage. “We have partnered with IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) for this event, and will be using their full-sized octagon. This is another great opportunity for the fighters to get in there and experience that environment.”
FIGHTS TO WATCH OUT FOR
MAIN EVENT – ISSAC HARDMAN vs PUMAU CAMPBELL
With the withdrawal of Matt Vaile from the scheduled Main Event, this beauty of a fight has been promoted into the centre piece slot. Exciting lightweight Issac Hardman is fast becoming one of the best young talents in Australian MMA. Making his professional debut in October 2015, his record currently stands at an impressive 5-0 including three first round finishes. Voted as Australia’s breakthrough fighter of the year in 2016, Hardman has an aggressive striking style that involves pushing the pace on his opponent, whilst staying long and using precise and powerful, straight punching. His opponent Pumau Campbell is one of the toughest fighters we have ever seen in the XFC cage. He can take a punch and has super heavy hands. We’ve seen him in some great fights at recent events, including two impressive performances against Hardman’s team mates, Damien Brown & Sung Hwa Han. Whilst he came up short in both of those fights, he does have a knockout win over another team-mate of Issac in current Brace Lightweight Champion Alex MacDonald. This is a great match up and sure to provide some fireworks. Looking at past performances by the two fighters, it very much looks like this fight will be a strikers delight. The crisp technical striking of Hardman, up against the wild power punching of Campbell. However, this is definitely the most impressive and natural striker that Campbell has faced, so there is every chance Pumau will look to use his BJJ pedigree and take it to the ground. Isaac has just looked far too special on the feet and looks to have the technique and natural strength to negate most take down attempts, so it’s hard to see him not finding the break through in this fight.
ZAC’S PREDICTION: Issac Hardman via TKO in Round 2
NICK’S PREDICTION: Issac Hardman via TKO in Round 3
BEVAN O’MALLEY vs TANIERA TERRY
Another rising star Bevan O’Malley makes his 4th XFC appearance this weekend boasting an unbeaten record of 3-0, all of which have come via finish. O’Malley fights out of Noke martial arts on the Sunshine Coast, but has spent some time at Jackson-Winklejohn in New Mexico. He has a Muay Thai background and is a very dangerous striker, but this is going to be his toughest test so far. In the lead up to this bout Taneira Terry has spent quite a bit of time training in Thailand. Given Bevan O’Malley’s prominent kickboxing background, this should be incredibly beneficial for him. We have also seen a lot of takedowns from Terry in the past, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him implement that tactic early on in the fight to negate O’Malley’s striking and wear him out. This is a very dangerous fight for Bevan O’Malley and his growing hype train, particularly if Taneira turns up with form similar to the impressive showing in his last fight against Pumau Campbell.
ZAC’S PREDICTION: Taneira Terry via unanimous decision
NICK’S PREDICTION: Bevan O’Malley via unanimous decision
SAM LAWSON vs ALEX HONG
With the final fight breakdown of the event, we’ve decided to go with one of the impressive Amateur fights. It’s not often you win a fight of the night award on debut, but that’s exactly what Sam Lawson did in his fight with Jake Harwood. In his second XFC appearance he showed just how dangerous his guard can be, with a smooth arm-bar finish early in the first round. His opponent Alex Hong has shown that he can weather a storm on the feet, something that will be of the utmost importance against Lawson and his aggressive striking. He also has a very solid ground game with a powerful double leg take down. Both fighters bring in an unbeaten 2-0 record and on paper are very evenly matched. This isn’t said very often, but this is one of the fights that would be just as exciting on the ground. There is a serious chance one of these guys could pull off an impressive submission on the ground or even on a wild knockout on the feet. It’s definitely one of the earlier fights to watch.
ZAC’S PREDICTION: Sam Lawson via submission in Round 2
NICK’S PREDICTION: Sam Lawson via TKO in Round 2
Date: Saturday 18th of February
Location: Logan Metro Sports Centre, 357 Browns Plains Rd, Crestmead QLD 4132.
Live stream will be available, with details to be announced in the lead up to the event
Tickets can be purchased at http://tickets.xfcaustralia.com.au
Follow us at @mma_banter on twitter for live updates on fight night!
FULL FIGHT CARD