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PWP 5 entertained the best of the best from the Sydney MMA scene, delivering some incredible battles with crowd-lifting arm bar, and TKO victories. Nathan Wynyard describes the experience.
“I came out to make a statement, and That is exactly what i did! I will
challenge anyone at this weight division”
When Shabe Kafo uttered those words after his win at Proud Warrior Productions on September 14, he made a better statement than the one Arnie did when he out- muscled Lou Ferrigno for the first time – this bloke is here to stay!
It might’ve been the lightest of the weigh-ins at 58kg, but the bout starring Kafo of KMA Liverpool vs Greg Penazola from Integrated Martial Arts came with huge potential – and it lived up to it, with a hard-fought and surprisingly sudden positional reverse giving Kafo an outstanding arm bar victory.
After five menacing displays of strength, power and heart, Kafo vs Penazola brought the crowd at Cronulla’s Sharkies Leagues Club to their feet. This flyweight battle-royale produced the most entertaining fight of the event as Kafo and Penazola delivered everything to be expected in a speed division.
Round one opened and crowd favourite Kafo leapt forward, with both opponents aiming to land the first strike. Shabe threw a couple of head-hunting kicks only to see Penazola slide to counter with a cross, and then a right leg kick of his own. Then, as to be expected, Shabe shot in for the takedown.
Gaining full mount, he looked for the arm bar, but Penazola was able to roll him off and gain the top position. The tough struggle covered most of the cage, Kafo switching from submission attempt to submission attempt. Much like a croc barrel-rolling a gazelle in the water, he was in his element inside the cage that night!
Getting back to the top position after escaping a triangle, Penazola began unleashing a few swift punches from above. Eventually Shabe was able to catch a loose arm and put in the lock, and moments later, it was all over.
After some gut-wrenching contests, the entrance music boomed out and the fans started chanting “Trekko, Trekko, Trekko”. The lights went green, the curtain was raised, and the adrenalin was insanely high. It was time for the lightweight bout and feature of the night, Bernado ‘Trekko’ Magalhaes taking on his fearless opponent, Sonny Brown of Langes Manly MMA.
Both fighters were equally hungry, very strong and technical athletes. Raising his hand and circling the cage, just minutes after the opening round, Trekko closed out his opponent with a stunning knockdown and TKO in the first round.
The Brazilian-born Australian created some distance in the beginning while anxiously testing Sonny. Both fighters began with some vicious hooks and counters, but Bernado took the upper hand in the opening round and was able to land some impressive blows from his left.
Moments after some bruising exchanges, Trekko launched a massive right hook that instantly dropped Brown. Then, without hesitation, like a jackal on its prey, Bernado sprung over to force out a ground and pound victory!
The ecstatic fight fans from Sharkies, and his own gym, TP/Double Dragon, gave tremendous support for the incredible win.
Scheduled fight number four on the cards displayed two of the hardest hitters in the event – Ben Lewis and Jon Marco Sanchez.
Although he was the shorter of the two, Sanchez of Full Circle MMA showed no hesitation in spite of the difference in reach, trading solid shot for solid shot. Right hook, left jab, right jab, left hook – the exchanges went for most of round one. Sanchez flicked a left leg to the head, but it was deflected and Lewis of TP/Double Dragon let fly with a pounding left leg kick of his own.
The pace began to slow in round two as the impact of some devastating attacks set in. Both fighters were gassed pretty hard, but after gathering his strength and swapping some more heavy-handed blows, Sanchez got the takedown, and managed to posture up to slam his way to a stoppage win.
Special guest Danny Green stood cage-side to witness the brilliant battles, and also made some brief announcements to inspire the fight enthusiasts in attendance.
“It truly has been a great night, I enjoy the entertainment that MMA and PWP bring. I love a show where fans have come to watch a fight, and not start a fight,” he told Cornerman. “The crowd and fighters are both unreal.”
Other bouts on the night saw Oriol Gaset submit Jacob Pettit with a courageous arm bar in the beginning of round one. This semi-main event created a huge buzz, and after driving Pettit into the wire and launching some damaging knees, he showed great forward aggression to seal his win.
Zein Saliba entered the cage by passing through the crowd to Eminem’s Name in Lights… and that’s exactly what he did. Earning an impressive Unanimous decision over Marc Gehret. Adam Sarkis gave early arrivals a fitting welcome to the event with his TKO victory over Damien Carroll in the first round of the first PWP 5 contest. Raja Shippen also defeated Glenn Taylor Smith by guillotine in Round 1, and Richard Walsh beat out Amir Hussein in another round-one TKO.
While the majority of ticket holders came to see the big names like ‘Trekko’ and Sonny Brown, all of the undercard fights gave the crowd a memorable show.
Sam Wright, on debut in the second fight of the evening, was picked up against another newcomer to the MMA scene, Zoran Stopar. This battle showed exactly what the sport of mixed martial arts brings to the table… HEART!
“I would rather be a winner with a dislocated shoulder than a loser with a dislocated shoulder,” explained Wright, who was somehow able to battle on and gain a unanimous decision win after dislocating his shoulder in the opening 30 seconds of the fight.
Wright, from TP Gym, came out in round one only to be tagged by a massive left hook by Stopar. Recovering from a small stumble from the impact, Wright managed to regather for a crucial takedown. Showing no sign of injury, he bombarded Stopar with some crushing ground and pound, and very nearly closed out an arm bar, all with that dislocated shoulder. Now that is courage!
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