by Malikoy Muza
April 15th, 2018 - Bondi Outdoor Arena in Sydney, Australia
The proud posterboy Mr. Piano is at it again as Sydney Fights comes to the Bondi Outdoor Arena, where Rick 'Roidburg' Piano looks to return to his title defending ways against the challenger Gyukosho Fujimoto. In the co-main event welterweight number one contendership is on the line as Akira Harada and Kevin Daughtrey go head to head. Also, Big Asznee defends his SyFi Middleweight Championship against Sergei Bumanov.
Welterweight No. 1 Contendership - (#1) Akira Harada [5 - 0] vs. (#2) Kevin Daughtrey [6 - 0]
Certified head hunters, Harada and Daughtrey have got two knockouts each as they look to add one more to the tally against each other. Harada's last effort was against Thor Odinson where he controlled the range and positioning in the fight with his wrestling, before stopping Thor in the second round. Kevin Daughtrey is unlikely to get bullied like that though, but Harada is sure to try. The big question is who has the better chin as they are known to have good knockout power in their hands. Here's to hoping the two rather go out swinging than hugging in the clinch, as they have the potential to put on a real slobberknocker. Almost dead even, it's a toss up between these strikers.
PICK: Kevin Daughtrey by knockout.
Light Heavyweight Division - (#6) Tristan Farsight [5 - 2] vs. (#7) Lars Hard [6 - 4]
I don't think Lars Hard is very pleased with yours truly, since I picked him to lose and he went out to prove me wrong with his fresh, new management. Here he is on a 2 fight win streak, ranked #7, going toe to toe with another ranked light heavyweight in Tristan Farsight. Since coming over from RISE, Farsight has likewise won two in a row to completely turn his momentum around. Lars Hard likes to get up close, grabbing ahold of his opponent and letting it rip. While he has the slight grappling advantage, Farsight's thaiboxing training will balance the scales a bit in the clinch. With his heavy hands, Tristan Farsight looks to be the bigger threat. Queue hate mail - I'll be sitting back eating popcorn Michael Jackson style!
PICK: Tristan Farsight by TKO.
Welterweight Division - Khalamedov Nurmagabeeb [3 - 1] vs. Steve 'The Celtic Warrior' Collins [3 - 0]
Forget being refined, Steve Collins goes out to stand and bang with all his opponents, while Khalamedov Nurmagabeeb prefers the ground aspect. A great wrestler and a capable jiu jitsu artist, Nurmagabeeb needs a takedown to establish control in the fight. Collins will likely be able to stop some takedowns, thus being on the driver seat with his pace of striking. Nurmagabeeb hasn't shown to be the best at locking in a submission, while Collins has been very accurate and powerful with his punching. He's going in as a comfortable favorite to this one.
PICK: Steve Collins by TKO.
Light Heavyweight Division - Gootti Kustaa [2 - 1] vs. (#8) Yunieor 'Neurosurgeon' Dorticosos [3 - 0]
Gootti Kustaa and Yunieor Dorticosos have clocked two to the win column each, though Kustaa has also one SyFi loss to Tristan Farsight. A freestyle wrestler who prefers ground and pound tactis, he's going against a sprawl and brawler in the #8 ranked light heavyweight Dorticosos. Kustaa has already faced off one talented striker in Farsight, which was a tight 29-28 decision loss, but he showed he can hang with fists flying. The key for the Russian will be his takedown defence, as Gootti is a talented wrestler. Yunieor needs to be aggressive when trading punches or he might be on the wrong end of a decision.
PICK: Gootti Kustaa by decision.
Welterweight Division - Hanyu 'Little Dragon' Lee [2 - 0] vs. Sagat 'Aum' Shanti [8 - 2]
Sagat Shanti is making his Sydney Fights debut, having appeared for both KAMIKAZE and AnC in the past with a combined record of 3 - 1 in organizational competition. His first SyFi opponent is one of the better strikers in any division, Hanyu Lee. Lee is a great kicker and an apt puncher who likes to mix in strikes on the feet. Even though not a clincher, Shanti might be best off keeping him close trying to neutralize Lee's offence as the more accomplished grappler. However, Hanyu Lee might be too quick, too elusive with his footwork for Shanti to use smothering wrestling.
PICK: Hanyu Lee by TKO.
Lightweight Division - Chris Davis [2 - 3] vs. 'The Celestial Samurai' Hokuto Akira [1 - 0]
Before his last fight, Chris Davis was on a three bout losing streak that ended when he landed a bunch of devastating elbows that laid out Karnak Lao. In his lone appearance, Hokuto Akira took home an unanimous decision victory over Steph Curry in a muay thai clinch war, despite being the lesser grappler. This day is no different for Akira as he once again faces a superior wrestler who prefers to work the clinch. He needs to keep Davis at bay to avoid grappling exchanges as well as his elbow and knee strikes. If the action goes to the clinch, it's going to be all Davis, but if not, Akira has a fair chance of getting another decision or a TKO.
PICK: Chris Davis by decision.
Lightweight Division - Joey 'Coco' Diaz [1 - 1] vs. 'Royal Blood' Chakrii Weecharangsan [1 - 0]
Like the above, this fight pits against two thaiboxers in what is certainly going to be a stand up war. Weecharangsan has spent only 32 seconds in the cage after getting a quick knockout over Pormax Zamar in SyFi 24. Of course in his last appearance Joey Diaz made even faster work out of Logan Reid with 10 seconds in the clock of his TKO victory. The better boxer, Diaz is looking to keep the fight on the outside and let his hands go. Weecharangsan is still somewhat of an enigma, but he's going to enjoy a grappling advantage and is not too far behind Diaz's boxing.
PICK: Chakrii Weecharangsan by TKO.
Heavyweight Division - Draco 'Wild' Grotin [3 - 1] vs. Orc Mismash [3 - 3]
To open the show we have two hungry fighters that have gone one a piece in Sydney Fights and want to improve their overall record. Tactically, it's hard to say what either man will do as they both have the option of standing and striking, taking the fight to the ground or clinching up, letting it go with their hands. MIsmash has a good chin that should hold up any one shot KO shots of Grotin. On the other hand Grotin has shown to have heart, so it's going to be difficult for Mismash to get a standing barrage TKO. He might be best searching for a takedown, trying to lock in a submission hold.
PICK: Draco Grotin by decision.