An­ton Zafir takes out Ni­tro Wel­ter­weight Ti­tle

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

MIXED MAR­TIAL ARTS

WHIT­SUN­DAY Mar­tial Arts (WMA) owner and coach An­ton Zafir has claimed the Ni­tro Wel­ter­weight Ti­tle af­ter de­feat­ing Corey Nel­son by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion at the Lo­gan En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre last weekend.

As one of Aus­tralia’s ris­ing wel­ter­weight stars, Zafir made his pro­fes­sional de­but in June 2012 and cur­rently has a pro­fes­sional record of six wins and one loss.

His lat­est vic­tory, which was de­clared a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion af­ter three rounds by all judges, has boosted him into the MMA spot­light.

Zaf­fir said Nel­son had a big rep­u­ta­tion and went in with a plan of ap­ply­ing pres­sure to take him out of his com­fort zone.

“I’ve seen him fight a cou­ple of times but he hasn’t lost since 2012 so I knew it was go­ing to be a chal­lenge,” he said.

WMA coach Dan Zealand was in Zafir’s cor­ner on the night, say­ing “he was re­mark­ably calm for a big pres­sure fight.”

“An­ton ex­e­cuted the game plan of pres­sur­ing the pace and for the whole three rounds he never di­verted from that plan and kept Corey on the back foot,” he said.

“It was clear that An­ton had won the fight. He was dom­i­nant in all three rounds and there never looked a time where Corey was go­ing to get on top of him.”

Zealand de­scribed Nel­son as a well­re­spected fighter in Aus­tralian MMAand said the fight was “def­i­nitely An­ton’s big­gest risk but his big­gest achieve­ment to date”.

Nel­son cur­rently has a pro­fes­sional record of 15-5-1 (win-loss-draw) and cur­rently holds two wel­ter­weight ti­tles and the crown from Golden Lion Pro­mo­tion.

Zafir will be tak­ing on a coach­ing role for the next Air­lie Fight Night on May 24, while Zealand will be fight­ing in the main event.

MMA KING: An­ton Zafir (sec­ond left) af­ter he won the Ni­tro Wel­ter­weight Ti­tle in Bris­bane with his coaches and train­ing part­ners Ian Bone, Dan Zealand and Rob Guiffrida. Photo by Huynh Nguyen

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