Big fight night to mark 5th

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT - By Dane Lilling­stone

MMA: Air­lie Fight Night 5 re­turns this week with a mas­sive 12 fight card that is guar­an­teed to de­liver some spec­tac­u­lar mo­ments.

Now in its fifth year, the card will fea­ture a va­ri­ety of boxing, kick­box­ing, Muay Thai and mixed mar­tial arts.

The main event will see the re­turn of lo­cal prospect Ben Kelle­her who suf­fered a hor­rific leg in­jury in his fight at Air­lie Fight Night IV last year.

The WMA fighter will be up against Aaron Grigolon from Body Torque gym in Townsville in a 84kg boxing match.

In the co-main event, lo­cal favourite Daniel McCor­mack re­turns af­ter a win last year.

He will be up against Tim Min­niecon from BKFC in a 73kg boxing match.

The main card will also see WMA’s Blair Frew take on Ryan Lu­cas from Ex­treme Boxing in a light­weight MMA match.

WMA fight­ers Blake Berry, Amy Collins, Travis Reid, Elly Even­son and Hand Ver­wo­erft are also fea­tured on the card.

Head coach and owner of WMA, An­ton Zafir, said he didn’t put any ex­pec­ta­tions on his fight­ers but he knew they were ca­pa­ble of putting on a show.

“Dan McCor­mack is al­ways a crowd favourite. It will def­i­nitely be an ex­cit­ing fight,” he said.

“It will be awe­some to see Ben Kelle­her in his comeback. He al­ways puts on an awe- some show.

“There’s quite a few fights that I’m look­ing for­ward to.”

Event organiser Luke An­der­son said the lo­cal sup­port meant a lot to the fight­ers.

“It’s go­ing to be an amaz­ing night. Ev­ery­thing is in place and every­one can have a great night,” he said.

“All the fight­ers have been work­ing re­ally hard and re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.

“We’ve re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated every­one’s help. With­out the lo­cal com­mu­nity sup­port we wouldn’t be able to put this on.”

Ring girls will keep the crowd en­ter­tained dur­ing the breaks in rounds and there will be a char­ity auc­tion dur­ing the night to raise funds for Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun- sell­ing Ser­vice.

Organiser Kasey Vella said crowds were in for a treat with a two-course meal in­cluded for peo­ple sit­ting at the ta­bles.

“It’s go­ing to be great,” she said.

“It’s go­ing to be our big­gest one yet. Don’t for­get to come to weigh-in on Fri­day. Every­one is wel­come.”

Although there is a chance of rain on Satur­day, or­gan­is­ers say they are pre­pared for any­thing with pon­chos to be made avail­able should it rain.

Tick­ets are still avail­able to bought at var­i­ous out­lets and they can be pur­chased at the door at the Sail­ing Club on the night.

Fight fans are also in­vited to at­tend the of­fi­cial weigh-ins for the event on Fri­day at 6pm at Mag­nums Ho­tel night­club.

CHAM­PION: An­ton 'The Pro­fes­sor' Zafir (right) pro­duced a clin­i­cal per­for­mance in his muay Thai win over Jamie Kearines at Air­lie Fight Night IV.

73kg boxing: Daniel McCor­mack (WMA)

Tim Min­niecon (BKFC)

Light­weight MMA: Blair Frew (WMA)

Ryan Lu­cas (Ex­treme Boxing)

70.1kg MMA: Travis Reid (WMA)

Jordan Saun­ders (Rhino MMA)

77kg MMA: Peter Tem­pler (Mackay MMA)

Jake Gun­ston (Black­wa­ter)

92kg Thai rules: Ben Simp­son (CTC)

Aaron Grigolon (Body Torque)

Jamie Lyn­gkuist (Emer­ald MMA & Fit­ness Cen­tre)

84kg boxing: Ben Kelle­her (WMA)

80kg kick­box­ing: Blake Berry (WMA)

Feath­er­weight MMA: Beau Lux­ford (CTC)

65kg boxing: Elly Sven­son (WMA)

Jenna White­man (Ex­treme Boxing)

Taneisha Waerea (Glen­den)

77kg kick­box­ing: Amy Collins (WMA)

75kg boxing: Hank Ver­wo­erdt (WMA)

Torin O’Brien (Rhino MMA)

Cody Son­tar (Fitzroy MA)

72kg kick­box­ing: Clint James (CTC)

Hay­den Hotz (Fitzroy MA)

Jye Wyl­lie (Rhino MMA)

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