Big fight night to mark 5th
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)