Shuriken Brings MMA Pride and Honour to Auckland
Photos by Crispin Anderlini
The North Shore Events Centre offered little respite from the cold on Saturday night. The indoor stadium was suitably dark, chilly and menacing, providing an intimidating atmosphere for Shuriken NZ's Pride and Honour MMA show.
After a period of pre-event preparation, with the event’s organisers and camera crews coordinating like a swarm of mad bees, the evening curtain went up with an announcement made by the wailing MC.
What was to follow would be a gruelling and relentless series of eight B-class matches, one after the other, four A-clas bouts and two explosive pro matches.
Some serious talent was showcased in the B-class fights, such as the match-up between Sean Walters (Integrated Fighting) and Jack Thomassen (Hybrid MMA). Their first round began in full force with the fighters going in swinging like madmen. Walters forcing Thomassen against the cage and then to the ground, with the two then struggling for dominance the remainder of the round.
The next two rounds followed suit as both fighters clashed ferociously.
In the third and final round the tables turned as a grappling attempt by Walters allowed Thomassen to make a reversal and win the fight via guillotine.
The A-class fights kicked off with experienced fighters Hayden Watt (Shuriken) and Caleb Lally (Roney McGywer) for a brutal three rounds of Mixed Martial Arts savagery.
Lally took the initiative for most of the fight, tackling Watt after a few moments of mutual apprehension. The ground play in the fight was intense and had the audience raging. Lally relentlessly put the pressure on his opponent, leaving Watt to desperately fight him off.
Despite Watt making a heroic effort, fighting off Lally again and again and laying in some brutal rib hits against the chain links, Lally managed to drop Watt in the final round and deliver the hits; which earned him the judges’ unanimous decision and the crowd's vocal approval.
A surprise for the audience came in the last fight of the A-class series when Arthur Lasike (Shuriken) and Billy Pauhua (Strike, Clinch & Execute) met for a brutal match-up.
Their first and only round kicked off with the two meeting head on, exchanging brutal kicks and punches. Unfortunately for Pauhua, a dislocated elbow put paid to his plans for glory in the cage as Lasike won the fight by Referee stoppage.
The night was topped off by two professional fights, starting with a face-off between Anton Milnes (Syndikit MMA) and Sam Gascoigne (Oliver MMA).
Beginning with the two fighters dancing, sizing one another up and looking for avenues, Gascoigne took the initiative and tackled Milnes. From the mount he delivered the hits and left no chance for his opponent to escape.
The second round began in similar fashion, with Gascoigne leading the charge with a vicious tackle that earned him a dominant position over his opponent.
For the remainder of the fight, Milnes fought hard to gain the upper hand. However, Gascoigne displayed superior ground skills during the fight and took the Shuriken NZ Lightweight Title.
The final fight of the evening between Victor Kalolo (Shuriken) and Julien Matenga (Awhio MMA) had the crowd whipping the two warriors into a frenzy with their approval.
Kalolo began on the fast assault, sending his opponent to the cage and then choking him for a great deal of time. The Shuriken elite fighter drove home numerous rib shots in anticipation of a possible early victory.
Recovering from the initial battle, the second round had the two circling one another. Kalolo managed to get Matenga into the same choking position as before, but as the round came to a close, Matenga managed to perform a reversal that locked Kalolo up with the very same move.
Kalolo launched himself into the third and final round with blistering pace, but Matenga was wise to his strategy by now and managed to drop and mount his opponent.
Initially looking like the fight could still go either way, the bout slowly turned in Matenga’s favour and he eventually won the Shuriken NZ Welterweight Title.
Sam Wang (Strikeforce) WON by unanimous decision vs Daniel Pritchard (Integrated Fighting)
Morgan Teasedale (Shuriken) WON by unanimous decision vs Joseph Speares
Jack Thomassen (Hybrid MMA) WON via guillotine vs Sean Walters (Integrated Fighting)
Andro Augustides (Shuriken) WON by unanimous decision vs Taylor Wtere (Lions Den MMA)
Adam Stringer (Shuriken/Oliver MMA) WON by unanimous decision vs Frank McRoy (Fightshop)
Ata Fakalelu (Fightshop) WON by unanimous decision vs Joe Sefo (Maai Hyoshi)
Ina Manase (Auckland MMA) Won via knee bar vs Cory James (Hybrid MMA)
Caleb Lally (Roney McGywer) WON by unanimous decision vs Hayden Watt (Shuriken)
Logan Price (Shuriken) WON by unanimous decision vs Tanera Terry (Fightshop)
Junior Pati (Pitbull Gym) WON by split decision vs Ione Rota (Syndikit MMA)
Arthur Lasika (Shuriken) WON by referee stoppage vs Billy Pauhua (Strike, Clinch & Execute)
Shuriken NZ Lightweight Title
Sam Gascoigne (Oliver MMA) WON by unanimous decision vs Anton Milnes (Syndikit MMA)
Shuriken NZ Welterweight Title
Julien Matenga (Awhio MMA) WON by unanimous decision vs Victor Kalolo (Shuriken)