• May 22, 2019
There are six belts up for grabs at Saturday’s competition. Photo: Supplied
New Zealand’s biggest amateur mixed martial arts competition, Shuriken Fight Night 6, returns this weekend.
Jason Vorster, who started the fight series, said a “great fight” is taking place between up-and-coming Shuriken fighter Anthony Poching and Lion’s Den fighter Talor Wetere.
Mr Wetere, 25, will be looking to reclaim the currently vacant lightweight belt on Saturday at North Shore Events Centre.
“Obviously I’ve just come off some good performances, but I know better than to underestimate anyone, Anthony is a skilled fighter,” said Mr Wetere.
Mr Vorster, who is also the owner and head trainer at Shuriken NZ, suspects Mr Wetere’s fight against Mr Poching to be one of the hardest of the show.
“Anthony’s got a reasonably hard fight, he’s got a good chance, but he’s got a tough, tough opponent,” said Mr Vorster.
“Talor was the lightweight champion, he’s also the Oceania champion and just brought home the silver from the Asia champs in May.”
Despite the odds, Mr Poching, 20, said he wants to make a career in MMA.
“At the end of the day, I want to make a living out of this sport, and I have to be willing to fight anyone to make it happen,” he said.
“I’m willing to put my all out there, and I’m willing to tell everyone come out here and watch me fight, watch me win, watch me lose.”
Another “stellar fight”, according to Mr Vorster, will be between Ollie Schmid from Shuriken MMA in Auckland and Levi Hawkes from Hamilton club, Core MMA/SanbuKai.
“They fought before, and Ollie caught him [Levi] with a bit of a lucky back kick at the Oceania champs, so Levi is looking to redeem himself. Both fighters are promising up and comers in the sport.”
Mr Vorster said the rapid growth of the competition in New Zealand had paralleled universal interest in the sport.
“The UFC and MMA as a whole is obviously growing fast, and it’s good for up and coming fighters to see people like Mark Hunt, Dan Hooker and Adesanya breaking into the UFC.”
The night will also feature several kickboxing bouts, a number of those kickboxers fighting out of the Combat Academy with current UFC competitor and coach, Dan Hooker.