In a card culminating in an epic title fight, Eternal MMA 67 ended up showcasing why the future of Australian MMA is in a good place.
The fight most definitely lived up to expectations, as it was an action-packed war until the final bell.
Before the main fight, the undercard provided the fans with a lot of exciting moments, in the form of future matchups and upcoming prospects.
Without further ado, here are the four talking points of Eternal MMA 67.
Kaleb Rideout claims Welterweight Title in barnburner, UFC next?
As mentioned, the main event of Eternal 67 saw an action-packed match-up as Sydney’s Kaleb Rideout defeated Kevin Jousset by split decision to claim the Eternal MMA Welterweight Championship.
The first and second rounds told a similar story, as they opened with the Frenchman using feints to move his opponent back up against the cage.
To answer the forward pressure, Rideout would often circle away before exploding with an unorthodox technique, whether that be a front kick, spinning back fist or even a standing hammer fist which left a mark on Jousset.
As Rideout went two rounds up to start the fight, it was very noticeable that Jousset’s striking was being tested to the max in comparison to Sydney’s ‘Krazy Horse’.
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The third round was a more successful one for Jousset, as he started doing a good job of using leg kicks to get Rideout off rhythm. Yet again, Rideout would blitz his opponent with a variety of wild combinations.
When Rideout closed the distance late in the round, Jousset clinched up before sending him for a ride with a beautiful hip toss. The rest of the third round would consist of Jousset in top position before the horn.
To the disbelief of many, Rideout’s stamina would hold up into the championship rounds despite a high output, as he would start where he left off by throwing a barrage of attacks.
Jousset would score three takedowns in the fourth round, The Aussie bounced right back to his feet after the first takedown before being controlled for the final 90 seconds of the term.
In the final round, it was clear that the City Kickboxing man needed a finish to get the victory. While he had a lot of good moments with some hard leg kicks and control time, Rideout was the more active fighter on the feet as the fight went the distance.
When it came down to the judges, it was clear to see that they favoured Rideout’s activity as opposed to Jousset’s control as the Sydney man took the victory by split decision (50-45, 47-48, 49-46).
The title win for Rideout establishes him as the best unsigned Welterweight in the Oceania region as he extends his win streak to five in a row.
Being a deadly striker who always aims to entertain, Kaleb Rideout would be an amazing addition to the UFC’s welterweight division, following in the footsteps of Eternal MMA Alumni Jack Della Maddalena (12-2).
After finding a new motivation for his expected child in November, the future looks bright for the 25-year-old Aussie.
Justin Van Heerden next in line for Featherweight Crown
The first minute of the contest started off with the two feeling each other out before Alavi scored with the trip. Van Heerden was quick to get up to his feet but was accidentally hit low, bringing the contest to a minor halt.
The fight would continue on the feet before ‘Lockjaw’ landed a flush right hook that sent Alavi to the canvas with just under two minutes left. Alavi would recover before scoring yet another takedown to which the South African rose to his feet rather quickly.
The round ended with Alavi on top of Van Heerden after bringing his opponent down a third time.
To start off the second round, Alavi would engage the grappling straight away, for which he would stay in top position before getting reversed by a single-leg takedown attempt from Van Heerden where they clinched against the cage.
Van Heerden would score two more takedowns before getting back mount, where he would lock in the rear naked choke for the tap after 3:08 of the second round.
The win for Justin Van Heerden is his third in a row as he solidified himself as the number one contender for Eternal MMA Featherweight Champion Jack Jenkins (9-2) as he called for his title shot in his post-fight interview.
Tom Nolan impresses with TKO win
The fight started off with Nolan on the front foot, exchanging kicks with his opponent before a slip put Stephen on his back.
Initially, Stephen was very active off of his back by throwing elbows from his guard, but when ‘The Big Train’ secured his posture, he rained down heavier elbows of his own, which were slowly starting to have an effect on the Newcastle native.
Late in the first round, Nolan started to open up, landing devastating shots from Stephen’s guard. Just before the one-minute mark, the referee called a stop to the fight after 3:54 of the first round.
Although the fight was short, it was a very impressive outing for Tom Nolan. At just 22 years of age, the sky is the limit for the talented Aussie, who could be fighting for a title within a matter of years.
Former Muay Thai Champion Ben Johnston scores shock submission win
The fight started with Sandy pushing the pace while Johnston showed patience when trying to keep the fight at his range.
Sandy would try to initiate the grappling against the 32-year-old striker, but with 70 seconds left, in the round it was Johnston who secured top position.
Sandy would make it back to his feet before getting taken down again just before the round ended.
Round two would start off the same, with Sandy trying to get the fight to the ground. The forward pressure would finally pay dividends as he dropped Johnston to a knee with a right hand.
‘Carnage’ would go for the finish before getting clinched and taken down by the former Muay Thai Champion.
While on top, Johnston would advance to Sandy’s back where he would rain down punches before tapping his opponent out with a rear naked choke to a thunderous roar from the Gold Coast crowd.
The win would mark the first in Johnston’s MMA career. In his post-fight interview, Johnston said that he learnt from his previous loss against Kaleb Rideout by showing more patience while also claiming that he might have torn his ACL.
At 32 years of age, Ben Johnston is motivated to have a good run at an MMA career.
Full Card Results
Kaleb Rideout (7-2) DEFEATED Kevin Jousett (5-2) by Split Decision (50-45, 47-48, 49-46)
Justin Van Heerden (8-5) DEFEATED Mohammed Alavi (7-1) by Round 2 Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Adam Cook (7-1) DEFEATED Tristan Murphy (6-8) by Unanimous Decision (30-27×2, 30-26)
Jimmy O’Brien DEFEATED Bayden Mandich (4-5) by Round 2 Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Tom Nolan (2-0) DEFEATED Niam Stephen (2-1) by Round 1 TKO (Punches)
Ben Johnston (1-1) DEFEATED Kahn Sandy (3-3) by Round 2 Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Jamie Edenden (1-1) DEFEATED Angelka Momcilovic (1-2) by Unanimous Decision (30-27×3)
Hoani Selwyn (1-0) DEFEATED Darcy Spowart (0-1) by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28×2)
Naveed Hassanzada (8-3-1) DEFEATED Zac Gregson (4-1) by Unanimous Decision (29-27×2, 30-26)***
Christian Lapham (4-1) DEFEATED Alfred Stoddart (3-2) by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28×2)
Macca Jean (3-2) DEFEATED Danielle Curtis (5-4) by Unanimous Decision (29-28×3)
Beau Berg (1-0) DEFEATED Kean Morris (2-1) by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28×2)
Mayson Nobetsu (2-0) DEFEATED Issac Small (2-2) by Unanimous Decision (30-27×2, 30-26)
Jon Aiello (1-1) DEFEATED Jack Edmonds (0-1) by Round 2 Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Jay Martin (1-0) DEFEATED Patrick Thomson (0-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-27×3)
***Gregson was deducted a point for missing weight
You can rewatch Eternal MMA 67 on UFC Fight Pass (Subscription Required)
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