Justin Van Heerden set to lock jaws with former opponent for the Eternal MMA Featherweight Championship.

Eternal 27 saw a young Justin Van Heerden make the walk for just his second professional fight after winning his debut by submission in the first round at Eternal 26.

Fighting against a more experienced opponent in Diego Pereira – who at the time had already competed in four professional matches, Van Heerden would suffer his first defeat at the hands of the Brazilian by way of first round knockout.

Fast forward more than five years later, the former training partners are set to face each other once again. This time, they are set to battle it out for the now vacant Eternal MMA featherweight championship.

With a professional record that now stands at 10-5-0, Van Heerden’s recent resume boasts an impressive three-fight winning streak. During this run, all three wins came by way of submission, with his most recent win coming via a signature rear naked choke against an opponent seemingly no one else was lining up to fight.

Van Heerden recently picked up his 3rd straight win at Eternal 67.

Now with his first chance to become an Eternal MMA champion, Van Heerden is primarily focused winning the belt itself, rather than avenging a previous loss to his fellow title challenger.

“Obviously being that it’s a title fight – that’s pretty cool,” said Van Heerden.

“It’s big that’s it’s on Eternal, it’s the biggest promotion in the country. It’s got that meaning behind it. Obviously, its shown that if you win that title and hold that title, it can open some pretty big doors.

“In terms of the rematch with Diego and trying to get one back – I’m going to relish the opportunity to do that. But, in terms of me sitting there and thinking like I need to go out of my way to do that? No, not really.”

“I’m happy. I’m getting in there and fighting for a title and I’m fighting someone else that’s been around for a hot minute doing their thing. But do I think that it’s something that I needed to get back? Not really.

“The only loss that really stings when I look at it would be the (Rod) Costa fight. The Diego loss was early in my career, it was my second pro fight. Back then I was barely even training any striking. I was just relying on what got me to the dance and that was my wrestling. I went in there with a more experienced guy, a more well-rounded guy at that time.”

“When I called him out after the (Alan) Philpott fight, it just made sense at the time. I wouldn’t say I’ve dwelt on it and thought that I need to get that one back. But I have an opportunity to do that and (also) win a belt. So, it means a bit more than the first fight.”

Five plus years removed from their first meeting; it is fair to say that both athletes who will be competing for the now vacant featherweight title have made considerable growth as mixed martial artists. Both men have since gone earn their place amongst the most popular and widely respected athletes in the country today.

For Van Heerden – a native of South Africa who now calls Australia home, the man who faced Diego Pereira in just his second pro fight is all but a distant memory. The man who will step into the cage to fight for his first championship belt will reflect years of dedicated obsession to the craft – a complete transformation from the boy who couldn’t count on the resources he has at his disposal today.

Van Heerden has improved leaps and bound since his first fight with Pereira.

“Vastly, completely different,” said Van Heerden of his metamorphosis.

“Obviously, I’m older – I’ve matured not only as a fighter, but as a man. I was a young guy getting into MMA and I was just relying on a one-dimensional approach. I didn’t have the knowledge and the approach I have now. I didn’t have the help of my nutritionist; I didn’t have the help with my strength and conditioning; I didn’t know anything.

“Now, the man that’s walking into that cage is a well-rounded mixed martial artist – I think I’ve shown that fight to fight this year, especially in my last fight with (Mohammad) Alavi.

“If (Diego) is coming into this fight and thinking that it’s going to be the same type of fight and it’s going to be the same type of guy (from the previous fight) you are getting in there with, you’re in for some nasty surprises because I’m dangerous everywhere.

“If there’s a lapse at any point, I’m going to put you away.”

Training out of Freestyle MMA, it must be almost impossible for any fighter who wants to dedicate himself to the sport to not make exponential growth within their respective skill sets. At the same time as receiving his tutelage under the legendary Joe Lopez – Van Heerden has the enviable resource of training alongside the UFC pound for pound greatest fighter on the planet in Alexander Volkanovski, who of course currently holds the most prestigious featherweight title in the world.

With Van Heerden looking to follow suit and claim Australia’s most prestigious belt in the same weight class, he admits that the advice he receives from Volkanovski has been invaluable to his career aspirations.

“I take a lot from the example that Volk sets, and he is always someone that has said ‘you have to be undeniable’ – I feel like that’s what I’ve done this year. I’ve worked very hard to take the tough fights and take the people that no one wants to fight – go out there, get the wins and not only get the wins but get the finishes in these fights and make myself undeniable.

“I feel like I’ve done that, especially with the Alavi fight. He was undefeated, I beat him and made myself the undeniable number-one contender – made myself the undeniable number-one featherweight in the country by a mile.

“This fight here (with Diego) is my fourth fight inside ten months. Another win, another finish – that’s four fights, four wins plus an Australian title… Its pretty hard to argue that I’m not the best featherweight in the country and not the most deserving of what’s next.”

Undeniable is certainly the most appropriate phrase that comes to mind regarding Justin Van Heerden’s claims. His surging run of late has painted a picture of a fighter who is beginning to scratch the surface of his high potential – a dedicated student of the game who is yet to enter the prime years of his fighting career.

4 straight wins and a belt could open some doors for Van Heerden.

With Eternal 72 just around the corner, Van Heerden assures fan he is looking to keep the momentum in his favour.

“I believe I’m going to get a finish inside the distance,” he said.

“I’m going to find a finish and it can come at any point. It could be on the feet, it could be in the grappling, it could be anywhere at any time. I’m trusting in my ability; I’ll just stick to what I need to do – go out there and perform the way I perform, and the finish is going to come. I don’t need to rush anything. The better part is I’ve got an extra ten-minutes to do my work, if needed. So, we’ll just go on that.”

“Anyone watching this fight, anyone attending the show, they can expect that it’s going to be an action-packed fight. They can expect that they are going to see a very high-level of mixed martial arts and they can expect that they are going to see a finish – that’s what I’ve brought this year, that’s what I’ve brought fight to fight. I’ve showcased improvements fight to fight, so it’s going to be no different (in this fight).

“If you’re watching this co-main event, it’s not going to be boring and it’s going to be a finish.”

  • Eternal 72 can be viewed Friday, December 2nd live and exclusive on UFC Fight Pass. Fans can visit eternalmma.com to purchase tickets for this event.

El Pantera Negra rising: Diego Pereira primed for Eternal championship status.

Eternal 72 carries more than one storyline for Diego Pereira, as he continues preparation to fight for the Eternal featherweight title on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

 A former title challenger already in his career, Pereira will be looking to make good on his second attempt at championship status. Across from him also contesting the now vacant championship will be his former teammate and streaking contender – Justin Van Heerden

A man he has already knocked out in devastating fashion.

The last four years has seen Pereira fight a virtual who’s who of the Australian MMA scene, a path that has led him back to once again compete for a title. A win against the highly regarded and well-travelled veteran Alan Philpott at Eternal 69 cemented Pereira as one of the contenders to the belt vacated by the UFC’s newest Australian signing – Jack Jenkins.

It was a statement win for Pereira. A build up to a fight that was rife with animosity from both parties, culminated in Pereira submitting Philpott with a rear naked in the second round after a back-and-forth contest in the opening stages.

Pereira snatched the rear-naked choke VS Philpott at Eternal 69.

Speaking with Eternal MMA, Pereira gave his thoughts on what it means for him to be competing for an Eternal MMA championship once again.

“It means a lot. I’ve been with Eternal since the early days,” said Pereira.

“I still hold the record for fastest knockout and other fight of year (contenders), I’ve done a tonne with Eternal and seen them grow over the years. So, I feel privileged in a way, and very happy that I was able to contribute to it. I am still around and am now able to see them as the number-one promotion in Australia and New Zealand. I have also grown with them as an athlete in the company. I have become the top guy now, getting my second shot at the title.

“It feels good because I am going to capture it. I am going to become that champion and I know that I am going to be the one that is really going to carry the flag and raise Eternal to new levels.”

In order to be the one to carry the flag going forward, Pereira must first get by a man he already bested five years ago at Eternal 27.

A fight that occurred in the early stages of their careers, Pereira took the win with a highlight-reel knockout over Van Heerden in the closing stages of the first round – a vicious right hand that left the South African native unconscious on the canvas.

Fast forward five years and the pair are set to meet once again, only this time, with much more at stake. Both competitors have made exponential leaps in their combative abilities since then, each blazing a trail on their path to the top of the Eternal MMA rankings – the previous meeting seemingly a distant memory.

It is Pereira’s staunch belief, however, that time does not heal old mental wounds.

“Whenever something impactful happens in your life and it causes a traumatic event, or something hurts and impacted you in a moment in time, you never forget that.

“You can move past it; you can certainly do that. But somehow, someway, it is still lodged in your brain. That’s just how human beings are programmed.”

“Now, bring it back to the fight itself. Think about how significant that was. A professional mixed martial arts bout in front of a huge crowd – big moment, live event, there a many people watching. You prepared for that moment for months. You knew that thing was coming, you thought about it every day, you went to the gym daily – training and working towards it.

“You get to that moment and a thing happens such as a KNOCKOUT – you get face-planted by a punch in front of a crowd. You don’t think you are going to remember that? Of course, you are going to remember that.

“Now, do I think he has moved past it? Yes, I do. His previous performances have shown that. But to say that doesn’t affect him in some type of way or trigger some emotion; that’s a lie. So, that will definitely play a factor in this fight. Especially when he feels that power again, because I’m going to catch him.

Pereira carries power in both hands (and legs).

“When I touch him again, all those memories are going to rush right back, and he knows this.”

With six of his seven wins under the Eternal MMA banner finishing inside the distance, the man they call ‘El Pantera Negra’ has developed a reputation as finishing machine.

A dangerously well-rounded mixed martial artist with fast hands, dependable footwork and a solid grappling game, Pereira has the tools to finish a fight at a moment’s notice in any fashion he pleases. It was Pereira himself who stated prior to his last fight that he had no intention of the fight going the distance and he kept good on his word.

This time around, however, Pereira is aware that the stakes are much higher. Tasked with facing a former foe who has made his own elite level strides in the game, Pereira knows that a more measured approach may be needed in order to secure the first championship of his career.

“I’m looking to put on a good performance as I always do,” he said.

“I have trained a lot for this. I have prepared just like I know Justin has prepared. We both come from strong camps. So, this is going to be a spectacle for the people.

“We have five rounds with which to work, and there is a lot riding on the line here. I’m not going to be throwing myself in the fire. I’m going to be methodical in my approach, I’m going to impose my will and apply my martial art.

“I’m not going to be (reaching) for a finish, that will materialise itself as the fight plays on because we are going to be looking to finish each other (at some point). We will be looking to impose our wills and, in that process, one of us is going to get caught and I can tell you; it’s not going to be me.”

When it comes to the potential of claiming championship status, it isn’t lost on Pereira that a title belt around is waste is a virtual key to unlock new opportunities.

Always methodical in his approach to the game outside the cage as well as inside, Pereira has always been a man who ponders the future, whilst never looking too far past his next opponent.

“I think it (championship win) puts me in a very good spot, especially with the UFC coming around in February,” he said.

“I’m not thinking past (Justin), I just think it puts me in a very good spot. Like I said, Eternal being the number-one promotion in the region; they have put many guys on the map. So that puts me in a very good position.

“I carry myself as a champion, because that’s just what I do. It is like me to go out there and act, walk, talk and do as a champion would daily. Whether I have the belt around my waste of not, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a mindset. But of course, the status in a way does matter when we talk business.

“So, having that will really catapult me and put me in a very good position when we are talking about potential UFC (opportunities).”

El Pantera Negra understands what’s at stake, at Eternal 72,

Ever a man of the people, Pereira assures fans that they are guaranteed to get value for their money.

“This fight is going to be good, like, really good unlike any other,” he professed.

“Whenever there’s a rematch, there’s always a lot more on the line. You have two people who are familiar to each other on a competitive level having fought each other once – then becoming teammates and have that experience on a personal level.

“Five years on, we go and face each other again having both gone on a very good streak. And now, there’s a vacant title on the line that could potentially catapult our careers.

“This fight has the makings of fight of the year one hundred percent, if not the decade or even the history of Eternal. So, fans should really tune into this because I am in the best form I have ever been in; mentally, physically, skillset-wise.

“I’m in my prime and so is Justin. This is going to be the people’s main event, so, you really do not want to miss this.”

  • Eternal 72 can be viewed Friday, December 2nd live and exclusive on UFC Fight Pass. Fans can visit eternalmma.com to purchase tickets for this event.

Know Your Fighter: Tom ‘Big Train’ Nolan.

Eternal MMA sits down with Tom Nolan for a quick-fire Q&A ahead of his fourth professional fight at Eternal 72 against Adam Cook.

Age:

22.

Where were you born:

I was born in Toowoomba.

Where are you based now:

Brisbane.

What gym do you train out of:

Team Compton Training Centre.

Tom Nolan looks to remain undefeated at Eternal 72.

What belts or rankings do you currently possess as a martial artist:

I’m a BJJ brown belt.

What sports or activities did you participate in growing up:

Growing up I played Rugby League.

Where does the nickname ‘Big Train’ come from:

‘Big Train’ from the UFC PlayStation game. It was the nickname my mate chose for my in-game character, in reference to Thomas the tank engine.

When did you first decide to dedicate yourself to the sport of MMA:

I graduated high school and then I had a title fight the next weekend. The very next day I moved to the Gold Coast to pursue full time training for two years. During the coronavirus period, I went back to work for a couple of years. Now, I am back full-time training again in Brisbane.

Favourite aspect of training:

Sparring.

What do you consider to be your greatest strengths as a mixed martial artist:

My biggest strengths would be my creativity, length and my cardio.

What can fans expect to see from you when you step inside the cage:

Creative attacks that you won’t often see.

‘Big Train’ likens his style to Sandhagen and Pettis.

Can you compare your style to any high level mixed martial artist:

Cory Sandhagen and maybe Anthony Pettis.

Which fight do you consider to be your standout performance so far:

Between either my last finish over Niam (Stephen) or when I spinning back-kicked Mitch Bayliss in my last amateur fight – that was pretty sweet.

Do you have any accolades that you have achieved as a combat sports athlete:

I’m a two-time amateur champion.

What are your goals for both the immediate and long-term future with mixed martial arts:

Immediate is to have some amazing fights and put some people away viciously. Long term is obviously to be the UFC champion.

How do you see yourself getting your hand raised at Eternal 72:

Absolutely by knockout 100%. But, if the opportunity shows, I will choke him. (Either way) I think he goes to sleep.

A message to the fans and your supporters:

To the people who have already been supporting me, I appreciate you all very much. To anyone else who is tuning in to this one… do not blink.

  • Tom Nolan vs Adam Cook can be viewed Friday, December 2nd live and exclusive on UFC Fight Pass. Fans can visit eternalmma.com to purchase tickets for Eternal 72.

Eternal Icons: Mitch Martin

Mitch-martin-eternalmma

 Eternal MMA pays tribute to its ‘Icons’ who have contributed to the growth and success of not only Eternal MMA, but Australian combat sports in its entirety. All the way from the grassroots of local martial arts education to the pinnacle of international competition, we salute those who have been vital in guiding Australian mixed martial arts in its endeavours at every level. 

This week, Eternal MMA is proud to profile Mitch Martin

Mitch-martin-eternalmma

As a professional mixed martial artist, Martin boats a 100 percent win-record at 8-0-0. Having won the Eternal MMA bantamweight championship in just his second bout with the promotion, Martin would continue to defend his title right up until he took a step back from the competitive side of the sport. 

A keen outdoorsman with a passion for sustainable living, Martin currently splits his time between living a “hunter/gatherer” lifestyle and training in martial arts on a casual basis. 

A true pioneer in the smaller weight classes, Martin is widely regarded as one of the hardest workers in the room – A trait that has also played a major part in him becoming one of the most widely respected athletes in Australian combat sports during his impressive title reign. 

Professional career record: 

8-0-0 

▪ 3 wins via knockout. 

▪ 3 wins via submission. 

▪ 2 wins via decision. 

Eternal MMA record: 

7-0-0 

▪ 3 wins via knockout. 

▪ 3 wins via submission. 

▪ 1 win vs decision. 

Eternal MMA events: 

Seven events in total: 

  • Eternal 11 vs Ryan Robertson. 
  • Eternal 25 vs Mick Addison – Won the Eternal MMA Bantamweight Championship. 
  • Eternal 29 vs Tyrell Hogan – Defended the Eternal MMA Bantamweight Championship. 
  • Eternal 30 vs Chris Morris – Defended the Eternal MMA Bantamweight Championship. 
  • Eternal 38 vs Jason Petropoulos – Defended the Eternal MMA Bantamweight Championship. 
  • Eternal 41 vs Kairin Moses – Defended the Eternal MMA Bantamweight Championship. 
  • • Eternal 48 vs Luke Morris – Defended the Eternal MMA Bantamweight Championship. 
mitch-martin-eternal-mma

Eternal MMA achievements/accolades. 

  • • Eternal MMA Flyweight Champion. 
  • ▪ Five successful title defences. 

Fond memory fighting for Eternal MMA: 

Mitch: There’s nothing but good memories from fighting on Eternal, obviously except for the weight cut – that sucked! Everyone’s friendly, everyone’s supportive. All the crew – it’s all very professional. Not once was I there and I left with a bad taste in my mouth. It was just a really healthy environment. There was no bad competitiveness. Everyone was a gentleman (or gentlewoman). Nothing bad to say about any of it, to be honest. It was a really good, competitive sport on a professional platform. The main thing that Eternal did was give a good name to the sport; that’s how I felt. 

Toughest Eternal MMA opponent: 

Mitch: That’s a good question. No fight is easy. None of them were easy. I’ve come away with concussions from most of my fights. The one that stuck with me the most was versing Jason Petropoulos. He was a very strong opponent, and he was dominating for most of the fight, pretty much right up until the end. He was a tough guy; he wasn’t giving up. I felt the most exhausted after that fight, I would say. 

Standout performance fighting for Eternal: 

Mitch: The Kewl Bonez (Chris “Kewl Bonez” Morris) one was pretty textbook. I felt that I executed that (fight) pretty good. That was a first round (stoppage). But every fight that I’m in, there’s always something I pick and work on and try to build on for the next one. I’d have to say the Kewl Bonez was definitely the sharpest one, I felt good going into that. I felt ready, I felt confident. That was probably the one I’m most happy with. 

Current or past Eternal MMA fighter you enjoy watching: 

Mitch: All the guys from my gym; I love watching them. Obviously, I’m around those guys and some of them I help prepare for fights a little bit. Jack Della Maddalena with getting the recent UFC contract – his fights were always top-tier performances. I loved watching his fights. Brentin Mumford was another good one; he always brings a good fight. Whether it’s his performance or bringing his heart, he’s always a good one to watch. One of my personal favourites was Callan Potter. Not only because he was a really good dude, but his heart is unstoppable. That guy just won’t take a step backwards. I really looked up to him with a lot of my fights. Just the pure dedication he had was really influential. 

Greatest career achievement: 

Mitch: Probably the confidence that it (mixed martial arts) gives you in life. I feel like I don’t have anything to prove. I feel quite happy walking away from arguments or fights. Any confrontation, I feel more than happy just walking away. The biggest thing that I’ve taken outside of the cage is a more relaxed approach to life. (Inside the cage) I was ranked number one in Australia for the bantamweight division on Tapology for a couple of months, which was pretty cool to look at; that made me smile. 

Current involvement with mixed martial arts: 

Mitch: I’d say “casual”. It’s not something that I put as a priority. Which is good, because it has been a priority for a good amount of time in my life and a lot of my other hobbies and lifestyle was put on hold because of that. So, I didn’t want to have any pressure to come back or to train. I am enjoying it more with a casual approach. Sometimes I might train three, four, five, six times a week. Others, I might miss a week’s training because I’ve been busy, or I’ve been away. 

What do you hope your legacy will be as a competitive martial artist: 

Mitch: You only get one shot at it. No champion has ever been a quitter. You can’t go in there half-arsed. You have to go in there with the mindset that it’s either win or die. My coach would always say “never come out with anything, leave it all in the cage”. I’ve taken that into all my fights. 

Rod Costa has double-champ ambitions ahead of Eternal 71.

Eternal MMA returns to Perth this Saturday for Eternal 71 with another strong card of fighters set to impress the Western Australian audience.

Standing atop the bill for his third main event in a row will be local fan-favourite and former featherweight title challenger, Rod Costa.

Coming off an impressive submission win at Eternal 68 over an eager up-and-comer in Michael Mannu in his bantamweight debut, Costa has no doubt that he has rightfully earned his second shot at Eternal silver wear.

“I think some people were saying that they didn’t understand why it was a number one contender fight, because he hadn’t fought in a couple years,” said Costa.

“To be honest, even though I got the finish and didn’t get myself into too much trouble, he was very good. Things just clicked for me in that fight.

“I’m happy because it was my first bantamweight fight. I think I made the weight easy. I felt really good on the day, and I really do think he’s one of the best guys I’ve fought in terms of skill.

A successful Bantamweight debut for Rod Costa.

“I felt like it was a really good win because I felt his potential. I’m looking forward to seeing who he fights next and how that goes because I don’t think he sat on the couch for two years doing nothing (prior to our fight), I think he was training, and he was very sharp.”

After mounting back-to-back wins against two of Australia’s elite regional scene contenders in Justin Van Heerden and Diego Pereira, Costa would ultimately fall short in his first bid for a title belt at the hands of former Eternal MMA featherweight champion and now UFC prospect, Jack Jenkins.

Fighting at featherweight for most of his career, Costa saw an opportunity for a competitive reboot with a drop down in weight class.

In a move that paid immediate dividends, Costa shared that while the extra cut in weight was always going to be mental challenge, the physical rewards were ultimately worth the added stress.

“I felt really good,” said Costa.

“It’s what everyone goes through – the more you cut, the more training camp becomes a bit more of a daunting task. The more you can concentrate on technique and improving in other aspects instead of focusing on your weight, I think the better it is.”

“The good part is that I feel really strong for the weight. I feel like it would be hard to find someone that could overpower me. Even if they were bigger than me, it would be hard to find someone that would be stronger than me.

“I remember talking to Mannu and he was heavier than me on the day (of the fight). I felt like strength for strength I did pretty good in that division.

“On the day, I felt really good. I felt fit, I felt like I could go forever.”

With his attention now turned to another main event title fight on October 29th at the HBF Stadium, Costa feels he is more prepared than ever to make the biggest statement of his professional career.

Across the other side of cage from him will be Tasmanian native and former Eternal MMA bantamweight champion – Shaun Etchell.

Following an unsuccessful bid to earn himself a shot in the UFC with a first-round loss at ‘Road to the UFC 2’ in Singapore, Etchell will be looking to regain the title that he ultimately gave up in pursuit of the highly coveted intentional opportunity.

As far as Costa is concerned, he will be expecting to face a dangerous Shaun Etchell in search of redemption.

“I expect the best version of Shaun Etchell, because if it was me and I had come off a (lost) opportunity like that, I would be eager to jump straight back into another opportunity to prove that I’m better than my last showing.

“I think that’s what I did with Jenkins. I was so eager to come back and prove that I can do better.”

“I think if you are a competitive guy, which I think Etchell is, as soon as you lose, you just want that loss gone. So, I think he’s eager to come back, I think he’s going to fight as hard as he’s ever fought. I think he’s coming for it.

“I think I’m going to get the best Etchell we have ever seen.”

It’s no secret to any MMA fan who has seen Rod Costa fight that his biggest weapons lie within his truly world-class grappling game. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under the world-renowned Filipe Pena as well as former medallist at the IBJJF world championships, Costa has earned himself a well-deserved reputation as being one of the most dangerous submission specialists in Australia today.

Costa’s strengths definitely lie in his grappling.

With Etchell’s recent loss coming by way of first round submission, Costa believes he will be able to find the same path to victory, though he concedes that it will be no easy task against such a high-level opponent.

“His last fight was a quick fight; he got caught with a submission and my strong game is submissions,” he said.

“I did watch that fight, people kept telling me that the way he lost is the best part of my game and so it’s a good matchup for me. But I don’t like to think that the match is going to be easier than what it’s going to be and then he comes out he’s fixed the holes that made him get caught-out in his last fight.”

“Like any fight I have, my goal is to try and get a good position with my grappling and finish from there. But also with every fight, I don’t want to rush and try to get there too quick and then make a mistake and pay for that mistake.”

“I like the match he had with Sam Hibberd, which was back and forth, and he showed a lot of heart. He basically out-paced and out-hearted Hibberd. So, I’m expecting that type of fight.”

With a renewed focus and another win under his belt, Costa is primed to make waves in the new weight class that he will compete for a championship in at Eternal 71.

As for any prospects at his former 65.7kg stomping ground, Costa is adamant that he has every intention of returning to featherweight sooner rather than later.

“I want the featherweight title after this one,” he said.

“There’s a card in February. If I’m good to go, I want to be on that card in Perth and I’d like that to be for the featherweight title. But I don’t know how quick those boys that are going to fight (for the featherweight title at Eternal 72) would want to and defend it or even if Eternal would give that shot to me. I just think it’s a really good option.”

With his previous title bout adversary having vacated the Eternal featherweight title for the UFC, Costa believes it could be the perfect opportunity to achieve double-champ status on Australian soil.

Having previously bested the two men who will compete for the vacant featherweight title at Eternal 72, Costa looks to be in prime position to see his long-term vision become reality.

“If Jenkins was still the champion, I don’t think I would get that shot, but I beat Diego (Pereira) and I beat (Justin) Van Heerden. So, I think it’s a really good story and a very good chance that I could fight for that (featherweight) title whichever way that fight goes. I think I would be a fool to not take that chance.

“If Eternal does want to give that chance to me – if I win the bantamweight title, that would be my first option. But if not, if those guys don’t want to defend that quickly, I’d still like to take a matchup in February if I’m healthy.”

Never one to overlook an upcoming opponent, Costa has always cut pensive figure when discussing his future. Never one to make brazen predictions on the outcomes of his matchups, Costa has historically laid out his plans for the long-term future while seemingly being at peace with any potential outcomes – for better or worse.

Costa has double-champ aspirations.

It is the kind of old school mentality of a storied combat sports athlete that is refreshing to see; an approach to his ambitions that reads something of a ‘let’s draw straws and see who’s going to dance’ type of story, while always being rightfully confident in his ability to get the job done. It is that same mentality and approach to his game that has led to Costa slowly becoming one of the most popular fighters competing under the Eternal MMA banner.

While he still harbours the dream of competing at an international level, Costa sees no other place he would rather compete on home soil than the organisation he believes gives athletes their biggest platform to shine in this part of the world.

“It’s no secret, I’m getting older, I’m trying to look for some kind of international opportunity,” said Costa matter-of-factly.

“I wouldn’t fight for anyone else here in Australia, I wouldn’t fight for any of these other promotions. I’m sticking with Eternal for obvious reasons. Not just because I train with Ben (Vickers) and the other guys – it’s the best promotion to give you a future in the sport. The more wins I get with Eternal, the better it is for me.”

“Obviously I have lofty goals. It might not happen at all, but if I’m planning the best future for me (it would be) – get the bantamweight (title), get the featherweight (title), then I (could) defend them once or twice, but always looking to the next international opportunity if I can get something.”

  • Eternal 71 main card can be viewed Saturday, October 29th live and exclusive on UFC Fight Pass.

 Eternal Icons: Tim ‘Quickdraw’ Moore 

Tim-Moore-wins-via-rear-naked-choke

 Eternal MMA pays tribute to its ‘Icons’ who have contributed to the growth and success of not only Eternal MMA, but Australian combat sports in its entirety. All the way from the grass roots of local martial arts education to the pinnacle of international competition, we salute those who have been vital in guiding Australian mixed martial arts in its endeavours at every level. 

This week, Eternal MMA is proud to profile Tim ‘Quickdraw’ Moore

Tim is a former Eternal MMA flyweight champion who competed eight times under the Eternal MMA banner, winning five of his bouts in total including one successful defence of his flyweight championship. 

Like many other children growing up in the northeast of Australia, Tim first found his way into the world of sport via rugby league. After finding himself dealing with some adversity at the age of 19, he decided to enter a mixed martial arts gym in hopes of setting himself on a better path. 

Soon after commencing training six nights a week, Tim made the choice to fight professionally after getting some wins under his belt. Realising that he had the potential to fight at a high level, he dedicated himself to the sport and went on to become a true icon of the regional MMA scene in Australia. 

Tim was one of the first athletes to compete under the banner of Eternal MMA, having fought on Eternal 1 at Southport Sharks on the Gold Coast. Tim also holds the distinction of being one of only four athletes to compete in Eternal MMA’s first three events. 

tim-moore-vs-luke-morris

Professional career record: 

12-8-0 

▪ 2 wins via submission. 

▪ 4 wins via knockout. 

▪ 6 wins via decision. 

Eternal MMA record: 

5-3-0 

▪ 2 wins via submission. 

▪ 3 wins via decision. 

Eternal MMA events: 

Eight events in total: 

  • • Eternal 1 vs Jacob Mahony
  • • Eternal 2 vs Adam Corbett. 
  • • Eternal 3 vs Greg Penaloza. 
  • • Eternal 6 vs Shaun Etchell
  • • Eternal 8 vs Shane Parker. 
  • • Eternal 12 vs Shaun Etchell – Won the Eternal MMA Flyweight Championship. 
  • • Eternal 14 vs Luke Morris – Defended the Eternal MMA Flyweight Championship. 
  • • Eternal 45 vs Stephen Erceg

Eternal MMA achievements/accolades. 

  • • Eternal MMA Flyweight Champion (one time) 
  • ▪ One successful title defence. 

Fond memory fighting for Eternal MMA: 

Tim: The very first Eternal (event) was the main event that I fought on, so that would be up there with the fond memories. 

Toughest Eternal MMA opponent: 

Tim: It would have to be (Shaun) Etchell in the first fight that we had. Even (Jacob) Mahony in the first (Eternal 1), that was pretty tough. 

Tim-Moore-wins-via-rear-naked-choke

Standout performance fighting for Eternal MMA 

Tim: When I fought Adam Corbett. There wasn’t anything particularly special about it, but he tried to fight me in the carpark before the fight. I was walking in by myself into the venue as him and his team were walking out. There was a bit of trash talk before the fight and he just offered me out in the car park – properly had a crack at it. I just had a bit of laugh and said, “see you in a few hours, mate!”. 

Current Eternal MMA fighter you enjoy watching: 

Tim: Naveed Hassanzada – he fought recently. He’s a flyweight that I got to do a little training with recently. I’ve always liked his fighting style. Hoani Selwyn – he just went pro. There’s always good up-and-comers like Josh Kuhne. There’s Dimps (Gillies) who has been there forever. There are so many dudes coming up but it’s the flyweights mainly for me. 

Greatest career achievement: 

Tim: Winning the (Flyweight) title. Not even winning the title – defending the title. A lot of people had won it and didn’t defend it. 

Current involvement with mixed martial arts: 

Tim: I was helping Shannon Ross for a recent fight that he had. After that, I just kept my own training rolling on from there. I’ve been training a couple nights a week for the last couple of months now. I’m trying to get more regular (with training) and maybe fight later in the year. I feel like my body and my mind is still pretty sharp. Once things even out at home, I’m definitely keen to get back into it. So, towards the end of this year, I think we can make that happen. 

Life outside of mixed martial arts: 

I’ve got my wife and three kids which obviously keeps me pretty busy. During the week I have a building company of my own. So, I’m on the tools as a chippy throughout the day, finish that and then I’m a family man at home. 

What do you hope your legacy will be as a competitive martial artist: 

Tim: Obviously my record isn’t the greatest, but I’ve never turned down a fight or cherry-picked an opponent. Anyone that was ever offered to me, I always said yes, whether it was a smart idea or not. I think a lot of fans know that with the opponents that I’ve fought. 

Eternal Icons: Callan ‘The Rockstar’ Potter. 

Callan Potter Eternal MMA Icon

 Eternal MMA pays tribute to its ‘Icons’ who have contributed to the growth and success of not only Eternal MMA, but Australian combat sports in its entirety. All the way from the grass roots of local martial arts education to the pinnacle of international competition, we salute those who have been vital in guiding Australian mixed martial arts in its endeavours at every level. 

This week, Eternal MMA is proud to profile Callan ‘The Rockstar’ Potter. Callan is a former Eternal MMA lightweight champion who competed three times under the Eternal MMA banner, winning all three of his bouts. 

Professional career record: 

18-9-0 

▪ 10 wins via submission. 

▪ 6 wins via knockout. 

▪ 2 wins via decision. 

Eternal MMA record: 

3-0-0 

▪ 2 wins via submission. 

▪ 1 win via decision. 

Eternal MMA events: 

Three events in total: 

Callan Potter takes the back against Brentin Mumford for win via rear naked choke.

Eternal MMA achievements/accolades. 

  • • Eternal MMA Lightweight Championship (one time) 
  • ▪ One successful title defence. 
A happy Callan Potter with the strap with a win over Brentin Mumford.

Fond memory fighting for Eternal MMA: 

Callan: I’ve earned plenty of great memories at Eternal. As far as sticking to the fights, going through that real ‘transition moment’ that some people have had to go through in their fights; being exhausted, being bloody, being beaten up and standing up off the stool coming into the third-round against B.J. Bland is a moment that will stick with me forever. He’s a super tough guy, and I knew that my gas tank was almost on empty and his wasn’t far above (empty) either. Just knowing that it was going to be one of those rounds was a pretty special moment. 

Toughest Eternal MMA opponent: 

Callan: All three of those guys were ridiculously tough. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my career, but something I pride myself on is I always try to find the toughest fights. As much as they were all tough, I really have to put Brentin (Mumford) up in that slot. I don’t think I’m alone in saying this, but during that period, Brentin was the bogeyman of the lightweight division. He was big, he was knocking people out with crazy techniques. I was always chasing tough fights, but I just knew that when that was going to get booked, that was going to be a hard fight. 

Current Eternal MMA fighter you enjoy watching: 

Callan: I’m huge into the local scene at the moment. I love the UFC, but more so than the UFC, I love the local scene. Obviously, Eternal is the premiere promotion on the local scene at the moment. Very easy answer – I’m loving Kaleb Rideout, the ‘Krazy Horse’. That kid has won me right over. I love the way he gets about it. He took on Kevin Jousset when no one was lining up to take that fight. He didn’t take that fight (for the sake of) being tough and taking the fight, he came out with the obvious intention to win and fought his backside off. I’m a massive fan of the Krazy Horse. 

Greatest career achievement: 

Callan: Obviously getting my hand raised in the UFC cage, that’s really hard to beat. (There are) two things that I really hang my hat on besides obviously taking hard fights whenever I could; one is never missing weight. Never once have I missed weight on the scales which I’m really proud of. Two, my whole Jiu-Jitsu career, every belt I’ve ever received is from the same coach from start to finish. In a sport where people are shifting and moving, trying to find a better answer here and there, I’m very proud that I’ve taken every single belt that I’ve got from Jamie Murray. I like to think that that’s a highlight of the personality and traits that I have. 

Current involvement with mixed martial arts: 

Callan: I deal with a lot of the evening classes (at Resilience Training Centre). We have quite stable of not only a few pro athletes, but a lot of amateur athletes coming through. We have a great coach in Dan Kelly; obviously Dan’s commitments are mixed with Australian Judo. (So), there’s myself, Sam Hayward, who’s a sensational coach, he’s very educated in the sport of MMA. Ben Sosoli is there. Between the four of us, we work quite well. We have guys that have been there a little bit longer, but we all work in unison. There are things that I learn off Ben and Dan and visa-versa. We all share our knowledge together really well. 

Life outside of mixed martial arts: 

I’m working with a company called ‘Wormald’ – that’s all fire protection. So, I’m working within the portables department there. That’s a full-time position. Three evenings a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I go to the gym. Tuesday, Thursday I’m back home with the family. Weekends are now very open. We’ve got the caravan now and I like to spend as much time (as possible) jumping in the caravan and going out. My poor now-wife has had to spend many years being dictated by a fighter career. Now that it’s been pulled up-stumps, she’s very happy to take the lead role in what our plans are for most weekends, which I’m happy to follow. 

What do you hope your legacy will be as a competitive martial artist: 

Callan: Legacy is sometimes a big thing; I don’t want to say that it doesn’t mean much to me. The people that are close to me they are the ones that I worry about. The ones that have worked close to me and seen the inside battles, they’re the people whose opinions matter to me. People on the 

outside are going to form their own opinions, but I hope that my body of work speaks for itself. Not (necessarily) the wins that I’ve got, the accolades I’ve achieved or the or the titles that I’ve won, but the way I’ve carried myself. Like I’ve said, I’ve never missed weight, never turned down a hard fight and sadly been put in many dubious positions in a lot of my fights that I’ve still managed to come back and win. So, I’d like to think that while I might not have been blessed with a lot of the greatest skill, I’ve shown a bit of a ‘blue-collar’ grit in my career and maybe that’s how I’ll be remembered. 

Australian Health Professionals partners with Eternal MMA

For immediate release: August 19 2022 

Australia’s No.1 MMA Promotion, Eternal MMA are pleased to announce the partnership with Principal Partner, Australian Health Professionals (AHP) to spearhead raising the bar for medical attention across the nation’s most popular combat sport. 

The exclusive partnership will see AHP feature as Eternal’s first-ever Official Fight Kit Partner with branding across Eternal’s walk-out-uniforms worn by fighters, plus additional branding across digital and social assets and presenting rights via Eternal’s broadcast partnerships with UFC Fight Pass and ESPN. Additionally, AHP will provide unique career opportunities for Health Professionals Australia-wide through their commitment to service the partnership with medical teams at all Eternal MMA shows.

Ben Vickers, Eternal MMA Director: “As a coach, I am in the gym with the fighters day in and day out. This sport is a passion of mine and to now be in a position where we can service the fighters at the highest of medical standards gives me confidence we’re impacting the sport in the right way. With AHP as a partner we believe together we can make MMA even safer and raise the standard and quality of care provided to our athletes”.

AHP is a progressive, forward thinking, privately-owned company, dedicated to advancing and improving the quality of career paths for healthcare professionals Australia-wide.

Cam O’Neill, Eternal MMA Director: “Fighter health & safety is our priority. It’s often overlooked by other combat sports promoters and seen as an unfeasible expense. We are taking the necessary steps to provide medical care and a safe environment for the fighters and for all of those in attendance. AHP is a leader in their field and this partnership sets standards for Eternal MMA that have never been seen before in the sport in Australia & New Zealand”.

Since the company’s inception in 2014, AHP has pioneered the medical and healthcare recruitment industry, with over six specialized divisions. This Eternal partnership will witness AHP take their ambition nationally and provide career opportunities for doctors and paramedics in unique sectors including combat sports. These opportunities will offer diversity to these healthcare roles, as well as assist in the development of unique skill sets. AHP is passionate about growing the careers of paramedics and doctors through unique opportunities and contributing to the movement that is raising the health and safety of participants and spectators in sporting groups.

Simon Thomas, Australian Health Professionals CEO: “Delivering superior healthcare to the Australian community is both a professional and personal goal. Partnering with Eternal, one of Australia’s most reputable combat sport organizations, has not only aligned with our core values, but given AHP the opportunity to make actual change”.

Australian Health Professionals’ latest venture, AHP Physio, places skilled physiotherapists with a background in sports and sports medicine in leading venues across Australia. Aligned with Goodlife Gyms, AHP physiotherapists provide an elite level of pre-emptive and post-injury care to elite athletes and community members alike.

Currently in a growth phase, AHP is looking to align with other brands and businesses that support the company’s core values of providing healthcare professionals with the best career opportunities and learning experiences across Australia. 

The Eternal MMA and AHP partnership will come into effect from August 20, 2021 at Eternal 68 taking place at HBF Stadium, Perth.   

_ _ _

NEXT SHOW: In celebration of 10 years of Eternal MMA, ETERNAL MMA 69 & 70 will take place at Southport Sharks, proudly supported by Australia’s Gold Coast. The September 16 card will feature an Australian Lightweight Championship bout between current champion, Aidan Aguilera & challenger, David Martinez. The September 17 card will feature an Australian Featherweight Championship bout for the vacant strap between Justin Van Heerden & Kaan Ofli. For all event and ticketing information visit, EternalMMA/events

_ _ _

About Eternal MMA:

Eternal MMA is an Australian Mixed Martial Arts organization that provides Australian and New Zealand fighters the opportunity to compete against the region’s very best fighters as they rise through the ranks. Eternal MMA was formed in 2012 on Australia’s Gold Coast and is now the most active and respected MMA organization in the Oceania region, promoting Australian and New Zealand talent across a national events program. Eternal MMA events can be viewed ‘live’ UFC FIGHT PASS to fans around the world. For more information, visit EternalMMA.com and follow Eternal MMA at facebook.com/EternalMMA, Instagram: @EternalMMA and YouTube/EternalMMA  Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

Contact for Eternal MMA:

Rhys Dal Cin

[email protected]

+61 449 954 247

About Australian Health Professionals:

Australian Health Professionals (AHP) is a leading Australian medical and healthcare staffing solutions company built on a longstanding history of successful partnerships with both clients and healthcare professionals. From humble beginnings in aged care provision, the company has rapidly grown into an established player in recruitment and staffing throughout Australia. For more information, visit aushp.com.au.

Contact for Australian Health Professionals:

Samantha Kelly

[email protected] 

+61 434 866 435

Enter Krazy Horse: The Kaleb Rideout welterweight title reign begins. 

Kaleb Rideout Welterweight

 For more than a decade, Australia has produced a consistent offering of mixed martial artists that have risen to international prominence. It is no longer a secret that Australia is emerging as a sleeping giant on the world stage. 

Names such as – Tai Tuivasa, Jimmy Crute, Tyson Pedro, Jack Della Maddalena, Casey O’Neill, Jamie Mullarkey, Jacob Malkoun and Josh Culibao are all currently riding the trail blazed by the likes of Mark Hunt, Robert Whittaker, Alexander Volkanovski, Daniel Kelly, Kyle Noke and Jake Matthews to name a few. 

The growing number of Australian exports have seen a wide variety of success that has included everything from champions, future hall of famers, top contending challengers and blue-chip prospects. 

With a multitude of talent exporting at a higher level than ever for Australia, more and more fans are turning their attention to the grassroots of MMA in order to spot the next generation of fighters making their rise in the sport. 

It’s a good thing too, because at least for right now, the most exciting Australian mixed martial artist is still on our shores. 

… And he just became the Eternal MMA welterweight champion

For all intents and purposes, Kaleb Rideout is perhaps the most accessible combat sports athlete currently competing on the regional scene of combat sports – a stark contrast to the otherworldly showmanship that he exhibits as a competitive martial artist. 

A natural-born entertainer, Rideout has made a priority of giving the fans a show every time he steps foot inside the cage, and it is far from a case of style over substance. 

YouTube Kaleb Rideout, the results speak for themselves. 

July 16th, 2022, saw Eternal MMA produce one of, if not its biggest card in it’s almost ten-year existence, with Rideout slated to close the curtains in his championship fight against City Kickboxing product – Kevin Jousset. 

Coming off a spinning back-fist knockout over his previous opponent at Eternal 64, Rideout was primed to make another statement in is young professional career. 

With the vacant welterweight title on the line, Rideout produced a bell-to-bell performance bodied by a plethora of unorthodox striking, non-stop pressure, high octane pace and endless cardio. 

Speaking with Eternal MMA, Rideout spoke shared his thoughts on the biggest win of his career to date. 

“I can’t explain how I feel,” said Rideout. 

“As soon as they said I was champion, I literally lost my feet and just collapsed in the middle of the cage. It’s something I’ve been training so hard for. Not just in this camp, but all the camps before that, ever since I was 2-2 as a pro. 

“I’m still on the comedown from it, really.” 

The long-lasting comedown from Rideout’s performance has been a mutually felt feeling for those in attendance as well as watchers tuning in on UFC Fight Pass. 

Fans were treated to an exceptionally unique display of striking at a relentless clip that included countless spinning back-fists, spin kicks, overhand hammer fists and several other techniques that oozed with style points. 

One such technique that Kaleb pulled out of his handy toolbox was something not many of us can say we have seen before – hammer-fist strikes to his standing opponents’ knee? 

“This is just the start of my style,” said Rideout. 

“I have got plenty more tricks in my bag that I didn’t even get to show. You have only seen little glimpses. 

“The standing hammer-fist at the start of the fight that caused massive damage to his face, the damage I was inflicting in all these random positions that I was in. The unorthodox strikes that I was throwing from punches to the legs to hammer fists to the legs – its just the start really. 

“I was so glad in a way that we went the five fives, because you could see what I’m actually capable of. My fitness is through the roof. I could have done another five fives after (the fight). 

“The only thing that you didn’t really get to see was my ground game, which is a bit disappointing. But at the same time, in my opinion, fans don’t come to see grappling in the cage. Why would they? 

“They want to see striking, so I give them everything I can with my strikes.” 

“I said it at the end of this fight, and I will say it leading up to every other fight – I will stand and throw down as much as I can. 

“I’m hunting for my Robbie Lawler vs Rory McDonald fight.” 

There is no doubt that Rideout is on a collision course to get his wish at some point in his career. By his own admission, his fighting style and desire to entertain the fans are at the forefront of his mind whenever he prepares to step foot inside the cage. The fact that he is just so damn good at getting wins on his record at the same time has been an exceptionally welcome byproduct of his fan-friendly skillset. 

It’s one thing to be flashy, it’s another thing to put it all together and become a title belt holder – Kaleb Rideout is now both. 

To the surprise of many, one judge saw the contest in favour of Jousset to the tune of three rounds to two, while the other two judges saw it in favour of Rideout at 50-45 and 49-46 respectively. 

A split decision victory for the first-time title challenger. 

“I was very ‘fight-aware’ in that fight the entire time,” said Rideout. 

“As soon as that final bell rang, and Kevin and I embraced after the fight, I said ‘it’s going to be a split decision’. I just didn’t know how the judges were going to score it.”

“I knew he had the takedowns, he had the control (time), but I was doing the most damage. So, I could see that being more favourable to the judges.” 

“I knew I had the rounds with my aggression and my striking, he wasn’t landing anywhere near the amount of punches or significant strikes as I was. 

“Looking back at it now that I’ve had time to reflect and watch the fight, it’s hard to see the split decision. I think I won four out of the five rounds. But the judges called it a split and I’m not going to argue with it. It’s still a win in my books.” 

Back at home and now with some distance from the title fight, Rideout can see clearly now just how dominant he was for the majority of the contest. By his own admission, however, Jousset was one of if not the toughest out of his professional career. 

“The best way to describe (Jousset) – he’s honestly like the French Terminator,” said Rideout. 

“I was punching him hard – I mean, I was hitting him… hard. My right hand is ridiculously swollen. He just kept walking forward. 

“I think I hit him with five clean punches and a clean elbow, and he just didn’t bleed! His bloody bones, every time I hit him, it just felt like steel.” 

“His toughness is ten out of ten. I’ve hit a lot of people with those shots and a lot of them have dropped.” 

“I knew his gas tank wouldn’t be as good as mine, (but) I was surprised in the fourth and fifth rounds that he was still very fit. You could still see that he deteriorated a bit, but the volume was on all day. 

“I expected him to shoot more takedowns on me, but the longer the fight went, he very rarely did what I thought he would do. So, it just gave me free reign to stand there and throw.” 

A fan of the game as well as a student of it, Rideout somehow found time towards the end of the fourth round to shoot his shot with a very familiar face at cage side. 

Strategising against him was Kevin Jousset’s world-renowned coach, Eugene Bareman – most notably the long-time mentor of current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. 

Not one to miss an opportunity, even with his opponent in a dominant position against him, the man they call “Krazy Horse” seized the opportunity to have a quick word with the City Kickboxing lead man. 

“It was just a spur of the moment thing,” said Rideout with a laugh. 

“He (Jousset) pinned me and took me down against the cage, I looked to the left and I saw Joe Lopez there and I was like ‘oh sh*t, hey Joe!’. I was a little bit concussed; I think. 

“And then (I saw) Eugene and thought, it’s not the right time but (I said) ‘hey Eugene, can I get a photo after this?!’. Then we had a bit of a banter war and he (Jousset) got up and kicked me in the ribs, which hurt.” 

It’s a 2022 kicking off on the right foot for Rideout. With two wins from two fights, including his recent title win, the sky is looking like the limit for the newly crowned champ. 

Splitting his time between work as a plasterer and training as a mixed martial artist, Rideout leads a typical life of a regional circuit athlete. Three days after winning the championship fight, it was back to life as usual on the tools for the Picton, New South Wales resident. Only this time, with all the attention that comes with the territory of being an Australian champion. 

With the welterweight title around his waist, the proud representative of his gym – XXX Fight Academy said the reception back home with his teammates was electric. 

“They absolutely loved the fight because it was so entertaining” said Rideout. 

“I feel like a celebrity walking around the gym right now, it’s great.” 

Celebrity aside, Rideout knows that his road as a high-profile combat sports athlete is barely beginning. Now 7-2-0 as a professional, he has put together a run of five wins in a row on his way to the welterweight title. 

Earning himself a reputation as one of the most electrifying mixed martial artists in the country, Rideout is ready and willing to face whatever challenge is placed before him whenever the time comes. 

With a new addition to the family set to arrive in November, however, Rideout will be looking to face the next challenge either before or after what will be the most important moment in his life. 

“My first child is on the way – a little girl,” said Rideout beaming ear to ear. 

“I’m building a granny flat right now out the back of my missus’ parents house for me, her and the little one.” 

“But as I’ve said, at the end of the day, It’s Cam’s (Eternal MMA promoter, Cam O’Neill) call. Whatever he wants to do, I’ll just turn up and do what I do best. It doesn’t bother me; a fight is a fight at the end of the day.” 

“I will always be here to entertain.” 

Eternal 67 can be replayed on UFC Fight Pass

The French Redemption: Kevin Jousset primed for second shot at welterweight title. 

Eternal MMA welterweight contender Kevin Jousset

 Kevin Jousset was only two fights into his professional career when he received his first title shot. 

Serving as a replacement for the injured Glenn Pettigrew, Jousset stepped up on just two weeks’ notice to challenge then reigning welterweight champion, Jack Della Maddalena

An eyelid laceration would see a doctors stoppage cut his first title bid short after the end of the second round, though Jousset was widely commended for his performance given the circumstances. 

Since then, Jousset has strung together a run of three wins on his way back to a second shot at the title – the most recent of which being a hard-fought decision against Saeid Fatahifar at Eternal 59. 

A black belt in Judo, Jousset demonstrated his elite level grappling skills, landing several hip-toss takedowns on his opponent, much to the delight of the crowd. Throughout the opening two rounds, Jousset expertly utilised his impressive height and reach advantage with teep kicks to the body of Fatahifar, while keeping the range with his jab at almost every exchange. 

The third round would see Jousset unleash a barrage of strikes from the feet in the opening seconds, almost immediately causing blood to flow from the nose of the tough Iranian. A high octane last few minutes of the fight would see the Frenchman successfully stuff several takedown attempts from his weakening opponent, putting a stamp on his performance with stifling ground control mixed in with tireless ground and pound. 

Jousset unleashes a barrage of strikes from the feet in the opening seconds of round three at Eternal MMA 59.

With the dominant decision win in his back pocket, the Eternal MMA brass had seen enough to award Jousset another shot at the welterweight strap. This time, with a complete training camp to back him up inside the cage. 

Speaking with Eternal MMA, Jousset reflected on his most recent performance as he prepares for a second attempt at championship glory. 

“I was quite dominant most of the fight,” said Jousset. 

“It was a good way for me to show everyone I am one of the best welterweights in the country. Saeid is one of the toughest guys in the country as well. Being able to beat him meant a lot for the Eternal promoters, so they wanted me to fight for the belt. 

“Obviously, all the lockdowns happened, so it had to be pushed back a bit later than what we had planned. (But) finally, we are getting there. Less than a week and I will have the belt around my waste.” 

Originally born in France, Jousset would eventually find his way to New Zealand’s City Kickboxing after spending some time both in the UK and Australia. 

Boasting some of the best combat sports athletes in the world, including UFC middleweight champion – Israel Adesanya, UFC featherweight champion – Alexander Volkanovski, as well as Dan Hooker, Brad Riddell and Kai Kara-France to name a few, Jousset has a plethora of talent to train with on a daily basis. 

On top of being able to learn from some of the region’s elite fighters, Jousset’s training is spearheaded by world-renowned MMA coach, Eugene Bareman

The importance of being surrounded by such a high-level melting pot of talent and knowledge is not lost twenty-nine-year-old as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career to date. 

Jousset deep in thought between rounds at Eternal 59
Jousset deep in thought between rounds at Eternal 59.

“Training with those guys is insane,” he said. 

“Coming from my background, I already knew that I could handle the best grapplers in the world because I’ve done it – I know how it is. But being able to train with the best strikers in the world now is great. If I can handle those guys, I can literally handle anyone.” 

“Just (seeing) the work ethic, seeing how everyone is humble and just working their ass off every single day, it’s very humbling.” 

The day-to-day learnings inside the confines of one of the world’s most elite MMA gyms are what Jousset believes will guide him to victory against his fellow title challenger, Kaleb Rideout

While Jousset is aware of the kind of problems Rideout can present inside the cage, it is his steadfast belief that “Krazy Horse” will not have nearly enough for him when the cage doors close – no matter how the matchup plays out. 

“He’s quite an aggressive fighter – very dangerous with some of his techniques,” he said. 

“It’s going to be quite an exciting fight with two (different) styles against each other. I need to be very focused and aware of all the spinning attacks and all the stuff that he does to make sure that I don’t get caught.” 

“I just need to apply my game plan and use my skills as well as possible, so I don’t get hit too much. I need to (deal) as much damage to him as possible.” 

Jousset has made no secret of what his plans are as a professional mixed martial artist. Training with some of the best athletes in the world – many of whom themselves have made the journey from the Australia/New Zealand regional scene to international waters, Jousset eventually wants to follow suit. 

While harbouring his own ambitions to one day compete in the UFC, he believes there is no better platform to showcase his abilities in this part of the world than Eternal MMA. 

“Eternal is the biggest organisation in this part of the world,” he said. 

“Once I get this belt around my waste, I will officially be the best welterweight in the country. That will definitely help open the doors to the big leagues. 

“The goal is to fight in the UFC, as everyone knows. There are quite a few guys who used to hold the belt before, who then got signed to the UFC later. So, that’s the goal – getting the belt first and then getting signed (to the UFC). 

Holding such lofty goals is standard for any fighter who wants to call themselves the best, and Kevin Jousset is no different. While he hopes to carve his own international path someday, he has no intention of looking beyond his next opponent standing in the way of him winning his first championship belt. 

Asked if he believes there is a specific area in which he holds an advantage over his upcoming opponent, Jousset was resolute in his answer. 

A response that came with somewhat of an advertisement for bad intentions to those tuning in on fight day. 

“I have the advantage everywhere,” he said matter-of-factly. 

“I’m a better striker than him, I’m a better grappler than him, I’m stronger than him. I think I have an advantage everywhere. I just need to be focused and do my thing, that’s it.” 

“Violence is what people are going to see. I will show everyone that I am levels above all the other welterweights in the country – I will be ready to fight for the UFC sooner rather than later.” 

“The main thing is, whatever happens, the conclusion stays the same – I’ll be winning this fight one-hundred percent.” 

Eternal 67 main card will be streamed July 16th live and exclusive on UFC Fight Pass