John Fraser vs Mat Myers 2: A rematch for the middleweight crown.

The title fight main event for Eternal 72 will play host to a rare circumstance.

Not only have the two men involved already faced each other but did so in the very last fight they competed in prior to the middleweight title fight they will square off in this coming Friday.

Eternal 69 saw Middleweight champion John Martin Fraser step in on weeks’ notice to face New Zealand native – Mat Myers, who needed a new dance partner after his original fight was scrapped due his opponent sustaining an injury.

According to Eternal MMA promoter Cam O’Neill, there was absolutely zero hesitation from either camp when it came to accepting the late notice catchweight bout.

On paper, it was a risky proposition for Fraser to accept. A year and a half removed from his last fight and with no training camp to sharpen his blade, the Welsh export put all but is championship belt on the line to save the fight and get himself back inside the cage.

John Fraser is a fighter’s fighter.

Speaking with Eternal MMA, Fraser shared his sentiments on stepping up to plate and facing Myers for what would ultimately be the table-setter for a future, higher stakes fight between the pair.

“I one hundred percent wanted to take that fight,” said Fraser.

“I’d had eighteen months off after the Kitt Campbell fight; that was the last time I fought. I’d had two training camps that were wasted. When I went back to the UK, I was training to fight on Cage Warriors, that (fight) fell through because the guy had a sickness. The second one, I had an injury. Three months later I ended up having hand surgery.

“I wasn’t planning on fighting until December because of my hand and I hadn’t had the (training) camp. But as soon opportunity was offered to me, I just thought that this was a sign that I need to take this. I’d be daft not to.”

“I just want to fight. You get sports fighters, and you get ‘fighters’ fighters – I think I’m a fighter’s fighter.”

A fighter’s fighter no doubt John Martin Fraser is. After a battle of attrition with Kitt Campbell at Eternal 58, Fraser ground and pounded his way to a stoppage victory in the fourth round that subsequently earned him his first Eternal MMA title.

What proceeded the championship winning fight would be a sixteen-month stint back at home in Wales. Training at Shore MMA, Fraser rounded out his skillset to become a more complete fighter.

No longer just a striker, Fraser worked hard on his grappling game. Levelling up in all facets of MMA in order to better prepare himself for the challenges that lay ahead – both abroad and at home.

Now back in Australia, Fraser feels he is as prepared as ever to meet his first title defence head on.

“You’re just going to see a different fighter,” he said.

“Watching that last fight; I don’t like watching it in terms of seeing my performance on the feet. I was fat and slow.

“It was literally the Monday after that last fight that I was back in the gym, back hitting pads and just getting prepared for this next fight. I’m the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been at the moment, so, you are going to see the better version of myself.”

John Fraser was straight back into the gym on Monday.

Anyone who has spent five minutes talking to John Fraser about mixed martial arts know that he is about as real as it gets.

A straight shooter with no presumptive notions about his recent victory over Myers, Fraser is taking no extra confidence outside of him own improved abilities into their title fight on December 2nd.

“I think this one is just a brand new fight,” he said.

“A few people have said (to me) that I must be going in there full of confidence because I’ve beaten him before, so it must be an easy fight? Not at all. At the end of the day, fighting is fighting. We’ve both got a chin, we’ve both got a pair of arms and legs and a neck to choke each other.

“You just never know what’s going to happen. That for me is the most exciting thing about fighting. You can do everything right, you can have the best camp, you can go in with a hundred and ten percent belief and confidence in yourself. But you could make slip and you end up getting put to sleep.”

“I have helped my own confidence, but that’s the reality of fighting. That’s why fighting is exciting to me. The way I have prepared for Mat this time; it’s like a completely new fight.”

The time between fights has been not only beneficial to Fraser’s skillset, but also his mental approach to the game. Months on the sidelines grinding in the gym while simultaneously missing fights due to injury, the fire inside Fraser continued to burn as he marched towards a return date.

Now with a first title defence in his sights, the 6-2-0 champion has clarity on what a win against his familiar foe could mean for his long-term career.

“I think it’s undeniable that I’m the best in Australia and I think there’s a pretty good argument to be made that I hold my place in the UFC. I don’t think I’d look out of place there at all. That’s going to happen, whether it’s after this fight or the fight after that.

“Whenever it is, I’m going to end up there.”

Not one to look past an upcoming opponent, Fraser assures Eternal MMA fans that they will be without doubt getting their money’s worth for the high-level main event that will close the show for Eternal 72.

“You are going to see a high-level performance, it’s going to be an exciting fight,” he said.

“It’s just not one to missed. We both come to bring the fight. Mat’s a game opponent, I’m a game opponent. I’m going out to finish him and he’s definitely coming out to finish me. So, it would be a mad one to miss.”

“I’ve prepared for everything. I’m ready to go five rounds but I definitely see it in my head that I’m going to knock him out in the first round.”

The champ’s confident he’ll get Myers out of there in the 1st Round, but ready for 5.

Meeting him across the other side of the cage in the blue corner will be the man who would argue to the contrary.

A native of Whangaparaoa, New Zealand now residing in Victoria, Australia – Mat Myers has been forging his own path in mixed martial arts on route to his first fight for a title.

After moving to Australia with his parents at the age of seventeen, Myers was seeking a fresh start in a new country that would put him on a better path than he was heading down back at home.

It would be in Australia that he would meet his now head coach at Adrenaline MMA – Cris Brown.

For Myers, it would be a major turning point in his life and the biggest contributing factor in becoming the man who is is today.

Fast forward ten years later after attending the gym every day since, Myers is slated to headline an Eternal MMA card against a man that he was more than familiar with prior to their first meeting.

“I’ve been watching John for a while,” said Myers.

“I was a welterweight before this last fight that we had, and I had planned on moving up (to middleweight) for a while. But I didn’t expect to be fighting guys like John straight away.

“I remember watching John multiple times with my mates at barbecues, getting on the piss and watching Eternal fights. My best mate: John was his favourite guy to watch.

A fan himself of Fraser’s work inside the cage, Myers concedes that being in awe of the Welshman’s performances in the past resulted in him needing to overcome some mental hurdles when he was eventually tasked with becoming his next opponent.

“It was the unknown monster,” he said.

“You watch him knock all these people out and he’s this scary Welsh guy. Standing toe to toe with Kitt Campbell – someone I’ve trained with before and beating him at his own fight. That’s Kitt’s bread and butter; stand in front of people and trade. John beat him at that.

“He was this guy that I’d watched for a long time and rated highly – I still do. Just to get in there with him, be me and not have that fear was what I took away from it (the first fight) most. He’s a human being. He’s just a man.”

“I’ve probably watched the fight five or six times. That fights done, he got me, I’ll hold myself accountable for that. We’ve made adjustments to the mistakes that I made in that fight that ultimately got John the win, I think.

“It’s just another fight. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same guy or not. That’s the way we are taking it.”

Mat Myers takes confidence from his recent outing against John Fraser.

It’s hard not to make comparisons to the two men involved in the main event for Eternal 72, especially when it comes to a fighter’s mentality. As has been stated on record many times in the lead up to the contest, both men were willing to face each other on a moments notice with zero questions asked.

It’s the same way that each have carried themselves from the start of their career up until their scheduled title fight.

While the concept is not foreign to Myers, he believes that the region has an issue of fighters being too selective with their potential opponents.

“Fighters fight. I’ll fight anyone,” he said.

“I think that in Australian MMA we have a really bad culture of ducking people and picking and choosing our fights. I understand that this is a business, and you need to build your way up. But at the end of the day, if you’re good enough to be in the UFC – you’re good enough.”

“That’s just the way I live. I’d rather be that guy in thirty years knowing that I gave it a good crack. I didn’t just pick and choose. I’d rather know that I gave it everything I could. I tried my best to be the best and put myself out there.”

It’s a refreshing attitude not often seen at this level in mixed martial arts. This is a cutthroat business. A split-second lapse in judgement can alter a fighter’s career trajectory without warning. The reverberating effects of wins and losses are the lifeblood of a combat sports athlete.

It’s what makes the mentality of fighters like John Fraser and Mat Myers that much more special. It’s a part of the reason why the two will get to square off again at Eternal 72 immediately after their first fight. A middleweight championship bout on the biggest stage of Australian MMA is just reward for two fighters willing to put it all on the line when the opportunities come knocking.

A huge opportunity awaits Mat Myers on Friday night.

For Myers, it’s an opportunity to not only win his first championship, but also a chance to repay the faith that he has been given by his coaches and training partners since he first arrived at the gym.

“As fighters, we make a lot of sacrifice,” he said.

“For me, (the title) would mean a lot. But even more so for my coach and the people at the gym – it would mean everything. I came into our gym as just some skinny little Kiwi fresh off the boat; a tough kid that liked to punch-on.

“Ten years later, I’m fighting for the most prestigious belt in the country.”

In order to claim the belt, Myers knows that he will need to summon the best performance of his career. Having already faced the hard-nosed Welshman, Myers feels that he is ready to showcase the necessary improvements made when the lights are at their brightest.

“Knowing John; he’s a tough customer,” he said

“I was hitting him with a lot of big elbows underneath. Even on the cage, I felt like I hurt him once or twice in that (first) fight. He just doesn’t stop. He’ll keep going, he doesn’t care, nothing fazes him. He’s just really tough.

“I don’t see one certain way (to win), but I do see myself rocking him at some point and that being the decider. I can’t sit here and say I’m going to put him away flat out, because many have tried, and many have failed. But I know I’m going to win.

“That’s the only thing that I know for certain. I’ll be getting my hand raised at the end of it. Whether he’s got his consciousness or not, I’ll be getting my hand raised.”

“To my friends and family; I’ll apologise is in advance because I’m ready for a war, I’m ready for violence.”

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

Kamikaze target shift: Josh Kuhne lowers the scope at Eternal’s Featherweights

May 7th, 2022 will forever be known as the date that one of the greatest – if not the greatest mixed martial contest in Australian combat sports history was witnessed by fans live at Southport Sharks on the Gold Coast for Eternal 72.

Two of the most electric lightweights in the country stood toe to toe for fifteen straight minutes without conceding an inch until the final horn sounded. A relentless display of striking coupled with seemingly endless cardio from both combatants had the crowd in attendance on their feet for almost as long as the contest lasted.

Wins and losses aside, Josh Kuhne and Dimps Gillies would leave the arena with their stock elevated astronomically higher than what they came in with – and what they came in with was already experiencing a boom time.

Kuhne VS Dimps was an early Fight of the Year contender.

“I have never seen anything like that in my life! If you are not on your feet at home in your living room, get off your couch and get on your feet for these gentlemen!”

  • Appropriately stunned words immediately preceding the fights conclusion from co-promoter and stand-in commentator, Ben Vickers.

“Violence personified here tonight at Eternal 65!”

  • Echoing’s not remotely in the realm of hyperbole from lead commentator, Tanera Nathan.

Making the walk for just his fourth professional fight in his young career, Kuhne would finally find a challenger who would escape his wrath beyond the first round. Not only that, but Gillies would also fight the Kamikaze firepower with his own brand of evenly matched weaponry to outlast Kuhne and hand him his first defeat.

As the old saying in combat sports goes; you either win or you learn. It is Kuhne’s firm stance that he drew nothing but positives away from a fight that will live long in the memory of fans for years to come.

“Officially on my record, it’s a loss. But for me that was a massive gain – a massive win,” said Kuhne.

“I knew where I was lacking in so many departments, but it was a matter of going through the experience to be able to (understand it properly).

“I was lacking a bit of experience in there, a bit of composure, I wasn’t sticking to the game plan. There was a lot of things that I felt like I was aware of, but I had to go through the motions to really feel the repercussions of not seeing those things done.

“I’m still pretty new to the game. I’ve been getting blasted going through this MMA journey, taking fights actively and running my way up through the rankings pretty quickly.

“I was rushing a bit, so I took a bit of time to step away and slow things down; think about my process, look at everything as a whole and not feel that rush.”

An entertainer at heart.

The time after the fight with Gillies allowed Kuhne to think clearly about what he wants from the sport and what he can do best benefit his career opportunities in long run.

Having fought as high as welterweight during his amateur outings, Kuhne would go on to compete exclusively at lightweight for his first four professional bouts.

Running through his first three opponents relatively unchecked, Kuhne made the discovery during his rampage on the 70 kilogram division that he could make an even further drop in weight class for his future fights.

“I knew that it was possible about two fights ago that I could make featherweight, but as per most things leading into my last fight it was an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ (mentality),”  he said.

“Now that I’ve taken my last loss against Dimps, I wanted to come back and make improvements in every aspect that I could and take the sport as professionally as I could. That’s meant going down a weight class, being big for the division and being extra disciplined with my diet.

“The other thing is too, if the UFC is looking for featherweights for a call up – they’ll have a featherweight. If they’re looking for lightweights for a call up – they’ll have a lightweight. I can complete in two weight divisions, and I think that’s pretty appealing.”

At this stage of Kuhne’s career, it is beginning to paint the picture of a theme centred largely around one aspect…

Sacrifice.

A family man with a supporting wife and twin boys at home, Kuhne also runs his own tattoo business on the Gold Coast. A rewarding lifestyle and commitment, but certainly not without its challenges as he pursues his dream of being a full time competitive mixed martial artist.

On top of the extra discipline required to make weight in a smaller division, Kuhne made the choice to move his fight camp south from the Gold Coast all the way to Freestyle MMA in Windang, New South Wales – home of UFC pound for pound king and reigning featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski.

Taking him further away from home and his family, Kuhne concedes that it was the best choice he could make in order to push himself to the next level.

“It been massive,” said Kuhne of his new camp.

“To be surrounded by a lot of other good featherweights, lightweights, obviously the likes of Alex himself; there’s no better training partners or coaches. I’ve got Joe Lopez there looking after me; he’s mad old-school. I get a lot from learning and training with him. He keeps me disciplined.

“Overall, it was a massive move for me. Being away from home, being in New South Wales, being away from business, being away from my kids and my wife – everything. But to be away at Freestyle and to do my camp there, it was pretty rewarding. I’ve definitely felt the benefits from it.”

Looking ahead to his matchup with Abdalla Biayda in a new weight class at Eternal 72, Kuhne is adamant that the devastating power he exhibited as a lightweight will be making the journey down with him.

Kuhne takes on Biayda on the upcoming Eternal 72 card.

Known for his relentless striking onslaughts from the opening bell that all six of his first opponents as an amateur and professional failed to withstand, Kuhne warns that the extra weight cut will have no negative impact on the firepower that he possesses in his hands.

“That power is going to be maintained one hundred percent,” he professed.

“When I rehydrate, I feel like I’m going to be the same size as I am as a lightweight. Because of how the weight cut is, where I normally sit and what I walk back in at; I feel like I’m going to rehydrate exactly the same as I would at lightweight, but as a featherweight.

“To say I’m going to be too big for the division? Yeah, I’m going to be big. These featherweights? I don’t know how they are going to handle this power.”

It’s a chilling prospect for any competitor who dares to share the cage with Kuhne at any weight, let alone in a weight class that he will have a potentially distinct size advantage in. With a renewed focus on conditioning, diet and an overall approach to the game, Kuhne assures that his newfound home at featherweight will still see him accompanied by the Kamikaze spirit.

“I go out there and I press the action, that’s still me,” he said.

“You are still going to get the Kamikaze performance (but) there’s going to be an element of professionalism that wasn’t there last time, implemented this time.”

“They put me on this platform for a reason, there’s a reason people tune in watch my fights. I make people feel those raw emotions. I make people feel like they are in the Gladiator times. I want people to feel those raw emotions when they see me fight.

“That’s what I do when I get in there. I’m there for the people, I fight for the people and I’m an entertainer at heart.”

  • Eternal 72 can be versed 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. 

 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. 

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

Rideout or die: The Krazy Horse forecasts a war in Welterweight title showdown.

Kaleb-Rideout-on-his-thrown-after-a-spinning-backfist-KO

Not since rising Australian star, Jack Della Maddalena vacated his title in 2021 in pursuit of a UFC contract has Eternal MMA had a welterweight champion to reign over the division.

Four successful title defences after first capturing the belt in March of 2018 would see the Perth native receive a call up to the heralded proving grounds of Dana White’s Contender Series – a chance he would take with both hands to earn himself the converted roster spot amongst the sport’s elite at 77 kilograms.

With the Eternal MMA welterweight title left vacant for would-be challengers to claim, two candidates would eventually separate themselves from the pack to earn a matchup against each other for the belt at Eternal 67. One of those contenders to emerge would be the highly touted and wildly exciting prospect, Kaleb Rideout.

Coming off a highlight-reel finish over Ben Johnston at Eternal 64, the man known as “Krazy Horse” effectively punched his ticket to a first-ever title shot inside the first round with a spinning back fist knockout.

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Kaleb Rideout mid-spin at Eternal MMA 64.

Speaking with Eternal MMA, Rideout reflected on his recent win as he looks ahead to Eternal 67.

“I didn’t expect it to end so quickly,” said Rideout.

“Obviously, I wanted to finish the fight as quick as possible. I was cruising in (the opening exchanges), I was still feeling it out. He charged me and I just reacted to get out of the way and threw a spinning back fist.

“Ten seconds later and the fight was over.”

Originally a rugby league player as a junior, Rideout found mixed martial arts while training wrestling in the offseason.

Realising that he was destined to make a better fighter than a footballer, Rideout took up training at XXX Fight Academy under Nathan Reddy and Michael Mousalli – a move that would see him find success as an amateur before amassing a 6-2-0 record as a professional.

Prior to being awarded the main event slot at Eternal 67, Rideout admits that he initially had his eyes on a different opponent before happily taking up the offer to fight for a championship.

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Kaleb Rideout addresses the crowd after his win over Ben Johnston.

“I actually busted my knuckles on Ben Johnston’s f**king forehead, so I had a bit of time off,” said Rideout with a laugh.

“I was originally after the Joey Luciano fight. I wanted to fight him because he ducks and weaves all the good fighters. One thing led to another, my coach rang me and said, ‘Eternal has got you for the belt – f**k this Joey fight’

“It’s all just erupted (from there), which has been overwhelmingly good, I can’t believe it.”

Standing across the other side of the Eternal MMA cage will be former title challenger and City Kickboxing product, Kevin Jousset.

With the French judoka coming off a win in a three-round war in his most recent matchup, Rideout is fully prepared to wade into deep waters should the fight go the distance.

“I never underestimate my opponents, I go in there thinking I’m fighting a God,” said Rideout.

“I’m always going in there expecting the unexpected. I don’t analyse my opponents, that’s up to my coaches (but) from what I see, it’s a pretty good matchup. He’s well-rounded with the ground game and with the striking.

“Apparently, he likes to throw people in Judo so, that’s fun, I like to go flying. It’s a match made in heaven if you ask me.”

“I’m really excited for this fight for many reasons. (I want) to show how good my striking is, because I know he’s training at City Kickboxing. If I finish this guy, this will put me at the pinnacle of Australia/New Zealand MMA, in my opinion.”

Kaleb Rideout is the type of fighter that welcomes the scrappy side of MMA. A fierce competitor with a genuine love for combat sports, it is apparent that he is always ready to walk into the fire and put on a show for the fans.

While Rideout is happy to expect an all-out war against his opponent, in the grand scheme of things, it is the prospect of winning the welterweight championship that means the most to him. It has been a journey, however, that has not been without its tribulations for the twenty-five-year-old.

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“It would mean everything to me (to win the belt). I have trained my little white arse off to get to this position right now,” said Rideout.

“About a year and a half ago, I was 2-2 as a pro, not knowing what I wanted to do. I had to take some time away from the sport to get my head right, get my training right and level up.

“When I came back, I came back a different beast. I’ve grown twelve inches of hair and just started knocking people out.

“But that’s what I want – I want this belt.”

Now on a four-fight win streak – a run that included three finishes, it is clear that time away from the sport has worked wonders for Rideout’s trajectory. With a renewed focus on his life as well as his career, coaches and training partners alike began to see the growth in his game.

While Rideout is prepared for all outcomes, he believes that the progress made behind closed doors will earn him his first Australian MMA title in spectacular fashion.

“I want my hand raised over a KO,” he said.

“If I can knock this guy out, that would just show the level that I’m at – levels above everyone in Australia/New Zealand MMA.”

“What fans are going to see on July 16th is one of us is going to get knocked out, or we are both going to be standing there bloody, because that’s the way we both fight.”

“I go for the knockout or blood, and he goes for the knockout or blood. So, one of us is going to get what we want.”

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