Know Your Fighter: Dallas Denniss

Dallas Denniss, Eternal MMA

Full Name:

Dallas Denniss

Age:

25

Where were you born:

Darwin, Australia

Where do you live:

Sunshine Coast, Australia

Which gym do you train out of:

Combat Lab Martial Arts

Who are your coaches:

Joel Szepesvary

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

Blue Belt in Jiu Jitsu

What sports or activities did you participate in growing up:

I grew up doing various martial arts like taekwondo and kyokushin karate but never stuck to it as a kid. I was pretty athletic growing up and tried out heaps of different sports on and off like basketball, AFL and rugby but never stuck to them.

When did you begin to take MMA seriously as a hobby and then as a potential profession:

Not until my 3rd armature fight. People would always ask me what I wanted to get out of fighting, why I did it and where I wanted to go with it. I would always reply with “I’m just taking it as it comes and having fun” but now I’m fully aware of my potential and I’m committed to becoming one of the best.

Favourite aspect of training or favourite session of the week, and why:

my favourite session is the strength and conditioning circuit, I love the challenge and the pain that comes with it, I love the feeling of having to push the extra mile to get the work done.

What are your greatest strengths as an athlete or a fighter:

my dedication to the sport and my training. I pride myself on being able to train while everyone else is resting on a Sunday. While people sleep in I’m getting better and mastering my craft.

How would you describe your fighting style:

im not just a striker, a grappler or a wrestler. I’m a mixed martial artist and that what i train to be. I want to be able to stand with the best, wrestle with the best and roll with the best. This is a never ending journey of mastery.

What is your favourite sport and why:

MMA because there’s a never ending amount of information and skills to learn. You’ll never run out of things to learn and techniques to practice. It’s a life long journey that will never get boring.

Who is your favourite athlete:

Georges St-Pierre

Who is your favourite combat sports athlete:

It’s always changing but as of now Retired – GSP Active – Corey Sandhagen

What are your immediate and long term goals:

I want to become a complete mixed martial artist and have no weaknesses anywhere in my game. I want to fight as much as I can while I have youth on my side and eventually become a multi division champion.

When fans see your name on a fight poster, what should they expect:

They should expect fast paced, controlled chaos. A fight full of highlights.

How do you see your upcoming fight playing out:

I believe wherever the fight plays out, that’s where I beat him. I don’t think he’s on my level

A final message to any friends, family and supporters:

I hope I can put on a show for the fans and also do my family and mates proud, the people closest to me know how much i put into these fight camps so thank you to those who are by my side and supporting me all the way

Where will any fans or supporters be able to find you socials:

Instagram: @daldimadome

Facebook: Dallas Denniss

Know Your Fighter: Nikita Laptsevich

Nikita Laptsevich Eternal MMA Gold Coast

Full Name:

Nikita Laptsevich

Age:

21

Where were you born:

Minsk, Belarus

Where do you live:

Gold Coast, Australia

Which gym do you train out of:

Fight Club Jiu Jitsu / Black Dragon Kai

Who are your coaches:

Gavin Hain, Daniel Lima, Geordie Lavers-Mcbain

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

Purple belt in BJJ

What sports or activities did you participate in growing up:

A bit of everything, however I didn’t particularly feel a passion towards most sports. Riding BMX at the skatepark was something I did pretty much everyday as a teen and still do sometimes.

When did you begin to take MMA seriously as a hobby and then as a potential profession:

I trained karate for 2 years starting at the age of 7, then proceeded to not parttake in any martial arts until I turned 15 when I started training mma as a profession since day one. Since my first day I wanted to compete in everything from bjj to wrestling to kickboxing, but the main goal was always mma.

Favourite aspect of training or favourite session of the week, and why:

I can’t choose, I love to submit someone as much as I like to take them down and as much as I like to throw strikes at them. My training doesn’t always focus on what’s best for mma, I will often train bjj in a sport bjj style, playing on bottom and using techniques not recommended in mma. Same with muay thai, I will have a narrow stance and think like a thai fighter. I love the arts and want to explore them individual as well as mixing them for mma.

What are your greatest strengths as an athlete or a fighter:

My grappling, however I have technical striking which I haven’t shown yet in the cage, hopefully I get to be more confident with it soon.

How would you describe your fighting style:

I want to be as well-rounded as possible, I want to take someone down if I want to and I want to kick someone in the head if I want to. I want to be a fighter like Demetrious Johnson, GSP, Alex Volkanovski, Jon Jones etc. I don’t want to have a strong part of my game, I want to be able to mix the martial arts better than anyone.

What is your favourite sport and why:

MMA, there no other sport in the world where anything can happen at anytime. How unpredictable it is is what makes it exciting.

Who is your favourite athlete:

Max Holloway, Chingiz Allazov, Giorgio Petrosyan, Demetrious Johnson.

Who is your favourite combat sports athlete:

Max Holloway, Chingiz Allazov, Giorgio Petrosyan, Demetrious Johnson.

What are your immediate and long term goals:

Improve my confidence with every fight and perform at my best. Eventually I will be a champion in the UFC and ONE fc.

When fans see your name on a fight poster, what should they expect:

I always aim for a finish, I never go into a fight with the mentality to go to decision.

How do you see your upcoming fight playing out:

I want to beat him in the stand up and also be the first take him down and keep him down, he’s good at getting back up but he’s never faced a grappler like me. I also intend to strike more confidently than my last fight and won’t complain if I can get a ko.

A final message to any friends, family and supporters:

Thank you for supporting me and thanks to my teammate and coaches for being patient with me and for all your efforts. I love ya’ll.

Where will any fans or supporters be able to find you socials:

Instagram: @nikitalaptsevichsucks

Know Your Fighter: Dom Mar Fan

Full Name:

Dominic Mar Fan

Age:

23

Where were you born:

Brisbane

Where do you live:

Brisbane

Which gym do you train out of:

Team Compton

Who are your coaches:

Steve Compton

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

Brown belt BJJ

What sports or activities did you participate in growing up:

Played football (soccer)

When did you begin to take MMA seriously as a hobby and then as a potential profession:

Stepped into an mma gym for the first time at 17 years old and immediately became obsessed and training twice a day. By the age of 20 I was training 3 times per day.

Favourite aspect of training or favourite session of the week, and why:

I like breaking down the tiny details of a technique or sequence. I’m a bit of a nerd for mma. Wether that’s watching tape and having coffee or hitting pads with coach Steve and extracting every crucial detail from him, I always thrive in the endless pursuit of perfection as a martial artist.

What are your greatest strengths as an athlete or a fighter:

I believe my grappling is world class, I’m confident I would hang with the top mma grapplers in the world. I also believe that my timing and shootboxing understanding is better than the mma grapplers that can outgrapple me in a traditional sense.

How would you describe your fighting style:

MMA grappler

What is your favourite sport and why:

MMA. I don’t watch or play other sports

Who is your favourite athlete:

Favourite athlete outside of combat sports would be Kobe Bryant. I like his work ethic and mindset.

Who is your favourite combat sports athlete:

khabib nurmagomedov

What are your immediate and long term goals:

Immediate goal – win my next fight and shock people with how much my skills have sharpened. Long term – Become UFC champion

When fans see your name on a fight poster, what should they expect:

They should expect violence. I’m not a lay and pray grappler, if I take you down, I’m gonna hurt you and leave you broken or unconscious

How do you see your upcoming fight playing out:

Il finish him

A final message to any friends, family and supporters:

I fight to prove everyone that believes in me right and to prove the haters wrong. Anyone that comes to my fights I appreciate you more than you know, I love this sport and i really in enjoy having the opportunity to share what I love with you all.

Where will any fans or supporters be able to find you socials:

Instagram: @street_buddha_mma

Know Your Fighter: Tasar Malone

Full Name:

Tasar Malone

Age:

27

Where were you born:

At Pindara hospital, here on the beautiful Gold Coast

Where do you live:

I feel like the whole world is my home, and I’m happy living anywhere along the road less travelled.

Which gym do you train out of:

CMBT Training Centre

Who are your coaches:

Miles Muecke Jesse Yada Brentin Mumford James Sargison Glenn Sparv Sam Fiamatai Jason Powell Rhys Giles

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

I’ve got a purple belt in Brazilian jujitsu

What sports or activities did you participate in growing up:

I grew up mainly on acreage property at Binna Burra in the Gold Coast hinterland, which meant endless days of climbing trees, riding motorbikes, exploring the rainforests all around us, and hanging out with my four brothers and sisters and all our friends. Such a great start to life. Sport was always number one for me and I liked pretty much any sport going, I mainly did Soccer and Athletics growing up. I did a little bit of AFL in my mid-teens, and then started just doing a lot of running and training stuff on my own until finally I discovered mixed martial arts and I haven’t looked back since. I love it.

When did you begin to take MMA seriously as a hobby and then as a potential profession:

I guess I started doing a bit of fighting stuff around five years ago, and I was hooked pretty much straight away. About 4 1/2 years ago, I decided I wanted to take it seriously, and started doing amateur fights. I had my first pro debut fight in March this year.

Favourite aspect of training or favourite session of the week, and why:

I really love training and hate missing any sessions. I guess I see every training session as an opportunity to improve what I’m doing, to push myself to my limits, and to find out what I am capable of. I think so many people go through life being scared of dong the hard stuff, or being challenged. But I honestly believe that it’s the hard stuff that helps you grow and develop and improve. I’m always looking to be better today than I was yesterday, and it’s only when we go through hard stuff that we can achieve that. My favourite sessions are the sparring sessions because I get to use all my tools or weapons.

What are your greatest strengths as an athlete or a fighter:

I guess my greatest strength, as an athlete has always been my determination, my belief in myself, and in the philosophy that if you just keep working hard, then the rewards will eventually come as long as you keep believing, they will come. I guess I am also fairly resilient, in that I’ll get knocked down, but I will always get up again, so that surprises some people. I also have an attitude where I really want to outwork everyone around me. Not like in a competitive way, but I just feel like I always want to be inspiring others to keep working hard, and the best way to do that is to be the one working the hardest. As far as actual physical attributes that make me successful in my fighting, I’d say it’s my balance and my cardio capacity.

How would you describe your fighting style:

I suppose I would describe my fighting style as being quite wild, action, packed, and unpredictable. I would never want to be a boring fighter who was just going through the motions. I feed of the crowds’ enthusiasm and excitement, and I want to give back to them by being an exciting fighter.

What is your favourite sport and why:

MMA, all the way, because I just think it’s the most challenging sport and I love that it’s all up to you. You either win or you lose so it’s all about making yourself the best you can be, and then backing yourself to achieve what you are trying to achieve. I also love motor racing, particularly bikes… And I have to say Hockey because my sisters play and I watch them a lot.

Who is your favourite athlete:

Well, I guess if we’re talking all athletes, then my favourite one would have to be my sister, Rosie Malone. She’s in the Hockeyroos, and she’s been to the Olympics, World Cups and the Comm Games and of course I love her, so I guess that makes her my favourite athlete.

Who is your favourite combat sports athlete:

But if we’re talking my favourite combat sport athlete, then it’s George Saint Pierre.

What are your immediate and long term goals:

This is probably a fairly predictable answer, but my short-term goal is just to win this fight. After each fight, I reassess and see what I can learn or do better. Then I set myself new goals. Obviously I wouldn’t be on this journey if I didn’t also have long-term goals to become an Australian champion and then a world champion. I know there are plenty of others with those same goals, and we can’t all get there. But I’m just staying strong in my belief that my determination and work ethic can help me be one of the lucky ones who do. On my general goals, I guess travelling the world is up there, along with having the financial freedom to help my parents, not have to worry about money ever again..

When fans see your name on a fight poster, what should they expect:

They should expect that if they come, they’re going to have a cracker of a night,. I love to entertain the crowd, as I said above… And I really feed off their energy and give it back to them 10 times. I try to be unpredictable and exciting, which is what they come to see. I guess also I would love it if I can inspire some of the people in the crowd to want to go out and test their own limits as well. I mean maybe they don’t necessarily want to get in a cage with someone, but just to get out in the world and unlock the potential their body has for achieving things physically.

How do you see your upcoming fight playing out:

Predicting how a fight will go is never easy, but we do the work and have a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition in the lead up. I can’t give away any clues about what we’re targeting, but I can say I’m planning to take my opponent into deep, deep waters and leave him there.

A final message to any friends, family and supporters:

I always tell my friends and family and other supporters that we are a team. It’s not just me out there. It’s everyone who has helped to get me there. I love them all and appreciate what they’ve done because without them I wouldn’t be there. We are in this together. I feel and I see all the love that they have for me. I bring them with me into the ring and I’m trying to do them proud.

Where will any fans or supporters be able to find you socials:

Instagram: @iamtasar

Know Your Fighter: Alan Philpott

Full Name:

Alan Philpott

Age:

31

Where were you born:

Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Where do you live:

Sydney Australia

Which gym do you train out of:

Lions Den Academy & BBMA

Who are your coaches:

Luke Pezzutti & Johnny Barra Benivedes

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

Wimmaao Northern Irish champion, Akuma Irish champion, Bamma British champion,

What sports or activities did you participate in growing up:

Boxing, Rugby, Football, Tae Kwon Do,

When did you begin to take MMA seriously as a hobby and then as a potential profession:

16-18 years old 17 amateur fights 18 to now 36 pro fights

Favourite aspect of training or favourite session of the week, and why:

Each week changes. One week I prefer to strike the next grapple. I enjoy training all the different arts and being able to put them together

What are your greatest strengths as an athlete or a fighter:

Hard working Good fight iq Exciting to watch Will always show up and fight

How would you describe your fighting style:

All round counter fighter . Kill or be killed

What is your favourite sport and why:

Combat sports. I guess being involved in it , I know the ins and outs and have a full understanding .

Who is your favourite athlete:

Terrance Crawford

Who is your favourite combat sports athlete:

Terrance Crawford

What are your immediate and long term goals:

To become the best in Australia and then take on the world and get as far as I can. I’m at the peak of my career which means I’m older . So with the time frame I have I want to push and get a workd title and make sone money before stepping away from fighting .

When fans see your name on a fight poster, what should they expect:

Exciting, skilled , high level mma

How do you see your upcoming fight playing out:

I see it going a few ways. Either he tries to pressure me and close the distance where I pick him off , counter wrestle him and get the finish tko or ko, or he tries to be a lot more potient letting me settle , picking him off , take him down and tko or sub him, either way I see me getting a finish in a one sided bout

A final message to any friends, family and supporters:

The support means more than people know, it helps lift my spirits and give me drive . I want to entertain for you all and we win together , you are as much part of this as my coaches and team mates ,

Where will any fans or supporters be able to find you socials:

Instagram: @alanphilpott92

Facebook: @Alan Philpott

Know Your Fighter: John-Martin Fraser

Full Name:

John-Martin fraser

Age:

31

Where were you born:

Wales

Where do you live:

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Which gym do you train out of:

Ignite & Vice Training Centre

Who are your coaches:

Ryan Doyle, Ryan Dunstan & Kyle Noke

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

Bjj brown belt under Kyle Noke

What sports or activities did you participate in growing up:

Rugby & kung fu

When did you begin to take MMA seriously as a hobby and then as a potential profession:

I started bjj 2016 and mma shortly after. It became my life almost instantly, I was hooked from the off

Favourite aspect of training or favourite session of the week, and why:

Full mma sparring, the closest thing to a full fight you can get.

What are your greatest strengths as an athlete or a fighter:

I have variety in my striking and carry power and speed from both stances.

How would you describe your fighting style:

Aggressive and calculated

What is your favourite sport and why:

Mma. It’s the closest thing to real fighting you can get outside of fight night

Who is your favourite athlete:

Jon Jones & Justin Gaethje

Who is your favourite combat sports athlete:

Jon Jones & Justin Gaethje

What are your immediate and long term goals:

Win every fight that’s put in front of me, learn as much as I can along the way and become a successful UFC fighter

When fans see your name on a fight poster, what should they expect:

An entertaining fight and To struggle to understand my post fight interview

How do you see your upcoming fight playing out:

I’m going out to beat brogan up for 5 rounds and finish him if the finish comes

A final message to any friends, family and supporters:

Massive thank you to everyone that supports me from my wife, friends, family and all my sponsors Gaia hire Barefoot plumbing Advanced tree surgery Jamie century 21 Heavy metal roofing Legacy bjj

Where will any fans or supporters be able to find you socials:

Instagram: @Johnfraser92

Clash of military veterans at Eternal 74 set to raise awareness for Veterans MMA charity organisation

Eternal 74 is set to play host to a matchup that is poised to draw attention to a very important issue surrounding military veterans and life after discontinuing their service.

Ex Australian military serviceman and co-founder of ‘Veterans MMA’ Ash Pendergast will make his competitive mixed martial arts debut when he faces off against a fellow military veteran in New Zealand native, Cole Smith.

With boxing & Thai boxing experience prior to his military service, Pendergast came to understand just how valuable a gym-based community can be for those seeking purpose and camaraderie once they return to civilian life.

For a large number of ex-servicemen, the prospect of reassimilating back into society after spending years of their lives seeing and experiencing the ravages of war can often be a challenge too difficult to face, especially as an individual.

For Pendergast, MMA provided the perfect opportunity for him to help fellow combat veterans to find a place amongst like-minded people, with a goal of supporting one another in finding another meaning in life beyond the military.

Speaking with Eternal MMA, Pendergast provided some insight into the challenges facing military veterans and how he is helping change the lives of those he has worked with.

“The issue with leaving service is you go from this (situation) where you’ve got a hundred mates and you’ve done and seen a lot of intense things. All of a sudden, you’re back in a civilian population, you’re quite desensitised and it’s a struggle to blend back in. A lot of vets isolate after that – being so desensitised with their personalities.”

“A lot of guys do isolate and on the Sunshine Coast here, it is a big issue. We do have a lot of veterans here, but they don’t seem to get out and do much.”

Teaming up with industry professionals, Pendergast and fellow founding members James Osborne and Rob Giuffrida sought to create an environment that would provide other veterans with a sanctuary that would allow them to meet and train exclusively with others that have shared the same experiences.

“The purpose was to create something that was exciting enough to get veterans out of the house,” said Pendergast.

“We wanted to create a veterans-only environment, so they didn’t have to worry about what they said around people, they could let their desensitised humour fly around, they didn’t have to watch what they say, they could literally be themselves and not worry.”

Through the ‘Integrated MMA’ gym on the Sunshine Coast, the founding members and coaches created a training and social program that would cater to any and all veterans – regardless of any impairment or disability.

Along with the ability to be able to train and experience martial arts with other veterans, Pendergast insists that the community aspect is just as vital, with no requirement for any attendees to join in the training aspect in order to be a part of the community.

“Rob Giuffrida and Jordan Southern are our two head MMA coaches: they created an amazing package. Rob’s the type of guy that really knows that even if we get a guy that comes in with one arm and one leg, (he’s) going to find a guy for that guy to wrestle – his knowledge of biomechanics and anatomy is amazing.”

“The training itself is veterans only (but) you don’t even really have to train to go in there. The idea is to get them in there, get a little community going where they just have a bit of banter and talk a bit of crap to each other.

“Generally, we have about forty-five minutes of drilling; whether it’s jiu-jitsu, wrestling, striking or maybe just some MMA drills. We usually have about thirty minutes for live activities, where they can be sparring, rolling or wrestling.”

“After that, we usually give them about an hour, maybe even more where it’s just allocated for socialising, we promote it too; we give them a bit of banter. When the guys are injured or even the guys that don’t necessarily want to come in and fight and throw down, they just want to be a part of the community – we get them to come in, they sit to the side and just talk shit to the other guys.

“It’s great, it’s had an amazing response so far.”

Starting in September of 2022, the program has steadily grown from having three or four attendee’s the first day of opening, to having a consistent list of returning community members who have found a location where they can turn up and feel free to be themselves, regardless of skill set or willingness to participate in the physical aspect.

For those who harbour ambitions to compete in MMA, the gym and its coaches have the tools ready to provide those who would like to pursue that opportunity.

Beyond the martial arts, Pendergast says that the Veterans MMA organisation is also active in the wider veteran’s community, often collaborating with other veteran charities at events in order to raise awareness for those who need it.

For the Veterans MMA charity itself, November saw their first fundraiser as an organisation go down with great success, providing a solid platform for regular events in the community for the future.

For Pendergast himself, martial arts and the team at Integrated MMA have played a vital part in putting him back on his own path to a better life after his military service.

Originally a Muay Thai and boxing practitioner from the age of sixteen, Pendergast gave it all up some years later in order to join the army. After completing his service, Pendergast found himself in need of direction after struggling mentally upon his return to civilian life.

“When I got out of the army, I came back and I actually had a lot of issues,” he said.

“I wasn’t fighting any more, I was doing a lot of other sports and trying to get my head right. But I was really struggling mentally.

“It wasn’t until I found this gym ‘Integrated’ that things actually started to go really well for me again. I started getting my confidence back, my head was good, everything just started to line up. I felt like a confident person again where for a while there, I was really struggling.

“I was talking to Rob one day and we came up with the idea that maybe this (Veterans MMA) might be a good thing. There was three or four ways that doing MMA really helped my head – especially the community that’s there. It just happened to be that the gym I went to was full of really cool, non-judgemental people.

“It’s turned out really well.”

Once the Veteran’s MMA charity was established, Pendergast took up a prominent role as the veteran program facilitator and continued his own training as a mixed martial artist. With the program advancing quickly and some participants showing eagerness to compete, Pendergast saw it fitting to enter into his own training camp and sign up for his first MMA fight, leading by example for the veterans he helps train.

“This fight (came about) because some of the guys do want to compete,” he said.

“I’ve done a lot of fight camps for boxing, but I’ve never done one for MMA. I don’t want to be the guy that’s coaching guys and telling them to do something that I’ve never done. So, it was kind of just a ‘lead from the front’ thing and go through a good fight camp.”

With a lot of buzz around the fight, the matchup itself against another veteran in Cole Smith has provided Pendergast with the perfect opportunity for anybody hoping to contribute to the Veterans MMA charity.

“Anyone that uses my fighter’s code, any money that I get through that for tickets will one-hundred percent go to the charity,” he said.

For anyone not attending Eternal 74, but still looking to contribute, you can make donations via the Veterans MMA website as well as navigate to any of the Veterans MMA social media platforms and contacts below to learn more.

Eternal 74 starts at 5:00pm AEST on March 11th, live from Southport Sharks on the Gold Coast. Tickets can be purchased at www.eternalmma.com for those wishing to attend the event.

Know Your Fighter: Tasar Malone

Eternal MMA sits down with Tasar Malone for a Q&A ahead of his professional debut at Eternal 74 against Tom Pratt.

Age:

26.

Where were you born:

I was born on the Gold Coast and grew up in Beechmont up in the sticks.

Where are you based now:

Bit of a tricky answer… but in my car! I saved up all my pennies and bought myself a van to live in out the front of the gym on the Gold Coast.

What gym do you train out of:

CMBT.

Who are your coaches:

The one’s leading from the front would be Miles Muecke, Jesse Yada, Glen Sparv, Brentin Mumford, James (Powell) and Darcy Vendy.

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

I was lucky enough recently to be awarded my purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

What sports or activities did you participate in growing up:

I started off playing soccer as a young boy. I transitioned to AFL in my late teens and got close to getting drafted. That didn’t happen, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Now, I’ve found MMA.

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

When I was younger, even from five years old I was running around telling my parents that I was going to be a professional athlete and a great one at that. I always chased that belief because that was one of the first things that popped in to my mind and body as something that I wanted. As I said, I got close to the AFL, I was getting paid at a certain stage playing senior footy for a few weeks. I got lost a little bit for a couple months (before) I got introduced to mixed martial arts by a friend. After doing literally the first training session, I fell in love with the sport.

Favourite aspect of training:

I love it all. I look at it (like) there’s always something to learn – a never ending pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement. 

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

Two things: No ego – but I’m very coachable and a quick leaner. I love being told and taught things. Second thing would be my adaptability to situations and my mindset to always find a way out or find a way to get it done. “Self-determination”, I would say.

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

I tend to be a bit of a wild man! Whether it’s things like climbing cages, doing back flips, throwing everything into all my shots, takedowns – you name it. I used to be a bit all over the place; I’m trying to work on being a lot more structured and methodical with my approach. But I guess if I’m being me, I love being a wild untamed beast! (ha-ha) if that’s a way of putting it.

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

My mindset on martial arts has always been that everybody is unique. Without having ego, I feel like I am my own (fighter), but the person I have always looked up to and wanted to (emulate) the most has always been George St-Pierre. Just the way he carries himself inside and outside the octagon; how he fights. I’d say he’s the person I’ve always wanted to follow in the footsteps of. But as I said, I want to be me and bring my own style and flavour.

Who would you consider to be some of your favourite combat sports athletes:

George St-Pierre.

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

I’m not sure if I could pick one, but going off my last performance I believe I didn’t even get hit with a strike. I’ve had ten fights now and ‘touch wood’ – I haven’t even blead inside the (cage).

What are your goals for both the immediate and long-term future:

Short term is obviously this weekend. I’m very much someone who lives in the present moment. Tomorrow is never promised, so I just focus on what’s in front of me. We’ve put a lot of work into this coming weekend so I’m just focusing on that. Long term: I’m the type of person that will always aim for the stars and reach as high as I possibly can with the team that’s around me. If I continue showing up, putting in the work, dedicating myself and sacrificing for this, I believe that the Australian championship belt will be wrapped around my waist (before moving) on to bigger and better things.

How do you see yourself getting your hand raised at Eternal 74:

I am very much in the belief that it’s a fight at the end of the day and there are so many variables. I like to see everything in front of me in the rawness of the moment. If you give me a sniff of an opportunity, I’m willing to go one-hundred and ten percent to jump on that opportunity. Whether it’s on the feet with a shot, whether it’s ground and pound, TKO, or a submission.

A final message to your fans and supporters:

I used to be in the mindset that this is an individual sport, but it’s really not. I’m super blessed and grateful for not only my team that help support me to actually get in there and be on the playing field, but also all the messages of love and support from all the people like my friends, my family, my supporters and fans. I see it all, I feed off it. I’ve received a lot in this last week and it’s something that really reminds me of how many people are behind me. That spirit, that energy – I just carry that in there and I just feel untouchable. I love you all, I appreciate every single one of you. I’m super excited for this weekend and to go to battle with the entire army that’s behind me.

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Eternal 74 main card can be viewed live and exclusive March 18th on UFC Fight Pass. Tickets can be purchased at www.eternalmma.com for anyone wishing to attend the event.

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.