Nanaimo’s Nick Hinchliffe (170 pounds) returned to the ring to make his fifth appearance in five Armageddon Fighting Championship mixed martial arts events.
Hinchliffe defeated Ryan Machan in the second to last fight of AFC 5: Judgment Day at Bear Mountain Arena in Colwood on Saturday night.
The former Victoria Rebels football player hunted for an opportunity to land his deadly right hand in a de facto boxing match against Machan. Hinchliffe never did hit Machan square with his right hand, but came close. The two swung their way through all three rounds with Hinchliffe winning a narrow decision, 29-28, 30-28, 28-29.
Andrew Buckland (185 lbs) attacked and eventually prevailed over David Perron, forcing Perron to tap out by guillotine choke at 3:46 of the second round. Of all 10 fights, Buckland vs. Perron was picked to be a stand-up war. Instead, the two brawlers showed strong grappling skills in a wrestling match.
Like Hinchliffe, Island MMA’s Derek Medler (170 lbs) also won his fifth-straight AFC match, his toughest yet. The pupil of Island MMA and AFC co-owner Jason Heit won by forcing Jarod Milko to tap out by rear naked choke halfway through the second round. Medler proved far too powerful in the attack, controlling the majority of the fight.
Nick Driedger (145 lbs) and Connor Wood (155 lbs), along with Kaufman, made it a clean sweep by ZUMA fighters. Driedger and Brendan Frost went toe-to-toe but the striking was tactical and defensive until Driedger forced the fight to ground with two towering body slams that changed the momentum.
Frost battled and, to his credit, was close to a solid choke hold on Driedger at the end of the first and second rounds, though time ran out both times. It was the first match of the night to be judged by decision, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, for Driedger, whose counter strikes were also better.
Wood provided the most dominant striking performance of the night in his defeat of Dia Grant, stopped by the referee with 30 seconds remaining in the first round.
Always popular Josh “the Beefstorm” Spong (135 lbs) out of Duncan suffered his first lost in three AFC appearances. The equally quick Dan Lin out-wrestled Spong and then rained forearm blows, forcing referee stoppage three minutes in.
Karl “the Viking” Bergen (170 lbs) of Island MMA showed elusive speed, took control early and nearly won the fight over Todd Mabbott just one minute in.
Bergen did take the match, but not without fending off a spirited attack from Mabbott to start the second round.
Mabbott nearly made it to the third round when Bergen’s second attempt at an armbar was successful, forcing a tap out in the dying seconds of the second round.
Big men Nathan Swayze (192 lbs) and Warren Anderson huffed and puffed their way through all facets of the sport in their drawn out battle. If fit, the two could’ve headlined in terms of entertainment. Rather, the fight slogged along with fatigued punches though both were courageous in their efforts.
Should the fight have gone to vote it surely would’ve been in Anderson’s favour. However, it was Swayze who stuck it out and, with a late opportunity, won by rear naked choke two minutes into the third round.
Chris Jones won the opener over Leif Optland by tap out with the rare heel hook.
AFC 6 is announced for June 11 with rumours of a return from exciting heavyweight Justin Shaw, who was a late scratch from AFC 4 in November.