By James Sweetnam
The Oceania Champions kick off their MMA SuperCup campaign against Ireland. The hybrid team, which features the greatest amateur talent in New Zealand and Australian MMA, is stepping up on short notice alongside Mexico.
The Southern Hemisphere has become a hotbed for producing insanely gifted fighters in recent years. At UFC 271, we witnessed an incredibly close bout between striking master Israel Adesanya and all-around star Robert Whittaker. Furthermore, Alexander Volkanovski continues to prove that he’s the best featherweight on the planet, while Tai Tuivasa furthers Mark Hunt’s explosive legacy with every knockout victory.
It doesn’t seem like this momentum is coming to a halt anytime soon. The two countries continue to act as a conveyor belt for upcoming talent, with Michelle Montague becoming the latest product of their success. But fans haven’t seen anything yet, as there’s a new wave coming through.
At the 2021 IMMAF World Championships in Abu Dhabi, the two countries secured a gold, bronze and silver medal between them. And their team for this tournament looks likely to bag more silverware.
Oceania Open gold medallist Prashanth Guda is perhaps the most dangerous weapon in their arsenal. The featherweight has a history of performing when it counts, in addition to possessing an excellent submission game.
But the tournament certainly won’t be easy for him. He’s scheduled to face Ireland’s Jordan Bradshaw in the opening round, and the Dubliner is coming to win. He’s entering the competition off the back of a win in the Irish National Championships, in which he avenged his defeat to Lewis Byrne.
The fight looks guaranteed to provide fireworks. But it’s not the only match-up that fans should keep an eye out for.
Auryn Parmley earned the bronze medal at the same tournament the following year, and he’s coming into the MMA SuperCup with a massive amount of momentum. The Aussie has brutally dismantled the last three men who’ve set foot in the cage with him. He ended his latest contest against Ben Bowd with a terrifying Tornado Kick.
But he has his work cut out for him against Denis Perry. The Irish light heavyweight may have lost his last three bouts, but it’s clear that he still possesses untapped potential. In the 2015 World Championships, he defeated Fahed Dandach in a wonderful display of martial arts. If he can rediscover his old spark then he has every chance of giving Parmley a run for his money.
Furthermore, Oceania Open gold medalist Troy Fumo is hoping for big things at the competition. ‘The Boy’ has ended five of his seven victories inside the scheduled distance and is a nightmare for any man who has to share the cage with him.
Fans can catch all the explosive knockouts and devastating submissions at IMMAF.TV. The competition which Brave has organised will incorporate itself into International Combat Week. The MMA SuperCup is scheduled to showcase a plethora of the best teams on the planet.
The countries will go to the trenches to fight for a massive cash price of $100,000. The money is intended to give back to the MMA community. It will contribute to the next generation of competitors from the winning nations via their IMMAF affiliated national federations.
● Bantamweight (135lbs): Coopar Smith (AUS)
● Featherweight (145lbs): Prashanth Guda (NZ)
● Lightweight (155lbs): Kasib Murdoch-McKeich (NZ)
● Welterweight (170lbs): Mitchell Kelly (NZ)
● Middleweight (185lbs): Jonas Grace (NZ)
● Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Auryn Parmley (AUS)
● Heavyweight (265lbs): Abraham Paku (AUS)
Male substitutes: Troy Fumo (AUS); Hayden Limebeer (AUS)
- Flyweight (125lbs): TBC
- Bantamweight women (135lbs): Alisha Burtt (NZ)
Team Coaches: Matt Toa (NZ); Ryan Dunstan (AUS)
The MMA SuperCup will be fought under strict IMMAF Amateur MMA Rules and World Anti-Doping Agency Rules. Every single competitor in the competition will be medically precleared by Safe MMA.