AFC 8 just got bigger.
Australian Fighting Championship officials today announced that current UFC Heavyweight and former K-1 champ Mark Hunt (9-8-1), is set to be in attendance at the Melbourne Pavilion in ten days’ time for the promotion’s eighth instalment.
Hunt, of course, is one of the biggest draws in the MMA market right now, having had exhilarating tilts with the likes of Junior Dos Santos and Antonio Silva in his previous UFC outings. Prior to his UFC career, the 39-year-old was one of the most prolific Heavyweight combatants under the now defunct PRIDE banner, where he held victories over MMA legends like Mirko Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva.
Hunt’s presence will no doubt be motivating for all fighters on the AFC 8 card, particularly his fellow New South Welshmen Bernardo Magalhaes (12-3), Corey Nelson (14-4-1) and Daniel Almeida (7-3). Hunt’s stand and deliver style is similar to that of Nelson’s, who will be striving for an impressive knockout triumph over Rick Alchin (6-7). Remember, Nelson has offered to give up a percentage of his purse should he acquire the knockout stoppage over Alchin, but make no mistake that it will take something special to top the feats of the “Super Samoan”.
Young kickboxers Joel Fisher (1-1) and Aden Baron (1-0) will also be keen to impress Hunt and show off some of their sublime striking skills. Hunt is, after all, a former K-1 Grand Prix champ, and has easily some of the most powerful kicks in MMA today. Both Fisher and Baron possess some steel shins of their own that can easily chop opponents down as well.
Both of the combatants in the night’s main event will be keen to show of their diverse skills too. Patterson (12-4) and Magalhaes will battle it out with the winner being guaranteed a shot at Daniel Hooker’s AFC Lightweight strap. Last year, Hunt was involved in a memorable #1 contender’s fight himself, so he is well aware of the pressure that will be on both main event fighters’ shoulders come fight night.
“With the high-level talent the AFC are producing we are seeing a lot of our fighters competing overseas and in the UFC so it’s great pleasure to have an Aussie fighter who has made it in the UFC come back and support the AFC and our fighters”, said AFC CEO Adam Milankovic. “It’s our hope that one day in the near future we will see the cage legalized in Melbourne so fight fans in this great state can see Mark do his thing live and in person.”
AFC 8 takes place on February 22nd at the Melbourne Pavilion in Victoria, Australia.
As it stands, here’s a re-cap of the line-up below:
- – Bernado Magalhaes vs. Nick Patterson (#1 Contender Lightweight match-up)
- – Alex Volkanovski vs. Rodolfo Marques
- – Corey Nelson vs. Rick Alchin
- – Joel Fisher vs. Aden Baron
- – Aldin Bates vs. Matt McGuiness
- – Jack Johns vs. Daniel Almeida
- – Scott Noras vs. Kael Coster
Photo credit: Australian Fighting Championship