APFC 4 was shaping to be the biggest event to date for Anthony Pettis‘s newly formed MMA promotion. Austin Bashi, a highly touted prospect bound for UFC competition, was set to face Diego Manzur for the inaugural APFC bantamweight title on April 23rd. However, not only is fireworks-to-be fight now scrapped, the event has lost both athletes altogether.
APFC 4 Loses Highly Touted Prospect and Main Event Austin Bashi
Bashi, who was entering the bout with an impressive 8-0 professional record, was named the 20222 North American MMA Prospect of the Year by Cageside Press. Bashi, who fight out of Warrior Way Martial Arts, has three career finishes and has claimed the bantamweight titles of Lights Out FC and Shamrock FC—all at the incredibly impressive and young age of twenty-one.
Certainly, a loss of this caliber takes a deep cut into the fight card of APFC 4.
Deigo Manzur’s Main Event Fall Out
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It was revealed in an interview with MMASucka that Bashi’s opponent, Diego Manzur was forced to pull out of the fight due to issues with obtaining a visa. Manzur, who posts a 7-0 record, has five career finishes, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, and is the Open Fight Chile bantamweight champion.
Although Manzur was forced to pull out of the main event for April 23rd, APFC was able to secure a new opponent, Eduardo Diez, to keep the main event alive.
Bashi commented on his new opponent stating, “He’s another tough opponent just like Diego. He’s another tough guy, another tough fight, but I’m gonna grind him out, wear him down, and ultimately its going to end in the deeper rounds.”
APFC 4 Loses the Main Event
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Shortly after the new main event was established, it was revealed to MMASucka that Diez was also forced out of the main event picture for undisclosed reasons. Bashi found himself opponentless again and dropped out of the APFC 4 card. Bashi will now fight on April 29th for a new promotion against an unofficial opponent.
Preparation for War
Despite the whirlwind of opponents in the past week, Bashi remains unfazed. The Michigan native cited that camp is going just as planned for whoever opponent he may be facing.
“I’m training everyday, six days a week, for three to five hours in the morning…I’ll be back for another four or five hours for striking, grappling, and sparring in the evening. I have a dietician to help me recover. We keep it simple—chicken, rice, potatoes, oatmeal. I’m 155 lbs. right now and feel good.”
Confidence in Difference
Bashi’s cites longtime relationship with his gym, Warrior Way Martial Arts, for his success and rise to stardom.
“I’ve been training at Warrior Way since I was 8 years old…so for the past 14 years. The coaches are like my brothers. My training partners are like my brothers. That’s why I’m successful, that’s why I am different. Now adays, you see guys bounce from gym to gym, but I’ve been at the same gym all of my life. That’s what makes me different. I don’t go from gym to gym.”
With two regional titles, an undefeated record, and a family of a gym behind him, fight fans could soon see Austin Bashi on the big stage proudly representing Warrior Way Martial Arts.