ACB 88 Results: Recaps and Clips covering an Action-Packed 15 Fight Card from Brisbane

Brisbane, Australia – Top Russian fight promotion ACB descended upon Brisbane, Australia this past Saturday for an action-packed ACB 88 card. Although the show lost main eventers Thiago Silva and Chris Camozzi just before fight night, there were still tons of world class fighters in action – just as any diehard fan would expect from an ACB show. Read on for recaps and clips from all of the action including the Luke Barnatt vs Karol Celinski light heavyweight main event.


ACB 88 Main Event @205 lb:

W: Karol Celinski (16-6-1, #31 World)

Majority Decision

L: Luke Barnatt (14-6, #39 World)

In the ACB 88 main event, surging Polish light heavyweight Karol Celinski scored with early punches against characteristically plodding Brit Luke “Bigslow” Barnatt, but it took a full three minutes before he connected with the sort of staggering right hand that left Barnatt wobbly. Celinski smelled blood and charged forward looking for the finish with power punches. But he was unable to seal the deal as Barnatt hung on to the round 1 bell while ref Herb Dean peered intently. Another huge right landed for Celinski two minutes into round 2, but this time he stayed patient and chipped away with jabs and uppercuts instead of pursuing the KO. The game of high-stakes kickboxing chicken continued in the third, with Barnatt picking up steam while Celinski slowed some. But the Brit was unable to find the finish, and Karol Celinski walked away with a fourth straight prominent win in the ACB cage thanks to a majority decision nod.


ACB 88 Co-Main Event @155 lb:

W: Marcin Held (24-7, #48 World)

Submission-Heel Hook, Round 1

L: Callan Potter (16-7, #106 World)

Over three years after his most recent leglock victory at Bellator 136, renowned joint lock expert Marcin Held added to his submission total with a first round heel hook of Callan Potter. The Australian ate several straight punches from Held before falling by technical submission when he screamed in pain while in Held’s clutches. Great ACB debut for the Polish talent, who boasts years of experience at world class level despite still being just 26 years old.



ACB 88’s Stacked Undercard

185:  Tasmania’s Jacob Holyman-Tague (5-2) tried like mad to avoid ending up on the ground versus noted BJJ ace Rodolfo Vieira (4-0, #283 World), and he did a nice job of scrambling up from the Brazilian’s takedowns in the first half of round 1. Vieira finally got his man down and controlled in the third minute of the first round, and before long he had skillfully swooped to back mount. Vieira pounded away with hooks in until the Mata Leon finish presented itself with just over a minute to go in the round. That makes four finishes in four fights for the 28 year old “Black Belt Hunter” – watch out for Vieira as he ascends toward the top of the ACB middleweight ladder in the near future.


265: In a battle of heavyweights who enjoy striking at range and favor going the distance, Canada’s Tanner Boser (15-4, #73 World) used sharp punches from southpaw to ding Bellator vet Chase Gormley (14-8, Bellator vet, #86 World) in round 1. Gormley tried to up the aggression early in round 2 with some success. The two ended a mostly low-action bout with a solid flurry of winging punches – a taste of what could have been.  All-in-all, this was a three round point kickboxing fight between solidly world class but unspectacular heavyweight combatants. The 26 year old Boser did enough to claim the unanimous decision, his third straight win inside the ACB cage. Meanwhile, Gormley dropped his third straight, though it bears mention that the first two losses came to Russian elites Sergei Kharitonov and Denis Goltsov.


170: Aspiring Tennessee politician Adam Townsend (19-5, #82 World) is plenty good at his day job, too.  Townsend let Kieran Joblin (21-11, #218 World) know just how much power he packs with a compact left hook that dropped the Aussie against the cage within the first 20 seconds of this ACB 88 contest.  From there Townsend switched gears to his tried-and-true grappling game, which he used to secure multiple takedowns and plenty of top position in round 1.  Joblin’s response was to shoot for his own takedowns, but Townsend sprawled beautifully and reversed each of Joblin’s attempts.  The American never came close to finishing “The Stonecutter”, but he’s used to exerting his dominance over long stretches of fight time.  The usual solid technical and tactical performance from Townsend was good enough to earn him a clear unanimous decision win, a solid bounceback after he lost via majority decision against ACB contender Arbi Agujev in his last outing.

145:  TUF alum Frantz Slioa (6-0, #174 World) showed off all-around skills at ACB 88 as he cruised in this fight against Stockton’s third Diaz, and recent Contender Series competitor, Adrian Diaz (11-7-1, #177 World).  The Swede owned a clear speed and power advantage that he used to land crackling straight rights and head kicks in the opening minute. Next, Slioa circled to the back and sunk in a back triangle that kept Diaz on the mat for several minutes. When Diaz briefly scrambled, Slioa expertly used a leglock to distract his foe and re-assume top control. Frantz returned the fight to the mat with a single leg in the first minute of round 2 before controlling Diaz for the majority of the frame. Things got no better for the Californian in the third, as Frantz Slioa rode out top control to keep his non-TUF record perfect via unanimous decision.


135: Hard hitting Guamanian Kyle Reyes (13-5, #140 World) found a tough test in front of him in the form of 20 year old Super Fight League vet Trent Girdham (8-2, #238 World) but figured out a way to crack the youngster’s puzzle within the distance. Both men enjoyed some top position time in round 1 after their opponent pulled for an ill-advised guillotine, and when on the feet both men swung hard and often. Both fighters were bloodied by the opening minute of round 2, but it was the Las Vegas-based Reyes who found the target with a huge hook that dropped Girdham on his butt. That was just the opening that Kyle Reyes needed to secure the Mata Leon (RNC) submission for the impressive round 2 finish – chalk up two wins in two ACB outings for the former Tachi Palace Fights title challenger.


145: Aussie BJJ ace Michael Tobin (14-2, #528 World) worked this ACB 88 fight to the mat immediately and put Michael Mannue (4-2) into fight finishing danger just as promptly. Once Tobin was working on an armlock from mounted reverse triangle position it was just a matter of time. Mannue fought valiantly, but midway through round 1 he was forced to tap to the straight armbar submission. With the win, Tobin records a second straight submission in the ACB cage to advanced to 2-2 in Russia’s premier fight promotion.


170:  On the heels of a two fight losing skid, Mindaugas Verzbickas (15-6-2, #331 World) burst out of the gate with a flurry of punches that put Sydney native Corey Nelson (20-7-2, #280 World) firmyl on the back foot.  With Nelson retreating, Verzbickas took the opportunity to sneak into D’Arce choke position.  From there the Lithuanian wedged his man against the cage and applied pressure en route to the standing D’Arce choke finish in under a minute!


185:  Following several minutes of clinch control, streaking US grinder EJ Brooks (13-5, #91 World WW) took down Aussie UFC vet Steve Kennedy (25-9, #182 World) late in round 1. Kennedy managed to scramble to his feet but ate a number of knees to the face from front headlock position. Round 2 went much better for the Australian, who managed to fend off Brooks’ grappling efforts while landing a modicum of significant offense at range. Kennedy chose to press for a takedown of his own to start round 3 but ended up tackled to the mat and back in front headlock position. Brooks couldn’t control, though, and the pair returned to clinch grinding as round 3 wore on. The University of Missouri wrestler used a nice single leg to pull off the takedown halfway through the final stanza and ride out the rest of the bout on top. It wasn’t glamorous, but EJ Brooks extended his win streak to five on enemy soil. Brooks is now 2-0 ACB and has defeated the likes of Kennedy, Dakota Cochrane, Ben Egli, and Guilherme “Bomba” Vasconcelos by decision during his two-year run of top form.


125: Narek Avagyan (10-3, #169 World)  had tough journeyman Andy Young (11-12, #133 World) outgunned in this contest and he knew it, as he stepped straight into the pocket and smashed the UK vet with a variety of power punches.  Young, who lost via submission at last weekend’s Brave CF 13 event, hung on like a boss and never actually went down.  But when his mouthpiece started popping out the ref decided to stop the fight with Young standing against the cage.  Frank Mir thought the stoppage to be quite early, and I won’t disagree with the former UFC champ.  Either way, all credit to Narek Avagyan who dominated throughout and improved his ACB record to 3-0.


125: TUF 24 Tournament of Champions alum Charlie Alaniz (11-4, #148 World) slung leather with  Shannon Ross McClellan (11-4, #171 World) throughout a rock em’, sock ’em first round that saw Alaniz score a knockdown midway through while McClellan scored a knockdown near the round 1 bell.  McClellan started using his reach effectively in round 2 and added in leg kicks that seemed to have the big swinging Alaniz befuddled. But Alaniz maintained his high pace of attack and managed to score points late in round 2 as he forced his Aussie countryman into a phonebooth brawl. Round three saw both men trade plenty of power punches, along with matching eye pokes.  After an intense, power-packed fight the judges sided with Shannon Ross’s higher volume via unanimous decision – tough loss for Charlie Alaniz, who laid it all out there and seemed to land the more damaging shots during the fight (from my armchair view, anyway).


135: Gustavo Falciroli (17-6-2, #150 World) spent much of this 15 minute fight with Alan Philpott (17-10, #264 World) searching for the takedown, and when he did get the fight to the mat he advanced toward an omoplata multiple times but never really came close to the finish. On the other hand, ex-BAMMA champ Philpott did a nice job of expressing his striking edge when the fight took place at distance.  Philpott didn’t land anything seriously damaging, but he kept Falciroli at bay and bloodied him with a variety of accurate punches and leg kicks to seal up the unanimous decision win.


135: Following nearly two full rounds of close kickboxing action, PXC champ Trevin Jones (10-6, #83 World) scored a takedown on Brazilian underdog Rodrigo Praia (12-3, #420 World) and nearly paid the price when Praia spent the final moments of round 2 fishing for an RNC.  Jones survived and went back to the well with several takedowns that he used to secure round 3. But that wasn’t enough to wrest the fight from Praia, who earned the unanimous decision victory against the regional champ in his ACB debut.


125: The ACB 88 card opened with a battle of debuting Aussies that saw Stewart Nicoll (1-0) submit Darren Habben (0-1) via round 1 Mata Leon.

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