In preparation for Powerplay 42, Aleksei Dmitriev caught up with Josh Warner to discuss his career thus far and more importantly the AK-47.
Firstly, talk to me about your combat sports background:
I started to train kickboxing 10 years ago where I mixed it with Muay Thai and classic boxing. I won my first amateur fight and decided to continue with 2014 being my first big achievement, where I won the World Cup Diamond in Anapa, Russia.
I started to fight professionally this year in competitions such as WLF, EM Legend, SEFIGHT in China, DSF KICKBOXING in Poland, TATNEFT in Russia, Number one fight show in Estonia. But my greatest achievements are that I won the 4 man tournament 91kg in “Sefight China” and I won the silver medal for the Russian National Championship at the 86kg weight division.
What would you say is your greatest strength as it applies to kickboxing?
My strength is that I push forward in the ring and I’m always ready for a good exchange. I mix my boxing with low kicks.
You’ll be facing Chris Bradford at Powerplay 42; what are your thoughts on your opponent?
He is heavy man with good punches and he likes to go forward like me so there will be some nice action, not just running around the ring. I hate when my opponent runs from me and I’m sure Bradford is not the type of guy who will run. Nobody will go backwards. I’m not the guy who will talk shit about my opponent, I’m more old school fighter. So, I respect my opponent. I’m sure the crowd will love this fight.
Where do you feel you’ll be able to expose Chris in order to get the victory?
I will expose him with my aggression in the ring and hard low kicks.
Where will you be preparing for Powerplay 42 and who’ll be your key coaches and training partners?
I’ve already started my preparation. At the beginning it was Absolute MMA in Thailand Phuket, now I’m in CharnChai Muay Thai in Pai (North Thailand) with Phil Engeroff and Markko Moisar who are my training partners and friends. Along with coach Kaew CharnChai, they are helping me with my preparation while we focus more on conditioning.
I will finish my training in Russia, Saint Petersburg, my home town at Legend fight club and Sech Pro. I will have hard sparring sessions with the heavy guys. My main coach is Artur Smirnov, and training partners Danil Shatalov (who fights DSF POLAND) and Kirill Kornilov (who fights on Glory), all good level kickboxing heavyweights.
How will it end at Powerplay 42?
With all my respect I will beat him until he surrenders or knocks out.
Long considered one of the premier combat sport platforms in
the Country, Powerplay Promotions has grown into a genuine juggernaut that has
produced a plethora of world class kickboxing, K1 and Muay Thai Fighters.
Behind the scenes, Demi Nader has undertaken an enormous
amount of work in order to help Powerplay expand to the promotion that it is
today. Demi’s journey to the nerve centre of Powerplay spawned from both
opportunity and a willingness to evolve:
“I started Personal Training with Joe at Powerplay Gym while I owned an importing company. During those training sessions I could see the stress Joe was under due to him wearing “all the hats” in his business and offered him some help to restructure and start working smarter and not harder. One thing led to another, I sold my company and bought into Powerplay Gym.”
Upon joining the Powerplay family, Demi undertook a number
of roles that helped to build a nucleus of structure and a platform for
exploration. In addition, Demi was the first women in Australia to be licensed
by the Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Board:
“Initially, I was solely focused on restructure and setting up copious amounts of excel templates, so pretty much the “admin girl” at the gym. Once I felt that was structured I took on the next challenge of working with the promotions company and quickly progressed to Operations Manager. I walked into a business that was about to explode into a new phase of growth, but it could’ve back fired without the right team and procedures in place. My first “hands on” event as Operations Manager was Zambidis vs Parr”
As it is to be expected in a growth organisation, Demi’s
role has continued to evolve (sometimes on a daily basis):
“I became the Co-Director of Powerplay Promotions in 2015. Responsibilities? Where do I start haha”
Business elements aside, the heart of Powerplay is that of combat sports. The sport itself is not to everyone’s taste, however Demi is well and truly hooked:
“I love the explosiveness of competitive combat sports. Great fighters, fans, and people I can call lifelong friends have come from this industry”
Anyone who’s worked in the industry would be well aware
dealing with the contemporary “hard-nosed” trainers, fighters and managers can
be problematic, complex and downright exhausting. For Demi, it’s just part of
the game and over the years Demi has earnt the respect of those in the industry:
“Treat everyone with respect and always see the trainer’s / fighter’s point of view when negotiating and ALWAYS stick to your word, whether it’s a hand shake or an iron clad contract. This is something I’ve learnt from Joe. He is one of the most fair and genuine people you’ll ever come across and his word is enough to ensure the goal posts don’t move. Joe’s instilled this old school value into me with all aspects of our business and everyone we deal with, not just fighters and trainers”
“I’ve also learnt that I need to be fair but also have boundaries that can never be crossed in business. I tend to avoid working with overly difficult people unless it’s crucially unavoidable that’s when “removing emotions” has always proved to enable smarter decisions”
Demi’s role gives her the opportunity to work alongside
husband Joe on a daily basis. This could easily be a recipe for disaster, but
the Nader’s have found a way to make it work seamlessly:
“I love it! However, at the start it was really hard to adjust – we were business partners before we were husband and wife. We couldn’t make that distinction at the start and used to bring “work home” along with the stuff our family life didn’t need. When work is done, we leave it at the office”
“Most people who know us can attest to the fact Joe and I spend the day stirring each other and not taking things too seriously”
“Joe is one of the country’s best match makers, and that makes my job much easier”
Demi may well be the busiest person in combat sports. The
rigor that comes with directing a combat sports promotion can only be described
as crazy. However, somehow Demi manages to get the job done whilst balancing
life as a devoted mum:
“I have the most AMAZING team behind me. My theory is “Create a team so efficient that nobody knows who’s boss”. I hate micromanaging and I work alongside people who share the Powerplay vision and goals. Having this stress eliminated and knowing that everything is in good hands when I can’t be at work, allows me spend some extra time with my family. HOWEVER, I live a chaotic life that makes me feel uneasy and stressed at times when I fail to plan or unexpected urgencies arise at work such as last minute fighter injuries needing rematching and the other joys that come with promoting. Between running one of the biggest fight promotions in Australia, cooking, cleaning and laundry I need to keep 3 kids as my priority and that can sometimes be difficult and resolve in me having “mummy guilt”. My older two kids have started VCE this year which has added to our responsibilities as a family, but I’m truly blessed to have a husband that knows when to step in when I start feeling burnt out and the most BEAUTIFUL big sister and girlfriends that either lend a hand or have me laughing hysterically within seconds of saying hi to each other. I still haven’t learnt how to completely balance work and life, but I’d say I’m almost there. I have an amazing business, family and girlfriends, the ingredients are there but sometimes the time management isn’t hahahaha”
So in 2020 Powerplay Promotions will continue to grow in leaps and bounds and Demi will be responsible for managing this continual growth. Get ready combat sport fans because the next phase is going to be epic:
“Powerplay is experiencing unprecedented growth at the moment and our backing of exceptional staff, fighters and fan base has contributed to this. We have negotiated a contract to expand into the Asian market this year and have started implementing strategies to tour Australia over the coming years bringing the Powerplay action to capital cities around the country”
On March 14 the man known as the ‘Rockin Moroccan’ Moulay
Bekkali will make his much anticipated return to Powerplay Promotions after a 2
year layoff. With 26 wins from 31 fights and some highlight reel KO’s to boot,
Moulay is primed to reignite his career and remind the K1 world that he is the
Moulay’s absence from competition has provided him with
ample opportunities to focus on life outside of the ring:
“Since my last fight 2 years ago, I decided to take a break from professional fighting and dedicate my time towards completing my bachelors degree in chiropractic. In the fight game you have to be in it 100%, it’s not a game, you can get seriously injured especially competing at a professional level. Because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give this level of commitment I knew it would be better to take a break and comeback when the time was right”
With study out of the way, the right time to return is now
and the thought of once again competing on such a credentialed platform has
Moulay filled with excitement:
“I’m excited to make my return and there is no other show I’d rather make that comeback in than Powerplay promotions”
Moulay’s return will coincide with a reuniting of sorts with legendary trainer Joe Nader. Joe has been working with Moulay for some time now and has taught him all he knows about the sport of kickboxing. Moulay is calmed by the fact that we he makes that faithful work to the Powerplay ring, Joe will be right by his side:
“I wouldn’t know where to begin. Joe is like a second father to me, I’ve been training under him for 15 years and has taught me everything I know. We’ve been through highs and lows in the fight game but it’s only made us stronger. I couldn’t see myself entering the ring without him by my side”
Moulay’s opponent for his return on March 14 will
be the dangerous Matthew Stevens. Matthew has finished almost half of his
fights by KO and has proven to be a handful for whomever stands across from him
in the ring. Moulay is not much for talking about his opponents and as such
offers a simple message:
“I wish him the best of luck”
With Moulay in full preparation mode for Powerplay
42, he and Joe will now construct a masterful game plan so as to ensure win
number 27 is recorded on March 14. As far as strengths and advantages go,
Moulay believes he has them readily available across the board:
“I know how to use every part of my body effectively whether it be punching, kicking, kneeing or evading”
Six weeks out, and the anticipation and hype is
rapidly building. Moulay has no doubts he’ll put on a show and commence his
domestic and then international takeover. For those excited for Moulay’s
return, he offers a simple insight:
“[Get ready for] A new and improved Rockin Moroccan”
Powerplay Promotions is back on March 14 and as is expected another world class card awaits!
Coming off a massive year which comprised world title victories and payback in the form of avenging a previous loss, ‘The One’ Aaron Goodson will headline the 42nd instalment of Powerplay and look to claim arguably the biggest scalp of his career.
Having dispatched Steve Moxon and Blood Diamond in devastating fashion, Aaron Goodson turns his attention to Mark Timms in what promises to be a high output kick fiesta. A perfect mix of technique, power and aggression these two warriors have the credentials to put on one of the most memorable contests of all time.
The UK native representing New Zealand, Mark Timms is a genuine “excitement machine” who literally breaks his opponents down with constant pressure and a seemingly endless arsenal of strikes. Fighting out of City Kickboxing under the legendary Eugene Bareman, Mark Timms will enter enemy territory and look to dethrone the very best Australia has to offer.
On August 31st the 5th Payback Time instalment in Powerplay’s history will take place when Aaron Goodson looks to avenge a previous loss against Blood Diamond. Aaron’s path of destruction continues to create carnage as evident when he demolished Steve Moxon back at Powerplay 40 and in doing so added another World Title to his collection. A fine mix of power, speed and technique, Aaron looks unstoppable right now. Enter Blood Diamond! A man who has toppled Aaron before and plans to do so again! A multiple time IKBF, WMC and WKA Champion, the experienced and unorthodox Blood Diamond will look to derail the hype train and position himself as one of the very best in the sport.
Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM UTC+10
Momentum in any sport is genuinely one of the greatest advantages an athlete can establish. In combat sports specifically there is never a truer word spoken and for ‘The One’ Aaron Goodson momentum is something he has bucket loads of right now.
This momentum, which is quickly leaving a path of victims in his wake, will lead Aaron to a massive rematch with one of the few men who have humbled him in the past, that being the exuberant and inventive Blood Diamond. The current win streak, and spectacular past performances will leave Aaron in good stead, particularly his performance against Steve Moxon back at Powerplay 40. On that faithful evening we may well have seen the very best of Aaron Goodson to date:
“My fight with Steve Moxon was definitely me at my best! The reason I say this is simple… my preparation leading up to the fight in every aspect of a fighter & training camp was done 100%”
Sitting ring side and calling that one sided beating left me in awe as to how far this great martial artist has come over the past few years. I have used the word ‘dominant’ on several occasions and ‘The One’ is in agreeance with my summary:
Aaron is most definitely one of the more humble martial artists I have witnessed during my time in the sport, so being constantly tagged as the hottest prospect in the sport is probably something that doesn’t sit all that well with him even though he is fulfilling the mantra tenfold. Aaron’s humble nature aside, his results speak for themselves so the ‘hottest prospect’ tag is here to stay:
“Look if you asked me a year ago I would say no I don’t think so… but after dominating every fight I’ve had back since my loss against Alex Redhead with all the hard work & massive improvements I believe I’ve earned that especially after dominating Steve Moxon”
Aaron will need to reply on all that he has learned over this golden period in order to topple his next foe, that of course being Blood Diamond. Aaron is very familiar with his opponent and all that he will bring to the ring on August 31, however Aaron’s recent run of success has him confident that he can hang with the elite in the sport:
“Blood Diamond is a tuff, aggressive & awkward fighter and again someone who has had 3 times the amount of fights I’ve had, but nothing I can’t handle… Like I said I’ve earnt that spot in the sport to mix it with world class fighters!!”
Whilst the next big win is always Aaron’s primary focus, this contest brings with it the opportunity for retribution and payback. Aaron will ensure his judgment and mindset are not clouded by the relentless sense to even the score, however at the end of the day revenge is well and truly on his mind:
“Any fight should always be taken as important but a rematch there is always going to be that revenge wanted by the one that didn’t get the w in the first fight. So [it’s] very important!!”
With revenge on his mind, Aaron will need to right the wrongs from their previous contest and make those definitive changes that will ensure his hand is raised at the end of the rematch. Whilst Aaron obviously won’t give too much away, he is looking forward to introducing Blood Diamond to the new and improved version of ‘The One’:
“I’m sure he will be another to see the huge improvements from “The One” since we fought back in 2012″
As Aaron eluded to post his victory over Steve Moxon, preparation was one of the keys to what is the standout performance of his career thus far. Keeping with the same pattern, Aaron will invest heavily in his training camp surrounded by a bunch of trusted advisors so to ensure he is ready to go come August 31. Hell it may even be a possibility that we may see a more superior version of ‘The One’ come Powerplay 41:
“This camp has been very mentally challenging for me going through my own personal issues… but on the other hand I remind myself each day the great team I have with me and that giving up is not in my DNA so as I soldier on with my coach Joe Nader who knows me better than anyone with just a few words can have me focused an ready to fight at any given time. My strength & conditioning coaches Ned Vrselja & Judd Reid who put me through training where I am pushing limits I never even imagined and just their great support & time they put into me is second to none & I am super grateful & honoured to have such a strong team”
“All the hard training together with my stable brothers Christos Vlahogianis who will be making his debut on Powerplay 41 & I cannot wait to see kick ASS!! , Tristan Papadopoulas & Nazir Haddara who are also fighting on the card & are ones to look out for”
“Quality sparring from the brother Jake Mathews, the crew at team resilience & Mini Nachar & Hamad Allouche from team Rogers gym”
“My nutritionist Michelle Reeves who with out [her] I would not be in the shape an feel as good as I do for this fight looking after my weight & keeping track of where I’m at each day guiding me through a positive mindset An I say many thanks to her”
“[And] none of this will be possible if weren’t for these amazing people that allow me to pursue my dream, train morning and night throughout each week with their support: Ned & Anton from (HIGHRISE CARPENTRY) Ivan Kelic from (PARKSIDE CONSTRUCTION) Robert axiak from (WESTSIDE SEALANTS) Jack & John Mclean from (MCLEAN CIVIL) Shane Murphy (HANDS ON BODY MASSAGE) Billy from (REVOLT FIGHT GEAR)”
So with a platform of coaches and training partners that can only be referred to as ‘world class’; a fitness regime that has ‘The One’ in the best condition of his career; and a drive to be the very best fighter on planet earth, what can we expect from Aaron at Powerplay 41:
The average fight fan, no matter how impressive their intellect is as it applies to combat sports, would be lying if they said they didn’t enjoy a couple of heavy hitters throwing legitimate bombs at each other. For those fans, you’ll be excited to learn that Powerplay 41 will deliver just that when Chris Vlahogiannis takes on Manachai.
For Victoria’s Chris Vlahogiannis Powerplay 41 will bring with it a number of firsts, but before we dive into the detail it’s important to understand the journey that this talented martial artist has been on prior to this monumental moment in his career:
“I did a decent amount of boxing when I was a teenager through to my early 20’s. Originally started boxing under Percy Lanciano & then in my 20’s learned through Tom Goussis. I have had no amateur fight experience, I tried a few times but it was always hard to find an opponent at heavyweight”
When August 31 finally rolls around Chris will make his long awaited debut in a Heavyweight K1 contest that has the collective mouths of fight fans watering. Prior to their debut a martial artist will experience a range of emotions, and this is no different for Chris:
“I’m feeling a lot of excitement. At the start of 2019 I put up a list of goals I wanted to achieve in 2019, and on the very top was “HAVE MY FIRST PRO FIGHT”. Life is about challenging yourself and doing things which are out of your comfort zone, this is something I have wanted to do for a long time so I’m just enjoying the ride, the journey and having a lot of fun along the way”
Making his pro debut is exciting, however making his pro debut on one of the biggest combat sports platforms in the Country is truly a blessing and Chris is well aware of the honour that has been bestowed upon him:
“I am truly honoured and grateful to both Joe & Demi Nader for having me fight on one of the biggest shows in the country. I have been going to Powerplay shows as a fan from the days when John Wayne Parr was main eventing against Mike Zambidis. So the fact I am fighting under the Powerplay brand is a true honour and I will be forever grateful“
Chris’s debut fight will be shared with a dangerous Thai fighter in the form of Manachai. This opponent can only be classified as formidable however displaying experience beyond his years, Chris is well aware of the challenges that await come August 31:
“I don’t underestimate any opponent. He has had 6 fights, 6 wins and 4 KO’s… that is a seriously awesome record. He has been in the ring 6 times more than me so I must respect his fight game“
As Chris has alluded to, Manachai has a 66% knock out ratio which in combat sports terms equates to a lot of his opponents taking a nap in the middle of the ring. This awareness will help Chris to develop a game plan to negate the KO power, however if this inevitably turns into a power punching battle, Chris feels as though he’ll still have the advantage:
“I honestly believe I hit harder than Manachai. I also believe he hasn’t been hit by anyone as hard as me. We are going to have a war and whoever is more prepared for war will win. I believe I am much more prepared then he is for this war!”
Whilst Chris will obviously prepare for the strengths his opponent will bring to the contest, Chris will also have a number of tools and advantages that he believes will ultimately render the outcome he desires. These advantages can be summarised in four simple words:
“Height, reach, speed, power!”
That desired outcome may eventually be achieved at Powerplay 41 however the ground work is well underway in the form of a structured and technical training camp. For Chris, the training camp is underpinned by a sense of diversity with regular cameos from one of the very best in the sport:
“Training camp involves a lot of sparring with different opponents, pad work, drills in the evenings. Morning training involves strength & conditioning, running, bike riding, rowing, stretching, core & glute work, weights. A lot of different activities to create an all rounded athlete. Sometimes we focus on explosive workouts and other times on endurance. I am very grateful I have the best team around me in Australia and I am very grateful I have been a part of two training camps now with Aaron Goodson so I am preparing with the very best out there and also learning off the very best”
The training camp will be overseen by a legitimate icon of the sport in the form of Joe Nader. Whilst Joe will be the main driver there are numerous other key people whom Chris will rely on to get him ready for the fight of his life:
“I train at two different gyms. North Melbourne Boxing & Fitness under the Powerplay Fight Club brand and also Judd Reid’s Chikara dojo in Footscray. My key trainer is Joe Nader who in my eyes is the very best trainer in Australia. He has taught me everything from my footwork, my technique, my combinations, my fight style & my strategies. Without him I wouldn’t even attempt to fight on such a prestigious show without any amateur fights but it is the confidence he has instilled in me which is the reason why I am doing this with no fear & full of confidence”
“I am also training with Judd Reid. He is a legend of the martial arts world and is the only man to have won a World Kumite World Heavyweight Title, completed the 1000 day live in student “uchi deshi” under Sosai Mas Oyama & completed the 100 man kumite which is definitely the most difficult martial arts event known to man. He is a legend of the sport and I am grateful he is there to help me with conditioning of the mind & body”
“I am also training with Ned Vrselja aka “The Soldier” who helps me with all strength & conditioning. He is the reason why I am in physically and mentally the best shape of my life, there is no one in Australia or on this planet that trains harder & with more discipline then Ned. It is truly inspiring at the physical shape he has helped me find a inner strength I never knew existed in my mind, body and soul”
“Michael Dugina from Collingwood Football Club has also helped me with fitness programs to get me in phenomenal shape, he has been with Collingwood Football Club for 25 years as a strength and conditioning coach and his knowledge and experience is legendary. He has helped out with some programs to get me in physical shape for my first fight”
“Michelle Reeves is the best nutritionist in Australia, after seeing what she done with Aaron Goodson and how she transformed his body through proper nutrition against Steve Moxon I had to jump on. I was using other nutritionists who didn’t have a clue what they were on about and since I have been with Michelle Reeves I am leaner than ever with also more energy than ever”
“Lastly, my training partners and brothers Aaron Goodson, Tristan Papadopoulos, Nazir Haddara, Rob Minneti, Mohamed Eldimerdash and all the other Powerplay fight club boys. Without them I wouldn’t be anywhere and I owe everything to these boys who train with me day in day out every single day. Doing the entire training camp with Aaron Goodson has been an eye opening experience for me, we did everything together, we sparred each other, morning runs, strength and conditioning, hot and cold bath’s, sauna’s, etc I learnt a lot through Aaron, the sacrifices he makes every single day to be where he is and to fight at the level that he fights at. It is truly awe inspiring to see someone with so much dedication and also take me under his wing and teach me how he does it. I always say, if you want to be a lion you must hunt with lions. My team are the Kings of the Jungle in the fight game in Australia…. each and every one of them are lions and once again I am grateful and honoured to be surrounded by them all”
So the preparation is almost complete; the mindset is perfect and the body is feeling the best it ever has. On that basis Chris cannot wait for August 31 and with that a final word for this debutant warrior:
“I’m prepared for war, kill or be killed!!! You will have to wait and see. OSU!”
The tag line coming into Powerplay 41 is ‘payback’ and that is exactly what the intriguing main event is promising. Whilst one of the combatants will be seeking payback, that is not the case for Blood Diamond who will instead be looking to make it two zip against ‘The One’ Aaron Goodson.
Blood Diamond is a genuine weapon who has the ability to end fights with the snap of his fingers; his journey to the main event slot at Powerplay 41 has been both entertaining and incredibly rewarding:
“I have been kickboxing for the past 10 years competing in New Zealand, Australia, China, and America. I have been successful in winning NZ titles, Commonwealth titles, and 8 Man Tournaments such as King in the Ring. I have recently taken up MMA having two pro fights that I was successful in gaining a TKO and a Submission. One of the challenges I faced was after taking a knee to my eye during a fight which meant I had to adapt my fighting style and lifestyle later on. I want to be the best and most entertaining fighter I can be, and work towards securing more fights, and creating a better future for myself“
Winning the King of the Ring tournament is quite an accomplishment and one that has provided past winners with an avenue to combat sports superstardom. Blood Diamond is well on the way to making that a reality and much of that is due to the arsenal of fight ending weapons he has at his fingertips. But one must ponder which of those weapons is the most dangerous…?
“Head-butt because I have a hard head…jokes. Everything because my body flows like a river, I easily adapt and adjust“
Flowing like a river is a more than fair summary of Blood Diamond’s fight style; poetry in motion may be another. However you want to put it, the style and energy Blood Diamond brings has led him to the main event slot on Australia’s biggest combat sports show; that in itself is very exciting:
“I am excited to be returning to Powerplay, a promotion that has showcased some world class champions. I have just found out that I am in the Main Event slot and am excited to put on a show”
Blood Diamond of course has history with Aaron Goodson and has very positive memories from their first encounter. Each fight is not only an opportunity to succeed but also an opportunity to learn, and Blood Diamond experienced both in the first scrap:
“My first fight with Aaron was entertaining for the crowd, and it taught me to be a smarter fighter and showed me that I can bang with some top athletes”
Blood Diamond generated a level of respect for Aaron after the first fight, he also learned a lot about him. Blood Diamond’s key learning can be described in a couple key words:
“Aaron has a heart of a lion”
As previously mentioned, Aaron is on a genuine roll at the moment and can rightfully be referred to as the hottest prospect in the sport. Whilst many onlookers have enjoyed watching Aaron’s growth in the sport, Blood Diamond is not one of them:
“I don’t know much about what Aaron has been doing as I like to focus on my own growth and looking at the way I have evolved. I am sure he has been doing the same“
At Powerplay 41 Blood Diamond will again lock horns with Aaron Goodson in what seems a lifetime since their last encounter. Both fighters have improved; both fighters have evolved; but at the end of the day Blood Diamond is confident he knows what to expect from Aaron:
“After our last encounter I expect him to be hungry and looking for vengeance”
Given Blood Diamond’s innate knowledge of his opponent it would be reasonable to assume that he would be very clear in relation to where the key advantages will be sought. However in a somewhat of a curve ball the advantages won’t necessarily come from a technical sense:
“The knowledge that has been passed down to me from world class trainers and help from world class training partners, from my gym City Kickboxing”
As Blood Diamond has alluded to, he comes from some of the very best stock in combat sports and City Kickboxing is quickly positioning itself as one of the best establishments in the world. It is of course that establishment that Blood Diamond will call home as he prepares for ‘The One’ at Powerplay 41:
“I am based at City Kickboxing in Auckland, New Zealand. My key coaches are Doug Viney and Eugene Bareman, and I train with all City Kickboxing athletes as I prepare”
So it’s only a matter of weeks before combat sports fans will have the distinct privilege of watching Blood Diamond and ‘The One’ put it all on the line and swing for the fences much to the appreciation of an amped Melbourne crowd. Blood Diamond’s expectation of the end are testament to this iconic and exciting martial artist:
Powerplay Promotions brings you another action packed evening of K1 and Muay Thai with Jason Scerri vs Brad Riddel as the main event. Stacked under card of explosive talent including Steve Baldacchino, Abbas Ahmadi, Cobie Brigham, Simon Coutsouvelis and Rob Minnitti to name a few!
Powerplay 34 Riddell Vs Moxon Brad Riddell returns to Melbourne to fight Steve Moxon at the Melbourne Pavilion on Powerplay 34, July 22nd 2017. The fight EVERYONE in the global fight community wants to see, knowing it will be a 5 round war of K1 action!
Also on the fight card, Aaron “The One” Goodson makes his highly anticipated return into centre ring against the tough Alex Redhead and Powerplay veteran Roberto Minniti fights Indigo Boyd for the Commonwealth Title.
A stacked card of local, National and International Fighters NOT TO BE MISSED! Moulay Bekkali, Salvatore Signorini, Rob Morgilo, Dimitri Iliev, Tristan Papadopoulos, Mini Nacher MORE!
Steve McKinnon def Joe Boobyer via Decision (Unanimous)
Nathan Robson def Huss Al Mansouri via Decision (Unanimous)
Jonathan Aiulu def Elliott Glenister via Decision (Majority)
Jayden Wright def Abdulmunim Nachar via Decision (Unanimous)
Jacob O’Connor vs Thomas Wilkins Draw
Corey Barrett def Tyrone Russell via Decision (Unanimous)
Powerplay Promotions brings two of the most explosive heavy weights into centre ring on October 14th 2017 as Steve McKinnon takes on Joe Boobyer under K1 rules. Matched with an equally excited under card of both K1 and Muay Thai rules!
Steve McKinnon def Joe Boobyer via Decision (Unanimous)
Nathan Robson def Huss Al Mansouri via Decision (Unanimous)
Jonathan Aiulu def Elliott Glenister via Decision (Majority)
Jayden Wright def Abdulmunim Nachar via Decision (Unanimous)
Jacob O’Connor vs Thomas Wilkins Draw
Corey Barrett def Tyrone Russell via Decision (Unanimous)
On August 25th, Powerplay Promotions hits the Melbourne Pavilion with its 38th installment of non-stop action headlined by heavy hitters Chris Bradford Vs Jordan Maroroa Bradford, who came out of retirement for Powerplay 37, proves he enters the ring as a changed and conditioned fighter that refuses to back down. He showed everyone that he has exactly what it takes to mix it with the heavy weights who remained active during his break, giving Steve McKinnon a five round war that could’ve been anyone’s win! The Geelong fighter from Top Tier Muay Thai now lines up his next challenge against the younger Jordan Maroroa under K1 rules. Joining these two champions, is a stacked card of Australian fight talent, including 2 x World Champion Aaron “The One” Goodson, Commonwealth Champion and Veteran Roberto Minniti, Jacob O’Connor, Taner Gumustas, Bradley Trainor, Ramen Habiib, Anthony Gilbert, Kimalina Baldacchino and
Powerplay Promotions will present it’s 39th installment with a mega card headlined by a blockbuster Full Thai Rules contest between Toby ‘ The Weapon’ Smith and Brazilian sensation Bruno Miranda. The Co-Main event will ensure knees and elbows continue to fly when Chris Bradford takes on 3 x Thai Heavyweight Champion Pinyo Kadamdun.
If that’s not enough, the blockbuster fights continue when Australia’s own Aaron Goodson takes on New Zealand native Tyson Turner. Powerplay 39 will also play host to a couple of highly anticipated rematches when Albert Xavier takes on Quan Trinh and Kim Baldacchino takes on Jacinta Paskalidis.
The undercard also promises to deliver some genuinely mouthwatering contest including Dean Vujic vs. Tanner Gumustas, Jose Alcantara vs. Jye Breed, Joseph Coverdale vs. James Hackett and Mohameed Eldimerdash vs. Stuart McIntosh.
On 23 March Powerplay promotions will proudly rollout its 40th instalment with a card that can only be described as epic!
In the Main Event, arguably the fastest rising prospect in the sport, Aaron Goodson, will look to continue his reign of terror when he battles kickboxing icon Steve Moxon. The gladiator whom reigns supreme in this one will earn the right to have a world title draped over his shoulder.
Last year they participated in one of the all time great Full Thai Rules contests and in the Co-Main Event at Powerplay 40, Heavyweight warriors Chris Bradford and Joe Boobyer will lock horns again this time with a World Title on the line.
Supporting these two world class contests will be some of the finest talents this country has to offer competing under K1 rules.
In just a few days at Powerplay 39, Chris Bradford will make his return to the promotion when he takes on Thai sensation and multiple time Heavyweight champion Pinyo Kadamduan in a Full Thai Rules contest. The owner of some of the most devastating ‘hellbows’ in the sport, Chris is relishing the opportunity to throw some knees and elbows with a credentialed and willing opponent. As Chris prepares for the next instalment of his storied career, he’s taken some time to reflect on what made him fall in love with the sport to begin with:
“I don’t really talk about in detail but I was very violent kid! I got into a lot of trouble and was a bit lost a lot of the time. Ironically the way that I had to escape violence was to get into professional violence. Some of my old friends know my past but what I have turned around and become today makes me the better man I am that stands in front of a crowd and when I perform and I’m very content happy with that”
The sport in essence gave Chris a platform of stability, discipline and commitment, which has helped shape the man he is today. There were of course people along that journey who have helped influence his career and teach him vital interpersonal skills which are crucial to success in this sport:
“Definitely one of the biggest people to influence my career was my trainer Charn in Thailand. Now I know you say and hear about people going on about Thai trainers but I didn’t love and respect him for the fact that he taught me how fight. He taught me the tradition and humbleness of Thai boxing. He told me how to treat and respect every human with equality, be willing to offer time and patience to another person and respect everyone that is taken the time to talk to you and teach you. It was a massive learning curve for me, one I’ll never forget and always cherish”
Chris’s martial arts story is one of great success with the complimentary challenges that every professional fighter has to face and ultimately overcome in order to achieve their goals. With such a storied career, one may ponder why Chris continues to torture his body in preparation to fight and put it all on the line when he enters the ring. What does Chris Bradford fight for these days…? Well Chris’s response may be one of the most motivational I have ever come across:
“I love this question… Firstly I fight my peace in myself; as I’ve stated, I find in the moment of total carnage total chaos, the violence, the fear and adrenaline, total and utter peace. It calms me and keeps my solace when I’m in times of despair and makes me the humble person I am. Secondly I fight to inspire and entertain. I want my students to have no fear and total understanding of what happens when they enter the ring, also to show them how and lead the way. While doing that I am also trying to entertain the crowd and hopefully bring something to the forefront that they will remember when they go home and talk about the show they have been to, for many days onward”
So, Chris will put it all on the line again come November 24 when he enters the Powerplay ring and continues the search for inner peace whilst entertaining a ruckus and passionate crowd. Powerplay itself came to Chris at a difficult time in his life however he embraced the opportunity and quickly tuned himself into a household Powerplay name:
“Powerplay has been a long time coming and when given the opportunity I welcomed it. I was in a spot where I was battling a terrible past relationship and still paying the price financially and Joe understands what I bring to the table so he was able to pay me accordingly. This set some great things up… Joe calls me and says “I’ve got a fight for you”. I say… “Sweet don’t bother telling me who it is cause I don’t care, I’ll just fight no matter who it is” Usually he laughs and says… “Wish more people where like you lol” And then I hang up the phone and then few weeks out I’ll find out who I’m fighting. Fighting Steve McKinnon was an absolute honour and a really good thrill and I proved I deserve to be on the world stage. He did just out point me, but I felt a real threat and almost stopping him at one stage it was a real good, hard, tough fight, which I’m always wanting. My second fight I had a shocking lead up with broken bones, broken noses, still feel I totally won the fight and still don’t know why didn’t get the decision …but let’s just move on from that one and I won’t leave it in the judges for my next fight, guaranteed”
Next up is a real challenge in the form of Thai sensation Pinyo Kadamduan. If Chris plans to not leave it in the judge’s hands, he’ll have to put away maybe the toughest opponent he has faced to date. On that basis, Chris is all too aware of the challenge that await come November 24:
“Usual story with the Thai tricky, elusive being a southpaw he likes to chop the leg and I’m well aware of a few tricks up his sleeve as he obviously has, knowing him from the past. I have visualised what I’m going to execute, and long as I stick to that, I’m content”
Pinyo has won numerous Heavyweight Muay Thai tournaments in Thailand and has a wealth of experience along with a granite chin and legitimate KO power of his own. The dangers he poses are diverse and devastating, but that’s all in a days work for Chris:
“Every opponent is a danger to me because almost all my opponents have had more experience than me. So he will be no different. Like a fire raging in the fireplace you touch it, and play around with it, you get burnt. Yet you keep it at bay and keep it confined and you dictate and control it, and if need be throw water on it, you can put it out”
As he has on so many occasions before, Chris will turn to a familiar setting occupied with familiar faces he prepares for battle. From Chris’s perspective, preparation is less about focussing on his opponent and more about preparing himself to go to war:
“I have total faith in my gym, my support crew and also my pad holder Tom Smith. Mick Sibert will be coming down to give me a little bit of help with his big body, and also have a bunch of guys raising their hand around Victoria to help me repair also. This fight isn’t actually about him; it’s about me, my preparation my mental state and my focus. All that and stay injury free, guaranteed to be a great fight”
When competing at this level, a committed and understanding support crew is an essential element of success. Chris is somewhat blessed to have a fantastic team around him whom all contribute to a foundation that allows Chris to focus and ultimately succeed:
“My pad holder Tom is able to catch anything I throw so that gives me creativity. I need that in freestyle pad work. Himself and my boys around me in my gym know me well enough now to know what I’m doing right or wrong and TTMT is build on self belief, never forget that anyone. Mick Sibert will be coming down to work with me a little so having a big body will be good. Put my girl Eden’s undying support in, along with my brother from another mother Josh Preston and also Stan around me, all the fighters and members from my gym and I have a good solid foundation”
Full Thai Rules is a genuinely mouthwatering prospect for fans in attendance, and one that Chris himself is relishing as it will free him up to unleash a barrage of elbows that should they connect, will bring an early conclusion to this much anticipated contest. The elbows, and genuine power of which he has bucket loads, will be the difference from Chris’s perspective:
“I feel power will be a good thing for me. Thai’s are strong, but I’m working hard in the gym at the moment on strength mixed with speed so I expect to be good and strong and fast. I’m not going to lie, you will see more than one elbow thrown from me, I want to entertain and I’ll take any chance in face of danger, as I have no regard for self safety”
Amongst the advantages that Chris may have in this fight, the hometown crowd will definitely be one. The support will help pump Chris up pre fight, boost him up when he’s engaged in battle and cap celebrations should he get the job done on the 24th! As expected, Chris is gracious for all of the support and truly humbled by the people who continue to stick with him on this journey:
“I love to have you all there to support AK again, who is going to be finally throwing his favourite weapon the elbow. The way you support me is truly appreciated every time I’m in the ring whether it’s a win or a loss I will never be forgotten always remembered. Let’s all get there together on the 24th make it… ‘One more time into the fray, live an die on this day’ Stand tall, Walk forward”
Chris would also like to thank the following sponsors:
At Powerplay 39 ‘The Weapon’ Toby Smith will make his long awaited and much anticipated return to the Powerplay ring when he battles Brazilian sensation Bruno Miranda in the main event of a fight card that is filled with the best martial artists from Australia and abroad.
Although his original opponent has unfortunately changed, Toby is excited to be back fighting on a show that aligns to one of his fondest memories in the sport:
“I fought on Powerplay before vs JWP; probably one of the biggest fights in Australian history. Since then I’ve collected a few more titles and big scalps but it will be good to fight on Powerplay again, can’t wait”
Toby’s affiliation with the sport is no accident as his father was also a recognised fighter long before Toby ever dreamed of lacing up a pair of gloves. With fighting in his blood, Toby was so young when he was first introduced to the sport that it’s no wonder he can barely recall the experience:
“I started training as young as I remember because my dad before me was a fighter so I basically grew up in the sport and went from there”
As Toby mentioned earlier he has had the distinct privilege of fighting against the great John Wayne Parr. On that faithful evening not only did Toby step into the ring with the martial arts icon, he dispatched him in ultra-impressive fashion in somewhat of a passing of the torch moment. This moment is one in which Toby will never forget:
“Yeah that was an experience I won’t forget as I said above probably one of the biggest fights in Australian history as I was the up and comer and he was the already very famous and established JWP. Was good to get the win; was a long time coming of hard years fighting and training so to finally get the number 1 spot in Australia was amazing”
The original main event at Powerplay 39 pitted Toby against New Zealand native Brad Riddell. Unfortunately Brad has succumbed to a back injury which has forced him to withdraw from the much anticipated bout. But alas, in steps a genuine wrecking machine in the form of Brazilian Bruno Miranda. For Toby, Bruno currently poses somewhat of an unknown:
“Don’t know him but no problems I got a lot of time still to adjust”
Opponent changes mid preparation will have differing impacts on fighters. For some it’s a complete restart from the perspective of game plans, and for others it’s a relative non-topic as the opponent whom stands across from them matter very little. It’s definitely a ‘column B’ approach for Toby:
“No impact. Fights a fight [and I’ll] give it my all as always”
In a somewhat unique turn of events, Toby’s original opponent Brad will now corner his new opponent and will in essence support Bruno to complete the job that Brad was originally hoping to achieve himself. This would no doubt get into the head of a less experienced fighter, however for Toby its business as usual:
“[I] don’t feel anything about that [Brad cornering Bruno]”
It’s safe to say that the martial arts community were looking forward to seeing Toby and Brad throw down particularly under the mouth-watering prospect of Full Thai Rules; and although Bruno Miranda is an exceptional replacement one still ponders if we will get to see Toby and Brad mix it up in the future. From Toby’s perspective that is a fight he still definitely wants:
“Yeah hope he recovers quickly and we get to fight eventually”
So with his focus now well and truly on Bruno, Toby will continue his preparation under the watchful eyes of his experienced and dedicated team. Together they will prepare a warrior, or weapon if you will, and develop a game plan that will render ultimate success:
“I’ll be training at my gym The Pit in Perth for the camp; I’ll be training twice a day hard as always”
Having fought names such as Mike Semetriou, Reece McAllister, Samsamut Kiatchongkao, Thongchai and Kem Sitsongpeenong and Superbon Banchamek to name a few, Toby is clear on the elements of his game that will provide the advantage required to deliver an impressive victory. In this instance, the advantage will come via 3 simple yet brutal elements:
“In the clinch, knees and elbows”
So on November 26, the packed crowd at the Melbourne Pavilion will have the distinct honour of watching a talent who’s resume already includes the 76kg WKN World Title; Middleweight WKA World Title; 2 x WPMF 70kg World Title; 1 x Commonwealth Champion; 1x Australian Champion and 2x WA Champion. I hope the fans are ready for a war; Toby sure is:
“Awesome mate can’t wait to fight again and show the Melbourne fans a war”
Heavy hitter, Steve McKinnon, meets the equally brutal “AK 47” Chris Bradford for the anticipated Heavy Weight World Title showdown on Powerplay’s next installment. The fight that has brought Top Tier’s Chris Bradford out of retirement has been agreed to at 94 kg under K1 Rules, promising non stop action that comes with the experience of these two aggressively styled champions!
Joe Nader answers 20 questions for International Kickboxer Magazine. Read on to find out more about the man behind Powerplay Promotions.
1. What would you be doing if you weren’t a promoter?
I couldn’t think of anything else because I have been involved in this sport for 37 years.
2. Do you have any superstitions when fighting?
None at all.
3. What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve done during a promotion/fight night?
After having a quick shower and putting on my suit at the State Netball and Hockey Centre I had to rush to centre ring to make my speech, but as I was finishing my speech I noticed one of my sponsors pointing at me. I was trying to work out what he was trying to tell me, so I looked down and yes! My zip was down. How does one try to do up their zip in front of thousands of people without getting noticed? I just left it and folded my jacket over and I got through it. There were a few jokes thrown at me after the show, which was funny.
4. What is a surprising fact about you?
I have 10 God Children.
5. How would someone close to you describe you?
My fiancé calls me a grumpy old man.
6. What is one thing you are good at (apart from fighting)?
Chilling on the couch watching the footy — I also make the best Bolognese.
7. Favourite fighter?
8. Favourite food?
9. Favourite drink?
Hill Of Grace wine
10. Favourite tunes?
I’m a self confessed Pink Floyd nut.
11. Favourite TV show?
12. Favourite movie?
To many to choose from (Pulp Fiction).
13. Dream girl?
My fiancé Demi.
14. Dream wheels?
I have a Mercedes 64 model, two-door coupe sitting in my garage which needs a little attention. Or the Mercedes Gullwing — full of class.
15. Dream bout?
16. What can’t you stand?
People who don’t keep their word.
17. Best fight memory?
Watching the likes of Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost etc. in Japan while I was cornering Sam Greco.
18. Biggest/best break you ever got?
Still waiting for it!
19. In 10 years I’ll be…
Married with two kids.
20. What piece of advice would you give to an up and coming fighter?
Grasp every opportunity while you can, your fight career is too short to waste.