May the Best Man Win

At Powerplay 42 on March 14, Matthew Stevens will participate in the co-main event of yet another stacked Powerplay card. On this night he will face a retuning phenom and in turn will be the ‘out of town’ fighter possibly more than he has ever been in his career.

However, Matthew is no stranger to the Powerplay ring and it has been a little over 12 months since he last graced the promotion with his presence. In that time Matthew has been incredibly busy progressing his career:

“12 months seems like a long time ago now. Since then I travelled to Darwin to fight in the NT fight series 8-man tournament. I took home the winner’s medal that night, and beat some tough fighters in Coby Porter, Josh Fitzroy and Marco Tentori on the way. Since then I signed a multi-fight contract with GLORY kickboxing and had my first fight in Dusseldorf in October, losing a split points decision, but learning a great deal”

Matthew’s first appearance on Powerplay was action packed to say the least. A late change in opponent gave him little time to prepare a game plan, and after escaping some early trouble, Matthew scored an impressive stoppage and earned a great deal of respect in doing so:

“My first fight on Powerplay was memorable for a couple of reasons. Firstly I had a change of opponent only a week or so out, which meant Asif took the fight on late notice – so full credit to him. I remember going into the first round just trying to gauge his strengths and weaknesses. He was a tricky fighter to deal with in terms of pressure and unorthodox techniques, but I managed to find my rhythm and timing and began turning the screws in the 2nd and ultimately finished it in that round. I also remember meeting Warwick Capper in the ring afterwards which was a bit of a highlight”

That impressive performance has paved the way for Matthew to get a call up in the co-main event against the returning Moulay Bakkali. Excited by the opportunity, Matthew is still very cognisant of the challenge that awaits:

“From what I have seen of Moulay, this is going to be a tough contest! Moulay is very well trained, well drilled, doesn’t make too many mistakes and likes to put on the forward pressure, which he is clearly very good at. He is the hometown favourite for a reason”

Moulay has of course been on a 2-year hiatus from the sport, and that throws up some unusual conundrums for Matthew, as there is no recent footage or form for him to assess and analyse. In any event, Matthew is expecting much the same from the ‘Rockin Moroccan’ when they do inevitably throw down:

“I’m expecting more of the same, to be honest. I’m expecting him to put on the pressure and bring a solid, technical fight. I’m also a technical fighter so I think the fans can expect a very entertaining but ultimately intelligent fight from the both of us. Again, being the hometown hero and crowd favourite means I will be up against it from the start. I’ll have to make sure I leave no stone unturned”

Based on Matthew’s assessment, a technical and entertaining fight awaits. Given the styles of both combatants are so similar, it is difficult to determine where Matthew will have those key advantages; and not surprisingly he is giving very little away:

“I don’t like giving too much away, but I’m frustrating to fight for a number of reasons”

So with Powerplay 42 only a couple of weeks away, Matthew is deep into his training camp and his preparation thus far has gone to plan. With a huge team of genuine savages around him, Matthew will be ready for anything come March 14:

“I have a huge team around me, from Jeremy Keeping and Richie Elliot – the trainers at my gym, Rikers. My training partners are abundant and too many to name, (and all savages), but I work especially with Charlie Chau who has graced the Powerplay stage before too”

Not one to sprout off outlandish pre fight predictions, Matthew’s final insight prior to the battle at Powerplay 42 is testament to both the fighter and professional he is:

“We all know there are no guarantees in the fight game, and anything can happen. I’ll be bringing my A-game, as I’m sure will Moulay, and that’s all we can do. May the best man win”

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Aleksei Dmitriev Interview

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.

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The Return

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 real deal.

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”

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Time for Payback – Aaron Goodson Interview

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:

“Yes absolutely!”

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:
Robert axiak from (WESTSIDE SEALANTS)
Jack & John Mclean from (MCLEAN CIVIL)

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:

“A ‘W’ for Aaron Goodson”

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Kill or be Killed – Chris Vlahogiannis Interview

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!”

Article by Josh Warner

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End Game – Blood Diamond Interview

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:

“I am Blood Diamond *snaps fingers
End game”

Article by Josh Warner

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AK has some new tools! – Chris Bradford Interview

At Powerplay 40 Chris Bradford entered a contest that most punters are referring to as the biggest rematch of the year and that’s crazy to think given we have only just hit March. Even though the year will no doubt produce some other cracker contests, Bradford v Boobyer II has the ingredients to be one of the all time greats.

First, back to Powerplay 39, the initial epic contest between these two warriors wasn’t even meant to be. However as fate would have it, Chris’s original opponent was pulled at literally the final hour and Joe stepped up. It’s a gutsy move to accept a new opponent with basically no time to prepare; however it was a decision that Chris did not hesitate to make:

“I wasn’t really to fussed with the change and the record of his, I have a job to do and I take it seriously. It’s the same as every other time I step into the ring. I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me, no matter how big a record, how big an opponent, how big of a name…
I’ll… fight… anyone”

True to his mantra, Chris entered the unknown like he has some many times before and confronted the challenges that presented themselves. He’s new opponent had a different style, different stance, different approach; none of it really mattered at the end of the day. Whether it was 8 weeks notice or 24 hours notice Chris approaches the contest as only a true professional does:

“To be perfectly honest I had three days notice on the change. The biggest thing was going from a southpaw to an orthodox fighter and the changes I have to make considering I’ve been training for so long for a southpaw. Yet a fight is a fight, and if you’re experienced, you should have the ability not only physically, but also mentally also to make the changes. Who knows when you will get a phone call for a big stage fight at late notice! A challenge is something I love and keeps the blood flowing rapidly through my veins”

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

Now the short notice opponent change was difficult for Chris, and on the other foot taking a fight on a couple days notice was incredibly difficult for Joe. Having said that, Joe really had nothing to lose going into the first fight given the circumstances that presented themselves, that in itself can put extra pressure on Chris to get the job done:

“None whatsoever [extra pressure], with him almost having double my fights, there was no pressure on me whatsoever….  everything to gain and nothing to loose. One thing I love about this, it’s the rush of an underdog. You should loose on paper, all the stats are against you, until you see in person the power of the underdogs bite!”

So the circumstances surrounding the first fight have been discussed in great length, and when the dust settled and crowd got their collective breaths back, Chris was awarded a much-deserved Unanimous Decision victory. From the commentary position Chris looked clinical; he picked his shots well, attacked the body and controlled the fight. Chris himself however was a far harsher critic:

“7/10 to be honest… I won’t go into what I wasn’t happy about cause we are fighting again, he’s tough and strong for sure, but I’ll say this…. AK has some new tools, some new angles and some new drive to finish this fight, properly”

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

Anyone who read the piece pertaining to Joe will no doubt recall Joe’s summation of the body shots that Chris delivered on that faithful evening. From this writers perspective, words like pinpoint and brutal immediately come to mind, and the strategic nature was also recognised given the vulnerable state of his opponents preparation and associated gas tank. Chris epitomises what it is to be a strategic fighter, and the tactics at Powerplay 39 underpin that:

“I feel I have a good knowledge and ability to adjust in a fight. My mind is always comfortable with being hurt at any one time, so it helps me compute situations quicker in real time and not panic. I just seen an opening and made it a target in the muscle memory bank. They where big shots for sure and Joe did well to get up from them, however I’m even stronger now so who knows what will happen”

The power and positioning of the body shots forced Joe to the canvas on multiple occasions, and to the amazement of those in attendance Joe was able to rise on every occasion. Although an impressive victory at the end of the day, Chris was unable to land the finishing blow and put Joe away. Even for such a consummate professional, this had to be frustrating:

“Yes a little upset to be honest, I’m angry at myself, but at the same time I won’t take away his heart and strength to get back up. I would have done the same if it was reversed, and same as he would, he’d be upset that I didn’t execute a plan to finish it”

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

No highlight reel finish, but a win is a win and after 5 gruelling rounds Chris’s hand was raised much to the appreciation of the respectful yet ruckus crowd in attendance. Given the all time great heavyweight contest that he’d just participated in, the feeling was very satisfying for Chris:

“I don’t feel there was any ruckus, just his support crew, who where awesome and loud in the crowd, just cheering him for his valued effort in taking the fight. In my head, never write me off, never think I’m done, never think I can’t win… I’ve proven people wrong before and I’m always a chance to do it again”

On March 23 Chris will again stand opposed to Joe in a rematch that has the collective mouths of combat sports fans watering. Given the very different circumstances preceding this fight, Chris is expecting a very different opponent:

“Joe will be fitter and stronger; he will feel more confident. That’s good for the crowd and paying spectators…I’ve been working hard on new ideas, the legend Sam Greco has been working with me a little also, Tom Smith my pad holder has me tweaked on the pads, so the package I deliver on the night will be new, strong and definitely damaging”

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

Given on this occasion Chris has had plenty of time to prepare for the fact that Joe will be standing opposite him in the ring, he’ll also have the opportunity to actually prepare for the man that he’ll face. That in itself will provide Chris with the opportunity to change things up a little and ensure he’s ready to go come March 23:

“Last time we fought, for the whole 8 week fight camp, I sparred 2 times. This time I’ll have a lot more sparring under my belt and being active time in the ring. Injury is reasonably low so far, so I am going to be well prepared for this one!”

Adding even a little more spice to this one (as if it needed it) is that fact that a World Title will be on the line and should Chris get the job done as he plans he’ll earn the right to have that belt draped over this shoulder. The title would be oh so sweet, but when it’s all said and done Chris fights for so much more:

Belts are great, and being titled those things as champions are a great thing and very good on a resume. 
Yet, for me, it’s bigger…. 
I’m a fighter, my honor and reputation of being a fighter and someone who fights anyone, is something I value so highly because of its truth. 
I didn’t have a Mum or Dad running me to training every day, I didn’t have a role model to look at or up to. I was brought into fighting at an early age, and not inside the ring. My purpose was all on me. 
All I have now and what I have built, is from my desire to fight, my hunger for stability in my life though fighting professionally, and respect when you meet me to know I’m actually a nice and gentle human. My drive and hunger brought me good fortune, which was then topped of successfully and ever thankfully, by people who stuck by me and believed in me to this day, and didn’t walk out on me in hard times”

“World champion is great! 
Yet…. Being called a humble bloke, a good fighter and nice person, is even better” 

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

Thank you to those that support me in my professional fight career, and stand by me.

 ‘Aaron McCurdy Concreting’
‘Your Style Rendering’
‘JTM Electrical”’
‘Bloom Venue’
‘Scope Australia’
‘Strong lift wear’
‘Culture Kings’
‘Versatile Windows’
‘IL Matto Pizza & Bar’
‘Breakwater Shed Cafe’
‘Wise Monkey Tattoos’’
‘Hotondo Homes’
‘Spartan Supplements’

Article by Josh Warner

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“I’m a Fighter, and Fighters Fight!” – Joe Boobyer Interview

Under some genuinely unexpected circumstances, the clash between Joe Boobyer and Chris Bradford back at Powerplay 39 produced arguably one of the best Full Thai Rules Heavyweight fights this Country has seen. Now, with a full training camp, Joe and Chris are set to lock horns again this time with a World Title on the line.

Joe’s journey to this rematch, in fact his journey through martial arts in general is full of trials, tribulations and of course huge amounts of success. Most would not understand nor appreciate how tough it actually is to make it in this sport, and Joe’s journey is testament to that:

“I started out boxing at age 14, and was all about that until I hit the age where we’d go out and party at bars and clubs, that cost me about a year but then I got back to training when a friend started MMA and I went along for a session, after a handful of amateur MMA fights and padded stand up fights it was clear I enjoyed striking more! Focusing on Muay Thai and kickboxing I had a few more fights in England before heading off to Thailand in 2011 for a six month training holiday, where I had a string of successful performances and had my first taste of the big stage fighting in a stadium in China in front of thousands of people! After arriving back in England I got a message from one of the guys I met on that trip offering me a sponsorship at a gym he and a friend had taken over, so I flew back and spent the next few years fighting full time. The biggest challenge was always finances; the sport is tough and pays peanuts, especially in Thailand. I lived in the gym with the other fighters and we’d literally be fighting to eat. The benefits of that lifestyle were the solid team we built and the approach to fighting. When you train full time most of your fights will be on a week’s notice, and you often don’t know who you’ll be fighting until you arrive at the stadium. I won a world title at heavyweight in Bangkok which was pretty cool, but even in the local stadium I’ve fought world champions for 6,000 baht ($260aud). I think my ultimate accomplishment would be winning 11 straight fights with the 11th being for the title in Bangkok, or on a personal note training in Thailand at a gym where Steve Mckinnon was a special guest and I was just a kid training, only to fight him years later. Kind of surreal!”

Joe Boobyer PP40

With much hype pertaining to Chris Bradford’s fight at Powerplay 39, his Thai opponent pulled the pin at the last minute and literally on a days notice, Joe stepped up and took the fight. With the utmost respect to Joe, one must ponder why anyone would want to get in the ring with Chris period let alone on a days notice, but from Joe’s perspective the answer was simple… fighters fight! Having said that, the months prior to Powerplay 39 were less than ideal:

“It had been a pretty rough couple of months for me! Those who don’t know I spent a couple of weeks in jail in Bangkok in a small cell shoulder to shoulder with 121 other people eating boiled cucumber and rice twice a day, so I had a fair amount of uncertainty going forward after that! Back to England to see the family and friends, then the long trip back here to Melbourne. When Demi called and told me they needed somebody I called a couple of friends to see if they were available, they weren’t. ‘I’m a fighter, and fighters fight’ I said to myself.”

To put is simply, Joe exhibited ‘testicular fortitude’ incomparable to most, however when the dust settled, he still had to fight Chris on a days notice. No time for training camps; no time for game plans and no time for mental preparation, however strangely enough the thought of the unknown was not that foreign to Joe:

“I’ve fought almost all of my career in Asia, where you rarely know your opponent before fight night, you just train to fight, go out and do what you do. I was a scrappy kid too, if somebody started a fight with me in the street I wouldn’t try to make a plan of attack, there would just be a fight. That mindset doesn’t leave you, if you don’t believe you can beat anybody in the world you have no business fighting”

Joe Boobyer PP40

The factors going against Joe were numerous and have been discussed in great detail, but none the less Joe stepped in and literally fought his heart out for 5 of the most entertaining rounds in the sports history. From the commentary position this writer called it the best fight I have called across any martial arts discipline, and I suggest many of the fans in attendance agreed. Upon reflection, Joe enjoyed the ‘good ol’ scrap:

“It was fun! I fought scrappy and sloppy but it was entertaining, I landed some good shots in the exchanges and went 5 very long rounds haha, felt like the good old days just punching on because you enjoy it”

As Joe mentioned he landed some very clean shots on Chris, as did Chris on Joe. The body shots landed by Chris were on another level and as a result Joe found himself on the canvas on a few occasions. Anyone who has had the infamous pleasure of taking a flush body shot will tell you how badly it hurts, something that is not dissimilar to Joe’s experience:

“Ever been hit in the liver? You don’t know if you’re gonna be sick or sh#t yourself”

Joe Boobyer vs Chris Bradford

Thankfully on that faithful evening Joe did neither! What he did instead was get up and continue to ‘punch on’ as he so delicately put it. Not a single person in the building would have blamed Joe for staying down given the circumstances at hand, however clearly this is not in Joe’s DNA. So why did Joe continue to get up…?

“Just to see if I could! Nah, I’ve knocked bigger guys out with single shots before, so I always know I’m one shot away from winning, all I have to do is land one clean … that and coach Toohey in my corner screaming at me hahaha”

Joe Boobyer vs Chris Bradford

The ‘extra man’ in a fighter’s corner is often underestimated and underappreciated. Although Joe didn’t have a huge amount of direct support on the night as his quick inclusion left him no real ability to get his friends to come along, he won a lot of fans based purely on the heart he demonstrated over 5 rounds. The noise was deafening, and although hurting, Joe was no doubt lifted by the support he received:

“They were awesome! Given I was out drinking beers with my Mrs. the night before, I hadn’t sold many tickets so all the support I got was won on the night! The crowd really do make a difference”

The epic contest at Powerplay 39 will forever be etched in history, however now Joe must look ahead to Powerplay 40 where he will again stand opposed to Chis Bradford. This time around however the preparation and planning will be different, hell Joe might even get a few crunches in:

“I hadn’t trained in months before the first one and with the circumstances leading up to it I’d been malnourished, unconditioned, then on the pi$s with mates after the Thailand “adventure” was over. I’ve done a few sit ups this time”

Joe’s preparation will occur at one of the premier martial arts gyms in the Country under the guidance genuine Muay Thai royalty. With a gamut of excellent sparring partners and world-class coaches, Joe will no doubt enter the ring on this occasion in the best condition possible:

“I’m training out of Absolute MMA with a strong stable of fighters from 80kg state and national champs/former champs up to 110kg full time pro’s. I have some good guys here under the guidance of Toohey, Tao and Simon”

Joe Boobyer vs Chris Bradford

As each day passes, this epic contest gets closer and closer and with that comes an opportunity for redemption. In addition to evening the score, should Joe bring home the chocolates he’ll also earn the right to be called a World Champion. Having a title strapped around his waist would be a perfect start to what Joe hopes will be a prosperous year:

“Belts are always cool, now I’m in the process of moving to Australia it’s a great way to kick things off!”

Article by Josh Warner

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He’s Going to Feel My Power That’s for Sure – Aaron Goodson Interview

Coming off an emphatic victory at Powerplay 39, the wave of momentum that Melbourne’s Aaron Goodson continues to ride now better represents a tidal-wave of momentum. The tidal-wave however is going to run straight into a concrete wall come Powerplay 40 when Aaron stands opposed to kickboxing sensation and multiple time World Champion Steve Moxon. Only time will tell if the tidal-wave will be strong enough to break through the concrete and continue on its devastating path.

But first back to Powerplay 39 where Aaron took on the unquestionably durable Tyson Turner. Aaron’s victory on that evening can be described as nothing less than decisive and although satisfied, Aaron was definitely complimentary as to the toughness of his opponent:

“Tyson Turner was one tough fighter! I didn’t find him hard to fight he just had very hard head…”

Based on Tyson’s toughness, Aaron was unable to find the finish albeit he threw everything at Tyson, including the kitchen sink, in order to do so. For those who watched Aaron apply his craft, it was clear that he controlled the centre of the ring and diversified his combinations leaving Tyson guessing all fight; a perfectly executed game plan it would seem:

“My plan was to let him feel my power & take control from there and I did just that”

Ever since that victory, Tyson has been carefully rejuvenating his body in preparation for whatever challenge presents itself next. A consummate professional, Aaron is all too aware that taking care of his body post fight is the initial key to success in the next, even if it means confronting the torturous ice bath over and over again:

“Yes, I love an ice bath! Recovery & rest is just as important as training! I try to have an ice bath after every intense session”

The next test for Aaron however will be far more intense than any ice bath he has experienced in the past, and that test will come in the form of Steve Moxon. Giving up a wealth of experience Aaron will have to overcome a multitude of barriers if he is to conquer the mountainous challenge ahead:

“Steve’s had nearly triple the amount of fights I’ve had. His fought some of the biggest names on the planet… this will be a huge step up for me but at the same time it’s time to step up and start fighting the big guns and for a world title it’s even greater”

Aaron’s run of impressive victories coupled with some spectacular performances has rendered him one of the brightest prospects in the sport. Many observers, including this writer, would share that perception however it’s probably safe to say that Steve doesn’t agree. In fact, Steve feels that Aaron may be a bright prospect in Nth Melbourne but that’s it, a comment that Aaron has really brushed off:

“Lol I respect Steve, I actually used to look up to Steve and thought really high of him. I’m looking forward to fighting Steve; I’m a fighter, I’m here to fight this is what I do. I believe I have what it takes to beat him and take my fighting to another level”

Even though Aaron has been through numerous fight camps, preparing for a fighter as experienced as Steve may require him to slightly adjust some elements so as to ensure he covers all bases and ticks all the boxes. These adjustments however will remain within the inner sanctum until the plan is implemented on fight night:

“I have always took my fights serious but I have tweaked a few things this time round”

This particular fight camp of which will have such a huge influence on the outcome of the fight, will be overseen by familiar faces whom for a long time have assisted Aaron to ensure he is physically and mentally prepared for whatever Steve brings on fight night:

“I have a great camp & an awesome bunch supporting me and pushing me through some elite training & different training methods. My key coaches for this fight will be my main coach Joe Nader, my strength & conditioning coaches Ned Vrselja & Judd Reid; sparring partner & UFC champion Jake Mathews & my stable brothers from Powerplay Fight Club”

Both combatants encompass an arsenal of weapons to which they each believe will be the defining factor in this fight as it applies to earning a colossal ‘W’. In Aaron’s case, he believes his power will be the difference; power that will inevitably break Steve:

“[I’ll] keep him at range & [my] power, he’s going to feel my power that’s for sure”

Regardless of the stage and status of one’s career, a world title is a big deal and brings with it validation that you are one of the very best in the sport. The winner of this much anticipated contest will earn the right to have that title draped over their shoulder, and for Aaron that is something that would be a true honour:

“Yeah for sure a world title is huge it means a lot! Another stepping stone to being up there with the big names & that would be an honour. Can’t wait for March 23!!

“Also a Big shout out to my major sponsors:”

  • NED & ANTON – high rise carpentry
  • JUDD REID – chikara martial arts academy 
  • MICHELLE REEVES – (MRT) body transformations
  • JACK & JOHN MCLEAN – Mclean civil
  • ROB – Westside sealants
  • IVAN – Parkside construction
  • GLEN – mask excavations

Article by Josh Warner

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Everyone is hittable! – Steve Moxon Interview

At Powerplay 40 on March 23 two of the very best K1 fighters in the world will battle it out with a World Title on the line! On this faithful evening Steve Moxon will face Aaron Goodson in a bout that has fight of the year written all over it.

A talented athlete, Steve’s journey to kickboxing supremacy started in a small country town where he first held a footy and cricket ball long before ever lacing up a pair of gloves. Who would have thought that stepping foot in a tiny gym would lead to a potential hall of fame career?

“I started kickboxing when I was 18 years old out of a small gym in a shed. This was purely to try something different and for fitness. Before that, I didn’t do any martial arts. In Ballan where I grew up I played Football and Cricket as that’s what everyone did growing up in a small country town”

After only a short period, Steve’s hunger for the sport rapidly developed and before he knew it he was sparing and immersing himself in opportunities in which to prove his worth. Training with and competing against some of the best fighters in the world at the time allowed Steve to confirm in his own mind that he was just as good as them and belonged in the land of kickboxing giants:

When I started kickboxing, the classes were just on each Monday and Wednesday night. I was really enjoying the training and watching the couple of fighters in the gym training extra hard. I began sparring and got beat up every session, but I kept coming back for more. I kept losing weight and was getting better and better each week. I got offered by my coach if I wanted to fight (after just 8 months of training) which I didn’t hesitate to say yes!”

“I was a promoters dream as I would bring a whole town of support to each fight. I won my first fight, loved it and kept going from there. After a few fights I realised that the better the opponent, there was an opportunity to make a couple of hundred Dollars. So I wanted to take on the best. I went 16 fights undefeated, with my first loss coming on a Dutch reality TV show that I got selected to fight on and represent Australia in Koh Samui Thailand called Enfusion Fight Series 2010”

“Although I lost the fight against Pasi Lukana from Finland with 75 fights experience, I was on the show and got to witness the best fighters in the world such as K1 Champ Gago Drago, Thai Champ Pugansuk, and Italian champ Armen Petrosian. I realised that these guys are the best fighters in the world, they trained just like me, got nervous just like me and I could hang with the big boys in the fight world”

Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34

Every great fighter inevitably has an experienced coach and/or mentor who provides the guiding light and influence required to compete and prosper at the highest level. In Steve’s case, relocating to Sydney allowed him to work with one of the biggest icons in Australian combat sports:

“In 2009 I moved to Sydney to further my fight career and train with some of the best fighters in the country such as The Chief Peter Graham. A multiple Heavy weight World Champion of Karate, Kickboxing and MMA, he taught me to take every opportunity, never say no to a fight and to always be professional”

The next chapter in Steve Moxon’s story will see him take on Aaron Goodson at 77kg with a World Title on the line. Although quite a bit heavier than what Steve would usually compete, he is comfortable being the ‘smaller’ fighter and believes his experience and wisdom will assist him to navigate past a very dangerous opponent:

“Aaron is a very good kickboxer, he has great technique and has had a lot of fights. I am a 70kg to 72kg fighter and was the smallest fighter on the world scene behind Mike Zambidis. I have taken this fight at 77kgs against a good fighter in Aaron, but I always believe that I have the knowledge and experience to win”   

After an array of impressive finishes, including a one sided drubbing back at Powerplay 39, Aaron is on a genuine tear right now and is rightfully considered one of the hottest prospects in the sport. Well this may be the opinion of some including this writer, however it is definitely not the opinion of Steve Moxon:

“Is he? He is one of the hottest prospects in the North Melbourne Kickboxing scene, that’s about all”

Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34

Clearly not intimidated nor impressed by his opponent, the wave of momentum Aaron is currently riding is not a consideration to Steve who feels as though he’ll find the holes in Aaron’s game and exploit them accordingly. So as far as Steve’s plan for Aaron goes, his mindset is simple:

“Everyone is hittable!”

Powerplay 40 is now a mere 7 weeks away and as such Steve is in full preparation mode so as to ensure he is in peak physical condition to launch an aggressive attack on his opponent once that bell sounds. Steve relies on familiar surroundings as well as an element of diversity as it applies to his training camps:

“I am training out of my gym that I own in Geelong – The Training Room Geelong, I have some great young fighters in there to help me out. And on weekends I travel to different gyms for some extra training and sparring”

Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34
Steve Moxon vs Aaron Goodson - Powerplay 40

A fighter’s corner is a pivotal element of success and as such those people are often trusted advisors, mentors and practitioners able to share wisdom. In Steve’s case, he has all of these boxes ticked across the board:

“In my corner will be – My #1 coach, training partner, mentor and mother of our son (Tyson), is my amazing girlfriend Lena. I will have Dave Ashmore in my corner for this fight for his fight mind and he has been by my side when I have fought all over the world on the big shows. I will also have my right hand man at my gym James; who helps me out with pad work, extra conditioning and sparring. He is so fit, so I have to work hard to just keep up each day”

World Title opportunities don’t come around every day, and although Steve has been lucky enough to win multiple World Titles along the journey he is buoyed and excited by the prospect of having another strap placed around his waist:

“World titles for me are a great tool to market my gym better and to boost my profile. This adds some more prestige to the already great fight it will be”.

Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34

Article by Josh Warner

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Chris Bradford Interview – Stand Tall, Walk Forward

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”

Chris Bradford

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”

Chris Bradford

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”

Chris Bradford

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”

Bradford v Kadamduan

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:

  • ‘IL Matto Pizza & Bar’ – Salvo
  • ‘Bloom Venue’ – John and Mick
  • ‘Versatile Windows’ – Clint
  • ‘Aaron McCurdy Constructions’ – Aaron
  • ‘Your Style Rendering’ – Buzz
  • ‘The Breakwater Shed Cafe’ – Jason
  • ‘Wise Monkey Tattoos’ – Hayley
  • ‘Hotondo Homes’ – Andrew

Article by Josh Warner

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Kim-Alina Baldacchino – No Bad Blood, Just Bad Intentions

At upcoming Powerplay 39, Kim-Alina Baldacchino will step back into the ring and look to avenge a questionable defeat when she throws down with the hard hitting Jacinta Paskalidis. The road back to the Powerplay ring has been wrought with challenges and what sometimes seemed insurmountable barriers, however Kim-Alina is back and ready to do what she loves:

“I love the mental and physical challenges that kickboxing has. I love how I am continually learning and pushing my limits. I love being able to put all my practice into play in the ring”

In what has been an exciting career thus far, Kim-Alina has fought on Powerplay 3 times and continues to enjoy the learning experience one achieves when fighting on the premier K1 promotion in the Country. From Kim-Alina’s perspective, the fourth iteration will be no different:

“It will be my 4th fight on Powerplay I always gain lots of experience fighting on Australia’s leading K1 show” 

Kim-Alina Baldacchino

Kim-Alina’s road back to Powerplay commenced earlier this year when she had the distinct honour of competing in front of the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although Arnie is an unquestionable presence, he was no distraction to Kim-Alina who simply went about her business and got the job done:

“After 3 years out of the ring it was great to be back in there. I was there to do a job and it didn’t make me fight any different with having him there ringside my focus was on one thing and that was my opponent” 

Up next is a familiar opponent in the form of Jacinta Paskalidis. Kim-Alina and Jacinta have been opponents turned training partners turned opponents again which is somewhat of a unique blend. Regardless of the history, come fight night Jacinta is simply another opponent standing in the way of Kim-Alina achieving her ultimate goals:

“In the past it was such a struggle finding opponents so to be matched again I’m happy. And our last fight a few years back went her way for some reason so will be good to avenge that loss. We have sparred not long back as she helped me prepare for the last fight so there is no bad blood between us. She is just another opponent standing in my way so it’s all business on the night”

Kim-Alina Baldacchino

Given the relationship between the combatants this rematch is not inclusive of the stereotypical bad blood that rematches can typically produce; but alas that won’t stop Kim-Alina from trying to put her opponent away in highlight reel fashion:

“No bad blood just bad intentions lol”

Kim-Alina Baldacchino

Based on the history that these two have, one may ponder the fact that they would know each other’s games incredibly well. Often, thinking too much about your opponent’s strengths or game plan can deter from the real focus which is oneself. Given Kim-Alina’s experience however, she is not wasting any time or energy thinking about what strengths Jacinta will bring to the ring on November 24:

“She will bring all of them, I’m not bothered what she brings I just listen to what my coaches ask of me”

As Kim-Alina prepares for this important rematch, she will do so in familiar territory which familiar faces pushing her to her limits. Most wouldn’t understand nor appreciate the grind a fighter must go through in preparation for fight night; the juggling act balancing prep with the normalities of life can often be more difficult than the fight itself:

“I will be training out of The 44 Gym with my husband Steven Baldacchino and a lot of my training will be done in Melbourne at North Melbourne Boxing Gym with Sam Greco. A typical day for me is up at 4:30am train then off to work at my full time job and then travel 2-2.5hrs one way to training in Melbourne. I travel to Melbourne 3-4 times per week

As Kim-Alina mentioned, her husband and fellow martial arts standout Steve Baldacchino is a critical part of her team at both a personal and professional level. Steve’s knowledge of the sport ensures he performs critical functions as it pertains to coaching, training and motivating. His general presence also provides a sense of calm when engaged in battle:

“Steve is my best training partner. It’s great to train with him, we feed off one another and his always there for me. He always motivates and pushes me. It’s great to have him in my corner as he knows me best”

Kim-Alina Baldacchino

With all of the intricate elements coming together Kim-Alina is confident she has the ultimate recipe for success which will inevitably bring her the redemption filled ‘W’ at Powerplay 39. Above all the biggest advantage Kim-Alina feels she will have is quite simple:

“Having the best team and support in my corner”

So now the K1 community will eagerly await this much anticipated showdown and if Kim-Alina has anything to say about it, it’s going to be one hell of a fight:

“It’s going to be packed full action with the awesome match ups to finish off the year” 

Powerplay 39

Article by Josh Warner

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The Weapon is Ready to go to War

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 Smith defeats JWP at Powerplay 24

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”

Toby & Blair Smith

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” 

Toby Smith defeats JWP at Powerplay 24

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” 

Smith vs Miranda

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”

Article by Josh Warner

Photos by William Luu

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Aaron Goodson Interview


At Powerplay 39 on November 24 Aaron Goodson will look to increase his ever broadening KO ratio when he battles the rugged Tyson Turner in a contest that has ‘epic’ written all over it.

Aaron has marvelled at the sport of martial arts for a majority of his life, an obsession that spawned from his later father. Having been surrounded by legends of the sport for so long, it’s no wonder Aaron is dedicating his life to becoming the very best martial artist he can be:

“As a kid I would to go to the gym with my late father he who was a trainer of champions… He trained the likes of Stan ‘the man’ Longinidis, Sam Greco, Lester Ellis & Joe Nader who I now train under just to name a few. I loved the sport that much every day off I had from school I would be at the gym with my dad watching him train his fighters which led to being around these legends of the sport everyday was my only interest in life to be like them! My father passed away when I was 12 years old and it wasn’t until I turned 20 when I knew what I wanted to do with my life! The first gym I went to was Powerplay to train with Joe Nader who I have been with since”

The relationship between a fighter and their trainer will often dictate the heights they are ultimately able to reach. The evolution of this relationship results in the fighter putting their entire trust in their trainer to lead them down the appropriate course to success. In Aaron’s case, his relationship with trainer and mentor Joe Nader represents that of a father and son:

“My biggest influence on my career would by far be my trainer & father figure Joe Nader; being with him from a “pup” he has been my guidance to every success & where I am today”

Aaron’s time with Joe Nader, the Powerplay gym and Powerplay promotions has led to a huge amount of success; and as importantly it has intricately shaped the man that Aaron is proud to be today:

“Fighting out of Powerplay I have won Victorian, 2 x State, South Pacific, Commonwealth & 2x World titles… Not only have I won multiple titles & be known as a champion I have become a man & most of all a better person”

On November 24 Aaron will look to continue his winning ways when he meets the tough Tyson Turner. Although Aaron is not overly familiar with Tyson, he is very cognisant of the fact that Tyson will bring the fight to the Melbourne Pavilion and Aaron will be all too happy to oblige:

“My next opponent Tyson Turner the only thing I know about this boy he has had 26 fights for 21 wins & from what I have heard he is tuff & is coming to fight which any fighter should so I’m looking forward to a good hard fight. I can & will adapt to what he has to bring November 24th”

As has been the stringent routine for some time now, Aaron will prepare for battle at the Powerplay Gym under the watchful eye of head trainer Joe Nader. Aaron’s commitment to his preparation is evident by the amount of time he spends in the gym continually refining his craft and evolving. As a consummate professional, Aaron is also conscious of the role that condition plays in this sport and will prepare to ensure he has cardio for days:

“I am preparing for this fight at Powerplay gym where I prepare for every fight 5 days a week. I go to another gym we call SHOP 1day every Tuesday for my strength training. My key trainers are my main trainer Joe Nader & strength & conditioning coaches Ned Versaljer & Judd Reid”

So as Aaron prepares to enter this fight in which the key strengths of his opponent are somewhat an unknown, Aaron will reply on his own strengths to ensure his hand is raised when this one is all said and done. With that in mind, there are no real surprises at it applies to what Aaron believes will deliver that ‘W’:

“I feel my key advantages in this fight & every fight will be my leg kicks & strong hands (boxing)”

So in just 6 short weeks Aaron Goodson will enter the Powerplay ring and do exactly what he loves to do. All of the preparation, the hard the work, the blood, sweat and tears will ensure a fit and focussed warrior will put on a show as his continues his path to greatness.

“After all my hard training Powerplay 39 will finish up with another W next to my name & I will give Tyson Turner the fight of his life! Osu”

Article by Josh Warner

Photos by Matt Bottos

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Ruby Rose wins charity boxing match

DJ Ruby Rose has won a charity boxing match after just three months of training against a fighter with only two years’ experience.

Rose went head to head with lightweight Yi Sia at Moonie Valley racecourse tonight.

She won all three of the two-minute rounds on points and was announced as the winner, 60 to 44, by referee Bryce Birtwistle.

After the amateur fight, Rose told the Herald Sun she jumped at the chance to learn how to box after being invited to take part in the event, which raised money for youth mental health foundation Headspace.

”There’s a lot celebrities can do for charity, like Dancing with the Stars but I’m not much of a dancer,” Rose said.

Ruby Rose before the bout. Picture: Stuart Walmsley

Rose who has battled with alcohol addiction said she would never forget the experience.

”This Saturday coming up is my one year of being sober and it feels incredible and I’ve just had my first amateur boxing match,” Rose said.

”It’s crazy. A year and a half ago, I couldn’t have done this,” Rose said.

Rose said she trained for two to three hours a day for the past two months.

”I went up against a boxer whose been boxing for two years and she was a delight, really great to box with.

”She really put me through the works.”

Ruby Rose takes part in a boxing match for charity against Yi Sia. Picture: Stuart Walmsley  

A sufferer of depression in her teenage years, Rose has been a long-time ambassador for the foundation.

She said she would be keen to compete in a similar event.

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