Fred Sikking (left) stares down Boy Boy Martin. Photo: World Fighting League

Although most attention on Sunday’s WFL: The Final 16 was for main eventers Melvin Manhoef and Remy Bonjasky, the most exciting bout of the event was undoubtedly the first-round match-up of the 16-man tournament between Fred Sikking and Boy Boy Martin.

Sikking won by split-decision and advanced to the last eight, which frustrated Martin and a small portion of the crowd in Topsportcentrum Almere, who booed after the decision was announced.

Despite all the controversy, “The Piranha” is glad he got to avenge a loss on his record.

“I’m not the jury, but I think it could have gone either way,” Sikking tells MMA Plus less than 24 hours after the fight. “But that doesn’t take away that I’m happy and proud. I think I won the first two rounds and showed a lot of character in the third round to win a great fight.”

Sikking is not a stranger to controversial judge’s decisions. The 37-year-old Dutchman felt he was robbed out of a win when he first fought Martin in 2015 on The Best of all Elements.

“I’ve fought a lot of times in the last two years. This year I’ve fought eight times, just like last year. Boy Boy hasn’t. I’ve gone to decision a lot and I think I’ve lost around seven of my last nine fights by a controversial decision”, Sikking says.

“I’m just glad the judges gave the decision in my favour this time. It’s unfortunate that this happened to Boy Boy, but that’s the fight game.”

For now, Sikking wants to heal up as fast as possible. The Dutchman told MMA Plus after the weigh-ins on Saturday he has a fight coming up in Hilversum, his hometown, so he hopes his battle scars of Sunday’s fight will soon be gone.

“At the end of the third round, Boy Boy hit me after the ref called for a break,” Sikking says. “That opened a cut above my eye that needed nine stitches afterwards. I hope I’ll heal up fast so I’ll be ready for the final eight.”

Sikking qualified alongside Tarik Khbabez, Murat Aygun, Fabio Kwasi, Sam Tevette and Levi Rigters for the quarterfinals of the 16-man tournament. The date and match-ups for the next event and the name of an extra wildcard fighter will be announced in the near-future.