On Wednesday night, Alaska Fighting Championship will hold it’s first show of the year as veteran Heavyweights Brian Ryan and Julio Paulinho clash in a grudge match main event at AFC 128.
Taking place in Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska, AFC 128 sees the return of Ryan (19-7), who holds the promotional records for fastest knockout and longest running Heavyweight reign, and will step into the cage for the first time since a loss in 2013.
He takes on a familiar opponent in two-time AFC Heavyweight champion Paulinho (23-5), who defeated Ryan in their first bout way back in 2005 at AFC 13 when the fight was stopped due to a cut to the head of Ryan which handed him the first loss of his career.
Paulinho himself has not fought since 2012 but had won all three of his fights since returning to Alaska after a disastrous spell with the UFC, and will look to keep to winning ways against his familiar foe in this 11-year-old grudge match.
Also on the card, undefeated AFC Lightweight and Featherweight champion Nick Novelli (5-0) will welcome Maui Fighting Champion Zach Zane (4-3) to the promotion and will defend his Featherweight strap against the Hawaiian.
Novelli, known as “The Natural,” won both the titles with back-to-back victories in 2015 and will now return after 14 months out to make the first defence of his Featherweight crown and try continue his dominance of the AFC.
He will have his work cut out for him however as Zane has put together an impressive run as of late, winning four out of his last five fights including a first round submission win over Keoni Farm to win his Lightweight title.
Also on the card, which includes many debutants and up-and-coming fighters, is top Jackson-Wink MMA’s prospect Jordan Wright (6-0) who will make his AFC debut against John Stern, who himself makes his professional debut.
AFC 128 will be available to watch live on UFC Fight Pass on Wednesday, January 18 and on-demand after the event.
AFC 128 Fight Card
Brian Ryan vs. Julio Paulinho
Nick Novelli vs. Zach Zane – AFC Lightweight title
Clifford White vs. Chris Bennett
John Stern vs. Jordan Wright
Aaron Ulron vs. Skyler Moore
Ivan King vs. Caine Jamal
Kenny Hill vs. Andrew Garrett
Vedad Pezer vs. Dedrek Sanders