Sheffield hosted its first ever ACB card with a combination of seasoned veterans and promising prospects. Batraz Agnaev claimed the ACB light-heavyweight title and Pat Healy scored a shock split decision over Brendan Loughnane,
In the main event of ACB 65, Agnaev took on the experienced Thiago Silva for the ACB 205-pound championship.
The first round was very tentative from both fighters, with a clear ‘feeling-out’ process taking place. Agnaev tried to be the aggressor but Silva landed numerous eye-catching kicks to the legs and stomach of Silva.
In the second round, the pair started to land far more significant strikes with Silva tagging Agnaev with a beautiful counter to the chin of the Russian. Agnaev came back and continued to be the aggressor, landing blistering combinations to the face of Silva.
Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight halfway through the second round when Agnaev landed bombs on Silva, rocking him to the floor. He then continued to pile on pressure and threw several unanswered strikes forcing the referee to call a halt to proceedings.
The highly touted Loughnane faced American veteran “Bam Bam” Healy in one of Loughnane’s toughest tests to date. Much speculation surrounded the fight with people believing Loughnane was worthy of a contract with the UFC.
Loughnane dominated the first round with excellent striking, including brutal leg kicks to Healy. Loughnane coasted to an easy first round claim.
The second round was more even with Healy being the aggressor and attempting to engage in the clinch at any given occasion. Despite Loughnane landing more, cleaner shots, two judges were to see it otherwise.
Healy dominated the final round and had the Mancunian in all sorts of trouble, Loughnane clinging on to survive the final bell. Two judges scored the bout in favour of Healy, handing him the split decision victory. Healy dedicated the victory to his mother whom passed two months prior to his victory.
In a highly anticipated clash, highly touted lightweights Joshua Aveles and Leandro Silva went to war in a clear fight of the night at ACB 65.
Despite Aveles being the aggressor early on, Silva was landing the cleaner and heavier shots.
The second round, an absolute barnburner, saw Silva close to finishing Aveles in the second round but the training partner of Lorenz Larkin miraculously turned it round and tagged Silva, immediately turning the tide. Aveles almost finished Silva and continued to trouble him for the rest of the round.
In the third round, Aveles continued to assert his authority and put on a boxing clinic when he tagged Silva at will. Aveles took the fight by a clear unanimous decision victory.
Andrew Fisher claimed a famous victory when he upset former UFC competitor Niklas Backstrom in a three round war. Fisher, as proclaimed prior to the fight, loves to box and box is exactly what he did.
In the first round, Backstrom landed clean punches before taking the fight to the floor and almost landing a submission. Fisher recovered and went on to box impressively with good head movement and variation.
Rounds two and three belonged completely to the Sunderland native with numerous significant strikes landed to the face of Backstrom, causing a bloody mess on the side of the Swede’s head.
Backstrom landed a late flurry of punches knowing he needed the finish but Fisher countered beautifully and secured a last second takedown to claim an impressive unanimous decision victory.
Hometown boy Sam Boult claimed an emphatic victory over Adam Boussif when he sunk a rear-naked choke late into the first round.
Boult dominated the fight from the off and the ten-kilogram difference really began to show with Boult bullying Boussif to the cage at every opportunity before eventually winning in front of his home crowd.
Mike Grundy continued to impress yet again with an utterly dominant performance over Michael Tobin at ACB 65. Grundy shot early in the first and took Tobin to the floor where the Aussie looked rather uncomfortable.
Bar a late submission attempt from the “Great White”, Grundy went on to dominate proceedings in the second round also, producing a carbon copy of the opening round.
A cut appeared above the right eye of Tobin early in the third round, leaving a clear and exposed target for Grundy to work on. He did exactly that and after throwing a barrage of punches, finished the fight by submission, sinking a guillotine. Mike Grundy moves to 10-1 with the dominant performance whilst Tobin suffers his second consecutive loss at the hands of an Englishman
Other notable performances at ACB 65 included that of Lukasz Pilch and Aaron Robinson. Pilch looked raring to go prior to the fight and proved his eagerness when he stormed out from his corner and knocked out debutant James Doyle with his first onslaught of the fight.
Robinson faced Irishman Adam Caffrey in a bantamweight collision and after landing a clubbing right hand, was pushed to the fence. Robinson adverted the danger and took the back of Caffrey, sinking in a stunning rear-naked choke.
ACB 65 results:
Batraz Agnaev def. Thiago Silva via TKO (Punches) – (Round 2)
Pat Healy def. Brendan Loughnane via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Vyacheslav Vasilevsky def. Willie Noland via submission (Rear-naked choke) – (Round 1 – 4:56)
Joshua Aveles def. Leandro Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Alexey Polpudnikov def. Donald Sanchez via TKO (Punches) – (Round 1 – 1:32)
Andrew Fisher def. Niklas Bakstrom via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Sam Boult def. Adam Boussif via submission (Rear-naked choke) – (Round 1 – 3:54)
Mike Grundy defeat. Michael Tobin via submission (Guillotine) – (Round 3 – 4:38)
Aaron Aby def. Sam Halliday via submission (Head & arm choke) – (Round 1 – 3:06)
Antonio Sheldon def. Rico Franco via submission (Rear-naked choke) – (Round 2 – 4:14)
Aaron Robinson def. Adam Caffrey via submission (Rear-naked choke) – (Round 1 – 2:06)
Lukasz Pilch def. James Doyle via KO (Punches) – (Round 1 – 0:09)
Simon Stadnicki def. Ollie Coyne via submission (Rear-naked choke) – (Round 2 – 0:58)