We knew it was going to be a memorable fight when Nebraskan native ‘Quick’ Nick Honstein walked out in front of Vaculik’s home crowd to the song ‘Wipeout’. Professional surfer Vaculik walks out second to a deafening applause – we know who the crowd is here to see. Once the formalities are done the two bantamweights stand opposite each other in the PWP cage, they touch gloves and the first ever PWP title fight is under way.
It’s a blistering pace from the get go. Vaculik and Honstein trade punches and kicks as they feel each other out. Then in a split second Honstein picks Vaculik up on his shoulder and walks him around the cage, dumping him heavily in front of his corner men. Vaculik is unfazed, and manages to scramble back up to his feet. As they dirty box on the cage, it looks as though Vaculik tags Honstein, forcing him to stumble. Vaculik manages to throw his leg over Honstein’s shoulder, looking for a triangle. Honstein maneuvers his body to take the pressure off, but Vaculik manages to wrangle a deep arm bar, forcing Honstein to end his PWP campaign by submitting in the first round. With Honstein’s tap, we crown Richie Vaculik the PWP Bantamweight Champion.
Richie is ecstatic winning his first professional MMA title in front of a sell out home crowd at Sharkies Cronulla. In the post-fight interview Richie says “I’ve never done a fu**ing triangle in my life, don’t know what one is, I just fell into it!” Honstein was gracious in defeat, expressing that he needs to work on his Jiu Jitsu now.
In the semi-main event, local welterweight Manuel ‘Chalate’ Rodriguez faced off against promising up and comer Regan Wilson. They start out trading sharp punches, Manny working for the inside and Regan using his long arms to pump the jabs from the outside. Rodriguez manages to wobble Wilson with a left head kick, but Wilson recovers quickly and looks unfazed. Round two starts off with crisp punches. Wilson grabs Rodriguez in a Thai clinch and pumps his midsection with 4 or 5 hard knees. Wilson then gets a solid take-down, but Rodriguez manages to work his way into a dominant position, dropping hard elbows onto the head of Wilson.
The third starts much the same, with Rodriguez looking the fresher of the two. Then it happens. Wilson’s night is ended abruptly with a vicious right head kick that echoes throughout the auditorium. Rodriguez pounces and the ref has to wrestle him off and rule it a TKO. Wilson is out cold and the crowd erupts in disbelief at the knockout they just saw. That kick will be talked about for a long time! Rodriguez jumps on the mike, thanks his friends, training camp and sponsors, then proceeds to call out Robert Whittaker, saying Whittaker has been dodging him.
A few quick stoppages highlight the under card. Shane Nix defeated Rick Alchin via ref stoppage. The two welterweights exchanged stand up techniques until Nix worked Alchin against the cage, positioning himself heavily over Alchin and throwing several hard punches, forcing the ref to put a stop to it. Local Mat Wilken was looking hungry for a win in front of his home crowd until Shabe Kafo forced him to submit with an arm bar. Another quick submission in Jacob Pettett vs. Ricky Rea, with Pettett popping a quick rear naked choke on Rea, forcing the tap early in the first.
Earlier in the night Brett Gainsford faced off against TP Fight Team’s Ryan Mathews in what was widely thought of as the fight of the night. Gainsford starts extremely strong, dominating Mathews with sharp punches and taking him down with ease. Mathews though shows excellent ground skills to defend a deep arm bar, using his rubber limbs to backflip out of the arm bar and avoid the submission. Round two and Gainsford starts strong again, racking up the points against Mathews. However Gainsford starts to tire and Mathews still looks sharp. The third is all Mathews. Gainsford is utterly exhausted and Mathews works to finish SPMA fighter before the end of the round. He doesn’t get there though, and Gainsford did enough early in the fight to take a split decision over Mathews.
The night’s second bout saw the big boys Ben Lewis and Randall Rayment clash in centre cage. It was looking like a sharp stand-up contest until Rayment got the takedown and made the audience cringe with an awkward figure four on Lewis’ arm, leaving him no choice but to tap. The opening bout was the bloodiest of the night, with Canberrian Steve Reeks opening up a big cut on Christopher Hoy’s head. Reeks then sunk in a guillotine forcing Hoy to tap out and end the first fight on the PWP4 card.
The night was a resounding success, with a capacity crowd filling the Sharkies Leagues Club Auditorium. PWP also set a new benchmark with our online (free) live stream on epicentre.tv, with viewership peaking at 10, 000 during the Vaculik/Honstein title fight. We couldn’t produce an event of this caliber without excellent sponsors, so we’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to our presenting sponsor Boost Mobile, major sponsor Moskova Underwear, and all our other sponsors that make this event possible.
The positive response to PWP4 has been overwhelming, and with that we’re already looking toward PWP5! Photos are up and videos will be released shortly, so keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest PWP news. Stay proud!Tags: manuel rodriguez, mma, nick honstein, photos, PWP title, pwp4, regan wilson, results, richie vaculik, rick alchin, shane nix, sharkies cronulla