THE MATRIX FIGHT NIGHT 4 EVENT took place in Dubai Friday night, with the card producing some exciting bouts; most of whom resulted in a finish.
The stacked card featuring some of the most prominent Mixed Martial Artists in India, including two high profile rematches featuring some of the biggest rivalries in the circuit.
The night began with a Featherweight bout between Sumit Khade and Pawan Goyat. The two had fought previously in the SFL 2018 semi-finals and in just 42 seconds, Sumit had knocked Pawan out with a head-kick. This time, it took a little longer; Sumit landed a similar-looking head kick that knocked Pawan senseless 1 minute 45 seconds into the first round. Pawan had to be stretched off from the cage. Sumeet progressed to 10-3 in his professional career, while Pawan slid to 5-7.
The opening fight set the tone for the night. Up next was a Lightweight match-up between Sanjeet Budhwar and pro debutant Shyam Anand. After the initial back-and-forth, Sanjeet landed a combination that had Shyam momentarily hurt and hesitant. Sensing the opportunity, Sanjeet took Shyam down and promply finished him with ground-and-pound. The bout lasted 3 minutes and 39 seconds, and while Shyam got off to a losing start in his pro career, Sanjeet's record rose to 5-1.
The next fight, between Vikas Singh Ruhil and Kuldeep Singh Maan Sekhon, was the first of the night to go beyond the first round. But halfway into the second round Vikas got Kuldeep in an americana and forced him to tap out.
This was followed by a Strawweight bout between Ishika Thite (who came in with a 0-1 record) and 20 year old prospect Naipunya Sunil making her debut. This was a highly competitive fight; the only one that went the distance. Naipunya was having success with her striking but from eventually Ishita, being the bigger girl, used her size to pin Naipunya to the cage and make her carry her body weight. The strategy worked and she got the unanimous decision victory from the judges; notching up the first win of her professional career.
Up next was a Welterweight contest between Ravindra Balhara and Abhishek Rana, which saw both men go toe to toe with each other through a heavily competitive first round. The second round also saw a flurry of striking exchanges between the two but 3 minutes and 39 seconds in Ravindra connected with a stupendous right hand that put Abhishek down immediately. The one punch knockout took Ravindra Balhara's pro career record to 7-3.
Two undefeated Lightweight,s Anshul Jubli and Rajith Chandran (both coming in with pro records of 2-0) faced off in the co-main event. After relentless grappling and close range striking, towards the end of the first round Anshul managed to take Rajith down and finished him with ground and pound. The TKO victory came at the 4 minute 44 second mark.
The three round Welterweight main event was yet another high profile rematch on the card. Jason Ramesh Solomon had submitted Pawan Singh Maan in SFL earlier, and both fighters had exchanged heated words on social media leading up to the rematch. The two did not hold back from the get go with Jason having success maintaining range with his superior reach but Pawan managing to close the distance and landing some heavy hands of his own. At the end of the first round Pawan was sporting a cut above his eye and sensing he was falling behind in the scorecards he went all out in the second round. And during one of his takedowns, Jason unfortunately broke his wrist, forcing him to quit on the stool after the round ended.
The TKO victory improved Pawan's pro record to 6-2-1 and even as the fighters embraced post-fight, social media was abuzz with talks of a trilogy fight between them sometime in the future.
Watch the entire event right here courtesy the promotion's official YouTube channel.