AFC’s Jason Heit Talks Drysdale Victory, Retirement of Starnes and More
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although much of the MMA world had its sights on the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand-Prix Saturday night, rising Canadian promotion Armageddon Fighting Championship also held its latest event that same evening, showcasing notable bouts with UFC veterans, local talent and jiu-jitsu guru Robert Drysdale. (Pictured: Drysdale submitting Mike Nickels, photo courtesy Kevin Light)
In the end, one of the night’s top headlines was that former TUF competitor Kalib Starnes announced his retirement, following a second round, stoppage loss to fellow UFC vet John Salter. FCF confirmed the news with AFC Executive Producer and veteran fighter, Jason Heit.
“Kalib announced his decision to retire after the fight,” Heit said while discussing Starne’s retirement and AFC 6, which took place in Victoria, British Columbia. “Kalib is a great guy and a very good fighter. We wish him the best in his retirement. John was able to out wrestle him and hold him down, from there he let loose with a vicious ground-and-pound and the ref stopped the fight.”
The loss was Starnes’ second in a row following a unanimous defeat at the hands of Patrick Cote in April, and dropped the 36 year-old-fighter’s record to 12-7-1. Salter (7-2) has now won two straight since he was submitted by Dan Miller at UFC 118 last August.
Decorated jiu-jitsu competitor and former ADCC champion Robert Drysdale also continued his winning ways at AFC 6, by tapping out fellow black belt and Octagon vet Mike Nickels with a first round, guillotine choke. With the win, Drysdale advanced his pro MMA record to 3-0.
“Everytime I have watched Robert fight I am awed,” said Heit. “He makes it look so easy. It’s actually shocking. He submitted Mike Nickels in a minute; what more can I say. Not many people want to fight him; I can’t blame them. Darren Owen (AFC President) and I will talk it over and see who we come up with next for him. This win over Nickels has proved him a worthy title contender.”
Some of the other winners at AFC 6 included Baz Cunningham, Derek Medler, Paul Cheng and Ryan Janes.
“I am very pleased with the fights of our card, the matches were incredible,” Heit stated. “The athletes involved with our event are a pleasure to work with. After this event John Salter told me that he was treated better in the AFC than any other organization he has ever fought for. When I hear that I know that we are accomplishing what we set out to do.”
Heit also added that the promotion hopes to expand into other markets and is confident that through increased financial backing and continued fan support, “we will get there.”
Here are the official results for AFC 6 “Conviction.”
John Salter defeats Kalib Starnes by TKO (GNP) in R2, 4:13
Robert Drysdale submits Mike Nickels by Guillotine Choke in R1, 1:04
Derek Medler defeats Jaret Evan by TKO (Strikes) in R2, 2:06
Baz Cunningham defeats Corey Gower by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x 3)
Paul Cheng defeats Adam Querido by Unanimous Decision (30-27×2, 29-28)
Ryan Janes submits Duncan Wilson by Rear Naked Choke in R1, 1:17
Dan Ring defeats Chris Jones by Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-27×2)
Karl Bergen defeats Bill Fraser by Unanimous Decision (30-27×2, 29-28)
Tristan Connelly submits Upneet Rai by Rear Naked Choke in R1, 2:30