PLUSH HIT: Kaela Banney connects on opponent Brooke Kenrick in Friday night's epic win in Brisbane. INSET: 'Tiger' is all smiles.
PLUSH HIT: Kaela Banney connects on opponent Brooke Kenrick in Friday night's epic win in Brisbane. INSET: 'Tiger' is all smiles. Contributed GLA090418KAELA

'Tiger' is a fighting fury history maker

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: Gladstone mini-powerhouse Kaela 'Tiger' Banney took full advantage of a top-billing fight and a raucous Brisbane crowd to finish triumphant at the XFC 34 Friday Night Fights Atomweight Title.

 

Kaela Banney all smiles with her prize.
Kaela Banney all smiles with her prize. Contributed GLA090418KAELA

The now Gold Coast-based 'Tiger' outclassed her respected friend and for Brooke Kenrick to claim the title and become Australia's first-ever Atom Weight Title Fight winner.

The Banney and Kenrick duel ended up to be the main event because of the withdrawal of the Brogan Anderson and Jayden Eynaud opening fight because of injury.

"Brooke and I knew we were going to put on a good show but this unexpected bump on the card definitely gave us more motivation to make the best main event XFC has ever had," an ecstatic Banney said.

The Gladstone Martial Arts Academy product said the crowd caught her attention.

"The atmosphere surprised me in a good way and I didn't realise how much of the crowd was behind me," she said.

"I had many of my fans and friends that have been there through most of my journey there to support me.

"The event was nearly a sell-out and I haven't seen a fight show that packed in a long time."

Banney went into the fight feeling good about herself and admitted that she felt Kenrick was tiring by the end of the second round.

But not at any stage was 'Tiger' to relax.

"I knew she wouldn't crumble and give up and that she would continue to charge and give it her all," Banney said.

"By the third round I knew I was definitely on top and winning this fight and that's when I had to be sure not to let my guard down and make any mistakes.

"She came very close to finishing me with a choke, but there was no way I was going let it all slip away. I won every round and was focusing on staying composed and not let myself get into a bad situation.

"I have much respect for Brooke and her team...it was a bloody tough fight we definitely set the bar high for Australia's Atom Weight girls."



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