Manimal withdraws, Hervey Bay grappler set for Hex
HERVEY Bay grappler Greg Atzori believes he and Ben Wall will meet in the cage one day despite their latest bout falling through.
Atzori, known as "the Tarantula”, was due to clash with former UFC-contracted Wall at Coastal Combat 3: Return of the Cage at Coolum on February 24.
The "Manimal” suffered an injury about four weeks ago and withdrew, and the promoter's was unable to find a suitable replacement opponent for Atzori.
The 35-year-old Samarai Drive MMA owner was not left without a bout for long, as the submission specialist is set to return to Melbourne for Hex Fight Series 13.
"I'm bummed not to fight Ben but I'm lucky to have another fight,” he said.
"They actively tried to find a suitable opponent but was unable to find one.”
Atzori's next opponent will be Aidan "Premature Finisher” Aguilera, a Melbourne-based striker who has won five of his six bouts - four via knockout.
Atzori will find himself in a familiar position to Hex 12, when he prepared for similarly skilled Lance "Lights Out” Ettia.
Ettia had won five fights, is a reputable striker, and is a rising star of Australian MMA. Atzori defeated him in the third round via rear naked choke submission.
"I haven't seen (Aidan) fight before. From what I've read he's come from a Muay Thai background,” he said.
"I'll adjust the gameplan to suit like I do every time. Hopefully I get it done a bit quicker than (Ettia) though.
"I never want to leave it in the hands of the judges as you never know how it will go. I'll try to end it early.”
Atzori has won two of his past three bouts.
Aguilera has knocked out three of his past five opponents in the first round.
He won his most recent bout, against Shem Murdoch, via TKO (elbows) in the second round at Hex Fight Series 12 in November.
Aguilera's sole loss came against James McGlashan at Hex Fight Series 9 in June last year.
Atzori will meet Aguilera in the cage at Melbourne Pavillion on March 23.