The night that was...
After what felt like an eternity waiting for Eternal and James and Blackie to take the stage, we were finally privy to the amount of work and sacrifice they'd made to enter the cage.
Having ultimate faith in the boys and their team's ability to prepare them for the night, there's still something ultimately nerve-racking about leaving them in there alone with only our best wishes and support guiding them when the door shuts.
As the night unfolded, both boys made us feel like a fussy nanna.
The boys were going to be alright.
More than alright.
The boys were going to step it up in a way that even we didn't expect.
I'll say this right now with as minimal bias possible, Blackie is the most offensively adept fighter in Australia.
Blackie 2.0 comes out as a man possessed.
Very early on we see the losses haven't defined him but refined him.
After the loss to Medina Blackie tightened the gameplan, putting strategic use of his gas tank into play.
After the loss to Hibberd, Blackie came out ready to make a definitive statement against a truly dynamic opponent with a 9 second KO to his name.
Blackie the grappler, Blackie the BJJ black belt, Judo black belt.
On the night of Eternal MMA 42, it was Blackie the banger.
Blackie throws a 1-2 gauging the reaction and starting out with obvious intentions to be the big brother.
Right-hand lands, Blackie likes what he sees.
Blackie says one good turn deserves another.
2 good turns deserve another as the triplet arrives at the destination and the referee opts to end the fight before the amount of damage reaches a critical level.
Aaron Blackie wins via first-round TKO.
Seeing James back at bantamweight after a stint at 57kg was refreshing, surely for him too. The results of a training camp can't be defined by diet and recovery from the extra nutrition, but damn it had to help.
James comes out with his foot on the gas, dictating the pace with shots from his southpaw stance and corraling his opponent into the cage like a shepherd.
Punches in bunches get the defensive hands high to protect the face and like a dog on a bone Jimmy latches onto the hips and peels them away into a massive double leg takedown.
Reeling, his opponent reverts back to his base of jiujitsu and tries to maintain guard, something, anything, but James keeps the offense coming and crashes massive fists from the feet to the earth landing flush like 10 through Ace.
James wins via knockout in the first before you can say "well fed".
We roll on to Reece 'Lightning' McLaren taking part in the 8-man eliminator on ONE Championship this weekend.
We're keeping the ball rolling.