Archive for April, 2008

The debut of MMA Hawaii – The Magazine

April 30th, 2008
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MMA Hawaii - The Magazine

Another indication of the growth of MMA in Hawaii is the launch of what I believe is the first monthly magazine related to mixed martial arts in Hawaii. The debut edition of MMA Hawaii – The Magazine will be available May 1st at the following locations:

Honolulu: Fighters Corner and OTM Fight Shop.
Kaneohe: WatchChaBack Gear
Schofield PX: Fight Stop
Pearl Harbor NEX: Scrap Yard

Egan Inoue, who fights for X-1 on May 16, and Icon Sport middleweight champion Kala Kolohe Hose will be on hand for a magazine signing Saturday, May 3, at Barnes & Noble at Ala Moana Center from Noon-1 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from the magazine sales will be donated to the Moanalua/Aiea Community School for Adults.

And if that’s not enough, Miss Aloha Tower 2007, Jewelyn Tamsing, who is featured in the debut issue of the magazine, will also be on hand. Can’t miss that.

>> On a side note, for the hardcore MMA fans lucky enough to have HDNet, the popular high definition channel will be showing the recent DREAM 1 and 2 events from Japan. DREAM 1, which featured the controversial fight between JZ Calvan and Shinya Aoki, will be shown on Friday and DREAM 2, which took place just this Monday, will be played on Saturday. I haven’t seen any of the DREAM fights yet, but it’s supposed to be very similar to a PRIDE event. DREAM 1 features fights as part of a 16-man lightweight grand prix the promotion is putting on while DREAM 2 focused on a middleweight grand prix. Plus, you’ll be able to see what caused the first Calvan/Aoki fight to end in controversy as well as the much-anticipated rematch. From what I’ve heard, two very good shows to check out.


X-1 available on PPV; Leben to fight Bisping

April 25th, 2008
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X-1: Legends

The upcoming X-1 card marking the return of Egan Inoue will be available live on Oceanic PPV (Ch. 260/1260), in both standard and high definition, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Hawaii time May 16. EliteXC and Icon shows have been broadcast on Showtime and on the Internet, but I believe this is the first local MMA card available on special Oceanic PPV. Not only that, but it will be shot in high definition. Good news for those that can’t make it. I know a lot of people that go to these events live sometimes complain at all the camera and cameramen that get in the way so the setup that night should be interesting to see.

>> Some quick UFC news: Coming off his KO victory over Alessio Sakara in March, Icon Fitness trainer Chris Leben is jumping back into the Octagon June 7 in London against Michael Bisping. That fight will be on the main card of the show that will also include the return of Matt Hughes against Thiago Alves and Rashad Evans vs. James Irwin. The card has been in turmoil ever since the original main event scheduled between Chuck Liddell and Mauricio Rua was cancelled after Rua pulled out due to injury. Liddell was then set to face Evans before pulling out with an injury himself. The event is available live on PPV beginning at 10 a.m. Hawaii time.

Big crowd for NVP; Grove fighting June 21st

April 22nd, 2008
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A lot of MMA-related stuff went down this weekend.

First, sounds like Niko Vitale got a packed house at the Dole Cannery Ballroom Friday night for his Local Pride event. Two MMAD fighters, Brad Tavares and Kyle Miyahana, pulled out dominating first-round submission victories. Lolohea Mahe took the main event fight with a TKO victory over Vilatonu Fonokalafi and Doug Hiu earned a tough decision victory over Kaeo Linkee.  Hopefully once summer arrives, I’ll be able to check out more of these shows because I heard there were some very good fights.

On the national scene, Georges St. Pierre dominated Matt Serra to become the undisputed UFC welterweight champion Saturday night in front of a wild Canadian crowd of more than 21,000 people. I wasn’t surprised too much with the main event. I thought Rich Franklin would have a tougher time with  Travis Lutter, but once again, it looked like Lutter didn’t bring his A-game to a big-time fight. Lutter seemed tired in round 2 and that was all Franklin needed to pull out the win.  I wasn’t too excited about the card, but I think it has more to do with the big May 24 UFC event coming up.

And if you didn’t hear, Maui’s Kendall Grove will fight former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner on June 21st on the Ultimate Fighter finale show. The complete release for the card, which also features Diego Sanchez against Luigi Fioravanti, is below:

Las Vegas, NV (USA) Former UFC® middleweight champion and one of the sport’s pioneers, Evan Tanner, takes on rising star and The Ultimate Fighter® Season 3 victor Kendall Grove as the main event of the live The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale fight card on Saturday, June 21 live from The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.  The fight card will be the first ever presented in high definition on Spike TV, beginning at 9pm ET/PT (tape delayed). Doors will open at 2:30pm PT; first bout will begin at 3:30pm PT.

Tickets for The Ultimate Fighter® 7 Finale are $350, $250 and $150, plus any additional box office or service fees, and go on-sale Saturday, April 19 at 12 Noon PT.  Please visit any Ticketmaster location, call 702-474-4000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.

Before his debut at UFC 18 in January, 1999, Tanner (34-7) lived quite an adventurous and often nomadic existence, doing everything from installing cable TV in South Dakota to building beach houses in North Carolina, to laying concrete in Montana.  Tanner found his calling in the Octagon and after three straight victories earned a shot at the UFC crown.  However, then light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz knocked out Tanner less than a minute to retain his title.  The determined Tanner won seven of his next eight bouts including a first round TKO over David Terrell in February 2005 at UFC 51, to claim the vacant UFC middleweight title.  However, his reign was short-lived as he lost to Rich Franklin in June 2005 at UFC 53 via TKO (stoppage due to cuts).  Most recently, he lost to heralded Japanese contender Yushin Okami at UFC 82 this past March.

The 6’6” Grove (10-5) is a Hawaiian native who honed his skills as a competitor on The Ultimate Fighter 3.  Two recent defeats at the hands of veterans Patrick Cote (UFC 74 in August of 2007) and Jorge Rivera (UFC 80 in January of 2008) after an auspicious 3-0 start in the UFC makes this battle with Tanner a must-win for the 25-year old Grove.

As the night’s special feature, Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez takes on hard-hitting Luigi Fioravanti.

Sanchez (20-2), fighting out of Albuquerque, NM, burst onto the UFC scene with incredible fanfare after winning The Ultimate Fighter 1 crown against Kenny Florian   After six consecutive wins over such notable opponents as Karo Parisyan, John Alessio, and Nick Diaz, it seemed Sanchez was clearly destined to wear the UFC welterweight crown.  However, Sanchez’s lofty title hopes were derailed by two consecutive losses including a three-round decision to bitter foe and The Ultimate Fighter 1 castmate, Josh Koschek, at UFC 69 last April and a split decision loss to Jon Fitch last September at UFC 76.  Now, the Gaidojuijitsu black belt is back on the winning track after submitting Brazilian native David Bielkheden in March at UFC 82.

Fioravanti (12-2), from Orlando, Fl, is coming off an impressive victory in March over Luke Cummo at UFC 82.   As tough as his opponent Sanchez will be, the 27 year-old has most certainly been in more perilous situations. Fioravanti is a decorated Marine who was part of the first wave of troops to arrive in the Middle East for the ongoing Iraq War. After seeing dangerous action during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fioravanti returned to the U.S. in 2004 to begin training for a professional MMA career. 

Posted in Fights | 1 Comment »

NVP: Local Pride fight card

April 17th, 2008
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Niko Vitale Promotions

Just got emailed the final fight card for Niko Vitale’s event tomorrow at the Dole Cannery Ballroom, which as always, can change. I’ll be covering the UH baseball game, but would love to hear from anybody who goes how it went.

All fights are two, 3-minute rounds unless otherwise noted.

135 pounds: Jhared Gamez (Fight Stop) vs. Kaniela Ahnee (No Remorse)
145: Kwan Lee (Freelance) vs. Randy Kamaiopili (No Remorse)
160: James Mata (Fight Stop) vs. Derek Au (Grappling Unlimited)
160: Landin Davis (Freelance) vs. Larry Ladao (Freelance)
165: Nelson Owen (Freelance) vs. John Visante (Sit U Down)
HW: Otto Hoopii (Stand Alone) vs. Brandon Correa (Freelance) *XMA rules
150: Joseph Ena Ena (Freelance) vs. Jared Iha (Grappling Unlimited)
170: Steve Farmer (Universal Combat) vs. Eddie Ohia (No Remorse)
210: Makana Vertido (Gods Army) vs. Abraham “Kumu” Cambra (Grappling Unlimited)
145: Ian Dela Cuesta (Jesus Is Lord) vs. Alan Hashimoto (HMC)
185: John Ferrel (JAB) vs. Brad Tavarres (MMAD) *three, 3-minute rounds
170: Micah Ige (JAB) vs. Kyle Miyahana (MMAD) *three, 3-minute rounds
HW: Kaeo Linkee (Bang Inc.) vs. Doug Hiu (MMAD) *three, 5-minute rounds
HW: Lolohea Mahe (Maui Mulisha) vs. Villi Fonokalfi (No Remorse) *three, 5-minute rounds

Don’t know what to expect from most of these fights. Mahe and Villi will probably be a stand-up war and Ige and Miyahana should be exciting. I’m not too familiar with most of the undercard. Is there anyone on there I should look out for?

Egan Inoue’s opponent is…

April 15th, 2008
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Hans Marrero

…Hans Marrero (15-5) of Scottsdale, Ariz. The 23-year-old fighter, who trains under Mark Kerr, said he saw Egan in a documentary that inspired him to fight. When contacted by X-1, he asked for Inoue and will get his wish when the two tangle in the main event of May 16th’s X-1: Legends card at the Blaisdell Arena.

Marrero, 19 years younger than Inoue, has ended every fight he’s won with an armbar which makes for an exciting fight with the 42-year-old Inoue. Marrero calls his fighting style “Kobushi Sessan Jitsu”, which he claims was invented by his father who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

X-1′s Legends event is beginning to shape as most of the card was announced yesterday. In addition to the previously mentioned fights, Michael Brightmon, the X-1 Grand Prix winner from a year ago, will face well-known local sensation Kolo Koka. Ron Jhun also returns after a one-year hiatus against Dylan Clay. Sean Sakata, Nicolai Curry, Tony Giraldi, Doug Hiu, and Danny Steele will also be fighting on the card.

Egan Inoue

Special thanks to Laurie K. for the photos!