Archive for June, 2008

Hawaii’s first MMA Sports and Fitness Expo

June 24th, 2008
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Pacific Submission Grappling Championships

As part of this weekend’s big mixed martial arts expo Friday-Sunday at Blaisdell Arena, OTM Fight Shop presents its first annual Pac Sub Grappling championships. The competition takes places in the exhibition hall and includes some big super fights featuring:

Jeff “The Snowman” Monson vs. Abraham “Kumu” Cambra
Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Niko Vitale
Jeff Glover vs. Ryan Lizares
Simpson Go vs. Luck Hacker
Mike Fowler vs. Sidney Silva
Scott Bieri vs. Joel Tudor
Cindy Hales vs. Gabriela Bermudez

All men, women and kids from 5-17 years old are eligible to compete. Competition begins each morning at 10 a.m.

The event is just part of the monster expo that will feature UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn, Mia St. John, Egan Inoue and others. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for military and $3 for kids 7-12. Three-day passes can also be purchased for $18. Check out http://www.hawaiimmaexpo.com/ for more information.

Penn will also be appearing at Barnes & Noble at Ala Moana Saturday from 9:45 a.m. to Noon to sign copies of the second issue of MMA Hawaii – The Magazine, featuring “The Prodigy” on the cover. And yes, for those professional wrestling fans out there, John Cena will be making an appearance as well at the Ala Moana GNC that same day from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Big win for Grove; 29-28 Tanner?!?!?

June 24th, 2008
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Kendall Grove kept his UFC career alive with a split decision victory over Evan Tanner Saturday night on the Ultimate Fighter finale show.

For those that saw the fight, it looked to be an easy win for the Wailuku, Maui native until ring announcer Bruce Buffer read aloud the first score.

29-28….TANNER?!?!

I didn’t DVR the fight so I only saw it the first time around. It’s one thing to feel differently about a fight than a certain judge, but when the other two score the fight 30-26 Grove, there’s a problem. In my opinion, Tanner could have gotten the last round as Grove looked tired and wasn’t as explosive on his feet. But in the first two rounds, all Tanner could do was push his way inside and try to fight with Grove in the clinch and up against the fence. Grove dominated the stand-up game and his jumping knee off the single leg was crazy. Looks like coming home and training at BJ Penn’s camp in Hilo has done Grove well as he puts himself back in the middleweight title chase with a win over a formidable opponent.

Grove won that fight by a 29-28 margin at worst. No way Tanner won two of the three rounds.

Kendall Grove fights for his job

June 19th, 2008
By



Kendall Grove
Photo credit – Josh Hedges, UFC
With all the recent talk surrounding BJ Penn’s dominant win over Sean Sherk in May, not much attention has been paid to Hawaii’s other representative in the UFC.

Kendall Grove, just two years removed from his victory over Ed Herman to win the Ultimate Fighter series and a UFC contract, now faces a fight that could determine his future with the company. Consecutive first-round knockout losses have put him in a must-win fight against former middleweight champion Evan Tanner in the main event of the Ultimate Fighter finale Saturday night if he wants to remain with the organization.

It isn’t definite that this would be his last UFC fight if he loses, but Grove thinks it’s a possibility and finds himself fighting for his job. After spending most of his MMA career in Vegas, Grove has gone through some difficult times in the last year, saying a lot of the friends he surrounded himself with have turned their back on him in the last 12 months. With a baby girl on the way and a training center he’s opening in his hometown of Wailuku, Maui, Grove has moved home to clear his mind and try to take that next step in becoming a legit title contender.

He spent three months training for this fight (which can be seen on a tape delayed basis Saturday night at 6 p.m. on Spike TV, Oceanic digital channel 559) at Penn’s Academy in Hilo where he says he has learned just as much about the mental side of fighting as the physical side.

Find out more about the Maui-born fighter in tomorrow’s Star-Bulletin and check back Saturday for a recap of his fight against Tanner.

EliteXC recap: title shot for Diaz?

June 17th, 2008
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Nick Diaz

The big story coming out of Saturday’s EliteXC event was the post-fight scuffle between the camps of Nick Diaz and lightweight champion KJ Noons. Moments after Noons needed just 48 seconds to earn a TKO win over Yves Edwards, Diaz was brought to the ring to hype a potential rematch for the belt. After some choice words from both corners, a scuffle ensued with KJ’s dad in the middle of it.

I have a real problem with the whole situation. Why was Diaz allowed to jump into the cage? Everybody knows Diaz is one of the “bad boys” of mixed martial arts and it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone what eventually took place. Granted, the people at EliteXC probably wanted to try and get some hype behind what looks to be KJ’s next title defense, but at what expense? It had an element of professional wrestling to it, and isn’t that what MMA is trying to avoid?

However to me, the bigger problem is the fact that Nick Diaz is getting a title shot. In his only fight after being soundly whipped by Noons last November, he failed to make the 160-pound weight limits by OVER NINE POUNDS. Granted, I’ve been told his opponent, Muhsin Corbbrey, received a portion of Diaz’s purse for his troubles, but either way, Diaz has only fought once in EliteXC since losing to Noons, competes at a catch weight eight pounds over the limit, and wears his much smaller opponent out before winning in the third round by TKO.

If EliteXC is going to be considered a legitimate MMA organization, it can’t allow fighters to miss weight and still get title shots and it can’t have WWE-style post-fight antics like it had Saturday night. If Nick Diaz is the only fighter they have worthy of a title shot, then it needs to expand its talent pool and work on bringing up some bright up-and-comers and fast. With CBS already wanting another prime time show in July, EliteXC must focus on establishing some new fighting stars ASAP.

LIVE EliteXC fight-by-fight coverage

June 14th, 2008
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Welcome to the Star Bulletin’s coverage of EliteXC: Return of the King. Big thanks to Johnny and Patrick Freitas for taking care of the media for the event. They’ve got us at a table with power about 10 feet from the cage. Couldn’t ask for more.

We’re about 40 minutes away from the start of the Showtime portion of the event, but up first we have the walk-in bout between Kepa Madeiros (0-0) and Carl Barton (0-0) in a middleweight (185 pounds) fight.

185: Kepa Madeiros (0-0) vs. Carl Barton (0-0)

R1-Madeiros comes out throwing kicks. Both fighters tied up against the cage and Barton works the takedown into Madeiros’ closed guard. Barton landing some shots and controlling position. Barton has his opponent’s arm pinned behind him and landing repeated left hands. It’s over. Ref stops the fight.

Winner — Carl Barton (1-0) by TKO at :55 of Round 1.

The Showtime introductions are done. Here we go.

205: Wayne Cole (11-6) vs. Rafael Feijao (5-1)

R1-UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is here cornering Feijao, who is from Brazil. Cole comes out throwing bombs and the two lockup with Feijao scoring the takedown. Cole quickly recovers and gets back to his feet but is up on the cage. Fighters look to be at a stalemate. Referee Mario Yamasaki pulls them apart. Cole given time to rest for an apparent knee to the groin.

Fight restarts and Feijao with a high kick. Short left by Cole. The two are tied up on the cage again and not doing much. Feijao explodes with shots. Jumping knee. Another knee. Cole in trouble. Feijao takes his back and is throwing repeated shots. Yamasaki stops the fight.

Winner — Rafael Feijao (6-1) by TKO (strikes) at 2:47 of Round 1.

Let the Rafael Feijao/Poai Suganuma talk begin. Feijao was very impressive and we didn’t even see his jiu-jitsu skills, which is supposed to be his strength.

HW: Dave “Pee Wee” Herman (10-0) vs. Ron Waterman (15-5-2)

R1-Waterman with a monster takedown early and passes into side guard. Herman works back into closed guard and Waterman struggling to get off any strikes. Check that, Waterman landing some bombs now. Herman back up and now both fighters are standing. Huge jumping kick that was more show than anything. Waterman going for the single leg but Herman lands a bunch of elbows. Big knee and Herman droping shots from the top. Waterman is out. It’s over.

Winner — Dave “Pee Wee” Herman (11-0) by TKO (strikes) at 2:19 of Round 1.

Add Herman’s name to the list of up-and-coming heavyweight fighters in the United States. Showed a lot of skills to get up from a bad position on the bottom and then finish Waterman with relative ease.

185: Murilo “Ninja” Rua (15-8-1) vs. Tony Bonello (16-0-1)

R1-This is Rua’s second fight since losing the EliteXC middleweight belt to Robbie Lawler here in Hawaii last September. Very intense staredown. Bonello is pumped up. Bonello comes out with a kick and taunts Ninja, who takes him down. Ninja quickly passes into side control. Rua working elbows to the body and traps Bonello’s arm between his legs. Ninja working left handed punches. Big forearm shots. Bonello can’t do anything. More forearms. Now Rua mounts Bonello and then moves back to side mount. More elbows to the side of the face. Rua playing with Bonello.Back to mount. Huge shots from the top. Finally Yamasaki stops it. Total domination by Ninja.

Winner — Murilo “Ninja” Rua (16-8-1) by TKO (strikes) at 3:16 of Round 1.

That my friends is why you don’t talk garbage before the fight. Ninja with a beatdown of epic proportions.

160/168: Nick Diaz (16-7) vs. Muhsin Corbbrey (13-2)

(The fight card distributed to the media says 160 pounds even though the fighters “agreed” to a catch weight of 168. Diaz weighed in at 169.5 while Corbbrey tipped the scales at 163 after originally cutting weight to 158.)

R1-Diaz noticeably the bigger fighter. Corbbrey escapes a takedown attempt. Big right elbow by Diaz moves Muhsin back. Lots of dirty boxing going both ways. Diaz peppers the jab. Now they trade uppercuts. Diaz using size advantage to push Corbbrey around the ring. Muhsin picking his spots but Diaz pushing the action. Fighters clinch against the cage. Monster kick by Corbbrey echoes throughout the arena. Diaz with repeated body shots.

Round ends, Tough one to score, I give it to Diaz BARELY. Mark Kurano says I’m nuts.

R2-Diaz lands a shot early and shoots for the takedown. Corbbrey defends it. Diaz with a couple body shots and Muhsin answered with an elbow. Diaz has a cut over his left eye. Diaz now going to work standings. Right hook stuns Muhsin. Corbbrey snaps a right hook. Diaz tells Muhsin to “come on” and starts talking some smack. Corbbrey back peddling. Diaz can land his job whenever he wants but Muhsin seems to get the harder hits. Diaz trying for another takedown but again Corbbrey defends. Diaz continues to land more shots, but just not as powerful and he can’t get the takedown. Now he does but only 10 seconds remaining. Horn sounds.

Diaz wins that round 10-9 no doubt. I have it 20-18 Diaz, but it could easily be 19-19.

R3-Diaz immediately gets the clinch and working for a takedown. He has Corbbrey’s right leg, but nothing comes of it. Diaz continues to push the pressure and gets a takedown early in the round. This could be Muhsin’s undoing. Crowd starts to boo as Diaz doesn’t seem to do much striking, working for position instead. Diaz with a kimura attempt. Now he has an armbar, but Muhin is out but in a bad position up against the cage with Nick on top. Diaz throwing repeated blows. Corbbrey in trouble. Diaz never stops applying pressure. Diaz works the mount and throwing elbows. Now throwing strikes and Corbbrey isn’t answering. Referee Chris West stops it.

Winner — Nick Diaz (17-7) by TKO (strikes) at 3:59 of Round 3.

Corbbrey showed a lot of skills and definitely was at a weight disadvantage as Diaz’s continued pressure and size proved to be too much.

EliteXC announces its next CBS card July 26 headlined by the rematch between Scott Smith and middleweight champion Robbie Lawler for the title.

MAIN EVENT
ELITEXC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

160: Yves Edwards (34-13-1) vs. KJ Noons (5-1)

R1-Big kick from Noons to start. Edwards with a left jab and a uppercut and big straight right.Noons puts Edwards down with a right hand and follows up with a bunch of shots on the ground. ITS OVER. JUST LIKE THAT.

Winner and STILL EliteXC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION, KJ NOONS (6-1) at 0:48 of Round 1.

Whew. Just got back from the backstage area after a wild post-fight interview in the cage. After Noons and Edwards finished their interviews with Bill Goldberg, Nick Diaz came to the ring to hype a possible future title shot. After Nick’s brother, Nate, gave the Noons crew the finger, a brawl ensued with KJ’s father at the forefront.

I was able to get KJ’s reaction to everything and will have more on that in tomorrow’s Star Bulletin and here on the blog, but for now, let’s get back to the fights.

Swing bout:

135: Russell Doane (2-1) def. Dwayne Haney (3-1) by TKO (strikes) at 2:46 of Round 1.

The fight took place while the media spoke with KJ, but Mark Kurano reports Doane dominated the fight and finished it with heavy strikes from the mount that did heavy damage to Haney.

Now we’re set for the ProElite.com portion of the show featuring Kala Kolohe Hose and a couple of fights I’m very much looking forward too including the rubber match between Mike Aina vs. Kaleo Kwan and a fight between Mark Oshiro and Chris Willems.

Make that four fights. Ive just been told the Lolohea Mahe/Chris Bernard fight has been postponed as Bernard apparently is having stomach issues in the locker room.

160: PJ Dean (1-3) vs. Dean Lista (3-1-1)

R1-Fighters content to stand as they feel each other out. Fighters clinch up against the cage and after going back and forth with knees, Dean lands a nice elbow. Now a 1-2 combo that moves Lista back. Lista just misses a superman punch. Dean really throwing nice combos and lands a few in a row, forcing Lista to shoot. Counter right by Lista stops Dean, but Dean continues to throw combinations. Rounds ends with Dean clearly taking it.

R2-Dean again is the aggressor but fight is stopped after he lands an uppercut to the groin. Dean mixing kicks with punches effectively. Dean now has Lista on his back and working some shots, but Lista powers back up and is standing against the fence. Straight right moves Dean back. (by the way when I say Dean, I mean PJ Dean) Fighters starting to tire as action slows down. Lista works a kick and a superman punch connects. Lista gets the takedown and PJ looks tired. PJ working a kimura attempt. Lista escapes and takes PJ’s back. Going for the rear naked choke. Dean rolls. Dean escapes from the back and takes Lista’s back before scoring a takedown. Rounds ends with PJ on top throwing shots. I’d give that round to Lista, evening it at 1-1.

R3-Lista working the leg kicks but PJ counters with a big 1-2 combo. Leg kick by Lista stuns PJ. PJ’s right leg looks hurt and Lista lands another superman punch. More kicks from Lista. Fight stays standing where PJ has gotten the better of it all fight. PJ loses a point for another low blow, which stops the fight. Fights starts and a kick buckles PJ for a second. Both fighters trading heavy shots. Fight is turning into a war. Lista trying to chop Dean down, but PJ stays up and throwing wildly. 10 seconds left and both men throwing everything. Round ends. Solid fight. First one of the night that goes the distance. With the point deduction, I have it a 9-9 round and a draw.

Winner — Majority draw (29-28 Lista, 28-28, 28-28)

Got a story to work on, but I will post the results as soon as the last three fights end.

160: Kaleo Kwan (9-8) vs. Mike Aina (9-6-1)

Winner — Mike Aina (10-6-1) by unanimous decision.

140: Mark Oshiro (10-1) vs. Chris Willems (2-1-1)

Winner — Mark Oshiro (11-1) by submission (strikes) at 2:12 of Round 1.

185: Kala Kolohe Hose (6-1) vs. Bubba McDaniel (11-4)

Winner — Bubba McDaniel (12-4) by submission (rear naked choke) at 0:41 of Round 1.