Archive for August, 2008

EliteXC’s next CBS card

August 28th, 2008
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Here’s the list of fights expected to be on EliteXC’s next show on CBS Oct. 4

Main Event
Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock
EliteXC welterweight title fight
Jake Shields (champion) vs. Paul Daley
Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kabold
Benji Radach vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua

Also fighting that night, although not on TV, is Hilo’s Mike Aina, who will square off against Edson Berto.

In case you missed it

August 19th, 2008
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Photos: Tom Casino, EliteXC

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Exciting? Yes. But it wasn’t the desired result for Hilo’s Poai Suganuma, who lost to Jared Hamman by TKO at the ShoXC event in California last Friday on Showtime.

The fight was a rematch of a bout earlier this year that Suganuma won in 15 seconds. Hamman, who was rocked by an overhand right and then a flying knee in the first contest between the two, complained it was stopped early, setting up the rematch on Friday. The fight started the same way the last one did with both fighters coming out swinging and Suganuma again catching his opponent with a right hand that put him on the mat. However this time, Hamman was able to come back and eventually won the fight with a series of hammer fists that forced the ref to stop it at 2:34 of the first round.

Suganuma was gracious enough to give Hamman a rematch even though he didn’t have too. After last night’s bout, in which Hamman was clearly getting beat in the first two minutes, I think it’s only fitting the two do it one last time as a rubber match to find out who really is EliteXC’s next promising light heavyweight.

>> SpikeTV released the cast for season 8 of the Ultimate Fighter, and Hilo’s Sugar Shane Nelson is indeed one of the participants on the show. The season premiere airs Sept. 17 on SpikeTV after UFC Fight Night.

>> Read a couple reports online that UFC welterweight champion Georges St.-Pierre wants to take a couple of months to rest some nagging injuries. Hopefully this doesn’t change the proposed plan for Penn/GSP II in December for the 170-pound belt.

Former Icon champions to fight

August 12th, 2008
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It won’t be at a mansion in front of Hugh Hefner and the Playboy bunnies, but two former Icon Sport world middleweight champions will fight each other in October.

Waipahu’s Falaniko Vitale will square off with Frank “twinkletoes” Trigg at a StrikeForce event Oct. 3 in Denver, Vitale confirmed earlier today. Niko (26-8) has won five of his last six fights, with his only loss coming after a controversial stoppage in the same StrikeForce ring against Trevor Prangley a year ago. Vitale mentioned a rematch with Prangley as a possible fight, but instead will face another former Icon champion in Trigg.

Vitale won the Icon belt with a knockout of Masanori Suda that began an incredible run of top-notch world title fights in Hawaii. Current EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler beat Vitale for the title (and again in a non-title fight), before losing it to Jason “Mayhem” Miller (Lawler’s last loss). “Mayhem” lost in his first title defense against Trigg, who Lawler beat to win the belt a second time before being stripped of the title.

Trigg (16-6) has only fought once since the Lawler fight, beating Edwin Dewees eight months ago. He’s 4-2 since leaving the UFC after back-to-back loses against Georges St.-Pierre and Matt Hughes, with both defeats coming in Hawaii (Lawler and current WEC champion Carlos Condit). Most rankings have Trigg in the 10-12 area of top middleweight fighters in the world.

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K-1 Grand Prix in Hawaii results

August 10th, 2008
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Photos courtesy FL Morris.

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An estimated crowd of 5,000 witnessed Turkey’s Gokhan Saki win the 2008 K-1 USA Grand Prix tournament in the first fight card ever held at the Stan Sheriff Center.

As the picture above illustrates, Saki used powerful leg kicks to chop his way to the final. Deutsch Puu was the first to feel the power of those kicks, losing in 2 minutes, 15 seconds in the first round after two knockdowns as a result of the leg kicks. Saki then took on Rick Cheek in the semifinal and did the same, knocking him down once with a leg kick before setting up a left hook to the body that crumpled the American fighter.

In the final, Saki faced tough Korean Randy Kim, who was a reserve fighter, but got a spot in the semifinals of the tournament after Mighty Mo couldn’t continue. Kim put on the best performance against Saki, but he too was chopped down with repeated leg kicks before a brutal hook knocked him out in the second round to give Saki the victory and a spot in the 16-man K-1 World Grand Prix final beginning in September.

Hilo’s Wesley “Cabbage” Correira advanced to the semifinals with a highlight knockout of Butterbean. Cabbage caught his foe off guard with a brutal left high kick that put Butterbean down for the count early in round 2. He advanced to fight Kim who ended Cabbage’s night with a brutal kick to the knee to win by TKO a minute into the second round.

Kailua’s Scott Junk seemed tentative in his first fight since ACL surgery and lost a decision to Min Soo Kim, a silver medalist in Judo in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. K-1 heavyweight champion Badr Hari knocked out Domagoj Ostojic with a left jab just 19 seconds into their fight. Hari has won nine of his last 10 K-1 fights, with his only loss coming to Remy Bonjasky in the 2007 World Grand Prix final.

The fight of the night was between Australia’s Paul Slowinski and Morocco’s Aziz Jahjah. Slowinski was put on his back in the second round twice, but answered with two knockdowns of his own in the third round to outlast Jahjah, with both fighters getting standing ovations from the crowd after it was over.

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Last year’s champion Mighty Mo took a vicious knee to the groin in his opening round fight against Justice Smith. Smith also hit Mo with an illegal Muay Thai knee, but Mo fought back to earn a decision victory, but couldn’t continue in the tournament with a groin injury. That allowed Randy Kim, who won a reserve fight against Vilitonu Fonokalafi, to take Mo’s place in the semifinals.

Overall it might not have been the greatest showcase of fights, but the production level was top notch. To see a fight in the Stan Sheriff Center was pretty cool as the sound system, lighting and everything production wise was much better than anything done at the Blaisdell. Good to see a solid crowd turn out and hopefully we get to see some of the local MMA organizations put on shows at the Stan Sheriff Center in the future.

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Weekend notes (UPDATED)

August 8th, 2008
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K-1: World GP in Hawaii 2008

Lots of stuff going on this weekend. The big thing here in Hawaii is the K-1 show tomorrow night, the first fight card ever held at the Stan Sheriff Center. Should be interesting to see the setup. You can bet the production will be top-notch as the event is being broadcast on PPV to over 100 countries worldwide (unfortunately, the U.S. is not one of them).

Tickets ranging between $30-$200 are still on sale at all Stan Sheriff Center outlets. The final card is below.

[The 1st Match/USA GP Tournament First Round/K-1 Rules/3 min x 3R, extra 1R]
Mighty Mo (USA/Freelance) VS Justice Smith (USA/Long Beach Kickboxing)

[The 2nd Match/USA GP Tournament First Round/K-1 Rules/3 min x 3R, extra1R]
Butterbean (USA/Team Butterbean) VS Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (USA/B.J. Penn MMA)

[The 3rd Match/USA GP Tournament First Round/K-1 Rules/3 min x 3R, extra 1R]
Ghokan Saki (Turkey/Team Rebel) VS Deutsch Puu (USA-Hawaii/SPARTAMMA)

[The 4th Match/USA GP Tournament First Round/K-1 Rules/3 min x 3R, extra 1R]
Nicholas Pettas (USA/Team Sprit AE) VS Rick Cheek (USA/Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance)

[The 5th Match/Super Fight/K-1 Rules/ 3 min x 3R, extra 2R]
Paul Slowinski (Australia/Team Mr. Perfect) VS Aziz Jahjah (Morocco/Team Rebel)

[The 6th Match "USA GP Tournament Semifinal Round" K-1 Rules/ 3 min x 3R, extra 1R]
Winner of First Round (1) VS Winner of First Round (2)

[The 7th Match "USA GP Tournament Semifinal Round" K-1 Rules/ 3 min x 3R, extra 1R]
Winner of First Round (3) VS Winner of First Round (4)

Intermission

[The 8th Match / Super Fight/ K-1 Rules/ 3 min x 3R, extra 1R]
Scott Junk (USA/MMA Development) VS Min Soo Kim (Korea/Freelance)

[The 9th Match/Super Fight/ K-1 Rules/3 min x 3R, extra 2R]
Badr Hari (Morocco/Show Time) VS Domagoj Ostojic (Croatia/Team Ostojic)

[The 10th Match "USA GP Tournament Final Round" K-1 Rules/ 3 min x 3R, extra 2R]
Winner of Semifinal Round (1) VS Winner of Semifinal Round (2)

[Reserve Fight (1)/ K-1 Rules/ 3 min x 3R]
Randy Kim (Korea/Freelance) VS Vilitonu Fonokalafi (USA-Hawaii/No Remorse)

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The UFC is back tomorrow night with UFC 87, featuring a welterweight title fight between champion Georges St.-Pierre and Jon Fitch, a heavyweight showdown between Brock Lesnar and Heath Herring and a key lightweight fight between Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with BJ Penn who was at Honolulu International Airport waiting to board a plane for Minnesota, site of tomorrow night’s event. Said he’s awaiting final word from Dana White once he gets there, but expects to fight the GSP/Fitch winner in a champion vs. champion fight in Dec. “hopefully in Vegas”. Said the welterweight title would be on the line and that if he won, he’d have no problem jumping from 155 and 170 to defend both titles.

Penn meant no disrespect to Fitch, but said he hopes GSP goes out there and runs through the challenger to set up the rematch. It’s the fight he wants, the fight the fans want, and probably the fight the UFC wants.

Penn also said he has extended his UFC contract and has at least four fights left with the company.

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And a quick Niko Vitale note. Saw him at the Icon fights last weekend and he said he’ll be fighting at StrikeForce’s upcoming event at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. in Sept. Is there a better place in the world to have a fight? Said he wasn’t sure who he’d fight although it’s basically down to either a rematch with Trevor Prangley or a bout against Tim Kennedy.