PUHI — About 1500 fans packed the Kilohana Pavilion for the third installment of Ainofea/RK Sports Mayhem at the Mansion Mixed-Martial Arts fights Friday night.
Although the fans packed the house, it was the events inside the caged octagon that took center stage. Eleven fights took place, including two headlining professional matches. Fighters from Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Portland, Ore., Washington State and Nevada participated.
“This is just amazing,” event promoter Vance Pascua said to the crowd before the fights. “This is the 11th match we’ve done. I don’t know anyone who can say they’ve done 11 events of anything. These fighters worked hard to get into this ring. Respect that. They’re brining it for you. Now let’s get this party started.”
A 150-pound amateur fight between Kai Iwasaki and Micha Ice jump-started the night. After an even first two rounds, Iwasaki locked Ige into a rear naked choke with 2:03 remaining in the third round to win the bout.
While the first match was a mixture of precision and floor work, fight two between heavyweights Paul Abiley and Kapeli Tam was a straight forward brawl. Both men, who seemed to barely fit into the Pavilion, not to mention the ring, began the match by trading massive punches and leg kicks. This crowd pleaser went all three rounds before Abiley struck Tam with a hard punch to the ribs, dropping him to the ground, before meeting Tam’s head with a hard forearm that resulted in a TKO.
Overall the night was a success as fans in the crowd kept vocal and excited for each ensuing match. It’s because of the overall fan turnout that keeps Pascua putting on the event.
“This is the reason I do this,” he said. “There’s so much energy.”
For complete results of Saturday’s MMA event, look for the results in a future edition of The Garden Island.