LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Knockout Championship III Saturday night turned into a knuckle dragging down home brawl fest. Fist, knees, feet, elbows, everything except the kitchen sink was flying around the cage. I was there and here’s what I saw from the corner!
Fight No. 1: 135 Lbs Milikona Ching with Kaua‘i Pankration looked like he gave up and couldn’t back pedal fast enough after being on the receiving end of a couple of head shots from Legacy Combat fighter, Kaylen Stafford. Kaylen wins by TKO.
Fight No. 2: 175 Lbs Aliki Pelekipi with Kaua‘i Pankration put on a very good display of Kickboxing. His opponent Robert Joseph fighting with Gods Army was unable to come out of his corner after the second round, giving Aliki a second round TKO. Kaua‘i Pankration coach, Jason Lagmay, said of his fighter, “Aliki is learning his skills very quickly and will very soon be the best 175 lbs kickboxer on this island, if he isn’t already”. Well that sounds like a challenge to me.
Fight No. 3: 175 Lbs Brandon Wong with Disciples of Puhi defeated Freelance Kaua‘i fighter Justin Stiles in a three-round decision.
Fight No. 4: 170 Lbs Zac Shepard with Team Extreme/Mad Tiger showed an outstanding display of grappling by submitting his opponent Bear Baily with Boars Nest, by triangle/arm bar in the first round.
Fight No. 5: 155 Lbs Cody Young with Freelance Kaua‘i defeated his opponent David “DJ” Moe Jr. in a three-round decision. DJ showed very little wresting skills in this match and it cost him.
Fight No. 6: With only two minutes in the first round, 170 Lbs Boars Nest Moku Puulei-Chandler stopped Legacy Combat fighter Michael Eli with a devastating rib kick… Ouch!
Fight No. 7: In a 145 Lbs match up that had Disciples of Puhi fighter Greyland Poki’I Valeria come out hot like a rocket, but Micah Ige with Team Extreme cooled his jets in rounds two and three, with Micah picking up the three-round decision.
Fight No. 8: In a 135 Lbs match up that was over too fast, Kaua‘i Pankration’s Dominic Barretto, who is one of the best up and coming 135 Lbs fighters on the island and very well trained, faced Legacy Combat’s Tony MoreNo. Dominic landed several hard blows to the head and body along with a couple of very nice kicks, and oh my gosh some foot stomps that made the entire stage rumble, but somehow Tony made it into the second round, but not far though. The Referee stopped the fight only about a minute into the second round with what the referee thought was a knee to the unspeakable man region… I’m sorry but it was right in front of me and it looked like a beautiful knee to the high inner thigh, which sent Tony to the mat in pain. The referee gave Tony the full 5 minutes to recover at which time Tony said he was pau. The fight was awarded to Dominic, and rightly so, as he dominated the first round as well as the minute and some change in the second round. Dominic, in his excitement after the fight interview, stated “I feel great, and ready to go pro!” Slow your roll there young man… you are good, and I am very impressed, but let’s see what your coach Jason Lagmay has to say about that one.
Fight No. 9: In a 185 Lbs bout that I thought had the potential to be the fight of the night, I have to say I was disappointed. This fight had Freelance Kaua‘i fighter Isaac Worth up against Boars Nest Edwin Garces, which turned into a three round standing clinch match up, with Isaac Worth winning the clinch fest via decision.
Fight No. 10: In a 160 Lbs match up we had Justyn Perreira fighting out of No Way Fight Skool matched up with Joseph Enaena with Legacy Combat. What was thought to be a very tough opponent for Justyn, he made very quick work of him by demonstrating how hard he has been training. Justyn came out fast with some of the best stand up of the night, and made a takedown that would make Matt Hughes and Randy Couture both proud. Justyn broke out with some ground and pound that reminded me of the old days of Tito Ortiz, so much so the referee had to stop the fight in the first round giving Justyn a first round TKO.
Fight No. 11: The fight of the night, the co-main event, had Freelance Kaua‘i fighter Domenick Ansagay, after winning his fight, jumping over the cage – yes I said over the cage – off the stage and running all the way out to the beer garden hugging whoever was brave enough to get in his path. Granted it was a huge fight because now he is set to fight for the 125 Lbs Kaua‘i amateur belt in March. Domenick struck hard and fast with an overhand right that stunned his opponent Joey Balai from Team Extreme, and Domenick went right to the takedown. After the referee stood them up Domenick went right back to work with an outstanding jab and another beautiful take down, and after some hard hitting ground and pound Joey made the fatal mistake of giving up his back, Domenick immediately took advantage of his opponent’s mistake and clinched in a rear naked choke hold which caused Balai to tap out with merely seconds left on the round clock. In my opinion what made this the fight of the night wasn’t just the perfect jabs, hooks, kicks, takedowns, Domenick’s ground game or the awesome leap over the ring but it was the fact that it appeared Domenick broke his hand in the first seconds of the fight with a devastating overhead punch.
Fight No. 12: Ok I know you’re waiting to hear about the 155 Lbs Championship bout between Boss MMA/BJ Penn Training and Fitness Kevin Soong and Team Extreme/Mad Tiger Kyle Foyle. All I can say is WOW, what a tough fight, extremely tough to score, I personally scored the fight 1st round 10 – 9 Kevin, second round really too close to call but I scored it 10 – 9 Kevin, and the 3rd round 10 – 9 Kyle. I would have really liked to see 2 more rounds, but the majority of the judges scored a very tough fight unanimous decision to Kyle Foyle who is now the new very proud owner of the Kaua‘i amateur 155 Lbs belt. It looked to me that Kevin Soong had better skill and was faster but tired out and left it open for Kyle Foyle to close the door on Kevin.
After talking with several fans after the fight, I received comments like, “This was an excellent family event”, “I have never seen such great sportsmanship”, “These guys (the fighters) are extremely nice, humble and well mannered”, and “What a great production.” I did not receive even one bad comment, and the fact that this venue was used to shoot scenes from the soon to be released movie, ‘The Ironhearts’ definitely added to the excitement.
To sum up my overall evaluation of the entire event, without a doubt scores an A+. If you missed this event, I am truly sorry, as you missed out on a great experience. However, don’t dismay, several more fights are already scheduled on the calendar in 2012. Stay tuned to the fight corner, and I promise to keep you posted.