KOLOA — Local fighters put on a show in front of a packed crowd, showing excitement from the first match to the last.
“Kauai Cage Match 16: Showdown on the Southshore” took place Saturday evening at the Southside Sports Center in Koloa.
Fifteen bouts featuring several of Kauai’s own entertained a crowd of about 800 in the kickboxing and mixed martial arts showcase, which was presented by Ainofea Productions and RK Sports.
“When I made the card, I sit down and watch every one and play it in my head before I put it on paper,” said Vance Pascua, Ainofea CEO and president. “I can only hope it plays out exactly how I run it through my head. So far, I’ve been lucky.”
In the night’s main event, Matt Lascola earned a submission victory over Fatu Tuitasi. Lascola earned the victory with an arm triangle choke in the third round.
“It was the best feeling in the world,” Lascola said. “He hit me really hard. But I knew once I had him down in the third, I had to put him away.”
Lascola had a chance at finishing with a submission in the second round, also with a chokehold, but Tuitasi escaped to continue to 145-pound pro MMA bout.
“Next time I come out, I’ll have my secret weapon with me. I promise we’re finishing fights,” said Tuitasi, who lives in Wailua. “But congratulations to my opponent. He worked hard, too, I bet.”
Tuitasi added about the home crowd: “Honestly, I love you, Kauai. Thank you guys for supporting the event.”
In the co-main event, Timmy Teves got a TKO victory over Stan Redick 15 seconds into the first round and came away with a belt following the 155-pound amateur MMA bout.
“I just saw him cover up. I stunned him with one (punch), and I knew it hurt him from his reaction,” Teves said. “Once I saw him fading from the hits, I never stopped. I told myself in my head, ‘This is the time.’”
Teves, a Kapahi native, said about winning on his home island: “It’s amazing. It’s my first finish on Kauai. … I wasn’t training for a finish. It just happened. I’m psyched to see my performance changing.”
In other action, Canaan Kawaihae got a submission victory Ryan Cummings. Kawaihae got the victory with a rear-naked choke in the first round.
“Feeling is great. It’s always great to fight,” Kawaihae said. “It’s just all muscle memory. Just got to remember what your body does. That’s how we train, and we train very hard.”
Fight of the Night honors went to Wilbur Alvarez and Ansen Achuara. In the event’s second fight, a 145-pound amateur MMA bout, Alvarez got a TKO victory over Achurara in the second round.
“It feels great. It really does. I never thought I’d ever get Fight of the Night,” Alvarez said. “Since it was my first MMA fight, I thought maybe I would hardly be recognized.”
Pascua said “three or four fights” could have won Fight of the Night.
“It was close. A lot of them that went to decisions, if it wasn’t for one-point deductions or a one-point decision, it was teetering. It could have been anybody,” he said.
Pascua hopes to have the next Kauai MMA event sometime in February. Ainofea will also host the Kauai Cup, a National Physique Committee-sanctioned bodybuilding competition on Oct. 29.
“It’s the first-ever NPC-sanctioned event (on Kauai). If you win, you qualify for nationals,” Pascua said. “It will be the first ever on Kauai, so we’re looking forward to that.”
145-pound pro MMA main event: Matt Lascola (02 MAA) def. Fatu Tuitasi (KPAL), third round submission (arm triangle choke)
155-pound amateur MMA co-main event: Timmy Teves (Kauai United/Boars Nest MMA) def. Stan Redick (Knockout Artist California), first round TKO
150-pound amateur MMA: Canaan Kawaihae (Team MMAD) def. Ryan Cummings (New Breed), first round submission (rear-naked choke)
175-pound amateur kickboxing: Chris Gaither def. Daylan Cummings (Kauai United/Boars Nest MMA), split decision
164-pound amateur kickboxing: Kalai Kwan (Team MMAD) def. Davin Chong (Kauai United/Boars Nest MMA), unanimous decision
205-pound amateur MMA: Punahele Soriano (Team MMAD) def. Isaac Worth (Freelance Kauai), first round TKO
130-pound amateur women’s kickboxing: Brianne Jhun (808 Top Team) def. Crystal Joy Yap (New Breed Kauai), unanimous decision
135-pound amateur MMA: Kaylan Gorospe (HMC/Leben FS) def. Keith Pabre (Average Joes), first round submission (rear-naked choke)
125-pound amateur MMA: Phil Kapu (Team MMAD) def. Josh Nagao (Team Prime Fight School), first round submission (triangle choke)
140-pound amateur MMA: Kainoa Simao (Freelance Kauai) def. Joe Manuia (WOMMA), unanimous decision
Heavyweight amateur MMA: Tipo Lafele (Bulls Pen) def. Wilson Kauakahi (Freelance Kauai), first round TKO
150-pound amateur MMA: Sandy Aviguetero (Takeo Prime FS) def. Gabriel Rechelulk (808 Fight Factory), first round TKO/referee stoppage (cut)
175-pound amateur MMA: Emilio Fernandez Jr. (Freelance Kauai) def. Brandon McNamara (Freelance Kauai), verbal submission after first round
145-pound amateur MMA: Wilbur Alvarez (WOMMA) def. Ansen Achuara (Team Prime Fight School), second round TKO
170-pound amateur kickboxing: Chuck Amerson (Bulls Pen) def. Bobby Cummings (Team Prime Fight School), first round KO