A Night of Ground and Pound in Hilo Town!
Source: Valerie Vaughan - MMAHawaii Member
Hilo may be a small, quiet little town but, on Friday 5/5/07, it was anything but! The Afook Chinen Civic Center was packed as an estimated 3,500 plus fans came out to see some of the Big Islands best MMA fighters take on California fighters. Fans immediately take notice upon entering the civic that the ring set up very similar to that of a UFC event with special lightning, three camera man and photographers all around the octagon (more like circle shape actually). All fights, except for the Pro X bout, were two 5-minute rounds with a third 2-minute overtime round if necessary.
The first fight started at 7p sharp and the last one ended at 10p sharp. It was three hours of action packed fighting with some very unexpected twists. Some fights were quick…some fights went the distance. Rumor has it that BJ Penn is considering putting the event on his new website to view for FREE. Check out the forum at www.bjpenn.com the website is off the hook!! Until then, here are the results:
Kimo Zoller (BJ Penns MMA-225lbs.) vs. Phil Baltanado (Relson Gracie-265lbs.)
Kimo came out and took Baltanado to the ground quickly. Kimo unleashed some big blows. Referee stoppage 1.15 minutes into round one.
Mike Justo (BJ Penn MMA-160lbs) vs. Branson Delima (Bulls Pen 160lbs)
Justo had lots of fan/crowd support and came out strong. Justo was able to secure the rear naked choke ending the fight 1.54 minutes into round one.
Buddy Betts (BJ Penn MMA-145lbs) vs. Aaron Castro (Freestyle- 148lbs.)
Castro sinks the guillotine choke early. He held it so long, I was sure the match was over. Betts escapes and on top quickly, he mounts and unleashes blows that end the match. Castro taps out 3 minutes into round one.
Donald Gonzalves (BJ Penn MMA-145lbs.) vs. Kevin Delima (Bulls Pen-145lbs.)
A quick swing and miss by Gonzalves gave Delima an opening for a shoot in. Delima picked up Donald and Gonzalves grabs hold for guillotine attempt. Delima holds Gonzalves in place for a few seconds before slamming him so hard on the canvas it knocked Donald out cold. Delima was so excited he ran out the ring. The referee had to call him back to announce him the winner. K.O. to Delima.
Renato Zambonaro (BJ Penn MMA-185lbs.) vs. Jake Dobbs (Bulls Pen-185lbs.)
Both fighters came out with a quick exchange of punches. Zambanaro throws Dobbs up against the cage a couple of times but, it quickly turns to ground game with Dobbs eating some big blows from Zambanaro on top. Dobbs gives up his back and Zambanaro sins the rear naked choke for the win at 2.16 minutes into round one.
Sergio Mamone (BJ Penn- 190lbs.) vs. Jermaine Estabillio (240 lbs.)
Note the weight difference. This is Pro X bout (three 3 minute rounds) and Sergio’s debut fight at the ROTR. Estabillio lands some good kicks but, Sergio unleashes a flurry of body punches and upper cuts that gets the crowd cheering. The fight is stopped momentarily because of an illegal take down from Sergio (only a stand up fight). Action continues with both fighters exchanging blows. The bell goes off ending the first round with a roar of approval from the crowd as this is the first fight of the night thus far that has gone a full first round.
Second round starts off with Sergio continuing his body shots, upper cuts and now throwing in some hard knee shots. Estabillio gets a good high kick and knee shot of his own before Sergio continues his punishment. 10 seconds left in the round as Sergio continues with hard body blows to Estabillio. Bell rings ending round two with both fighters bloody but eager for more. The crowd is now up on their feet with excitement (everyone loves to see the big boi’s stand and bang). The doctors check out Estabillio and determine he can no longer fight. Sergio “The Monster” Mamone gets the win.
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Chris Henriques (BJ Penn MMA-185 lbs.) vs. Leo Crivello (Kona Hawaii-225lbs.)
Crivello noticeable pumped up and ready for this fight. He attempts an early takedown but, Henriques comes out on top and sinks a rear naked choke. Crivello escapes briefly and the fight moves to center ring however, Henriques re-sinks the rear naked choke to win the fight in the first round.
Albert “Always Bad” Manners (BJ Penns-135lbs.) vs. Ryan Lee (Bulls Penn-135lbs.)
Manners feeling good as he dances his way into the ring. Both fighters exchange kicks but, Manners works hard and gets the takedown. Great defense by Lee until Manners unleashed punches and a couple of hammer fists. Lee attempted a leg lock…almost had it too until Manners spun free and escaped. Back on the ground with Manners on top. Lee eats a few blows from Manners then, gives up his back and Manners is easily able to sink the rear naked choke for submission win 3.37 minutes into round one.
Jay “Excalibur” Carter (BJ Penn MMA-185lbs.) vs. Marcus Gaines (Valor Fighting, California-185lbs.)
Carter comes out throwing a superman punch then follows up with an overhand right and a big high kick to Gaines’ head. Gaines answers back with quick punch to Carters jaw. In one flowing move, Carter pulls four teeth from his mouth (yes… four teeth knocked out, I confirmed it with the judge) and throws them to the canvass and continued to fight without hesitation. Gaines takes Carter down but, Carter recovers to his feet fast. Carter lands a big kick to Gaines left leg sending Gaines to the canvas momentarily. Up we go as the punishment by Carter continues. Carter delivers multiple kicks to the inside and outside of Gaines left leg. Round one ends as the referee and Carters’ coaches search for Jay’s teeth. What a fricking warrior!!!
Round two begins with a big punch from Gaines (blood flew out of Jay’s mouth when he got hit) but, Gaines fingers inadvertently in Carters left eye. Carter allowed 5-minutes to recover but….back to the action within 3-minutes. Carter completely explodes on Gaines (too many blows to count) with hard knees, punches and kicks to an already bright red thigh of Gaines sending the crowd to its feet. Carter gets the win 35 seconds into round two.
Post fight interview: Carter told the crowd that after the fingers in the eye, Rudy Valentino wanted to throw in the towel. Carter said “f#@$ that…lets do this thing!” and that’s what he did. Carter also took fans by surprise by announcing that this would be his last fight of his career “It started in Hilo, and it ended in Hilo.” He’s starting the next chapter of his life as he reported that he and his fiancée have a baby on the way. Best of luck to Jay…we’ll sure miss him!
“Iron” Mike Aina (BJ Penn MMA-160) vs. Rick Screenton (Valor Fighting, Califonia-160lbs.)
Out of the starting gate…a swing and a miss by Screenton. Aina took full advantage and delivered a leg kick sending Screenton to the canvass where Iron Mike released an entourage of punches that Screenton just could not recover from. Aina wins TKO. Referee stoppage 21 seconds into round 1.
Ross “Da Boss” Ebanez (BJ Penn MMA-170lbs.) vs. Troy Acker (Valor Fighting, California-170lbs.)
Both fighters came out and sized each other up. Straight left by Ross followed by a body kick by Acker. Takedown attempts by Ebanez takes Acker to the fence but, Acker was able to escape. Back to center ring Ebanez gets a good kick and another body shot to Acker. Ebanez tried two takedown attempts but, Acker is not going down so easily. 15 seconds left in the round as Ebanez unleashes a flurry of punches. Acker is bleeding from a cut on the back of his neck.
Round two continues where round one left off with Acker landing a couple of kicks and Ebanez landing a couple of punches. Both exchange some jabs as they look for an opening. Good right/left combo by Ebanez which gets a rise from the crowd. A big left from Ebanez sends Acker retreating but, not for long. With one minute left in the round Ebanez takes a kick and then delivers another big left jab. Judges call it a draw so, we’re off to the only third round overtime of the night…winner takes all!
Third round, the fighters circle up and Ebanez throws some combo shots to Ackers head. Again, with the combos back and forth. One minute left as shots to the head fly both ways. Huge left from Ebanez ends the third round. Ebanez gets the win by judge’s unanimous decision.
Fight of the night: Sergio Mamone vs. Jermaine Estabillio (These guys fought a war and the crowd loved it!)
Fighter of the night: Jay “Excalibur” Carter (What heart and determination)
Knockout of the night: Kevin DeLima (KO by slam)
Gym of the night: BJ Penn MMA aka Penn Training & Fitness Center/Nova Uniao Jiu-Jitsu (Won 10 of 11 fights. That’s a 91% success rate folks)