By Bryanna “Pink Ranger” Fissori
Destiny MMA started 2015 off with a bang at Na Koa VIII, which took place at Blaisdell Arena on January 17th.
Matchups for this card were overall well-crafted. The fifteen-bout card contained some of the most action packet fights that the island has seen in the last year and will hopefully be an serve to set the pace for all of 2015. Despite questionable judging, the crowd was energetically supportive of the fighters.
There were six professional fights on the card starting with a highly anticipated 155lb match up between Jose Barreiro and Micah Abru with victory going to Abru after 3 hard fought rounds, containing multiple submission attempts by Barreiro. After the bout Barreiro announced that due to his service in the military he will be moving and that tonight’s bout would be his last as a Hawaii fighter. Barreiro has fought five times on the island in his three years of service on Oahu. The crowd gave a warm farwell to show their support.
Edward Thommes of Hawaii Elite MMA made quick work of Shane Sargent of Oregon with a head and arm choke in round one in a 145lb bout.
“Fight of the Night” honors and possibly the bloodiest fight of the night was the 140lb match up between Martin Day of Hawaii Elite MMA and Dylan Morgan of Spokane, Washington. Day kept the crowd on edge with fancy footwork and devastating stand up skills which included a number of well-placed head and spinning kicks, while Morgan showed un-paralled heart and resilliance. Morgan held solid ground position for much of the bout, but both fighters competed with seemingly endless energy even into the third round. Day was awarded the split decision victory.
Arnold Burdon of West Oahu MMA won the 140lb bout against Eduardo Torres of Seattle, Washington by unanimous decision. The fight was a solid back and forth battle.
In a 180lb match up, Adam Smith of Spokane, Washington defeated L. John Borges of 808 Top Team with a belly-down arm bar mere seconds away from the end of round one.
The main event for the show put the 145lb Destiny Professional Belt Title on the line when Ryan Mulvhill of Spokane, Washington took on Ryan Delacruz of Hawaii Elite MMA. Mulvhill came out like a bull out of the shoot and continued the momentum through the second round when he achieved victory by rear naked choke in the second round.
Matt Lascola def Brandon Fraiser via rear naked choke
Manakiai Puahala def Ryan Mondola via Unanimous Decision
Adam Azimov def Treston Reballiza via Majority Decision
Donovan Parilla def Keoni Chang via Majority Decision
Aaron Rodrigues def Anthony Marker via rear naked choke in round one
Joey Vonblankenburg def Stu Jones via rear naked choke in round two.
Joshua Coleon def Micah Todd via Unanimous Decision
Daichi Abe def Simeon Crawford via TKO in round one (knock out of the night)
Kendra Linn def Wanda Werner via rear naked choke in round one.