By: King Eddie
Pro Elite officially announced today that Tatsuya Mizuno has been added to the Pro Elite 3 fight card, and that he will be facing none other than Hawaii's own, Ilima Maiava.
We recently released a story announcing that Maiava would soon be traveling to the Philippines to fight for PXC, and now we have the pleasure of ensuring you that he will be competing in both fights. His Pro Elite debut will be against, as previously stated, Tatsuya Mizuno, who has been in the ring/cage with the likes of Cro Cop, Gegard Mousasi, Thiago Silva, and also held a recent win over notable striker, Melvin Manhoef. Mizuno will definitely be a different type of competition for Maiava, but he ensures us that it's still just a fight.
" I don't view this differently from any other fight. He is going to come in and try to figure me out, and I am just going to try to figure him out first." - Ilima Maiava
For some time now, Maiava has been relatively inactive. But not for lack of trying; his fights just never seemed to materialize. So for this fight he feels that it is "long overdue".
"Mizuno has been stepping into the ring with guys I grew up watching, and win or lose in those fights, I have got to give him respect. I know he is a tough guy and I feel that this could be the best fight I have ever been in. I know I can compete with this guy."
There is definitely no lack of confidence from Ilima, but do not confuse that with arrogance. The calm in the tone of his voice is almost baffling, days before the biggest break in his career. But upon deeper thought, this is what he longs to do for a living. Up to this very moment he still works full time as well as fights as a hobby. But a hobby that he takes seriously enough to explore every avenue. His journeys with this sport and his training have taken him to places that others only dream of. Even cornering Kendall Grove in the UFC. But Maiava remains grounded and knows that in a sport such as this, none of his travels amount to anything once the cage door closes.
"I love to travel and I love to fight. If I can find a way to do both of those and travel for free, then I would be happy. But mentally it's the same every time I fight. I represent myself. I represent my family. I represent my gym, my training partners, my coaches, and my island. A fight is a fight."
With the sound of a smile, he expressed his elation in finally getting to step up his game and showcase his abilities to not only Hawaii, but the rest of the world as well. The 808 Top Team prospect has been aided by many in his journey, and he expressed his eternal gratitude to them. Warhorse Strength and Conditioning, Gracie Technics, MMAD, and 808 Top Team.
Good luck Ilima, Hawaii is standing behind you.