Photos And Story By: King Eddie
Charles "Kid Khaos" Bennett likely realized at some point during the second round of his title bout with Johnavan Vistante, that coming to Hawaii was not exactly the best idea.
Though "Kid Khaos" did have several takedowns and even a few slams, he did very little with them. There was nothing that he was throwing at Vistante that was keeping him down. Each time Johnavan's back hit the mat, he would quickly pop right back up to his feet.
The striking at times became a stand still. Vistante didn't want to fall into the trap of a trademark Bennett right hand, and Bennett didn't want to find himself the target of one of Vistante's barrages.
The two were almost too respectful of one anothers strking capabilites in the cage, but there was one instance in which Johnavan had Bennett hurt for sure. There was no denying that as the seconds of teh round ticked away, Bennett, back to the cage, wobbling and weaving, was fighting for dear life just to stay on his feet. Vistante rocked him with several punches, kicks, and even a few knees. Though wobbled, he refused to fall down. In the closing seconds, Vistante thrust forth with a flying knee, and Bennett parlayed that into a takedown that would save him from being finished.
"Having a legend like that, pretty much, out on his feet, proved to me that I belong in this sport."
The fight continued on, and in several flashes of brilliance, Vistante would catch Bennett with a hard punch or kick that would send him into a daze. But the fight would never be stopped until all five rounds were completed. Both fighters were very smart in their strategy of avoiding one another's strengths. There is no denying that.
The knockout was so close on many occasions that many could smell it coming. But in the end, Johnavans continuous leg kicks, and control of the action won him the fight. It's very likely that the striking percentage favored him monumentally as well. The only offense that Bennett really had in the fight, was his takedowns. But even those were followed by nothing much.
"He said he never studied his opponents, but he actually studied me. He knew that I was a dangerous opponent."
When the two met in the center of the cage to find out the winner, each man showed great respect to the other. They are both warriors in the sport, but on this night only one could reign supreme. And when the decision came through it was Johnavan with his hand raised. The Immortal Warrior had come through yet again and proven his worth for all of Hawaii and the world to see. He was overtaken with emotion. As the ref released his hand, Johnavan crashed to the ground where took a moment to let the win sink in. For him, this was more than just another win, it was a defining moment. And for Hawaii, a huge step forward in the MMA world. Johnavan felt the swell of pride, and accepted his title, not only for himself, but for ALL of Hawaii.
In the end, the fight was more strategic than any of us would have imagined, but it was a crowning moment for Vistante. As the new Destiny Lightweight Champion, Johnavan jumps out of his skid and gets back on the road to the big show. Likely with a few more wins, the UFC could come calling once more for the Immortal Warrior.