By: King Eddie
As October 20 looms, the King Of The Cage competitors make their final preparations for the challenges that lay ahead. In particular, the main event heavyweights, Lolohea Mahe and Cabbage Correira.
For Cabbage, this is a long awaited return to the sport he loves so much. The hard hitting Hilo native has been away from the sport for quite some time now. Though in his hayday, Cabbage was facing UFC Champions and top ranked Heavyweights, he is facing a new breed of challenge with Lolohea Mahe. He is returning to the sport, and taking on one of the top Heavyweights in the state, right from the start.
"I found that fire again. I found the motivation. I am training three times a day and doing the right things. I have the experience on my side. I am not the same person anymore. I have never trained this hard before with any of my fights. I am just on point right now."
In the weeks leading up to the event, there is much to consider. The mind begins to work in strange ways, and keeping composed during those times are one of the biggest keys to victory for MMA fighters. Imagining how the fight will transpire is a huge maker or breaker of fights. Many imagine themselves scoring a first minute KO, then when the fight rolls around and they end up in the second round, their will is broken. Cabbage does not have any dilusions about the task at hand.
"I know he is a slugger. I know he hits hard. I just hope that he has been training as hard as me. I want to come back to a war. I don't want this fight to be easy, and I don't think it will be. It's going to be a challenge and a battle from start to finish."
A win over Lolo would essentially put Cabbage back on the map, overnight. But more than the recognition, Cabbage just wants to feel that victory again. He has a strong team in his corner and feels more ready than he has ever been.
"I can't wait to get back to my old stomping grounds where I used to wreck shop at Superbrawl. I have BJ's guys supporting me, and like I said I am training harder for this fight than ever before. I'm ready for war."
Lolohea Mahe is also preparing for a challenge. His approach is slightly different, and his words slightly more soft spoken. The Tongan power puncher from the island of Maui is also more prepared than ever. With each fight, Lolo feels that he must improve. Even in victory, he must improve.
"It's a privelage to be fighting Cabbage. He's got a good name and it's going to be a good fight. I am training everything for this fight. I train standing just as much as my ground. I train harder every time I fight, and I always see my opponents as well rounded fighters. Cabbage can take a punch as well as deliver punches, so I have been training morning and night to get ready for this fight."
As one of the top heavyweights in Hawaii, Lolo has seen his share of wars. His battle with Scott Junk still registers with many fight fans as one of legend. His time in Strikeforce has given him experience and motivation, and now his task at hand gives him a target for the future. Lolohea Mahe is a man on a mission, and he doesn't take anything lightly.
"If I win this fight it would give me a boost. One more step up that ladder. He's known in Hawaii, and he is known in the mainland. He's a serious fighter. He hits hard and he's very dangerous."
Being back in the Blaisdell is yet another draw for Lolo in this fight. Though from Maui, he considers the O'ahu fans amazing. And in the fight world, fans are everything. They make the fights happen with their support, and Lolo understands that.
"The O'ahu fans have always supported me. Even though I am from Maui, the O'ahu fans have always been so good to me. I have fought in the Blaisdell a few times and it will feel good to get back to O'ahu and do it again for the fans."
With each fighter sharpened and ready for battle, there is one thing the fans can be assured of. . . the main event at King Of The Cage at the Blaisdell Arena on October 20, will be a war.