By: King Eddie
As we all know, every promotion here in Hawaii is very important to the growth and future of our local fighters as they prepare themselves for a future in competition. One of those very key promotions is Mad Skills. Here, young fighters are able to compete in full exhibitions, battle it out in a kickboxing match, or even try to tune up their MMA skills in a Triple Threat Match. The building blocks to a successful fighter are found at Mad Skills, and last night the future was looking bright for Hawaii.
Let me begin by saying that every single childrens exhibition that was held was WILDLY entertaining. I don't mean that because it was good to see the kids compete, I say so because these kids could likely kick the snot out of me in competition. The pure an natural talent that is being sculpted in local gyms was certainly on display last night, and to each of those competitiors, (Branson Ahlo, Kairen Walser, Jonah Joseph, Radin Chinn, Jamie Joseph, Santana Reyes-Popa), I tip my had to you. The young kids are taking over. I cannot wait to see what their future holds.
The rest of the nights action was spectacular. There were very serious skills on display from fighters who have noticably improved their game. And after all, isn't that the point? These up and comers have put themselves out there time and time again and last night it paid off. In one of the most action packed and entertaining Mad Skills cards yet, the roof was blown off in several matches. Lets talk about a few of them.
First off, if you've ever seen Shoji Miki, you probably didn't even realize it. The guy is very unassuming at first glance. But put him in a ring or cage and watch the beast unleash. It was as if he had a switch on the back of his head that flipped when the cage door closed, because that fighting machine never stopped. From opening bell to closing bell he came forward and looked for the finish in any way he could. Hard kicks, power punches, spin moves, all of which were a part of his arsenal and led him to a decision win, but with a little more fine tuning, we will see many finishes from Shoji Miki. Very intense. Very impressive.
Haley Pasion. . . need I say more? The girl is a one woman wrecking crew. Her boxing talents are well known, but the transition into kickboxing has been effortless. Training out of UKA, it's really no surprise though. In Pasion's match last night with Wanda Werner, Pasion proved yet again why she is such a force, by finishing her fight in the third round via TKO from body strikes. Mixing her power with finesse, Pasion kept her opponent guessing and gassing. But Werner was no can. She backed away to avoid danger and when the time came she pounced forward with some hard shots of her own. But the skill and experience of Pasion proved the deciding factor. Weaving through her opponents shots and landing an atomic bomb to the body, Pasion added yet another victory notch to her belt in impressive fashion.
In lead up the the next fight discussion, I want to relay a t-shirt idea to you. . . "Gonda's Got Game". It's very true. Even in defeat, I can honestly say that I have never seen Jared Gonda have any less than an amazing fight. As Jared Gonda and DJ Caseria met in the cage, there was a definite feeling of "oh this is gonna be good". And it was. The pure speed and agility of both fighters made for a hard pace, and the heart of both kept it going to the duration. In the end, DJ Caseria had his hand raised, but there were absolutely no losers in this match. Look for both to continue to make a splash as they perfect their craft.
Now, here we go again. A repeater. For the second time in as many fights, Bryson Bolohao has impressed me in an almost inexplicable fashion. It's hard to describe exactly what it is I see in this kid. I mean sure, his striking abilities are very apparent. And yes, last night he demonstrated an excellent ability to turn defending a takedown into creating one. But there is still something intangible shining through. It is a rarity in a Triple Threat match to have a finish, but Bolohao managed to score one in the second round with a strong TKO of his opponent. Bolohao was not exactly fighting a cake opponent either. Joseph Solomon came to fight.In the first round the striking was actually pretty even after Solomon scored with vicious kicks and some clean punches. But the second round was all Bololao. Shot after shot, Bolohao turned defense into offense, scoring at least 4 takedowns, some even into mount. But the end would come with a well placed punch. Solomon hit the mat and that was all she wrote. What an amazing fight. Keep your eye on Bryson Bolohao folks. This kid is on the move.
Finally, in a heart throttling main event, Kalai Kwan took on the very game Charlie Noane. When the match began, many believed they would see something completely different than what they got. But holy poop, the fight that took place shook the filcom, probably all of Waipahu, and likely half of the western side of O'ahu. Punch for punch, kick for kick, you couldn't stop these two. Kwan and Noane were going to war. They were fighting for the Destiny Junior Kickboxing Title, but it appeared they were battling for much more than that. Noane scored some significant and tone setting strikes in the first round. Coming into the second, Kalai Kwan found himself in a position he's rarely ever been in, evenly matched. Noane continue to push forward, driving the pace. Kwan answered back and began to dictate some of the action for himself. On into the third round, the fight was razor close. The two slugged it out through the final round, and when the judges made their decision, it was not surprisingly a split. Kwan took the title, but there will be a grudge match here without a doubt.
As you can tell by just a few examples of the Mad Skills action, this was an event to remember. As always with Mad Skils, the up and coming local talent was given a chance to improve, so the next event will likely be even better. Be sure to make it out when the time arises. Witness future stars being born in the cage, right before your eyes.