By: King Eddie
When the word spread that Star Elite Cagefighting promoter, Andrew Garcia, was going to step into the ring at Man Up & Stand Up on Feb. 7, many wondered exactly what it was all about. To be honest, many people are clueless about the past of the local MMA and Kickboxing promoter, but many questions are now coming to the surface. He will be facing veteran local fighter, Mark Kumai, who has trained internationally, and fought all over the country.
For Kumai, the invitation to fight a promoter he has fought for before, struck him as a little strange. But much like his usual style, Kumai accepted the fight. In fact, there is rarely such an occasion when he will turn them down. His first fight for SEC promotions, he took on short notice against a healthy fighter while he, himself, was injured. Always exciting and always respectable, Kumai is the perfect opponent for a promoter who wants to step into the ring and test himself.
Andrew Garcia has quickly become a respected promoter here in Hawaii, and has far too many times been asked if he'd ever fought, himself. So for one time only, Garcia decided to put himself in the shoes of the fighters, and take to the ring. His decision in selecting Kumai as an opponent was as obvious as any decision could be.
"I know this guy is going to show up no matter what. I know he is going to bring everything he has into the ring. And I know we are still going to be friends after."
Far too often, Garcia feels that fighters that know one another are afraid to compete opposite one another. But this fight, with his friend Mark Kumai, will serve as proof that you can battle with friends in competition and it does no personal damage. It's a sport. It's a competition. He has no easy task ahead of him with Kumai, but that is exactly what Garcia wants. He is fully dedicated to his decision to fight, and his message is coming through loud and clear.
As previously stated, Mark Kumai is no slouch. He's trained in Holland with Golden Glory and he has fought in national tounraments on the mainland US. Garcia, has never seen the inside of the ring, but has made many sacrifices to prepare himself to do so. He has given up coaching Basketball. A part of his life that he holds very dear. But his commitment to this fight is unwavering, and the sacrifice was merely part of his transformation. Both men will be trained, both men will be ready, and this fight will deifinitely shake things up in the Hawaii fighting landscape.