By: King Eddie
The Hawaiian's have descended upon Singapore for UFC Fight Night 34 and so far the energy is electric. All three of Hawaii's warriors made weight for their division, and the battle lines are drawn. The only thing left to do, is wait for the battles to begin. For their first venture into Singapore, the worlds biggest MMA promotion has decided to pull some of the best up and comers from the Asia-Pacific region and showcase them for a new crop of fans. This extension will hopefully open up not only a new and excited fan-base, but new and exciting additions to the UFC's, now 9, weight divisions. For the UFC Fight Night 34 card, they've certainly put their best foot forward. By placing three of Hawaii's best fighters on the card, the event is already a success on the islands. UFC Fightpass trials are activating at the speed of light so that the Hawaii fans can witness their fighters perform. Starting the action is Russell Doane of 808 Top Team, followed by Dustin Kimura and Max Holloway of Gracie Technics. Doane and Kimura train with Charles Kipilii of CKJ 808 Striking Systems, and Holloway with Ivan Flores.
808 Top Team's Russell Doane makes his long awaited UFC debut against the talented, and dangerous, Leandro Issa. Though a BJJ Black Belt, Issa may not be prepared for the striking, wrestling, and grinding beast that so many of us refer to as "Bully". Though a supremely nice person, Doane enters the cage like a man possessed. Once the cage door closes, Doane's hands immediately appear to become anvils and his takedowns become nearly unstoppable. This fight poses some serious challenges for both men, but Doane doesn't take the opportunity lightly. He doesn't pay attention to the stats, or the betting lines, or even the rankings. He merely focuses on what he can control. Tomorrow night, he will look to control Issa in every aspect of the fight.
Making his third UFC appearance, Dustin Kimura, of Gracie Technics looks to be in the best shape of his young career. After adjusting to his drop to 135, Kimura carries a little more weight in the division than he would at his previous home of 145. His opponent is the extremely talented fighter from Guam, Jon Delos Reyes. If that name sounds familiar, that's because he's competed in our local circuit before, (ironically) taking and none other than Russell Doane. Though Delos Reyes didn't come out victorious in his lone Hawaii scrap, he proved to the local fans that he's up for a war and he's willing to have an exciting fight. Delos Reyes packs a serious punch. . . and kick. . and pretty much everything else there is to throw, but Kimura has been sharpening his tools as well as he looks to make a Fight Of The Night dream into a reality. Kimura is most certainly known for his mind boggling ground game, but has always had boxing skills that were greatly overlooked. Since teaming up with dynamic striker Max Holloway, who is also on the card, Kimura has unleashed a whole new striking arsenal. This fight has much potential no matter where it goes, but I would look for fireworks on the feet given the resolve of each fighter to favor the finish.
Finally to round out the local fighters, we have Max "Blessed" Holloway of Gracie Technics, taking on the insanely tall Will Chope. Fans who have followed the local fighters in their PXC efforts may recognize Chope from his win on a recent PXC fight card, but make no mistake, his UFC debut is most certainly his toughest test to date. Holloway quickly became a fan favorite in the UFC's featherweight division after his first three fights. And though it's hard to believe, Holloway will be stepping into the UFC Octagon for the seventh time. He will be looking for his tie-breaking fourth win here against Chope, and is prepared to pull out all the stops. After injuring his foot in the first kick of his match against Conor McGregor, Holloway is healed and ready to rumble. Though predominantly a striker, Chope will likely look to take Holloway to the ground, but as the Bermudez fight proved, that feat is easier imagined that realized. Holloway boasts an amazing striking output during each fight, and has the ability to cause significant damage from inside or out. As always when it comes to Max, this fight may prove to be yet another fight of the night candidate.
Be sure to get your free trial membership to UFC Fightpass in order to witness the awesome action at 1:30am Hawaii Time.