THE DVD OR VHS COPY OF THE 1st EVER AFC AT NEAL BLAISDELL (CLICK HERE)
Recapped by Brannon Noguchi
This weekend was the weekend for the AFC. No, I'm not talking about the Patriots upsetting the Rams, I'm
referring to the Amateur Fighting Competition held this past Saturday at the Neal Blaisdell Arena. Ray "Bradda" Cooper and his wife Monica hosted the fights through their company, Linebred LLC, giving amateurs a chance to "get their feet wet" in the competitive world of mixed martial arts (MMA). Many from the MMA community were on hand to give their support and watch the action, including Ronald "The Machine Gun" Juhn, the Onzuka Brothers (Mike and Chris), Richie Cabinian (who's name was slurred by the guest ring announcer) and others from the Jesus is Lord team. DJs from Island Rhythms 98.5 helped
to announce the fights.
The AFC consisted of two
eight-man brackets with
an over 200 and an under 200 pound weight division. The fights were three one minute rounds of mostly stand-up fighting, with one take-down allowed per round. Once on the ground, no hitting was allowed.
Fighters donned 16 oz. gloves and protective headgear. Referee Haru Shimonishi was on hand to make sure fighters kept to the rules.
The broad weight divisions lead to some obvious mismatches where fighters were outweighed by as much as 90 pounds. Unfortunately for the
fighter on the lighter end of the scale, the mismatches were a source of great enjoyment for the crowd.
Anytime amateurs step into the ring, you are sure to see some different
yet entertaining situations. Sure at times the matches were slow, with fighters feeling each other
out for the first 30 seconds... but these matches usually ended with a flurry of punches not often seen in a professional
match (not to mention the awesome spinning backhands!). Many of the matches were
in fact slug-fests, with more punches thrown than in all the Rocky
movies combined. Sometimes the lack of cardiovascular training showed in some
of the fighters, as they found themselves "all pooped out" towards the end of the rounds.
Here's a recap of the nights events:
|Fight 1: Shaft Rideros (185 lbs/Haleiwa) def. Donald Calaruda
Under 200 lbs
The fight lasted three rounds, pitting Shaft (yes, it is his real name) against the lightest competitor, Calaruda. There was a lot of punching thoughout this fight, and the much smaller Calruda held his own against Shaft. They traded a lot of blows, with Shaft landing a few more solid shots and getting the judges decision.
|Fight 2: Jack Tapeni (290lbs/Waianae) def Richard Garcia (270/Waianae)
Over 200 lbs
Garcia announced at weigh-ins that this would be his last fight. Against the younger fighter, Garcia took a few hard hits and was knocked down. He got up shaky, and the referee stopped the fight 39 seconds into the First round. Tapeni was awarded the TKO.
Bo Thompson (185/Kapolei) def Eddy Ohia (170/Waimanalo)
Under 200 lbs
Ohia, a southpaw, came out banging against Thompson. Thomson countered with takedowns in the second and third rounds, The second of the two takedowns was an impressive judo throw. In the end, Thompson was awarded the decision
|Fight 4: Jamison Ah Quin (265/Hilo) def Sean Donahue (Honolulu)
This fight saw both men trading heavy shots with both being winded by the end of the first round. In the second round Ah Quin waited for his time, then unloaded a lethal right hand to the head and body of Donahue. The referee stopped the match 29 seconds into the round as Donahue was unable to defend himself.
Clyde Paling (185/Ka'awa) def Daniel Lopez (180/Honolulu)
This fight saw three round of pure action. From start to finish the two men stood toe-to-toe exchanging punches. At times it seemed Paling would knock out Lopez with some tremndous shots, but Lopez showed his toughness and never gave up. Paling won by judges decision.
Vai Togia (290/Waianae) def Ben Cordero (200/Honolulu)
Coerdero gave up 90 pounds to Togia in the match and it showed. Cordero suffered through three rounds of pounding, but to his credit, did not give up. Togia was, just too much for him, but was too winded at the end of the rounds to get the finishing blows. Togia got the judges decision
|Fight 7: John Kukahiko (160/Kailua) def Bam Bam Kaalakamanu
This was an evenly matched fight where Bam Bam started out as the aggressor with a flurry of punches. Kukahiko defended himself and waited calmly for his spots. Both fighters traded blows in the last rounds and Kukahiko was awarded a close decision.
|Fight 8: Ross Hose (Waianae) def Dante Brown (Honolulu)
The first round started slowly, with Brown showing some of his fighting skills from his days as a amateur boxer. In the second round, Hose started quickly with a hard right. Brown hit the floor before Hose could land a second, and scored a KO 11 seconds into the round
Rideros def Paling
Semi-finals Under 200
The southpaw, Rideros, and Paling stood toe-to-toe, and measured each other up early int the rounds, before ending with a mix of hits. The difference in this fight may have been the takedown that Rideros scored in the third round on his way to the finals.
Togia def Tapeni
Semifinals Over 200
This was a true heavyweight brawl with bruising punches thrown from the start. Tapeni gained the early advantage with a first round takedown. The heavyweights were winded at the end of each round. By the end of the third round, Tapeni ran out of gas and conceded the fight 49 seconds into the third round.
Thompson def Kukahiko
Semi-finals under 200
Thompson's bit hits were tested by Kukahiko's patience. While Thompson chased Kukahiko in the first round, he failed to land the big hit. Kukahiko's patience paid off, waiting to land a hard right at the end of the first round. Thompson was able to score a takedown in the second round, and then break through Kukahiko's defense. Thompson finished with a barrage of blows, forcing the referee to stop the match when Kukahiko could not longer defend himself
Ah Quin def Hose
Semi-finals Over 200
The competitors slowed down in this fight, looking more like the start of a professional boxing match with very few punches thrown. In the end, Ah Quin scored the decision, aided by a takedown, where he flipped Hose onto the mat.
Shaft Rideros def Bo Thompson
Finals Under 200
The championship match showcased a seemingly "fresher" Rideros. Rideros was quicker on his feet, and although Thompson got in some hard punches, Rideros got two takedowns in the final round to secure the victory. I hate to go there, but on this night Shaft was the man!
Vai Togia def Jamison Ah Quin
Finals Over 200
At 17 years of age, who would've thought Togia would have a chance against more seasoned fighters? Obviously, nobody told Togia about experience giving you the advantage. Ah Quin and Togia traded hard hits and then tangled up and hit the mat with a tremendous thud. To the crowd surprise the referee stopped the match. Blood was trickling from Ah Quin's nose. After being checked out by the paramedics, a disappointed Ah Quin was forced to quit the match with an apparent broken nose. Togia was the heavyweight champ.
Our congratulations go out to Shaft and Vai. They showed a lot of promise in the ring, and
hopefully they'll be successful in future professional bouts (maybe a future Warriors
Quest??). We felt the fighters all showed good sportsmanship, as well as a lot of appreciation for the Coopers for giving them a chance to show their stuff. This was the First AFC, with
more to follow. The crowd was excited, and the action was non stop from
beginning to end. There is definitely a need for this type of event,
where the local boys can see if they have what it takes. Linebred
LLC's goal for this event was to give vision to these up and coming
fighters, and I believe that they succeeded in their efforts. Hawaii411 thanks Linebred LLC for the opportunity to cover this event and hopes to be able to
catch the second AFC, which the word on the street says is coming up
soon. Can't wait!
You can order the DVD or VHS version of
the first AFC at the Blaisdell. The price is $34.95 for a DVD
version and $29.95 for the VHS version. If you were there, you may
be on it! Click here to order your