The Local Three — Hilo’s own Chad “Brahma Bull” Thomas, “Iron” Mike Aina and Chris “Maverick” Cisneros — all won at Just Scrap 21, which started at 7:20 p.m. Friday and extended into the early Saturday morning, but the two-day event was filled with action from start to finish.
For good measure, Hilo’s Levi Agcalon kept the Just Scrap amateur 145-pound featherweight belt home after pulling a unanimous decision over Maui’s Zach Zane before a crowd of about 2,000 at Edith Kanakaole Multipurpose Stadium.
Also on the homefront, the host club, Boss MMA (run by Ross Ebanez out of BJ Penn’s Training and Fitness Center) was unbeaten on the night and early morning. Thomas, Aina, Agcalon, Jesse Thompson, Adam Collarile, Rob Midel, Keani Sebala, PJ Barch, and Reginald Parks are from Boss MMA and they all posted victories. Cisneros runs his own amateur club called Maverick MMA.
In the heavyweight main event, a three-round, five-minute affair, Thomas entered the octagon right before midnight. He didn’t need that long to dispose of Tinei Sua, from Honolulu’s Hawaii Fighting Arts, finishing the visitor 30 seconds into the second round by TKO.
When the bell rang, it was a new day, 12:01 a.m. to be exact and Thomas came out firing and caught Sua, whose club is run by Deutsch Pu‘u, with a good, sharp hook to the chin. The Brahma Bull closed the first round with a clinch advantage, tenderizing Sua with knees and punches to the body.
In the second round, Thomas threw a quick right-left combo and floored Sua, who was in immediate trouble and turtled up. But Thomas rammed right hands until the fight was stopped, improving his pro record to 2-1. He’s 14-3 as an amateur.
“I took the fight because I heard he’s an excellent wrestler and anybody out of Pu‘u’s gym is automatically tough and strong,” Thomas said. “He had heavy hands and landed punches that wobbled me. But in the second, I dazed him. He fell to the ground and I chased him.
“It was great that the locals won. But even better, Boss MMA made it a clean sweep.”
In the 160-pound co-main event, Aina sunk in a rear-naked choke with 30 seconds left in the first round to defeat Alvin Walker, a muscular 5-foot-6 Honolulu fighter out of 808 Fight Factory.
Early in the first round, the two touched gloves to find their range. Once they traded punches and kicks, the contest took to the ground. Aina maneuvered to Walker’s back and put a choke on his head, but the strong, smaller guy pushed Iron Mike’s arms down to his chest.
It helped to have a 3-inch height advantage, especially later in the round when Aina got Walker’s back again, straddled him, and fired a few punches to the head. When Walker covered up, he raised his head just enough for an opening, and Aina seized it with a secure choke.
“I had butterflies, the whole deal,” said Aina, competing in his first pro fight in over three years. “But I felt really good. Everything was smooth. After my first few punches and kicks, I relaxed.”
Of the big-name Local Three, the Maverick’s second-round TKO over Washington’s Justin Larson, from White Buffalo Club, was the only one in doubt.
In the first round, Larson threw a right hook and missed. Cisneros countered with a right hook and landed it square on the chin, flooring his foe. But Larson worked his way to top control, and had Cisneros’ back for most of the round and pelted punches in windmill fashion.
But the Maverick showed solid survival skills and a stronger chin, escaping and getting new life in the second round. That’s when he capitalized. He walked into Larson’s living room, got up close, and unleashed a fierce uppercut. Boom. The Maverick swarmed with a downpour of punches.
“I felt good, but for some reason I was nervous with the crowd,” Cisneros said. “Maybe it’s because I lost in the last Just Scrap on May 3. When he had me, I waited for an opening to get out. Then every time I did something he flinched. That led to the uppercut. I caught with my first my first two knuckles.”
In the only title fight, Agcalon posted a unanimous decision over Zane in a fight that was a defensive battle. If it were football, the score would be something like 7-3. Both fighters had pretty good full-guard defense, not letting the guy with top control fire any harmful strikes.
But the main difference was Agcalon had a few more takedowns, and controlled the tempo of the bout better.
In other fights:
c Raymond Lopez def. Kaimi Santiago, 205 pounds.
c Albert Manners def. Tyler Leopoldino, 145.
c Ashton Castro def. CJ Floor, 195.
c Jesse Thompson def. Loren Sua, 300.
c Rashard Goff def. Kimo Luis, 265.
c Adam Collarile def. Joey Aquino, 155.
c Kaeo Meyers def. Tyrone Henderson, 155.
c Jon Estabilio def. Jonah Iona, 265.
c Rob Midel def. Ikaika Alidon, 140.
c Ronston Andrade def. Bobbi Manners, 190.
c Keani Sebala def. Kuulei Estabilio, 125.
c Keanu Snedeker def. Ikaika Rodrigues, 125.
c David McKinney def. Cody Aiona-Aka, 145.
c Scotty Hao def. Tyler Owens, 172.5.
c PJ Barch def. Jostin Carbajal, 155 pouds.
c Kentzin Santos def. Junyah Bacdad, 160.
c Joey Gonzalves def. Justin Soares, 145.
c Reginald Parks def. Solomon Dela Cruz, 170.
c Josh Mendiola def. Joseph Baptista, 135.
UFC minor leagues
It’s not the major leagues, but Pacific X-treme Combat, based in Guam and the Philippines, is something of a stepping stone for hungry MMA fighters looking to break into the UFC.
Several PXC fighters — Jon Tuck, Hyun Gyu Lim and Oahu’s Dustin Kimura (a Kalani High graduate) — signed UFC contracts. Kimura won his big-show debut at UFC 156 in February with a rear-naked choke against Chico Camus.
Last November, Kimura fought in the PXC and knocked out Guy Delumeau in the third round. For a Big Island connection, Kimura also defeated Hilo’s Toby “2 Quick” Misech with a first-round, rear-naked choke on July, 2012 at King of the Cage on Oahu.
Misech is 2-0 in the PXC, with a debut third-round knockout over Sung Hwan Cho in March, and a second-round knockout over Yusuke Yachi in August on Guam. Misech, a 145-pound featherweight, is 4-2 in his pro career.
“He was a heavy underdog, maybe 92 to 8 percent, against Yachi,” trainer Chad Hao said. “His opponent was the Japan shooto (wrestling) champion. Because Toby is Filipino, he was a big draw. They embrace him as one of their own. It was a huge win because not many people were expecting him to win.
“He definitely opened eyes with that win. Hopefully, that can be a stepping stone for him to get into a big show. Two of the PXC 145-pound champions moved on, one to Bellator, another to the UFC. There are always eyes watching.”
Misech is not the only Hilo fighter in the PXC.
Ross “The Boss” Ebanez lost to Zebaztian Kadestam in PXC 39 by TKO on Sept. 14 in Manila. Ebanez (20-9), a 170-pound welterweight, is 0-2 in the PXC, falling to Gyu Lim in his debut by knockout in August, 2011.
Aina (13-6-1-1) fought once and had a draw against Joe Camacho in PXC 6 on January, 2006. He’s got a three-fight contract on the table. It’s an exclusive deal to fight in the Pacific Rim, but he’s free to fight anywhere on the mainland or Hawaii.