“X-1 Champions III” takes place tonight at midnight eastern, 7.p.m. in Honolulu, Hawaii. The main event features Strikeforce and UFC veteran middleweight champion Falaniko “Niko” Vitale (28-9) against X-1 welterweight champ Dylan Clay (9-2) for the 185 title. Also, longtime vet Harris Sarmiento will face relative newcomer Max Holloway for the lightweight belt. The event also includes a featherweight and bantamweight world title fights and six Hawaii state title bouts.
ProMMAnow.com will bring you live results and play-by-play commentary of the action. You can go to http://www.x1events.com/ to watch the live stream via online PPV for $9.95.
- Main event – X-1 World Middleweight Title: Falaniko Vitale defeats Dylan Clay by KO at 2:04 of Round 1
- X-1 World Lightweight Title: Max Holloway defeats Harris Sarmiento by split decision
- X-1 World Featherweight Title: Ricky Wallace defeats Eben Kaneshiro by TKO at 2:01 of Round 1
- Bantamweight: Van Oscar Penovaroff defeats Thomas Matias by submission Round 1
- X-1 State Middleweight Title: Sale Sproat defeats Collin Mansanas by KO at 1:28 of Round 1
- X-1 State Featherweight Title: Dustin Kimura defeats Kurrent Cockett by submission 2:58 of Round 1
- X-1 State Welterweight Title: Zane Kamaka defeats Jordan Kekino by submission 3:21 of Round 1
- X-1 State Women’s Bantamweight Title: Raquel Paaluhi defeats Nicole Johnson by TKO 2:06 of Round 3.
- X-1 State Heavyweight Title: Lolohea Mahe defeats Puka Bell by TKO 1:29 of Round 1
- X-1 State Lightweight Title: Will Shutt defeats Steven Saito by split decision
Play by play:
Will Shutt vs. Steven Saito
Nice left hook by Shutt lands during an exchange, and they go into the clinch. Shutt has underhooks but gets the takedown, Saito back to his feet and Shutt gets his back and takes him down. Reversal by Saito, now on top. To his feet and NICE right hand on the way down into half guard. This round just took a turn. Shutt is kicking up his legs looking for a submission, maybe an armbar, but he doesn’t have a good angle for it. Shutt rolls for a leglock. He’s cranking that heelhook. Not sure how Saito didn’t tap, but he kicks off and rolls out. Shutt looks for a takedown and Saito tries a guillotine. Good takedown by Shutt; relentless. He’s got Saito’s back and into mat, throwing some punches. Saito is trying to roll and escape, but shutt isn’t giving up any position. He has him flattened out, throwing punches to the side of Satio’s head. Nice elbow. Shutt has to be careful not to punch himself out. Another reversal by Saito; just when Shutt looks like he’s in control, Saito rolls out. Big punch and into side control now. Another big right from the feet after pushing Shutt’s feet aside. Back into side and dropping elbows at the bell. Great round. Slight edge for Shutt, but Saito made things interesting with that comeback. ProMMAnow.com goes 10-9 for Shutt.
After an exchange, nice straight right by Saito and follows up with a single leg takedown. Peculiar standup by the ref. He wasn’t on top long, but apparently the ref was bored. Another takedown for Saito, who has all the momentum right now. He’s landing good strikes to the body and hammerfists to the head. Shutt is sitting up on the cage and Saito isn’t giving him any room, but Shutt uses the cage to get up. Saito goes for the Thai clinch and lands some nice knees, though they’d be more effective if he did a better job pulling the head down. Shutt pushed him into the fence to escape. Now in the Greco clinch, more knees to the body from Saito while Shutt looks for the takedown. More Thai knees from Saito, but he didn’t control Shutt’s posture at all. Takedown by Shutt and Saito looks a bit tired. Shows what I know; Saito is back on his feet, where Shutt takes his back. Nice throw, but Saito gets to his knees and back up, trying for a single. Shutt goes for a homerun and puts his leg over looking for the armbar. He’s having a hard time separating Saito’s hands. Wow, excellent spin by Shutt and he has a triangle/armbar. He’s cranking the arm HARD. Luckily, the round comes to an end and Saito is tough as all hell. Another close round, but as close as the submission was, and since I don’t think his Thai knees did enough damage, I’m going 10-9 for Shutt.
Saito comes in quick and throws a knee to the body and some short left hooks from the Greco clinch; dirty boxing at its finest. Saito gets a head and arm hold and brings him down. He’s past the guard, though Shutt is trying to kick his legs up and maybe catch another sub. Beautiful diving left hand by Saito into Shutt’s full guard. Saito gets back up to his feet and sizes him up for another big punch, but Shutt defends and has to give up side control in the process. Saito into full mount, but Shutt uses the cage to kick off and get out. A front headlock by Shutt with a couple knees, now trying to circle, looking for a kimura from standing. Saito takes him down from the position, but Shutt uses the underhook to reverse him. Back to the feet by Saito and in the clinch. Nice flurry by Saito, big kick from Shutt, great right hand from Saito…great stuff from these young guys. They’re tired but going at it. Shutt gets a nice single leg takedown; Saito gets to his knees and back up, but he’s taken right back down. Shutt has his back. Another complete momentum turn, he has Saito stretched out and he’s looking for an RNC. Shutt almost traps one of Saito’s arms to leave the neck exposed, but Saito gets out. Another great and close round. Shutt had some dominant position at the end, but he didn’t come close with any submissions this round and Saito did most of the damage that round. 10-9 for Saito on ProMMAnow.com’s scorecard.
We got it 29-28 for Shutt, but this could go either way.
They don’t announce the scores, but it goes to Shutt by split decision. Great fight.
Puka Bell vs. Lolohea Mahe
You might recognize Mahe’s name from Strikeforce, where he lost to two badass prospects, Lavar Johnson and Shane del Rosario.
Into the over/unders early. Double unders now for Mahe, works him up against the cage; short uppercut lands. They separate and some big shots from mahe; Bell is wobbled and BOOM, big right almost looks to have bell out on his feet; The referee stops it, 1:29 TKO for Mahe.
Nicole Johnson vs. Raquel Paaluhi
Leg kick from Johnson and she eats a straight right from Raquel. Paaluhi gets her on the cage and looks for underhooks. Now back to center. Paaluhi is staking, throws a 1-2 into the clinch to take her back standing. Throws a nice right hook to the side of Johnson’s head while he breaks away. The boxing is defintely favoring Paaluhi. Again, she flurries and backs Nicole into the fence. Nice short uppercut from Paaluhi, but Johnson scores with a right hand as she gets free. Double-unders for Paaluhi and an outside leg trip takedown, but beautiful reversal by Johnson, lightning quick. Paaluhi tries to bounce up, but Johnson has an arm in guillotine and pulls guard. Paaluhi gets out and looks for some ground and pound. Johnson kicks her off and gets up, but eats a kick to the body. Johnson tries to throw a straight left from the southpaw stance, but Paaluhi counters with a much quicker jab. Big combo by Paaluhi backs up Johnson into the cage, but Johnson is game and gets her back off the fence and throws a knee to the body to end the round. 10-9 for Paaluhi.
Let’s see if Johnson can get this fight to the ground. Things aren’t working out in the striking department. Nice jab from Paaluhi, they both throw hands and Paaluhi scores with a perfect head kick while Johnson has her hands down and Johnson is in trouble. Paaluhi scores with a combo including a nice right, but Johnson manages to tie her up and recover. No threat of a takedown from Johnson and Paaluhi gets her in the clinch and lands some knees. Johnson tries a lead left hook that’s slow and telegraphed and Paaluhi scores with a stinging jab. Johnson tries to clinch and push her up into the fence, but Paaluhi is just stronger; she gets the Thai clinch and overpowers her, landing a nice left hook that stumbles Johnson on the way out. Johnson’s striking looks awkward. Her feet are in the southpaw position but her hands look like they want to go orthodox. Paaluhi doesn’t care and pushes her into the fence. Interesting development, as Paaluhi gets a headlock and tries to do a throw; Johnson has a chance to take her back, but Paaluhi gets away with the move. 10-8 for Paaluhi.
Outside leg kick from Paaluhi to start, and a head kick that just misses. Johnson ducks under a 1-2 to get the clinch and push Paaluhi into the fence. Maybe she is looking for a takedown (finally). But again Paaluhi gets that headlock hip-toss. Now she passes to mount and starts dropping ‘bows. Punches now. Johnson is in trouble; she can’t move. Should only be a matter of time here. Paaluhi lets go with a series of punches after setting up her position carefully, doing just enough to require the stoppage. Paaluhi gets the TKO at 2:06.
If you’re wondering about female MMA prospects to keep an eye on, I’d add Paaluhi to the list.
Jordan Kekino vs. Zane Kamaka
Kamaka comes out to Limp Bizkit “Rollin'”…I do not approve. But I’m a professional, so I won’t let that influence my PBP.
Kekino, who is making his pro debut but has kickboxing fights to his credit, lands a kick and Kamaka counters with a big right. Kekino ends up getting a takedown; Kamaka tries to get a guillointe, but it isn’t there. Back to the feet and huge flurry from both men, with a Kamaka right hand making the difference. Kekino dives in for the shoot and does get him down, but Kamaka gets up and brings kekino down. Kamaka stood up looking for some GNP, but Kamaka pulled him down looking for a leg lock. He tries for a heel hook and Kamaka counters with a foot hold of his own. Oddly, again, they’re stood up, though neither guy was in danger. Kekino with another takedown, but Kamaka is cranking a kimura. He rolls him and it’s all the way locked on. I think he tapped; Kamaka gets up and walks away, while Kekino stays on the ground looking dejected and not protesting. The referee I don’t think saw it, but we’re going with the honor system. Nice submission for Kamaka at 3:21.
Replay shows that Kekino was tapping before Kamaka even rolled and locked it in even tighter. Referee wasn’t in position to see it.
Kurrent Cockett vs. Dustin Kimura
Cockett comes out to some Tupac. That’s much better.
Cockett is a six foot tall featherweight. Dear lord. Kimura is 5’8″ and gets caught in the Thai clinch and almost eats some knees when he tried to close the distance ad push Cockett into the fence. Back to the center, very nice outside leg kick from Cockett. Lead straight right from Cockett, using his length nicely. Another outside leg kick scores on Kimura. Kimura takes the center now and Cockett circles. Cockett comes at him with a combo and clinches up, throwing some nice knees. Now he lands yet another outside leg kick that trips Kimura down. Cockett looking really good on the feet, now working from Kimura’s guard. Wow. Excellent comeback. Despite the height and length advantage for Cockett, Kimura got a triangle, grabbed the leg to trip him down and switched it to an armbar. Cockett tries to swing his outside leg over Kimura’s head to relieve the pressure, but it’s tight and Cockett taps. Kimura by 2:58 submission Round 1.
The announcers say that Kimura and his girlfriend, Paaluhi, are planning to head to Sacramento to work with Team Alpha Male.
Sale Sproat vs. Collin Mansanas
They exchange and both guys appear to land, but Mansanas pummels Sproat with a short uppercut while Sproat was ducking down looking for the takedown. Holy crap. Mansanas just got KTFO. Mansanas hit him with a lead right hook — straight left, but Sproat countered with a straight right over the top that left Mansanas stiff and on his butt. A big follow up flurry from Sproat but the referee is already stepping in. Sproat by 1:28 KO.
In case you aren’t watching the PPV telecast, if you’re in Hawaii on March 18, you can attend a special Spring break party with Snooki and The Situation from Jersey Shore. Oh boy!
Thomas Matias vs. Van Oscar Penovaroff
**Per our announcers, bantamweight champion Russell Doane was in a car accident and unable to fight tonight. Matias, a Golden Gloves champion, took the fight on a couple of days notice against Penovaroff. So this is a non-title bout. Penovaroff is also a Golden Gloves champ and was an alternate for the 2004 Olympic boxing team. I’m going to take a wild guess and say this will be a striking battle.
Circling early, neither guy taking the center Matias shoots in with a straight to the body and back out. These guys are fast as hell. Matias with an outside leg kick. 1-2 from Penovaroff, with the right finding the mark. Jab to the body from Matias. Overhand right from Matias just misses. Quick head movement from Matias to dodge a punch. Right hand from Penovaroff lands. Matias backs him up with a three punch combo followed by a hard shot down to the body, but looks like most of the punches were blocked. Matias tries a flashy spinning axe kick and slips, allowing Penovaroff to pounce. He looks for a guillotine. Matias pops out but Penovaroff shows some quickness with a transition in the scramble to take the back. He locks on the RNC tight. Matias tries to fight it off and pull the top hand off. But Penovaroff gets the tap. Penovaroff by submission. Apparently there was some bad blood going into this fight, and after the tap, Penovaroff jumped out and threw his mouthpiece down at Matias. The referee had to step in between them. Luckily Penovaroff calms himself and apologizes and they both hug it out.
The clock just hit 3am here on the east coast, meaning I lost an hour of sleep. Can we get rid of daylight savings already?
Ricky Wallace vs. Eben Kaneshiro
Kaneshiro comes out with full mutton-chops connected via bushy mustache. He looks like he’s trying out for a role in a British murder mystery set in the 1800s.
Jab early by Wallace, then a 1-2. Kaneshiro, a BJJ black belt, ducks in for the clinch and has his back standing, looking to take him down. He jumps up and gets the hooks in. Wallace is trying to duck down to get him off and escape out the back door; has to make sure not to leave an arm in there. He has his hands clasped but Kaneshiro isn’t giving up. Kaneshiro rolls him and locks on the triangle. Wallace spins out and looks to have turned his arm to keep it safe from the armbar. Now Wallace has gotten on top with Kaneshiro turtled up. Lands some punches with Kaneshiro covered up, but Kaneshiro escapes. Left hook from wallace connects. And a jab as Kaneshiro tries to come in. Kaneshiro strating to score in the striking, lands a nice right hand during a flurry with wallace in the cage. Kaneshiro tries a couple of spinning backfists. Wallace responds with one but eats a knee because of that. Wallace is struggling. He’s starting to recover, but Kaneshiro drops him flush with a spinning backfist. 10-9 round for Kaneshiro (though you could say 10-8).
A bit of controversy. The horn sounded for the end of the round and the ref stops them. But the announcers say the clock still had about 40 seconds left. Could be a huge error since Wallace was in trouble.
Kaneshiro picks up where he left off and they are going at it. Kaneshiro has him wobbly again and cuts him with a spinning back elbow. But now Wallace is scoring and Kaneshiro is slowing. Both guys are trading spinning back fists. Wallace throws one and misses but follows it up with a good kick to the body. OH! Wallace had him covered up on the fence and hit him with a big left to the body/liver that drops Kaneshiro. A few more GNP shots and the ref stops it. TKO win for Wallace at 2:01.
Harris Sarmiento vs. Max Holloway
They exchange a bit and Sarmiento connects with a right hand. A few body shots by Holloway and Sarmiento gets the Thai clinch and then the greco clinch with Holloway on the cage. Sarmiento is pressing up on him right now, ducking for the takedown. Gets the underhooks and the trip takedown. Short elbows from Harris’s half guard. Sarmiento almost traps an arm but Holloway gets back to full guard and to his feet. Holloway staying active with his kickboxing but Sarmiento dodges the blows. Holloway charges in and Sarmiento hits him with a 1-2 on the way in. Left hook to the body from Holloway to set up a straight right upstairs. Nice outside leg kick by Max. Sarmiento working the jab a bit. Another leg kick from Holloway; those are landing flush. Holloway charges in again with a flying knee and a flurry, but this time he lands and has Sarmiento stunned a bit. Harris has to clinch and get rid of the cobwebs. Holloway mixing his punches and leg kicks nicely. Holloway has the edge, 10-9.
Winging overhand right from Holloway misses. Holloway with a leg kick and Sarmiento tries to counter with a right hand. Flying knee attempt by Holloway, but Sarmiento catches the knee, maybe looking for the takedown, but Holloway is out. Holloway tries the Pettis off the cage kick…wasn’t even close. Left hook to leg kick combo from Sarmiento, but Holloway drills him with another leg kick. Sarmiento gets the Thai clinch and tries to deliver some knees, but Holloway digs to the body with punches. Another nice combo to the body by Holloway, but Sarmiento is occasionally getting him with counters. Outside leg kick to 1-2 from Max. Sarmiento lands the same combo after Holloway misses with a running flying knee. Holloway tries to land a flurry, but Sarmiento slips the punches and gets the clinch as the round ends. Close round, but slight edge maybe to Sarmiento with his counterpunching.
Holloway comes in with a jab, but leaves his hand in there and Sarmiento counters with a hook-straight right. Left hook lead from Harris almost connects. Fake leg kick by Harris followed by a straight right. Leg kick from Holloway. Sarmiento with a left hook and Holloway with a right hand. Sarmiento looks for the takedown and Holloway fights it off. Holloway leg kick. Right hand to the body by Harris. Not as much activity this round. Overhand right from Sarmiento just misses, and another. A couple of hooks to the body from Holloway. Another close round. ProMMAnow.com scores it 10-10.
This could come down to who has the better cardio. Harris lands a couple punches and dodges Holloway’s return fire. Left jab from Holloway. Holloway with a two punch to leg kick combo. Inside leg kick from Sarmiento. Nice left hook downstairs from Holloway. Rounds two and three it looked like Sarmiento might be fresher down the stretch, but Holloway looks solid right now. The taller Holloway working the jab. And there’s that leg kick of his. Holloway throws a hook to the body and Sarmiento counters with a left hook to the head, but Holloway doesn’t seem fazed. Holloway just tried the Anderson Silva uppercut elbow but with no luck. Harris scores with a right hand and tries to follow up with a clinch takedown but can’t get it. Left hook by Sarmiento. Another sneaky elbow from Holloway grazes the chin. He’s actually using it a lot; not as big and looping as the one Silva used to knockout Tony Fryklund, but they’re scoring. Right hand by Holloway as the horn sounds. 10-9 for Holloway. Upset in the making?
Inside leg kick Holloway. Left hook from Sarmiento. Holloway jab. They exchange in close and Holloway scores with a right as Sarmiento backaway. Right hand from Sarmiento. Double jab–right from Holloway. Still a methodical pace. Flying knee from Holloway but this one lands. Big flurry to the body from Holloway. Then a knee to the head from the Thai clinch by Holloway and Sarmiento definitely felt that; best strike of the fight so far. Holloway actually gets a takedown by pushing the shorter Sarmiento in the face and tripping his feet out from under him. School yard bully style. Left hook from Sarmiento lands, but I think he needs to do something more to get the win here. Series of jabs from Holloway. Holloway is looking happy on his feet but eats a right from Sarmiento. Big left hook from Sarmiento misses and Holoway scores with a left hook to the body again. It’s over, and I think Holloway has done it. 10-9 for Holloway, and ProMMAnow.com has it 49-47 for Holloway.
Split decision, the winner is Max Holloway. The 19-year-old just improved to 3-0 and won the X-1 lightweight title. Credit Holloway for the use of his reach and his body attack and leg kicks probably kept Sarmiento from coming out stronger in the latter rounds.
Falaniko Vitale vs. Dylan Clay
Niko Vitale is facing Bellator champ Hector Lombard on May 14 in a nontitle match as part of a two fight deal, so let’s see how he looks.
Vitale, the more true middleweight, looks a decent amount bigger. Vitale jumps in with a left. Clay clips him with a leg kick. Clay pumping that front leg a lot, Muay Thai style. Nice jab from Vitale, then a right to the body. Niko switches to southpaw and eats a leg kick. Another leg kick from Clay. Vitale, though, has the better hands and backs him up the fence and rattles his head with a right hand. Clay throws a leg kick, Vitale counters with a two-punch combo. That sets up the jab to right uppercut and……..that uppercut landed clean. Clay is out cold. Good night, folks. 2:04 KO win for Vitale.