Ufc Fighters Hit Paradise!
UFC Fighters hit Paradise!
Jens Pulver makes his Hawaii Fighting Debut and Dave Menne returns to Super Brawl
By Mike Onzuka
It seems as if the UFC boat has landed in Hawaii. We have more UFC studs than we know what to do with. Former UFC Champions Jens Pulver, who makes his Hawaii debut, and Dave Menne, who returns back to Hawaii after a debut in Super Brawl 13 in September of 1999, will help headline Super Brawl 33. In tow with Pulver and Menne are Matt Hughes and Tim Sylvia. Menne is matched up with the talented Falaniko Vitale. Newly crowned UFC welterweight champ and local boy, BJ Penn is planning on attending Super Brawl 33 and possibly Charuto Verissimo may even show up. Oh yeah, Enson Inoue is also here for the fight. This would make eight UFC veterans at one event that is NOT a UFC. That might be some kind of unofficial record. I could be wrong of course…
Niko Vitale has an opportunity to jump right back in the UFC title race for the 185 lb belt if he can beat a workhorse in Dave Menne. Vitale has been training with local journeyman, Ron "the Machine Gun" Jhun, who is also on this card and both are in incredible shape. Jhun has been eyeing the UFC and waiting for his chance to show the world that he is another Hawaii fighter that has the skills and toughness to be a force in the ever fluctuating 170 lb division. "Little Evil" is looking to stay busy and keeping himself sharp by fighting Grappling Unlimited’s Eddie Yagin in a kickboxing match. Unfortunately for both the fighters and the fans, Jens is sporting a mean gash over his right eye which could pose a problem for this fight, but more importantly jeopardize his upcoming Shooto debut against Uematsu on March 22nd which happens to be my birthday (someone buy me a Porsche 911 Turbo please). Both fighters may wear headgear to provide some kind of protection for the cut and allow the fighters to throw the heavy leather that they are known for because they are itching to get it on.
Super Brawl 33 also is starting the first step to find the best "unknown" fighter at 155 lbs in another collaboration with Monte Cox’s Extreme Challenge. Four of Hawaii’s up and coming fighters will compete in an old school four-man tournament with the top two finishers advancing to the finals tentatively scheduled for early Summer. Extreme Challenge will hold two preliminary four-man tournaments for four other fighters and two slots will be held for at-large fighters. This joint venture has been very successful in showcasing Josh Barnett, Rico Rodriguez, Heath Herring, Bobby Hoffman, Joe Doerkson, and Dennis Kang among other fighters. The favorites may be 808 Fight Factory’s Harris Sarmiento who seems to have been fighting almost every week and Grappling Unlimited’s Kolo Koka who is coming down from 170 lbs by the request of UFC’s Dana White. HMC’s Mike Bauer had a great showing in his debut fight at 170 lbs against GU’s Keene and Paul Laga from the Bulls Pen is a hard hitting wrestling that should make this tournament interesting.
Team Extreme’s Justin Eilers, who gave Cabbage Correira the fight of his life in a past Super Brawl, returns to action beside his fellow Iowans. Eilers faces a veteran from Arizona in Vince Lucero and may be ready to start taking some high profile matches in the Heavyweight division. Finally, one of the sleepers on the card should be between two scrappy fighters named Harvey Nakamoto (Grappling Unlimited) and Ed Newalu (808 Fight Factory). Nakamoto is coming off of a win of Bozo Palling’s son Stephen and Newalu looked very sharp in his last fight in the Ring of Honor. The fighters looked ready to go and filed in and out of the Round Table Pizza where the weigh-ins were held with pizza in hand. Now that’s my kind of fight diet. I just need some ice cream and chocolate chip cookies to go with that and I’m all set for Super Brawl 33.
Super Brawl 33