Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:02 a.m., Sunday, July 24, 2005

Vitale loses Super Brawl title

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

A stunning victory made Waipahu's Falaniko Vitale the Super Brawl world champion, and a stunning loss took the title away from him last night.

Iowa's Robbie Lawler defeated Vitale by second-round knockout in the main event of Super Brawl: Icon.

A crowd of around 6,000 at the Blaisdell Center Arena walked away in stunned silence as Lawler raised the championship belt in triumph.

Vitale's sister ran into the ring after the bout and tried to punch Lawler, but security guards quickly restored order.

"It was a battle of attrition," Lawler said. "It was just a battle of heart. We both had heart and I happened to come out on top."

Lawler rocked Vitale with a combination of punches late in the second round, dropping Vitale to the canvas before the referee stepped in to signal the end of the bout.

"I caught him with an uppercut, but I think the knee (to the chin) was the key," Lawler said. "I followed that up with a right hook and that was it."

Lawler improved to 9-4, and seven of his victories have been by knockout. Vitale dropped to 20-4. It was his first bout since winning the world title with a flying-punch knockout of Masanori Suda in April.

"Somebody was going to get caught and I happened to be the one," Vitale said. "Anything can happen when two fighters are tired in there and I just got caught."

Until Lawler's closing flurry, the bout was close throughout. Both fighters threw and took heavy punches to the head in the first and second rounds.

Vitale appeared to be in control several times by flipping Lawler to the canvas, but he could never apply a finishing move.

"We both weathered a few storms," Lawler said. "I've never been taken down like that, and his kicks were really strong."

Vitale said he would like a rematch.

"He's a great champ and he deserves it," Vitale said. "But it's not over for me. We'll see what Super Brawl wants."

In the semi-main event, Jason "Mayhem" Miller of Las Vegas defended his North American lightweight championship (175 pounds), and put on a mixed martial arts clinic in a victory over Waipahu's Mark Moreno.

Miller dominated throughout and eventually forced Moreno into a tapout via armbar submission, 4:54 into the first round.

Miller landed several unanswered punches to Moreno's head early in the round, and appeared to be in such control at the end of the round that he even flashed a shaka sign to the crowd before applying his finishing hold.

Miller improved to 12-4, including 5-0 in Hawaii.

Moreno, who trains out of the Bulls Pen in Honolulu, dropped to 8-6-2.

In the highlight of the undercard bouts, Ed Keli'i Newalu of the 808 Fight Factory in Waipahu won the Hawai'i state flyweight (135 pounds) championship with a majority decision over Mark Oshiro of the Bulls Pen in Honolulu.

The bout was action-packed, with the fighters exchanging punches and submission attempts throughout the three five-minute rounds.

In other undercard bouts:

Mixed martial arts

160: Ryan Diaz (Vancouver, Canada) def. Kolo Koka (Kailua) by armbar submission, 4:01 into second round.

165: K.J. Noons (Big Island) def. Bryson Kamaka (Waipahu) by KO kick, 1:20 into first round.

185: Nick Ring (Washington) def. Kimo Woelfel (Kane'ohe) by choke submission, 2:06 into first round.

185: Reese Andy (Washington) def. Trevor Garrett (Ohio) by choke submission, 4:15 into first round.

205: Kala Kolohe Hose (Wai'anae) def. Corey Daniels (Kailua) by TKO, 2:58 into second round.


160: Harris Sarmiento (Waipahu) def. Alex Zarriello (Honolulu) by unanimous decision.

135: Tyson Nam (Honolulu) def. Frankie DeJesus (Waipahu) by unanimous decision.

160: Ikaika Choy-Fu def. Stoka Solla (Honolulu) by KO kick, 0:12 into third round.

175: Ben Rodriguez ('Ewa Beach) def. Kalani Ng (Waipahu) by TKO, 1:00 into first round.