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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 22, 2006

Team Hawai'i rocks Team Japan

 • Shields wins Rumble on Rock title

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

Jake Shields, left, lands a punch to Yushin Okami's face during the Rumble on the Rock 9. Shields won by majority decision.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawai'i fighters won three of four bouts to win the Team Hawai'i versus Team Japan challenge on the undercard of the Rumble on the Rock 9 mixed martial arts event last night.

A crowd of around 4,500 at the Blaisdell Center Arena watched the card, which finished after The Advertiser's deadline.

Brenton Wolff of Kailua and Ray "Braddah" Cooper of Waipahu each won by spectacular knockout in the first two bouts of the challenge.

Wolff dropped Shinpei Sotoyama with an uppercut, 2:34 into the first round. In the next bout, Cooper unleashed a combination of punches to Koji Yoshida's head, prompting the referee to stop the contest, 2:47 into the first round.

"I didn't know anything about this guy, so I'm glad it ended like that," Cooper said. "I was prepared to go the whole (three rounds) but I didn't want to."

Kailua's Scott Junk continued the winning streak for Team Hawai'i with a knockout of Lee Segak. Junk worked his way on top of Segak and landed three elbow strikes to Segak's head, prompting a stop to the bout 2:20 into the first round.

The lone loss of the night for Team Hawai'i came when Japan's Kazuhiro Hamanaka beat Hilo's Wesley "Cabbage" Correira with an arm-lock submission, 1:53 into the second round.

The fifth bout between Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Renato "Charuto" Verissimo de Oliveira had yet to be completed.

The "Super Fight" between Eric "Butterbean" Esch and Aaron Aguilera, and the championship bout of the 175-pound tournament also finished after The Advertiser's deadline.

Jake Shields of California and Carlos Condit of New Mexico advanced to the final of the tournament with semifinal victories.

Shields reached the final by scoring a somewhat controversial majority decision over Japan's Yushin Okami in the first semifinal.

The first two rounds of the three-round bout went back and forth, but Okami dominated the third round, opening a cut on Shields' head. The crowd voiced its displeasure when the decision was announced.

In the second semifinal, Condit continued his upset run by beating Frank Trigg with an arm-bar submission, 1:22 into the first round.

Trigg entered the bout ranked No. 5 in the world rankings for welterweights. Condit, who is unranked, also beat No. 10 Verissimo de Oliveira in the quarterfinals.



Semifinals: Jake Shields (California) def. Yushin Okami (Japan) by majority decision. Carlos Condit (New Mexico) def. Frank Trigg (California) by arm-bar submission, 1:22 into first round. Alternate bout: Brandon Wolff (Hawai'i) def. Josh McDonald (California) by TKO (doctor stopped bout due to cut on McDonald's head) after first round.


170: Brenton Wolff (Hawai'i) def. Shinpei Sotoyama (Japan) by TKO punches, 2:34 into first round. 160: Ray Cooper (Hawai'i) def. Koji Yoshida (Japan) by TKO punches, 2:47 into first round. Heavyweight: Scott Junk (Hawai'i) def. Lee Segak (Japan) by TKO elbows, 2:20 into first round. Heavyweight: Kazuhiro Hamanaka (Japan) def. Wesley Correira (Hawai'i) by arm-lock submission, 1:53 into second round.


185: Steve Byrnes (Hawai'i) def. Matt Knaub (New Mexico) by knee-bar submission, 0:44 into second round.

Reach Dayton Morinaga at dmorinaga@honoluluadvertiser.com.