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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 26, 2006

Lawler knocks out Vitale in rematch

Mixed martial arts photo gallery

Advertiser Staff

It wasn't much of a rematch.

A crowd of about 5,000 at the Blaisdell Arena watched Davenport, Iowa native "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler knock out Hawai'i's Falaniko Vitale 3:38 into the first round of the Icon Sport main event last night.

After a slow start that was mainly posturing, Lawler allowed Vitale to land several punches to the head and kicks to the leg.

Lawler then cornered Vitale and unleashed a flurry of rights and lefts, opening a cut above Vitale's right eye before Lawler connected with a left hook that knocked Vitale to the canvas.

The referee declared it a knockout as Lawler improved his record to 11-3 while Vitale fell to 20-6.

"I wanted to wear him out," Lawler said. "Niko's a tough opponent. Don't ever disrespect someone who comes into the ring and fights like that."

The non-title bout was scheduled for three five-minute rounds.

Vitale, a replacement for Jason "Mayhem" Miller last night, lost the Icon middleweight (185 pounds) championship to Lawler last July.