Clay takes injured Wolff's X-1 title
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
The molding of Dylan Clay is now in championship form.
Clay defeated Brandon Wolff to win the X-1 welterweight world championship in the main event of the X-1 World Events "Nations Collide" mixed martial arts card Friday night.
A crowd of around 3,000 at the Blaisdell Center Arena watched Clay finish an exhausted — and injured — Wolff with a kimura arm-lock late in the third round.
"I knew it was going to be a tough fight, and it was," Clay said. "You never know what to expect going into a fight, but I had a feeling we were both going to stand, so I was ready."
Clay, a former Maui resident who now lives in Colorado, improved to 8-2, with all eight of his victories in Hawai'i.
Wolff, a Kailua resident who was making the first defense of his X-1 title, dropped to 7-5.
An inadvertent poke to Wolff's right eye played a role in the fight. It happened midway through the first round, and Wolff's eye appeared to swell shut by the end of the opening round.
"I thought I hit him with a closed hand, but maybe my thumb caught him, I don't know," Clay said. "But, yeah, I saw his eye was bleeding so I knew it was pretty bad."
The bout was halted in the first round after the eye poke, but Wolff said he could continue and the event doctor agreed.
All three rounds featured stand-up striking from both fighters, with no takedown attempts.
Clay was the aggressor from start to finish, landing numerous kicks, punches and knees. He finally dropped Wolff midway through the third round, then finished it with the arm lock.
The referee stopped it after Wolff submitted, 4 minutes, 6 seconds, into the third. It was scheduled for five 5-minute rounds.
"Once I got him down, I was pretty confident," Clay said. "Seemed like he was pretty tired by then."
Wolff was clearly affected by the eye injury in the second and third rounds, but continued his counter-strike strategy.
"He caught me with some," Clay said. "The three-hit combo he had was nice."
The co-feature of the card was an eight-man tournament in the light-heavyweight (205 pounds) division. Only the quarterfinals of the tournament were completed Friday.
Po'ai Suganuma of Hilo advanced to the semifinals with a unanimous decision over Washington's Greg Schmitt.
In the other quarterfinals: Roy Boughton of California beat Maui's Adam Akau in the first round with a choke submission; Vitaly Shemetov of Russia defeated Japan's Shungo Oyama with a first-round knockout; Sang Soo Lee of South Korea defeated Arizona's Daniel Madrid via second-round knockout.
The semifinals will be completed at the next X-1 event in September, and the final is scheduled for November.
Russell Doane defeated Riley Dutro via first-round TKO to highlight the undercard. Doane was awarded the X-1 organization's state championship in the 135-pound division after the win.