The Best Of MMA And More
Wednesday - July 21, 2010
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By Phillip Lanides
Director of Media Relations for X-1 World Events
Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Since the debut of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s reality television series The Ultimate Fighter, which first aired on Spike TV in 2005, the sport’s popularity has rocketed to heights that few ever thought possible. Up until that point, however, many in the mainstream sports and media worlds had heard little about MMA.
This, however, was not the case in Hawaii. Promotions such as Superbrawl and Rumble on the Rock regularly ran events featuring well-known local fighters, as well as stars from the Mainland. Promoter T. Jay Thompson became well-known, and athletes such as B.J. Penn rose in popularity. The fight scene on the Islands seemed to be on the upswing along with the sport in general.
But it was not to be. Superbrawl went under, and Rumble on the Rock was purchased by another promotion before being discontinued. Other promotions such as ICON sprang up but withered away. Would MMA as a whole die out in the same manner?
Enter entertainment promotion X-1 World Events. Founded by Hawaii native Mike Miller in 2004, X-1 has matured into a first-rate company that promotes MMA events, as well as secular entertainment events. Locally-owned and operated, the promotion delivers exciting fight action in the form of MMA and boxing events, and has brought acts such as well-known comic/actor Eddie Griffin to the Islands.
But MMA is its bread and butter. X-1 fight cards have featured the best local fighters Hawaii has to offer, such as middleweight champion Falaniko Vitale, rising star Yancey Medeiros, and UFC veterans Brandon Wolff, “Sugar” Shane
Nelson, Ronald “The Machine Gun” Juhn, Wesley “Cabbage” Correira, and others. Mainland combatants such as former UFC champions Dan
Severn and Ricco Rodriguez, UFC veterans Jeff Monson, Kimo Leopoldo, Kalib Starnes, Chad “The Grinder” Reiner, and Wes “The Project” Sims, as well as Pride veterans Chris Brennan and Ron “H2O-Man” Waterman have all competed under the X-1 banner. In addition, fighters from Japan, Samoa, Russia, and Korea have all graced the X-1 cage. It is truly a world-class promotion.
X-1 and its awesome staff have taken up the mantle as the top fight promotion in Hawaii. As a result, MMA is alive and well on the Islands.
X-1 World Events’ next fight card takes place on Sept. 11 at Neal Blaisdell Arena . It will feature a world middleweight title bout between Falaniko Vitale and well-known fighter Kala “Kolohe” Hose.
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