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Sunday, July 24, 2005



MIXED MARTIAL ARTS


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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Robbie Lawler, right, defeated Niko Vitale last night in SuperBrawl: ICON.



Lawler KOs Vitale;
Miller pounds Moreno

"Mayhem" is here to stay, but Niko Vitale found out defending the title is a little harder than winning it.

"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler overcame countless right hands from Vitale before stunning him with two right crosses and a straight left to knock him out and become the new Icon Sport middleweight champion during last night's SuperBrawl: ICON at Blaisdell Arena.

A near-capacity crowd, on its feet the entire fight, became dead silent as Lawler caught Vitale in the corner and knocked him out with 24 seconds left in the second round.

"I was trying to free up the right hand," Lawler said. "But he is a warrior and he was tying it up on me."

As soon as the bell sounded to start the fight, Lawler exploded out of the corner with a couple of high kicks that seemed to surprise Vitale. But Vitale quickly recovered and seemed to have the upper hand as he began to fire away and caught Lawler with multiple clean shots.

"We trained so hard standing up, I just got caught," Vitale said. "I knew I was going to get caught sooner or later. If nobody else wants that title shot, I'm more than willing to give it a chance.

"I will be a champion again. If not SuperBrawl, then the world."

Meanwhile, Jason Miller's quest to become one of SuperBrawl's biggest stars has become a reality after a dominating victory over Mark Moreno that was completely one sided.

"The grudge match of the year" turned into a blowout as Miller completely dominated Moreno on the ground with countless knees and punches before using a shotgun armbar submission to defeat Moreno with 6 seconds left in the first round.



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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Jason Miller, center, pinned Mark Moreno for his win last night at the Blaisdell Arena.



As has been the case in his previous SuperBrawl fights, Miller once again won over more of the Hawaii crowd with his personality and fighting skills. Moreno didn't land one hard shot as Miller quickly took the fight to the ground and stayed on top of Moreno before the armbar finish to remain undefeated in Hawaii.

"He wasn't really giving me anything, but I wasn't looking for a submission either," Miller said. "There was a lot of bad blood there, so I wanted to punish him."

Miller, who struggled to make weight for the fight, hinted that he might be looking to move up a weight class after the bout.

"This belt is feeling kind of light," Miller said. "I might need something a little heavier."

Ronald Jhun, who lost to Miller in a match last year at the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, made an appearance in the ring right after the fight, asking "Mayhem" for a rematch.

In the first title fight of the evening, Ed "Kelii" Newalu defeated Mark Oshiro by majority decision for the state flyweight title. One judge scored the bout a draw and two judges gave Newalu a 29-28 victory.

In other mixed martial arts matches, Ryan Diaz upset Kolo Koka by armbar submission, K.J. Noons knocked out Bryson Kamaka, Nick Ring defeated Kimo Woelfel by rear naked choke submission, Reese Andy forced Trevor Garrett to tap out, and Kala Kolohe Hose defeated Corey Daniels by knockout.

In the four kickboxing matches, Harris Sarmiento won a unanimous decision over Alex Zarriello, Tyson Nam defeated Frankie DeJesus by unanimous decision, Ikaika Choy-Fu knocked out Stoka Solla 12 seconds into the third round, and Ben Rodriguez knocked out Kalani Ng.



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