MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Mo leaves Honolulu as K-1’s mightiest
One by one, some of K-1's best fighters lined up to take on Siala-Mou Siligia, but in the end, Mighty Mo's overhand right put them all to sleep.
Siligia, known in the fighting world as Mighty Mo, did his best bulldozer impression Saturday night. The 2004 Las Vegas tournament champion plowed through the tournament field before capping off the K-1 event by putting Russia's Aleksandr Pitchkunov on the canvas for good in the third round with his trademark looping overhand right to become the 2007 Grand Prix Hawaii champion at the Blaisdell Arena.
The victory earns Mo (32-5) a spot in the Final Elimination tournament in September in Korea as he looks to be crowned the 2007 World Grand Prix champion.
A crowd of 4,000 watched Mo defeat both Kyoung Suk Kim and Jan "The Giant" Nortje by vicious knockouts earlier in the evening before coming back out to complete the trifecta against Pitchkunov (6-1-1), who up to that point had never been defeated in a K-1 ring.
Mo entered the fight with all the momentum on his side, but was dropped by a spinning back kick from the Russian in round one that caught him squarely in the back of the head.
"Getting hit in the back of the head is the worst place to get hit for anybody," Mo said. "It shook me good, but I got back up and wanted to return the favor."
The 300-pound Samoan did exactly that, knocking down Pitchkunov twice in the second round with multiple flurries of punches. He continued the onslaught as soon as the bell sounded in round three, knocking him down two more times in the opening 30 seconds before finally ending the fight with a vicious overhand right that crumpled Pitchkunov to the ground one final time.
Unfortunate for the Siligia family, it wasn't "like father, like son" as 14-year-old Mighty Mo Jr. was knocked out by Ky Hollenbeck in the first round of a preliminary fight. It was the first time in K-1 history that a father and son competed on the same card.
"If he's going to want to do this, he needs to fight with his heart," the elder Mo said. "He's going to learn that sometimes you fall down, but you have to dust it off and get back up."
Badr Hari, 22, needed less than 30 seconds to become the first K-1 heavyweight champion as he defeated Japan's Yusuke Fujimoto with a kick to the head that had the 2005 Hawaii Grand Prix runner-up out cold.
Hari knocked down Fujimoto just 10 seconds into the fight with a left jab. After Fujimoto got back to his feet, Hari unleashed a left knee and right-hand combo that again staggered the Japanese superstar before a left high kick connected with Fujimoto's jaw, ending the fight.
"He walked right into my jab and it was over from there," said Hari, who is the youngest champion in K-1 history. "I knew something special was happening out there, but nothing that I couldn't handle."
Kaneohe's Mike Malone was defeated by Korea's Hong-Man Choi in the second round of their superfight by TKO after Malone busted his shin open attempting a kick against the 360-pound giant.
"The knockdowns weren't really that hard -- it was just so overwhelming power and I fell down a lot," Malone said. "When I kicked him with an outside leg kick, it split open my shin and I could feel a shock go through my ankle and my leg."