St. John, Vitale win fights
Mia "The Knockout" St. John's mixed martial arts debut ended no differently than most of her fights as a boxer.
St. John lived up to her nickname with a 44-second, one-punch knockout of Rhonda Gallegoes in one of the featured fights in last night's "X-1: Champions" event in front of 3,500 fans at the Blaisdell Arena.
St. John has knocked out more than 40 opponents in the boxing ring, but got her first wearing the smaller 4-ounce mixed martial arts gloves.
"I think they are more like 2 ounces," St. John joked. "I was worried about breaking my hand."
"The Knockout" spent most of her training learning the nuances of ground fighting and jiu-jitsu, but didn't need any of it, as she punctuated her mixed martial arts debut with her traditional straight right-hand knockout, which crumpled Gallegoes.
"That's my best punch in boxing," she said. "I started by using my kicks a little bit and once I did that, I started punching."
Waipahu's Niko Vitale added the X-1 world middleweight title to his collection of belts by winning a four-man tournament.
Vitale stopped Ricky Shivers in the final in just 49 seconds by corner stoppage after busting Shivers wide open with a brutal kick to the face.
Blood immediately gushed from Shivers' forehead, forcing his corner to throw in the towel.
Vitale went the distance in beating Joey Guel in the first round to advance to the final, while Shivers needed just 78 seconds to stop Kenny Ento.
"I was tired before I came back to the ring," Vitale said. "I tried to end the fight as fast as I could."
Two new champions were crowned in the heavyweight and welterweight divisions.
Ron Waterman became X-1's inaugural heavyweight champion with a second-round key-lock submission of Analu Brash.
Chad Reiner of Alaska defeated Mark Moreno for the second time in three months to become the new world welterweight champion. Reiner, who stopped Moreno in November by submission in the second round, needed an extra round to pull out the TKO victory. The referee stopped the fight 52 seconds into the third round after Moreno succumbed to Reiner's onslaught of punches.
"Sugar" Shane Nelson and Eddie Yagin retained their X-1 lightweight and super lightweight titles with decision victories.
Nelson edged out a razor-thin majority decision over Kaleo Kwon, while Yagin dominated Dave Moreno for three rounds in picking up the unanimous decision victory.
In the first title fight of the night, Sean Sakata stopped Steve Farmer at 1:58 of round two by TKO due to strikes to capture the 170-pound state amateur title.
On last night's undercard: Michael Brightmon def. Anthony Torres by split decision; Wesley "Cabbage" Correira def. Jake Faagai by injury stoppage (left shoulder) at 2:17 of round one; Doug Hiu def. Eric Edwards by unanimous decision; Rich Anderson def. Cheyenne Padeken by verbal tapout (leg kicks) at 2:00 of round three; Lolohea Mahe def. Des Minor by TKO (strikes) at 2:12 of round one; Luke Cadina def. Brennan Kamaka by unanimous decision; Ikaika Moreno def. Aaron Steele by TKO at 3:00 of round one by injury stoppage (Achilles); Keola Silva def. Gary Rabellisza by referee stoppage in round one; Alan Hashimoto def. Jared Iha by split decision.