MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mark Oshiro, bottom, landed a kick to Bao Quach's face during the Icon Sport Mixed Martial Arts Hard Times event last night. Quach won by decision.
Quach gets decision over Oshiro
Bao Quach had the looks of a loser, but the heart of a champion.
Bruised, bloodied and in need of stitches, Quach won his first major title in a unanimous decision over Mark Oshiro to become the 140-pound North American champion in one of three main events in last night's Icon Sport: Hard Times event at Blaisdell Arena.
Quach (15-8-1) won his ninth consecutive fight while handing Oshiro (11-2) his first loss in nearly three years in front of a crowd of 2,000.
"I just tried to fight to the end and then see what happened," Quach said. "He's a tough fighter. I let my guard down for a second and he attacked."
Quach executed his game plan to take Oshiro down from the outset, putting the Pearl City fighter on his back seconds into the fight. Near the end of the round, Quach locked on a vicious armbar that left Oshiro in a world of pain, and almost ended the bout.
"I was 99.9 percent going to tap, but that 0.1 kept me from tapping," Oshiro said. "That (armbar) was so tight."
Quach again caught Oshiro in the same hold that looked to end the fight early in the second round, but the local boy would not give in. He eventually reversed position and unloaded a huge knee that busted Quach open above his right eye. Momentarily dazed, Quach was stunned by a ferocious combination of strikes, but held his composure and ended the round with another takedown.
The pattern remained the same for the rest of the fight, as every time Oshiro landed a punishing blow, Quach would shoot in and take him down.
"I should have been ready for that," Oshiro said. "I thought he was going to stand with me. That's what he was saying at the press conference. I caught him with some shots and his face showed it, but he had the heart of a champion, too, and it was his night."
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kala Kolohe Hose, right, and Rolando Dominique exchange punches during the Icon Sport Mixed Martial Arts Hard Times event at the Blaisdell Arena.
The night also belonged to Waianae's Kala Kolohe Hose, who withstood a surprising onslaught from Rolando Dominique to hand the Alaskan fighter his first professional loss by TKO in the second round.
Hose (7-2), coming off a shocking submission loss to unheralded Bubba McDaniel in June, was rocked by a flurry of kicks and punches to start that fight that had him backpedaling for much of the first round. After regaining his composure during the break, he caught Dominique with a right hook and followed up with a series of strikes on the ground that ended the fight.
"I knew he was going to be explosive," Hose said. "The first round I was kind of being careless. For me, this win was important. I had to prove to myself I deserve to be here."
Hose's win sets up a probable rematch with Phil Baroni later this year for the middleweight belt. Baroni won his second consecutive fight, needing just 51 seconds to defeat Ron Verdadero by TKO.
"I'll fight him anytime, anyplace, anywhere, for free," Baroni said regarding a fight with Hose.
Verdadero staggered Baroni with a left hook, but Baroni responded with a right hook and uppercut combo that dropped Verdadero. He seemed to quickly jump back to his feet, but referee Yuji Shimada ended the fight, drawing boos from the crowd.
"He caught me with one good one," Verdadero said. "Everybody thought the stoppage was early but to be honest, I had some injuries from the fight."
In addition to a probable Hose/Baroni rematch, Icon's next card on Nov. 22 will feature a world title bout at 205 pounds between Poai Suganuma and Jeremy Williams and the first round of a 16-man middleweight tournament.