ProElite makes its return to the MMA-centric islands of Hawaii, featuring a fight card loaded with world class talent on January 21, 2012 at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. The main event matches Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove against Ikuhisa “The PUNK” Minowa, and includes the semifinals of the ProElite Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Tickets for “ProElite: Da Spyder vs The PUNK” will be on sale soon to the general public at the Blaisdell Center box office, all Ticketmaster locations (800)745-3000, Ticketmaster online(www.ticketmaster.com) and www.ProElite.com. The ProElite event, a wholly-owned property of Stratus Media Group (www.stratusmediagroup.com), will be televised live on HDNet at 10 P.M. EST
Hawaii native Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (13-9) returns to the ProElite cage to take on international fan favorite Ikuhisa “The PUNK” Minowa (51-32-8) of Nagoya, Japan. The 6-foot-6 Grove had an impressive showing on ProElite’s last card in Hawaii (August 27, 2011) where he choked out tough MMA veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs with a guillotine choke at just :59 seconds of the first round.
With 35 of his 51 wins coming by way of submission, Japanese fight icon Minowa, is one of the most well known and recognizable fighters on the international circuit today. He has competed in PrideFC and Dream, where he defeated three MMA giants including Bob Sapp (Achilles Lock), Hong Man Choi (Heel Hook), and Sokoudjou (TKO) to capture the Dream Super Hulk (Openweight) Grand Prix title. The January 21 fight will mark Minowa’s ProElite and North American debut.
The Honolulu Card also features the first semifinal match of the Heavyweight Grand Prix, and showcases the very tough Ryan Martinez (6-1) taking on headhunter Cody Griffin (5-2).
In his ProElite debut, Martinez handed 2009 NCAA Heavyweight wrestling champion Mark Ellis his first MMA defeat by unanimous decision in the first stage of the Grand Prix on November 5, 2011. Known for his go for broke fighting style, the 5-foot-11 Martinez hails from Greenley, Colorado where he trains out of Infinite MMA. Griffin, a true comeback kid, brings an explosive style to the match. Between the two fighters only 3 out of their 14 total fights have gone to decision.
The opposite bracket features the heavy hitting Jake “The Honey Bear” Heun (2-1) against the biggest physical competitor in the tournament at 6-foot-5, Richard “The Black Eagle” Odoms (6-0).
Heun looks to continue his rise to prominence after training with Chris “The Crippler” Leben during his time as a Linebacker at the University of Hawaii and is now refining his technique in Utah under the guidance of MMA pioneer Jeremy “Gumby” Horn. Heun has become a dangerous opponent for any fighter entering the cage with him.
Richard Odoms, an imposing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds, is truly a giant in the cage. The San Antonio, Texas police officer dominated his November 5 fight against Rod Housley and won a clear cut unanimous decision to advance into the Honolulu semifinals.
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