I haven’t been able to post too much as I went straight into fight camp for my next fight which is happening in two days. Once again, I will be defending my X-1 World Events MMA Bantamweight Title against Ricky Camp of Guam. The fight is happening at the Blaisdell Arena on Saturday April 27, 2019.
I was very fortunate to have my Camp done by Coach Justin Mercado in Colorado Springs in the Victory MMA Gym with Coach Gilbert Smith adding in some knowledge and skill as well. This was definitely a different experience but one that benefited me a lot. I trained, drilled, and sparred and wasn’t confined to the four walls of a gym. My training took place on a track, steep hill, a garage, and I also did the Manitou Incline in which at the top I did some Boxing conditioning.
I strongly believe that this Fight Camp has definitely helped me prepare for battle. One of the positive things that happened was the fact that all I had to focus on most of the time was Fight Camp, training, and watching my weight. I was able to put my job on hold for the three weeks I was there and just focused on what needed to be done.
As always, at this time of Fight week it is the tail end of my weight cut. I feel that it has been an easier cut, but I still feel the effects of it, mainly that I am hungry LOL! There could be a bnunch of factors to why I feel this one has been easier. 1. I came off of a fight as I went into Fight Camp 2. The elevation of Colorado. All I can say is that I am on track to make weight and am looking forward to fighting.
I am really stoked and looking forward to be fighting on the same card as my brother, Ryan COCONUT Mondala. It has been years since we were able to fight together at home in front of our family and friends. Ryan is fighting for the 125 lb X1 State Title against an opponent I defeated before, Zach Close. This card is actually stacked from start to finish and shouldn’t be missed.
Today was Weigh Ins and I am so glad it is over. It is so good to drink something again. Cutting down to 130 in a 3-week time frame was a bit tough, but I got down to 129 so I am cleared to fight.
I liked how organized the weigh ins were. Everything so far with the organizers have been on point and smooth. Just experiencing the weigh in here in Japan was a totally different experience from back home in Hawaiʻi. They started on time and all fighters were present. They called from the start of the schedule and worked down wards to the Main Events.
There was no flashy showing of attitude or anything. Everyone was pretty humble and left their egos at the door. Best weigh in experience ever in regards to how organized. It didn’t take more than an hour to complete and we were out of there and heading to go eat.
Meeting Yusaku for the 1st Time at Weigh Ins
At weigh ins today was the first time I met my opponent, Yusaku Nakamura. Seeing his built and stance put things into perspective for me. You can only see so much on a video of your opponent, so seeing him in person made things more clear for me to visualize. He was a pretty goofy guy with his poses and stuff but I know he is getting ready for this fight just as much as I am.
I was also informed that I was given this fight because I beat my last opponent Taiki in Hawaiʻi. This was supposed to be his fight, but they called and asked for me instead. Kind of makes things more exciting for me.
After weigh ins I was interviewed by a Japanese organization covering the fight. They had some interesting questions that I answered honestly. One question they asked was for me to point out what I feel is my opponents weakness, and what are my strengths. It was a fun experience even though I have no clue why they wanted to interview me.
Train Ride in Japan
So i experienced my first Japan Train Ride on the popular Yamanote Line. After we rested from Lunch and weigh ins we decided to go venture out to a popular spot called Harajuku. To get there we jumped on a train and it took us about 20 minutes from our station to Harajuku.
It was an experience to feel how fast we the train goes yet how smooth the ride on the inside is. Yes maybe on the stop and initial go after each station was jerky but for the most part it was smooth. I also experienced feeling like a Sardine. The train got so packed at one point we were cramped all together. It was definitely an experience.
What a cool place. We first stopped in a Daiso, which is their Dollar Store. We looked at every floor and it was neat. It was a very busy and popular store and why wouldn’t it be with all the great stuff you could get.
The main street of this place was lighted up with colors and it was packed with people. There was some tempting Crepe stands at about every corner. I fought off temptation but I almost lost. They were literally placed at every freaking corner sometimes right across from each other.
There were some cool stores with original shirts and stuff. I also saw lots of Anime stuff spread throughout the stores that lined the street. They had all kinds of stores from clothes to accessories to shoes and CANDY. I saw the biggest Cotton Candy ever in Harajuku.
There was a downside, and that would be some of the smells wasn’t so great. I don’t know if it was just the food smell mixed in with the sweet smell of the crepes and sweets, but it wasn’t too great.
First UBER Ride Ever
We decided to catch an Uber back to the hotel. I didn’t even know they had Uber in Japan. Anyway, this was my very first uber ride. It was in a nice black van and the ride was smooth. It did take a little longer than the train but worth it.
Ending my Night
I ended my night by getting a small sweat on as well as getting loose for the fight. Did a lot of Shadow Boxing and going over the game plan with Coach Scott. Got some push ups and squats in as well. Focusing on my fight is now my priority, It will be a long day tomorrow but I will spend some time practicing, but most of my time focusing on what I need to do once I step into the cage!
Thanks to everyone,,,
Who took time out to make a video for me. It was good to see your faces and to hear your voices. Makes it easier to focus on representing the best I can for all of you. I know I am representing all of Hawaiʻi and practically all of the USA, but I really want to make all of you my family, friends, and supporters proud. Being away from home and not having my usual crowd at the fight is a whole new feeling for me. So the video that was compiled was a nice touch to see as I enter into the final preparation for this fight.
I am very fortunate to have friends that are willing to help with the upcoming Fundraiser for me. One of my sponsors, Tulipa Style LLC, has come up with an outstanding line up of entertainment.
Recording Artist, Kumu Hula, and my friend, Leato Savini will share his talents and music off of his Album as well as traditional Hawaiian Music.
Two Time Song Competition winner, 1-at The Ville in ʻEwa and 2-at Hawaiʻi KTV & Lounge, Ah Sen Mokiao will share his vocal talents with us. Ah Sen is also a friend and a co-worker with me at UFC Gym Mililani.
These Two Gentlemen are known as Da Camarillo brothers. Friends of Leato, they have a variety of music interest that they will share with us. They perform professionally in Waikiki weekly and we are fortunate that they will be able to share their talents with us. Kamaka (pictured right) has gained popularity with his friend for their Hawaiian version of Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like” titled “E Piʻi Mai”
My friend and Jiujitsu Teammate, KAHI T (pictures left), has volunteered his talents as a Radio Personality to keep the flow of the program in check as the MC!
So far that is a SOLID line up and the team will probably add one or two more spots if possible. The Fundraiser again will be on DECEMBER 19 from 5p-10p at The Shack Mililani!
This soul was born for battle, my heart was built for war!