‘Big Hit’ returns to the ring in ‘Checkmate’

Posted on Aug 05 2021

Kelvin “The Big Hit” Fitial is set to make his long-awaited mixed martial arts return when he takes on Chandler Cole in the pro heavyweight fight of Showcase MMA’s Checkmate set for Sept. 3 at the Meadowview Convention Center in Kingsport, Tennessee.

The 37-year-old Fitial will come into the ring with a 15-9-2 win-loss-draw record. He will be challenging a fighter 11 years younger than him but 20 lbs heavier in Cole who has an MMA record of 8-3-0.

“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to train outside of the CNMI. I never really doubted or questioned if I was going to go back to fighting. Living on Saipan and being so isolated from opportunities made it difficult to find fights. With the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, I was not able to compete in Korea early this year but everything happens for a reason,” he said.

Kelvin “The Big Hit” Fitial MMA

Kelvin “The Big Hit” Fitial prepares to train at the Blue Blood Muay Thai/Four Seasons Martial Arts Gym for his Sept. 3 fight against Chandler Cole in the pro heavyweight division of Showcase MMA’s Checkmate. (Contributed photo)

Fitial is currently in Louisville, Kentucky for training camp under Raymond Diaz and his stable, Blue Blood Muay Thai/Four Seasons Martial Arts Gym.
“I’m hoping to get some fight opportunities while I am out here. Right now, I have two scheduled fights, Aug. 21, 2021 in Kentucky and Sept. 3, 2021 in Tennessee…I typically run in the morning, train at Blue Blood Muay Thai/Four Seasons Martial Arts in the afternoon, and close out my night at the gym,” he said.

Cole, affiliated with Wise County Combat Club, is 5’10’ and has a reach of 75 inches. Fitial is 6’3” and currently weighs 253 lbs. Cole is currently the No. 1 ranked professional MMA heavyweight in Tennessee and sixth ranked in the U.S. Southeast. In the country, he is the 28th ranked pro heavyweight in the sport of MMA.

Fitial said he doesn’t take this chance to revive his MMA career lightly. “First and foremost, I would like to thank the Man above for this great opportunity. Thank you to my wife and son for all the love and support they have given me to be able to pursue this life dream. Thank you to my sponsor IT&E for making this dream come true. Thank you to my Muay Thai coach on Saipan, Tai Doram, for connecting me with a great team out here in Kentucky. Lastly, thank you to all my family, friends and the Mission Team back on Saipan for the outpouring love and support to keep me going. I am and will always be a very proud son of the CNMI.”

Fitial last fought professionally in March 2019 in Hex Fight Series 18 in Melbourne, Australia where he was knocked out in the opening round by Australia’s Benjamin Sosoli.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com
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