Fitial eyes repeat vs Aussie


Kelvin Fitial, right, hits Ben Sosoli on the face during their heavyweight bout in the Pacific Xtreme Combat 56 in Guam in 2017. The two heavyweight fighters will meet anew later this month in the Hex Fight Series 18 in Australia. (PXC Guam Photo)

The CNMI’s Kelvin “The Big Hit” Fitial will see action in the premier mixed martial arts promotion in Australia when he takes on Ben “Seki” Sosoli in Hex Fight Series 18 on March 29.

Fitial will be facing a familiar foe in Sosoli at the Melbourne Pavilion in Victoria, as the two fighters had already clashed in 2017 in Pacific Xtreme Combat 56 in Guam. The Commonwealth bet won their first meeting via unanimous decision and is eyeing to make it two in a row against the Aussie.

“I am very happy and thankful for the opportunity to compete in Australia for the first time and fight Ben again,” said Fitial, who trains with BBJ Athletics’ Jerry Diaz. “I beat him before and I will do my very best to do it again. I don’t want to be overconfident and I will focus on the remaining days of my training so that we can execute our fight plan against Ben.”

The 35-year-old Fitial, who once tipped the scales at 310 lbs and is now down to 230 lbs, hopes to work on his advantage in quickness and mixed style of fighting to beat the home crowd favorite.

“I am more of a well-rounded fighter now. I improved both my standup and ground fighting skills. The training under Jackson Wink MMA Academy early this year helped me a lot, plus the training I regularly have with Jerry keeps me in great shape,” said Fitial.

The 6’3’ warrior worked out in the MMA school based in Albuquerque, New Mexico for more than two weeks and was under the watchful eyes of renowned trainer Greg Jackson. The facility in New Mexico is known for training big names in the contact sport, including UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Diego Sanchez, and George St. Pierre.

“I’ve work a lot on my stamina, speed, and power when I was in Jackson Wink. It was really a great training for me and I am pretty happy where I am now and excited for the opportunities coming my way,” Fitial said.

When he faces Sosoli, Fitial will be gunning for a third straight victory and No. 16 overall. After his win over the Australian, Fitial also topped Peter Miyasaki (Guillotine Choke/first round) in Rites of Passage 21: Throwdown in May 2017. In July 2016, the CNMI fighter absorbed his eighth loss when Guam’s Roque Martinez beat him (unanimous) in PXC 54.

The 29-year-old Sosoli, on the other hand, managed to earn 3-0 record after bowing to Fitial. All three victories were via knockouts (punches) and were recorded against Gregory Hearne, Korea Maea, and Mike Turner. Overall, the Australian holds a 6-2 mark with his other loss against Simon Scott in 2015.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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