Fitial KO’d in second round by rising Tafa


Kelvin “The Big Hit” Fitial, third from left, with Junior Tafa, second from left, after their heavyweight bout in Hex Fight Series 23 last Friday in Melbourne, Australia. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Aussie newcomer Junior Tafa knocked out the CNMI’s Kelvin “The Big Hit” Fitial with a sharp uppercut to the chin with seconds left in the second round of their heavyweight fight in Hex Fight Series 23 last Friday in Melbourne, Australia.

The loss dropped the 38-year-old Fitial’s win-loss-draw record to 15-13-2, while the win was only the second for the 25-year-old Queensland native Tafa.

Despite the loss, Fitial remained upbeat and was just glad he was able to show his wares again in the Land Down Under.

“This was a milestone in my career as I was able to combine all the different elements I’ve learned throughout the years. I felt great before, during, and after the fight. Of course, I wanted a win, but the journey and challenge, win or lose, is what keeps me going and motivated,” he told Saipan Tribune.

The former CNMI national cager and recent blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu thanked all his family, friends, and fight fans who continue to support him whether he wins or lose.

“I would like to thank my wife, my family, and my fans for the love and support they’ve always given me. Also thank you to Junior Tafa for a great fight and to Hex Fight Series and staff for allowing me to fight in this event. Also thank you to my sponsors IT&E, DM Sablan Holdings, and to Blue Blood Muay Thai, Four Season Martial Arts, and to Trench Tech Gym,” he said.

Fitial now has lost his last five mixed martial arts fights.

Last April, Aaron Bush beat Fitial via submission in B2 Fighting Series 157 in Lexington, Kentucky.

A month before that in March, ​​the CNMI’s pride lost to Dominique Steele via unanimous decision in B2 Fighting Series 152 in West Virginia.

In August 2021, Fitial was knocked out cold by Rakim Cleveland in B2 Fighting Series 132 in Kentucky. 

Curiously, Fitial’s losing streak started in the Land Down Under when he succumbed to Ben Sosoli in Hex Fight Series 18 in March 2019.

Fitial’s last win he defeated Peter Miyasaki in Rites of Passage 21 “Throwdown” on Saipan in May 2017.

Shake “Pikaboo” Alvarez served as Fitial’s cornerman against Tafa in Hex Fight Series 23.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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