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Friendly Isle Fighter

Young talent puts Molokai on the MMA scene.

Every weekday evening, the men of Molokai Madness lay out several two-inch thick mats on the cement patio behind a garage. To a soundtrack of reggae from a nearby radio, they begin strapping up their hands in tape. While joking with one another, they finish preparation and don thinly padded gloves.

The fighters soon get down to business. Today is a stand up practice day, where friends exchange blows, readying themselves for less-friendly encounters. They square off into pairs of two, taking turns kicking, swiping, jabbing and striking their opponent. Other days they practice wrestling, sparing and boxing, on top of a daily regiment of weight lifting and running.

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