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Mita wins big title

Masterton’s Corban Mita has bagged a long-desired national title, prevailing in a tense main fight at last Saturday’s ‘Masterton Mayhem’ tournament at the War Memorial Stadium.

Mita won three gold medals at the 2022 WKA World Championships, where he was New Zealand’s top individual on the medal table, but a national title had eluded him. That all changed in Saturday night’s feature bout when he took on Dima Gladkih from Oliver MMA, Kapiti, in the 72kg category full [elbows and all] Muay Thai title fight.

The uncompromising dual went the full distance of five rounds, with Mita winning by unanimous decision, an outcome which prompted a rousing haka from the sellout crowd.

“It was a really good fight and the fight of the night, and on top of that, there was probably the loudest haka that I’ve ever heard on a fight show; all of them at the corporate tables and in the stands got up and performed the haka for him,” organiser and Undisputed MMA trainer Emile Johnson said.

The fight was also Mita’s last hurrah in New Zealand before he moves to Australia in the coming weeks.

Nine fighters from Undisputed MMA Wairarapa stepped into the ring, with three others coming away with victories while the others suffered close losses.

Hungarian Boglarka Nemeth, who trains under Johnson, beat Michelle Brown Far North in the only female fight, William Clatworthy won his fight over Tahurangi Harrison from Rangitikei MMA, and Saqkryd Witanga defeated Nathaniel Krynen from Palmerston North.

Johnson was rapt with how the fight night, which was part of the Undisputed MMA Series went, with a loud vocal sellout crowd. He said the night was also a special moment for the club’s members, as it was dedicated to the memory of Tai Lumsden, who died last year and used to train at Undisputed MMA.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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