Wolff returning to X-1 in world title defense
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
After learning some tough UFC lessons, Kailua's Brandon Wolff is now ready to defend his X-1 welterweight world championship.
Wolff will defend his title against Dylan Clay in the main event of the X-1 World Events "Nations Collide" mixed martial arts card tomorrow at the Blaisdell Center Arena.
Wolff won the X-1 title in May 2008, but tomorrow will be his first defense. He had a good reason not to defend it until now.
Wolff briefly left the X-1 organization to fight in the prestigious UFC organization. But he went 0-2 on UFC cards, and was released.
"The main thing I learned from those losses is not to get caught up in the hype," said Wolff, 34. "I thought I made it, had it figured out. But I lost focus and it showed."
Now, Wolff is returning to the X-1 organization that got him recognized by the UFC in the first place.
"Fighting for X-1 is what got me to the UFC, so I'll always come back and fight for them," he said.
Wolff has a professional record of 7-4. He won the X-1 title in 2008 when he earned a five-round decision over Nebraska's Chad Reiner.
In addition to being a skilled all-around fighter, Wolff also has an interesting background. He is a former Navy SEAL, and now works full-time for Linxx Security, where he teaches military tactics and combat techniques.
Because of job commitments, Wolff said he trains before and after his work day.
"It's tough, but I'm used to it," he said. "MMA is more of a part-time thing for me, so I do what I have to do to make it work."
Despite his recent run of tough opponents, Wolff describes Clay as his "toughest fight to date."
Clay is 7-2. He lived on Maui for nine years, but recently moved to Durango, Colo.
Tomorrow's bout is scheduled for five 5-minute rounds, and Clay said the altitude training in Colorado has increased his stamina.
"It's 6,500 feet (above sea level), so it's definitely an advantage," he said. "You can tell the difference. I feel like I can run forever here."
While he was based on Maui, Clay trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay-thai boxing, and went 7-0 against other Hawai'i fighters.
"I'm just thankful to be fighting back in Hawai'i again," Clay said. "Hawai'i is where I got my start, so I'm honored to be invited to fight for a title here."
Tomorrow's card will also feature the first round of an eight-man tournament in the light heavyweight division.
Hawai'i fighters in the tournament are Po'ai Suganuma and Adam Akau. Fighters from Arizona, California, Russia, Japan and South Korea are also scheduled to fight in the tournament.
In a featured heavyweight bout, Japan's Satoshi Ishii will face Miles Tynanes of 'Ewa Beach. Ishii won a gold medal in judo at the 2008 Olympics.