Trading places

June 14th, 2014


Former UH linebacker Aaron Brown makes his pro MMA debut tonight in  a fight in Mesa, Ariz.

Brown, who was the St. Louis Rams' seventh-round pick in 2012, said he has retired from football and is "all in" in MMA. He has been training since January in Gilbert, Ariz., and won his lone amateur fight in under 40 seconds. He will fight Casey Greene at 205 pounds tonight, with the goal of competing at 185 pounds eventually.

There are other former Warriors who have changed career paths, such as:

> As an undrafted free agent, safety Leonard Peters had several tryouts in the NFL. He eventually left that sport to compete in rugby. He now works as a stevedore.

> After a brief stay with the Miami Dolphins, left tackle Tala Esera moved on to a career in rugby.

> Defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu missed out on a free-agent invitation in 2012 while recovering from shoulder surgery. After that, he had a successful run as an amateur MMA fighter on Maui cards. Tuipulotu has returned to football, signing  with the Asahi Soft Drink Challengers of Japan's X League.

> The "Honey Bear" — Jake Heun, a former UH fullback/rush end — is now a full-time MMA fighter who competes on the World Series of Fighting circuit.


30 Responses to “Trading places”

  1. duffer:



  2. nutmegger:

    What is the best football movie?

  3. Ipu Man:

    As long as they make money...

  4. tommui:


    A blogger yesterday commented that “I have asked UHAD for clear instruction about sending personal checks to UH Foundation (and got no answer).

    Another was asking about the “UH: Highest College Athletics Travel Costs in the Nation, Help!’”

    1. If you want to send a check, just make it out to the UH Foundation. Its address is:
    University of Hawaii Foundation
    P.O. Box 11270
    Honolulu, 96828

    Write in the memo on your check where you want it to go like Athletic Department, Na Koa, Wahine softball etc.

    2. If you want to send moneys for any particular athletic group, or for the “Highest College Athletic Travel Costs” fundraiser, google University of Hawaii Foundation.

    At the UHFoundation website, check the “Make a gift on-line” and when you get into that section, under “Programs Accounts, Amount” the first selection is UHF.
    The second selection is marked “select program”. I am assuming, and so select UH Manoa Athletics and the “accounts” has a whole list of whatever program you want to donate to like Na Koa, Wahine Volleyball etc

    The bottom selection is “Other programs” and you can write-in “Highest College Athletics Travel Fund-Raiser.

  5. Boolakanaka:

    Aloha all! Always thought Aaron had what it took to play on Sundays. While a bit undersized, from the games I took in, in-person, he showed good speed and really good footwork-really solid dexterity for a linebacker. That said, good luck in the octagon.

  6. C-Pop:

    Great to see these young athletes pursuing their potential careers while able & driven.

  7. Stephen Tsai:

    I always thought the "Honey Bear' would have been a good pro wrestler.

  8. al:

    i always thought that samson satele could be the next hawaii yokozuna.

  9. nutmegger:

    How about an MMA event with former Warriors at half-time?

    Anyone remember the name of a football movie with John Wayne as coach for a small Catholic college?

  10. nutmegger:

    "Trouble Along the Way" just Googled it...

  11. nutmegger:

    I'm just another old guy that forgets everything can be Googled. No need to remember anything anymore.

  12. Shoko:

    I was curious how much stevedores make in Honolulu and found out that they do make pretty good money when you include salary, bonus, overtime and benefits.

    Good luck to Brown. Still recall the time when Brown and Bright got arrested for a fight at Zanzabars. Think it involved some military guys and they didn't fair to well in the fight.

  13. SteveM:

    Good morning everyone!

    If "The Replacements" movie is ever remade, maybe they should add a MMA fighter.

    RE: #2
    Best football movie? In the comedy genre in the last 25 years, I like...

    [Pro] The Replacements

    [College --SMU'd] Necessary Roughness

  14. Steve P:

    Was wondering, how is Beau Reillly and Eric Prater, our two new QB's doing in their workouts.....both I understand have enormous talent.

  15. Stephen Tsai:

    QBs have been looking good. I've got videos/pics I'll post. Hey, it's five more weeks until media day. I've got to stretch out stories.

  16. Shoko:

    Vegas, Baby!!

  17. jalansky:

    I was surprised at how much enjoyment I got out of re-watching the videos of Coach Chow discussing the 2014 recruiting class. This "looking back" at recruitment day was a great way of "looking forward" again to the season.

  18. hatakeman:

    ST, thanks for the QB update. I like the positive feedback. And I agree that the QB position should be good. Coach Chow may have come stumbling out of the blocks as HC, but he has proven himself as a good QB coach over the years. Looking forward to the start of the season.

  19. Steve P:

    Yes thanks for the response and I have to throw in with hatakeman, Chow has had some growing pains as a head coach out of the gate, but the man has forgot more about football than most will learn. The naysayers seem to overlook that.

    I also think that in todays culture that mistakes or failure has a tolerance level of about 3 micro-seconds. We call for peoples heads far too quickly. We need to learn to give people more time to learn their jobs or adjust to new roles before we declare them dead and buried. I believe given time Coach Chow will create teams that are going to scare the living shit out of all who come here to play. Wait and see.

  20. nutmegger:

    I concur with #19 Steve P.

  21. Da Punchbowl Kid:

    Good day errybody!

    Happy for the successes of all Warriors past. Good luck to all, they deserve every success they attain.

    To add to the stories above, am happy to report having seen Michael Lafaele and his mom since that magic undefeated season. Mike has a very successful career in medical diagnostic imaging industry. Having met Mike's mom you can see why he's so successful.

  22. BigWave96744:

    In 2008 we had 3 Linebackers who were scrappahs...
    Jake Huen, Aaron Brown and Blaze Soares.

  23. BigWave96744:

    Former Oline Clint Daniel is following Bro, Cory, in pursuing the MMA Scene.

  24. BigWave96744:

    Don't forget Chad Owens is 1-0 in the Octagon

  25. BigWave96744:

    Lots of other Warriors was or is currently in the Rugby Scene... Kelly McGill, Joshua Rice and Jason Rego

  26. BigWave96744:

    Dan Kelly played 2 season's of Soccer at an NAIA School

  27. SteveM:

    Quiet night on the blog. I just watched "The Replacements" DVD for some humor and football fix. Here is a 2.5 minute trailer if you never saw the movie...

    Is is possible that a Warrior Beat blogger has never seen The Replacements?

  28. iGains:

    what will be effect on stocks markets in the period of football match?

  29. Shoko:

    Well, its official...

    "Kansas announced late Friday that quarterback and BYU transfer Jake Heaps would be graduating and leaving the program. Heaps, once a highly-touted transfer, lost the battle for the starting quarterback position to Montell Cozart. Since he's graduating, he can play for another school immediately under the NCAA graduate transfer rules."

  30. Shoko:

    Anyway, hope everyone has a Happy Fathers Day!!