Mike Malone

Nathalie Walker photo. nwalker@midweek.com

No one should ever doubt Mike Malone’s grit, talent or toughness as an MMA fighter.

Malone is a fighter who, in 2007, had the courage to step into the ring with Korea’s 7-foot-2 gargantuan K-1 fighter Hong Man Choi. Malone took some shots, but hung tough with Man Choi before splitting his shin in round 2 and losing on a technicality.

“I had a chance to fight this giant; if I won, I could be boosted to big-time Japan stardom overnight,” says Malone, who was featured on MidWeek‘s cover April 27, 2007.

Despite the loss, Malone never drifted out of sight, and returned to Hawaii with a confident and respectful attitude.

He describes himself as a better trainer and teacher than a fighter, and that’s just part of the many things he’s been up to over the past few years. Before his fight school, Eastsidaz Fight Club, shut down, Malone was able to gain and build a friendship with Pablo Gonzalez, founder of Lanikai Juice. Since tasting some of Gonzalez’s refreshing smoothie concoctions, Malone has been promoting Lanikai Juice’s delicious benefits across the island.

Recently, Malone has helped launch the third Lanikai Juice store in Haleiwa.

“What we do is provide fresh, local juices. Most of our stuff is organic. We provide a healthier and tastier way of living. You can get a bowl (acai) for something a little heartier, or our fresh-squeezed juices. We are starting to incorporate new greens like kale, spinach and mint in our smoothies and juices,” says Malone, who starts his day with a Hawaiian Energizer, which is a mix of spirulina, ginseng and bee pollen.

“Hawaiian Energizer is what keeps me going every day instead of loading up on caffeine,” he says.

Malone notes that the caliber of athlete and fighter is rising because of more-dynamic training methods as well as healthier and smarter eating habits.

Speaking about nutrition: “In MMA and sports, you can tell the difference. A lot more athletes are in better condition because of the way they eat. They are eating less-processed things with few additives or preservatives. It might cost a little more, but it’s much healthier for your body in the long run,” says Malone, who also promotes and uses AlphaBrain, a line of health supplements.

A fighter at heart, he is working with a few other partners and friends scouting locations for their next gym.

“We want to help people on this side (Windward Oahu) who want to train not only MMA, but general fitness and Crossfit,” he says.

“We’ll teach everything around MMA. I’ll focus on kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and MMA. We’ll bring in other guys to teach other stuff. Our school will always be well-rounded.”