Falaniko Vitale

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Falaniko Vitale
Falaniko Vitale.jpg
Born (1974-07-14) July 14, 1974 (age 43)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Other names Niko
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Division Middleweight
Fighting out of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Team Grappling Unlimited
Mixed martial arts record
Total 41
Wins 30
By knockout 10
By submission 16
By decision 4
Losses 11
By knockout 5
By submission 3
By decision 3
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Falaniko "Niko" Vitale is an American mixed martial artist. He competes in the Middleweight division and has fought in the UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce, the IFL, and King of the Cage. He is the former SuperBrawl Middleweight Champion, and also won the X-1 Middleweight Tournament.


Vitale was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a native of Waipahu, Hawaii. He is of mixed Samoan, Chinese, German, and Portuguese descent. He graduated from Waipahu High School and was a star defensive back in football, going on to play for the University of Hawaii.[1]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Vitale made his professional debut in 1999 against future UFC veteran Aaron Riley and won via TKO. Vitale would then go on to win his next three fights, his fourth career bout being his King of the Cage debut, before being handed his first professional loss by Japanese fighter Yasuhito Namekawa by a guillotine choke submission in the RINGS organization. He compiled a career record of 13-2 with only one fight outside of his Hawaii (his King of the Cage debut in California) before making his UFC debut.


Vitale made his UFC debut at UFC 43 against Olympic wrestler Matt Lindland in Nevada and won in a spectacular and very unusual slam knockout in which Lindland attempted to slam Vitale but landed on his own head knocking himself out. Vitale then mounted Lindland and the referree stopped the match. Two fights later, the two would have a rematch at UFC 45, which would result in a loss for Vitale after he submitted due to strikes.


In his next fight Vitale bounced back with a win over former UFC Middleweight Champion Dave Menne via unanimous decision. Two fights later, Vitale defeated future UFC veteran Yushin Okami via split decision.

Vitale had a five-fight winning streak before losing three consecutive fights to Robbie Lawler, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, and then lost in the rematch with Lawler.

Vitale bounced back with a win but then lost again in his IFL debut in Oakland, California against Jeremy Horn via split decision.


Three fights after his loss to Horn, Vitale made his Strikeforce debut, winning after his opponent submitted due to strikes. In his next fight under the Strikeforce banner, Vitale lost to Trevor Prangley via referee decision. Three fights later, Vitale returned in a bout against Frank Trigg which he lost via unanimous decision.


On January 28, 2011, Vitale signed a long-term deal with Bellator. He lost his debut fight against former Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard in a non-title fight.[2]

King of the Cage[edit]

Vitale would return over a year later against Elmer Waterhen at KOTC - Ali'is on July 14, 2012. Vitale won via TKO in the first round.

Personal life[edit]

Vitale is married and has four children. He and his family are Christians.[3]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 30–11 Jaime Jara Submission (rear-naked choke) X-1: Jara vs. Vitale September 26, 2014 2 N/A Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 30–10 Elmer Waterhen TKO (punches) KOTC - Ali'is July 14, 2012 1 3:36 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Loss 29–10 Hector Lombard KO (punch) Bellator 44 May 14, 2011 3 0:54 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 29–9 Dylan Clay KO (punch) X-1 Events: Champions III March 12, 2011 1 3:04 Hawaii, United States
Win 28–9 Kala Hose Submission (ezekiel choke) X-1 Events: Heroes September 11, 2010 4 2:26 Hawaii, United States
Win 27–9 Kalib Starnes Submission (ezekiel choke) X-1 Events: Champions II March 20, 2010 1 2:22 Hawaii, United States
Loss 26–9 Frank Trigg Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Payback October 3, 2008 3 5:00 Colorado, United States
Win 26–8 Ricky Shivers TKO (cut) X-1 Events: Champions January 26, 2008 1 0:49 Hawaii, United States
Win 25–8 Joey Guel Decision (unanimous) X-1 Events: Champions January 26, 2008 3 Hawaii, United States
Loss 24–8 Trevor Prangley Decision (referee decision) Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives November 16, 2007 2 2:12 California, United States
Win 24–7 Ron Fields Submission (strikes) Strikeforce: Playboy Mansion September 29, 2007 1 3:02 California, United States
Win 23–7 Steve Renaud Submission (strikes) X-1: Grand Prix 2007 August 4, 2007 1 0:43 Hawaii, United States
Win 22–7 Mavrick Harvey Submission (strikes) X-1: Extreme Fighting 2 March 17, 2007 1 2:41 Hawaii, United States
Loss 21–7 Jeremy Horn Decision (split) IFL: Oakland January 19, 2007 5 4:00 California, United States
Win 21–6 Tony Williams KO Extreme Wars 5: Battlegrounds October 6, 2006 1 2:48 Hawaii, United States
Loss 20–6 Robbie Lawler KO (punches) Icon Sport: Lawler vs. Niko 2 February 25, 2006 1 3:38 Hawaii, United States
Loss 20–5 Jason Miller Submission (rear naked choke) Icon Sport: Opposites Attract October 28, 2005 2 2:41 Hawaii, United States
Loss 20–4 Robbie Lawler KO (punches) Superbrawl: Icon July 23, 2005 2 4:36 Hawaii, United States
Win 20–3 Masanori Suda KO (punch) SB 39: Destiny April 9, 2005 1 4:07 Hawaii, United States
Win 19–3 Ron Fields Submission (heel hook) SuperBrawl 38 December 12, 2004 1 3:48 Hawaii, United States
Win 18–3 Yushin Okami Decision (split) SuperBrawl 36 June 18, 2004 3 5:00 Hawaii, United States
Win 17–3 Keith Winters Submission (toe hold) SuperBrawl 34 March 28, 2004 1 1:24 Hawaii, United States
Win 16–3 Dave Menne Decision (unanimous) SuperBrawl 33 February 7, 2004 3 5:00 Hawaii, United States
Loss 15–3 Matt Lindland Submission (strikes) UFC 45 November 21, 2003 3 4:23 Connecticut, United States
Win 15–2 Justin Ellison KO SuperBrawl 31 September 20, 2003 1 2:35 Hawaii, United States
Win 14–2 Matt Lindland KO (slam) UFC 43 June 6, 2003 1 1:56 Nevada, United States
Win 13–2 Tyrone Roberts Submission (toe hold) SuperBrawl 28 February 8, 2003 2 1:26 Hawaii, United States
Win 12–2 Sean McCully Submission SuperBrawl 27 November 9, 2002 1 0:51 Hawaii, United States
Win 11–2 Pascal Gosselin Submission (armbar) UCC Hawaii: Eruption in Hawaii September 17, 2002 1 2:00 Hawaii, United States
Win 10–2 Charlie Wesr Submission (toe hold) Force Fighting Championships 1 May 18, 2002 2 1:15 Hawaii, United States
Win 9–2 Jason Drexel Submission (kimura) SuperBrawl 23 March 9, 2002 1 3:05 Hawaii, United States
Loss 8–2 Sean Gray TKO (punches) Warriors Quest 3: Punishment in Paradise December 1, 2001 1 3:47 Hawaii, United States
Win 8–1 John Renken TKO SuperBrawl 22 November 2, 2001 1 2:29 Hawaii, United States
Win 7–1 Todd Medina Decision (unanimous) Warriors Quest 1: The New Beginning May 29, 2001 3 5:00 Hawaii, United States
Win 6–1 Dennis Reed Submission (armbar) SuperBrawl 21 May 24, 2001 1 0:43 Hawaii, United States
Win 5–1 Ricardo Barros TKO Warriors of the New Millennium 2 November 24, 2000 1 3:44 Hawaii, United States
Loss 4–1 Yasuhito Namekawa Submission (guillotine choke) Rings USA: Rising Stars Block B July 22, 2000 2 0:27 Hawaii, United States
Win 4–0 Aaron Torres Submission (armbar) KOTC 4 - Gladiators June 24, 2000 1 2:21 California, United States
Win 3–0 Ahmad Reese Submission (strikes) Rage in the Cage 3 January 18, 2000 1 1:41 Hawaii, United States
Win 2–0 Phil Ortiz Submission (armbar) SuperBrawl 15 December 7, 1999 1 2:39 Hawaii, United States
Win 1–0 Aaron Riley TKO RITC 2: Marching of the Warriors October 15, 1999 1 7:06 Hawaii, United States


External links[edit]