Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The Manila Times Internet EditionSee webpage here.
By Perry Gil S. Mallari
Slam-bam action at the URCC 12
“Bakbakan na! [The fight is on!]” has been the rallying call of the young but dynamic mixed martial arts tradition in the Philippines and with that commenced the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) 12 entitled “Supremacy.” The thick crowd in the A. Venue Events Hall in Makati proves that there was no sign of waning down of Pinoys’ enthusiasm toward the URCC.
The 10-bout fight night kicked off with the match between Jerry Legaspi of Hybrid Yaw Yan and Anthony Dominic So of Mmax Combat. It was a quick fight with Legaspi pulling off a clean rear naked choke on So that resulted to the latter’s submission. The next bout also ended fast with Carry Bullos of Sel-Def Mixed Martial Arts Team besting Arnel Arancina of Gym Kata with ground-and-pound tactics followed by a choke.
In fight number three, Lando Espinosa of Elorde Mixed Martial Arts Team wowed the crowd when he tapped out John Naval, a veteran Kyokushinkai karate fighter of Team Silver Storm with an arm bar. The fourth match of the night also ended with submission with Robert Sardone of Iron Gladiator emerging victorious over Noble Ampoc of Yaw Yan Ardigma. The next bout saw veteran URCC fighter Roldan Cartajena of Yaw Yan sneaked in a rear choke over Marlon Abrigosa, of SB Streetfighting, who lost via tap out.
The sixth match of the evening was a fight between big boys Dennis Valmores of SB Streetfighting and Ed Uy of Hybrid Yaw Yan. Uy won the match when the referee halted the contest after Valmores can no longer defend himself from his opponent’s barrage of punches. Fight number seven drove the crowd wild when Panchito Estrada of the Elorde Mixed Martial Arts Team took on Iranian fighter Seyed Razi Jabbari. Jabbari absorbed a lot of punishment from Estrada during the early moments of the fight but managed to make a comeback and win via rapid fire striking. The referee stopped the match when Jabbari’s blows went unanswered.
Kevin Belingon of Lakay Wushu retained his flyweight title after beating Magellan Perez of Elorde Mixed Martial Arts Team in the eighth fight through an arm lock. Belingon caught the attention of local mixed martial scene when he defeated URCC legend Richard Lasprilla last year.
Lino “The Terminator” Tagacay of Gym Kata and Philipppine Army Team, the reigning URCC bantamweight champion, however lost his title to Justin Cruz of Fokai, Guam on the second to the last match of the evening. A boxer by training, Tagacay who is a stand-up fighter managed to dominate both two rounds until the jujitsu stylist succeeded in wrapping an ankle lock on him. The fighter from Guam though declared the winner, collapsed from exhaustion after the fight.
The last match, dubbed as the “super fight” of the night is a clash between two URCC reigning champions: Eduard Folayang of Lakay Wushu Team, holder of the welterweight title and Caloy Baduria, holder of the middleweight title. The final bout lasted 3:41 seconds in the first round with Folayang living up to his moniker “Landslide” raining crushing blows on Baduria’s face prompting the referee to stop the fight. One URCC commentator once described Folayang’s exceptional physique as resembling the wooden statue of the native highlands hunter in Baguio. Folayang’s superb conditioning indeed served him well in dominating the last two URCCs.
Also during the event, URCC founder Alvin Aguilar bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award to Master Napoleon “Nap” Fernandez, founder of the Filipino martial art of Yaw Yan (short for sayaw ng kamatayan [dance of death]). Another notable Pinoy fighter recognized during the evening was Vince Soberano, the only Filipino who won a muay thai championship in Thailand.