Joey Calvo, Born 12/08/1967, Wife:Gloria Calvo, Children: Eduardo and Joseph, Occupation: General Manager Pacific Telestations (TV8, TV11, I94, Isla63), President and Founder of PXC.
In this interview, Joey tells MMAOrient that their next show in Manila is on February 18 and the main event will be the 125 lbs. vacant title fight.
MMAOrient: What’s your martial arts background?
I am a Nova Uniao BJJ Blackbelt under Renato “Charuto” Verissimo. I have been training BJJ for 15 years and consider myself to be a true martial artist. I feel blessed that I have been able to travel and train with some of the best.
MMAOrient: When and where was the first PXC happened?
The first PXC was in January 2004 at the University of Guam Fieldhouse. My television and radio stations had sponsored different MMA events on Guam. We worked with T.J. Thompson of Superbrawl in the late 1990’s and different local promoters. Eli Monge, PXC V.P. and matchmaker, is also the Sales manager of my stations. We were being pitched to sponsor a local promoters event and I didn’t care for the terms of the sponsorship and asked Eli if he thought we could put together an event of our own and the rest is history.
MMAOrient: Tell us what made you bring the PXC here in the Philippines?
In 2006 we were looking to expand into different markets but just couldn’t find the right deal. Fast forward to 2010 and my nephew E.J., assistant general manager of my family’s distribution business, was in the Philippines looking to expand our business and distribute some of the products we represent. In his meetings my family’s portfolio of businesses would come up and there was always interest in PXC. We knew the Philippines was going to become a hotbed for MMA talent we just needed to find the right partners. E.J. met with TV5 made the deal and here we are.
MMAOrient: I remember you said about helping new talents to create their names in PXC. Can you tell us more about it?
There is no shortage of tough guys in our region. Given the proper training and opportunity fighters from our region will flourish and become world class. I have seen it happen on my tiny island of Guam. Jess Taitano, Justin Cruz, Joe Taimanglo, John Tuck, Ryan Bigler. These are all guys that can walk into any world class MMA gym in the United States and hold their own. We will follow the same formula in the Philippines and I guarantee the fighters will bloom. Everyone working at PXC also has a fulltime job. We can relate to the up and coming fighters that struggle and have to make time to train and have to juggle family and a job too. PXC is a labor of love and not some get rich quick scheme.
MMAOrient: You are obviously doing well here in the Philippines with the help of your TV partner AKTV. Share us about your future plans together with one of the biggest sports channel in the Philippines, AKTV.
PXC and AKTV plan to develop more MMA content from different Asian countries. We are going to do it the right way and actually lay a solid foundation and not setup a house of cards built on press releases.
MMAOrient: You did three successful events here in the Philippines last year (2011) and obviously the feedback of fight fans are very positive . Are you going to surpass that record this year (2012)?
We are going to do four PXC events in Manila this year.
MMAOrient: Who is your favorite fighter in PXC roster?
Baby Joe Taimanglo. He has been with us from the beginning and I have seen him grow from a brawler that fought two weight classes above his weight to a world class polished fighter. Joe’s career and PXC have traveled on parallel lines. He never picks fights and always wants to fight the toughest opponents.
MMAOrient: How about your all time favorite fighter?
The old school Carlson Gracie fighters. (Wallid Ismael, Mario Sperry, Conan Silviera, Murilo Bustamante, Ricardo Liborio, Vitor Belfort). Today my favorite fighter is Jose Aldo.
MMAOrient: Many fight fans doesn’t know that you are a BJJ black belt. Can you tell us more about it?
I started training with Carley Gracie in 1994. After a couple of months I moved to the Ralph Gracie academy. I moved back to Guam in 1995 and there was only three guys training in BJJ. We recruited people and trained in my garage. We learned new techniques from vhs tapes. We were so hungry to train we joined judo and wrestling teams. In 1997 Enson Inoue came to Guam to corner one of his fighters. We started a gym under Enson and this was the start of real MMA training on Guam. A great benefit of running PXC is I get to travel to gyms all over the world and train. My BJJ game really flourished under Charuto. Training under Charuto took my game to the next level. BJJ is really a big part of my life. I couldn’t imagine not training three or four times a week.
MMAOrient: What’s your favorite submission to use when you are competing?
Right now I really like the Brabo choke and its variations. But it always changes. When I feel comfortable with a technique I’m like a kid with a new toy. Last month Eli and I were trying to catch everyone with wristlocks.
MMAOrient: Who will headline the next PXC show here in Manila on January?
The next show in Manila will be February 18. The main event will be the 125lb. vacant title fight. Full fight card will be released next week.
MMAOrient: Lastly, do you have any message for PXC fans around the world?
I want to thank all the PXC fans for their support. In 2012 PXC will continue to throw exciting shows. If you have only watched us on AKTV I encourage you to come to a live event. The energy at PXC live shows is at a different level.
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