Joe “The Juggernaut” Taimanglo, the current PXC featherweight champion is set to take on an undefeated Japanese fighter Michinori Tanaka at PXC 35 for the interim bantamweight belt scheduled on February 16, 2013 at the Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City, Philippines.
After almost 7 months of not fighting due to the hand injury he sustained during training, “The Juggernaut’s” injury is now healed and he is down to break it again on his next opponent’s face.
Joe is widely considered as one of the top featherweight/bantamweight in the region because of his incredible athletic ability and his very entertaining style of fighting. He is one of those scary fighters who will smother you with his ability to move quickly and wrestling prowess.
Despite of having a small stature as a featherweight, the 5 feet 4 inches Taimanglo has been a massive force in his division, beating much bigger and stronger guys in an impressive fashion. On October 29, 2011, Taimanglo faced the current PXC lighweight champ, Harris Sarmiento for the featherweight title at PXC 27. The smaller Taimanglo dominated the fight and showed Sarmiento that moving down to featherweight to face him is a big mistake. He beat Sarmiento via Unanimous Decision.
After an impressive win over Sarmiento, Taimanglo faced a heavy-handed fighter, Jang Yong “The Beast” Kim of Korean Top Team at PXC 32 in his hometown Guam. Taimanglo set the roof on fire when he knocked Kim out in just 22 seconds of the very first round, making his first title defense a success.
On February 16, Taimanglo will go up against Michinori Tanaka, a fighter who is considered as one of the most dangerous up-and-coming fighters in Japan who holds an unblemished record of 6-0 (4 by submission, 2 by decision). Tanaka is no doubt, a dangerous fighter inside the ring, but Taimanglo is training hard to beat him to become the PXC’s interim bantamweight champion.
“I don’t really think much about my next opponent, I just do what I gotta do. For every fight is to train hard and destroy that sucker. Fighting for another belt is definitely a milestone in my career, so I’m gonna get what I want and do it.”
Taimanglo knows that Tanaka is an incredible fighter who is as euqally-talented as he is. But the training camp for this fight is quite special as he visited Alliance MMA Gym in San Diego, California with UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz.
Taimanglo also admits that he was impressed by Tanaka’s performance against Russell Doane at PXC 34 last November of 2012,
“I don’t see a hole in Tanaka’s game because he did everything in his last fight against Doane and that’s the fun part to take from him. I’ve been training for couple of months and heading to San Diego to Alliance MMA to continue my training for this up coming fight.”
On what is his biggest advantage over Tanaka, “I will show you fight night what my advantage is.”
Despite of fighting as a featherweight for couple of years ago, Taimanglo is no stranger on fighting as a bantamweight he had couple of fights in the 135 lbs. limit. I think we’ll see a much stronger and faster Taimanglo on February 16.
“I feel better at bantamweight because the guys are my size and more fun to play with.”
It will be Taimanglo’s second time fighting in front of Filipino fight fans since his first round RNC win over Young Jun Kim at PXC 24 in 2011. Taimanglo recognizes Filipino fans as one of the best in the world and he is excited to give his Filipino fans a heck of a fight on February 16.
“The Filipino fans are awesome! But nothing compares to my Guam people. I love it when they chant “Baby Joe!”
We also asked Joe on what can PXC fans expect from him on Feb. 16 and he answered, “What have I not shown the fans that they haven’t seen already.” (Laughs)
Four more weeks until “The Juggernaut” faces one of the most important fights of his career as he aims to become the PXC interim bantamweight champion against the surging Japanese fighter, Tanaka. Joe already said that he is going to be 100% on fight night, which simply means that he is healthy and ready to claim the interim bantamweight title.
“I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to wake up each day and live. I would like to thank my sponsors SoKel Industries, NTT Docomo Pacific, Mini Camachilie Store, Spike 22, Alliance MMA, American Top Team, Guard ya Grill, Dj Quen, Elegant Reflections, my GF Michele, my family, teammates and my mom, Kuam, I94 and PXC! I love you guys!”
PXC 35 is one of the most anticipated MMA events in Asia this year. Harris “The Hitman” Sarmiento will defend his lightweight title agianst Isaiah Oridz and Joe Taimanglo battles Michinori Tanaka for the PXC interim bantamweight belt. Also, a very interesting flyweight match-up is set between MMA vet Alvin Cacdac and promising Hawaiian prospect, Louis Smolka as the winner of this fight will challenge the flyweight champ, Ale “The Young Gun” Cali for his title.
You can view PXC 35’s Full Fight Card Here!