A JOYOUS WEEKEND FOR THE MMA FANS
By: Mark Sangiao
It was a joyous weekend for Mixed Martial Arts fans in the Cordilleras specifically the fans from Baguio City. First good news was the win of Team Lakay’s Dave “The Scarecrow” Galera over Team Deftac’s Red Romero via a Referee Stoppage due to Ground and Pound and captured the URCC (Universal Reality Combat Championship) Interim Bantamweight Championship Title last April 27th at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. This is the fifth Championship Title held by Team Lakay fighters in the initiator and longest running MMA Promotion in the Philippines, the URCC. Team Lakay has been dominant in the 5 divisions of the said Promotion, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang as the Welterweight Champion, Honorio “The Rock” Banario as the URCC Lightweight Champion (and also the ONE FC Featherweight Champion), Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon as the undefeated Champion of the URCC Flyweight Champion and Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen as the king of the URCC Pinweight Division. The URCC Bantamweight Belt is now back to the hands of Team Lakay and hoping to stay with this team for a long time. As the title of the latest event of URCC, we intend to stay UNRIVALED.
At the same event, Edmund Velasco from Team Torogi, who also comes from the Cordilleras, won over the former URCC Champion, Angelito Manguray from Davao, via Technical Knock-out due to strikes in the second round.
Simultaneously, the Team Lakay Championship 7 was held at the Baguio Convention Center last Saturday, April 27th. Here, local fans from Baguio City and its nearby municipalities got to watch the event live. The main MMA bout was fought between Team Lakay’s Rising fighter, who is starting to make a name in the MMA world, Stephen “The Sniper” Loman and Carlo Laurel from Fight Works MMA in Laguna. Laurel almost got Loman in a Triangle submission attempt but Loman managed to escape, then Laurel tried another submission attempt via armbar but because of Loman’s incomparable strength and grappling knowledge has escaped to dominate Laurel via striking for the rest of the rounds and won a unanimous decision.
At the second of the MMA bouts, John Cris Corton also won via a unanimous decision over another Fightworks MMA fighter Venson Delopere.
One of the younger brothers of Honorio Banario, the ONE FC Featherweight Champion, Harold Banario competed against Muay Boran’s Johnny Bitaga for the main event of the Wushu Xanda event. Banario dominated the rounds and won a unanimous decision from the judges. Also a unanimous decision was given to Lakay Central Gym’s Rizalino Olivar over Roy Dumar of the UB Sanshou Team.
Danny Kingad from Lakay La Trinidad Gym and Jaime Langwawey from Lakay Central Gym both won via referee stoppage over Glen Fawagan (UB Sanshou Team) and Markelly Chale (UB Sanshou Team) respectively.
The referee stopped the fight between Lakay’s Delfin Nawen and Wilner “Tafungao” Lizardo (Mongoose Team, Bontoc) as Nawen’s right arm got injured during the fight and gave the win to Lizardo.
Joshua Pacio from Lakay San Fernando Gym and Eleazar “Pretty Boy” Mi-ing gave the fans an entertaining fight by giving it their all until Pacio hit Mi-ing with a roundhouse kick to the thigh which gave Pacio an impressive win via a TKO.
The controversial draw decision from the judges beatween Ronel Capan (Lakay San Fernando) and Erick Aban (Muay Boran) made the audience react with the decision.
A unanimous decision from the event judges was given for Edison Dangla (Lakay Central Gym) who fought against UB Sanshou Team’s Steward Osting for the opening bout of the evening.
Overall, it was a great night for the fans aside from that controversial draw decision for Capan and Aban. I feel the responsibility of explaining to the fans and spectators as the Head Judge of the event to explain the decision. As the head judge of the event, I have the right to give the final decision, however, I respect the decision of the three judges, since we have invited them to judge the fights. We have full confidence that they will give the right decision. We have not seen what they have seen near the ring during the fight, although majority of the audience thought Aban should have won that bout. I could have decided what the majority have expected but I thought to be professional and respect the decision of the judges whom we believe are credible, otherwise, we should not have invited judges and decide it ourselves.
We would not want any bias decision and I don’t want to think it that way. As I have said, we don’t know what the judges have seen during the fights. This happens, even in the bigger and more popular promotions that we know. As they always say, as a fighter, give all your best and as much as possible, do not leave it to the hands of the judges. But I understand, based on our experience with the team, even if we want to finish a fight, sometimes, it is easier said than done.
Before I end, I would like to thank those who have sponsored the event and made it a considerably successful event: COLT 45, Atty. Nick Aliping and BIDA, Tiongsan Department Store, ALIM Party list, Tech Hour Computer Store, Personalized by Pat & Rick, Paintball Republic, 50’s Diner and Lagalag Outdoor Explorer. Likewise, to all those who contributed one way or another, we appreciate your efforts and support. And of course to the MMA fans, who came and watched the event, Thank You Very Much! See you on our next Team Lakay Championship event!