In the ultra-competitive PXC flyweight division, if you want to standout among other talented fighters, you have to have not only the ability to attract fans, but a skill set of a world-class MMA fighter.
Jerome Wanawan is one of the most well-liked fighters in the PXC. He is super talented and yet very grounded guy.
Wanawan is known for his tremendous athleticism, deadly throws and power. His pinpoint striking game makes him one of the most effective flyweights in the region today.
The physically talented fighter from Baguio trains out of the famed Team Lakay under the guidance of Mark “The Machine” Sangiao.
Wanawan is a former boxer who then made his transition to Wushu Sanshou and now in MMA. He started his MMA career on February 2011 against Charlemagne Pakeo-an at URCC Baguio 2 ‘Tribal Wars’. Wanawan used his outstanding wrestling skills to control Pakeo-an on the ground and connected huge strikes from the top. Wanawan tops Pakeo-an via UD.
A year later, Wanawan made his second pro MMA bout versus Redentor Saclag at URCC URCC 3 “Invasion”. Wanawan used his superb striking to beat Saclag via 1st round TKO win.
On September 1, 2012, Wanawan made his PXC debut against the much experienced and submission specialist fighter in Victor Torre. Wanawan impressed the crowd early by tagging Torre with his strikes and taking his opponent down with vicious judo throws. Wanawan defeated Torre via TKO (punches) in the opening round.
Just when Wanawan starts to gain some momentum on his career, in November of 2012, he lost in the hands of a knockout specialist, Eugene Toquero at PXC 34. That first loss on Wanawan’s career sent him back to the drawing board and surely taught him a lot of lessons.
Jerome Wanawan’s next fight is scheduled next week, May 18th, at the Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City, Philippines, at PXC 37 against one of the heavy-handed flyweight fighters, Ernesto Montilla Jr.
Wanawan knows that this fight is the most important fight of his career to date as he aims to get back to the winning column; that is why he is preparing very well for his fight against Montilla Jr. on May 18th.
“Training has been good so far. I need to win this fight and apply those techniques I’ve learned in my preparations at PXC 37.”
He is extra motivated to train for this fight because the picture of him losing against Toquero still lingers on his mind.
“I was out of focus on that fight. Our gameplan was to strike and take him down but I got a lot of things coming to my mind that night. But I respect Toquero, he was better than me that night.”, Wanawan said.
Wanawan is facing a serious threat against Montilla Jr., who is a physically gifted athlete who has a nuclear bomb on his fists. Montilla is coming off a submission (Rear-Naked Choke) win over a highly-regarded striking specialist, Ruel Catalan.
“Montilla is a well-rounded guy. He’s got great ground skills and boxing, that’s why I’m working really hard for this fight. I know he is not a pushover but I am confident I will in the fight.”
When asked on what is his advantage over Montilla, “My advantage would be my speed. Montilla is really a tough fighter, but I am willing to stand and bang with him.”, Wanawan answered.
Since he tasted his first-ever loss agains Toquero, Wanawan made some adjustments in his training. This includes managing his time wisely and prolonging his everyday training up to 3 hours.
“What has changed in this training camp is time. In my previous fights, I am sometimes late for the scheduled time of training and we only train for 2 hours, 2 times everyday. But now, I am always on time for practice and we extend another hour to train, so we train for 3 hours, 2 times a day.”
There’s no doubt that Wanawan’s striking abilities is second to none in his division. But one thing that he is focusing on right now is to become a well-rounded fighter by honing his ground skills. He is also aware of his opponent’s impressive ground game, that is why he spends more time on the ground to perfect his grappling.
“My ground game is improving. Coach Mark is always reminding me to focus more on my ground defense. Like what I’ve said, Montilla is a great fighter, so I really need to prepare for him.”
Wanawan is lucky to have an incredible team behind him who is always there to support. Team Lakay, for him, made him not just a better fighter, but joining the most dominant fight team in the Philippines made him a much better person.
“One thing I’ve learned since joining this great team is how to manage your time. Time is very important in our lives, we need to use it properly. Also, being with these fantastic fighters here at Team Lakay gives me extra motivation to train harder everyday.”
The Bachelors of Science in Education graduate is fighting not only for himself, but for his family’s future as well.
“Fighting helped me reach one of my biggest dreams; to graduate from college. It helped me provide those material things necessary for my studies. I fight to secure my family’s future. I am really thankful to those people who helped me, especially coach Mark Sangiao, who has been with us since day one, our mentor, guidance counselor and our second dad, he is the best.”
On May 18th, Wanawan looks to amaze the fans once again as he takes on a fellow talented fighter in Montilla Jr.
Headlining the PXC 37 card is a World Bantamweight Championship bout between the champ Crisanto Pitpitunge and the challenger Michinori Tanaka.
Also, the first fight of the four-man featherweight tourney is set between Hawaii’s Nate Thorell and South Korea’s Yan Jong Kim.
Visit PXC.COM.PH see the complete fight card for PXC 37!