Two of the most dominant bantamweights in the region today collides in May 18th as Philippines’ pride and the reigning PXC bantamweight king, Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge (4-1) makes his first-ever title defense against the surging undefeated Japanese fighter, Michinori Tanaka (7-0) at PXC 37 scheduled on May 18th at the Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City, Philippines.
It has been almost a year since we last saw Pitpitunge in action – that was when he put Justin Cruz to sleep in a single blow straight to his chin during their bantamweight championship fight in July of 2012. After capturing the bantamweight belt, Pitpitunge focused himself in a six-month training as a police officer.
We spoke with Pitpitunge during PXC 35 in Manila last February 16 and asked him on how excited is he to get back inside the cage; he just simply said,
“I’m excited to fight and defend my belt for the first time. Even if I’m outside the cage doing my training as a police officer, I always make sure that I’m fit and my cardio is always at its best. I always run in the morning and in the afternoon inside our barracks.”
Pitpitunge is known for his outstanding endurance and physical toughness. He has a deadly striking game and once he’s on top of you, it is the beginning of the end for you.
On the flip side, Michinori Tanaka is coming off a very convincing win over Team Reign’s Caleb Vollatton by way of 2nd round submission (triangle choke) in PXC 36 on March 8, 2013. Tanaka is no doubt, one of the brightest prospects in Japan today and he is going to be a superstar in years to come. He trains at Reversal Gym Yokohama Ground Slam alongside Shinichi Kojima, Shuichiro Katsumura and Chuji Kato.
Tanaka is known for his very tricky ground game. The 22-year-old Japanese fighter is arguably the best grappler in the PXC and one of the youngest fighters to ever compete in the guam-based MMA organization. He will be making the most important fight of his career against a very tough opponent in Crisanto Pitpitunge.
PXC CEO and Promoter, EJ Calvo, said, “In my opinion, Crisanto is actually the underdog in his title defense against Michinori Tanaka. He hasn’t been able to fight for about 1 year, so this is his chance to remind fans how tough he really is. I wouldn’t underestimate him after what he did to Justin Cruz.”
Tanaka is one of Japan’s top rising stars of the sport and has yet to be beaten. We have so many elite bantamweights in PXC. iI will be hard for any champ in this division to hold on to the belt for too long..but anything can happen in MMA if you make a mistake against elite PXC fighters!” Calvo Added.
Will Tanaka keep his streak alive or will Pitpitunge add another highlight KO win over his Japanese foe?
Aside from a confirmed bout between Singapore’s Syafiq “The Slasher” Samad and Philippines’ Glen Ranillo, there are also rumors that PXC 37 will also feature a four-man featherweight tournament and a flyweight championship fight between the reigning champ Ale “The Young Gun” Cali and the super tough Hawaiian fighter Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka.
PXC 37 will be broadcast nation-wide on AKTV via IBC-13 to millions of viewers in the Philippines, and will stream online via PXC’s Facebook page. Visit www.pxc.com.ph or http://www.facebook.com/pxcmma for news and information.