IF YOU require more proof that mixed martial arts has gained a foothold over Cebu, then you should not have missed Friday night’s slam-bang URCC Cebu 5 event called “Deliverance.”
A young sport typically has a young audience but that fan base is definitely expanding.
Because our scheduled trip for Siargao Island that day was cancelled, I brought the wifey along. Surprise, surprise, “your Honor” actually had a good time (although the shirt I wore that night met its untimely demise from the vice-like grips she exerted on it during some pretty nasty exchanges).
PERFORMANCES. Some of the best performances came from Jerlyn Liera, Geronimo Etac and Maxilito Yong who both registered stoppage wins in the first round.
A bit of a bummer for Cebu fans was Engi Piloto’s performance against Richie Redman. The latter was able to neutralize Engi’s vaunted striking skills by keeping close.
Redman managed to administer a front choke but that hold soon turned into a front head lock which Redman capitalized on by repeatedly administering devastating knee strikes to Engi’s head. The latter had no choice but to tap out at the 9:21 mark.
Leo Gaerlan’s saga was a bit strange. Due to an alleged mis-appreciation of the weight class, he came in looking bigger and stronger than opponent Jimmy Yabo. He then proceeded to pummel Yabo around the ring like a rag doll.
Yabo weathered the initial onslaught and hung on. Yabo also had very good cardio and looked very calm in following his corner’s instructions.
But as the action continued, it soon became very apparent that Yabo had superior boxing skills. He would score with a telling right hand every now and then but those blows soon started landing with alarming regularity.
Just like that the tide of the match turned in the second round and Gaerlan was on the defensive end. Yabo caught him with a right hook at 5:59 of the second round.
MAIN EVENT. At the start, Razi Jabbari looked confident and stronger than Tom Woodfin. The latter however was busier in the first three minutes of the bout.
I thought the burly Jabbari would eventually dictate the tempo of the match, but the YawYan Ardigma and Deftac Cebu fighter connected with a kick to the head and just like that, Jabbari went out like a light.
The day before, Jabbari had been several pounds over the weight limit and had to burn the excess poundage off by running and going to the sauna.
Maybe that also played a crucial role in the outcome of the fight.
FEARLESS. The following night was the turn of another mixed martial arts group- Fearless Fighting Championships and Extreme Combat Sports- to showcase their own event called “Cage of Vengeance”.
The venue was quite interesting—an octagon on top of a parking lot. The action was good and up tempo with the organizers opting to introduce a live band to play between the fights.
The local martial arts scene can only get better with more players in the industry and better opportunities for our local fighters to showcase their wares.
Here are some of the results for this event: Leonard Delarmino defeated Rodel Oraiz in 3:02 of the first round in the main event. Adrian Hillana (Bacolod Submission Sport) defeated Ronel Del-is (Muay Thai) by tap out in the first round. Agustin Belarmino beat Erik Regalado by tap out in 1:26 of the first round. Rogelito Plomeda beat Johnjier Torbiso by tap-out in 3: 50 of the first round. Rex de Lara knocked out Jojie Lumbo in round 1 while Albert Sumido defeated Ernie Braca in 1:45 of the second round.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Stephen and Anna Villamor of Step-V Trading. Cheers!