NOT EVEN a two year layoff slowed down Igorot fighter Mark Eddiva as he scored a convincing unanimous victory Saturday evening in his UFC debut against former undefeated and another debutante Jumabieke Tuerxun.
Listed as a 4-1 underdog in betting odds, Eddiva wasted no time in getting to work as he overpowered his Chinese opponent in the opening round with his crisp striking and takedown defense.
The Team Lakay fighter got the judges nod with a 30-27 score in the undercard of the UFC Fight Night 37 in Macau.
"Mark overpowered his opponent right from the start. That was the key to his big victory," said Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao in a text message.
Eddiva’s win marked the first victory for Team Lakay in the UFC, after stablemate Dave Galera dropped a unanimous decision to Singaporean Royston Wee at UFC Fight Night 34 back in January.
“Our game plan is to commit Jumbeke in a striking battle but mark felt he can control the fight that’s why he had an easy time overpowering his opponent,” added Sangiao who is set to arrive in Baguio City today.
The 28 year old SEAG gold medalist battered Tuerxun with heavy overhand rights and landed a bludgeoning kick to the head before taking his opponent to the ground.
Eddiva then sent Tuerxun to the ground as he continued his strong start, pouring the damage on in spurts with fists and knees, keeping Tuerxun glued to the canvas for the entire first stanza.
Eddiva’s ground skills proved Team Lakay’s additional grappling program in enhancing their skills after the team got criticized for their lack of ground game.
After a dismal opening round, the Chinese fighter tried to claw his way back into the fight but found little success with Eddiva managing to stay on top of the action with his pin point striking that opened a gash above Tuerxun’s forehead.
Tuerxun managed to score on a takedown but was unable to contain Eddiva who quickly rose to his feet. Eddiva scored with another takedown just before the end of the second, sealing the round for the Filipino.
Despite the efforts of Tuerxun, Eddiva easily handled the Chinese fighter’s takedown attempts, submission efforts and clinches to put himself in superior position.
Tuerxun, who is listed as 14-0 but claims his record is actually 30-0, simply had no answer to the constant pressure and Eddiva’s close-quarters damage.
The previously undefeated Tuerxun nearly secured a triangle choke and landed some subsequent elbows, but Eddiva survived the late scare and played safe for the rest of the round to secure the victory.
Team Lakay’s victory, according to coach Sangiao would not possible without the support from Dr. Dave Taclobao, Dr. Lorenzo Fernandez, Bagsan Law Office, Chef Ro, June Shutwell, 50's Diner Baguio City, Tiong San Harrison & La Trinidad, Loyosen Pharmacy, Glory Fritz Loyosen, Maggie Dicang, FGG Pharmacy, and Arch. Mark M. Tidang.