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Zamboanga, Sismundo lead 6 champions crowned in WLC Season 1 Finale

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In an event that was nine months in the making, the Warrior’s League Championship hosted its season 1 finale at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila. The culminating event for the first season of the Warrior’s League Championship turned out to be one of the best Mixed Martial Arts events in the first quarter.  All ten fights in the fight card never reached the scorecards, and six champions were crowned by the end of the event.

Highlighting the night was the coronation of URCC veterans Toughguys International team member, Drex Zamboanga, and professional boxer, Mario Sismundo, winning the WLC Super Bantamweight and WLC Lightweight Championship respectively.

Six Champions Crowned

During that nine month span of the first season, the WLC hosted six tournaments for six divisions. The division and finalists are as follows: Super Lightweight (Arben Escayo vs. Francis Romero), Lightweight (Neil Larano vs. Mario Sismundo), Featherweight (Rex de Lara vs. Amir Mohammed), Super Bantamweight (Drex Zamboanga vs. Tomoki Hara), Bantamweight (CJ de Tomas vs. Felixander Bagayao), and Super Flyweight (Jovan Galarosa vs. Erdie Bautista). MMA veteran, Don Don Aron was scheduled to compete in the super lightweight finals, but failed a medical exam. He was therefore replaced by Philippine National Muay Thai team member, Francis Romero.

In a night of spectacular finishes, the main event of Drex Zamboanga against judoka Tomoki Hara was the perfect night cap for the audience.

Tomoki Hara opened the Super Bantamweight finals aggressively as he went for take downs. The much stronger Zamboanga countered each take down with ease, and was able to lay some ground and pound on the judoka. A rear naked choke attempt by Zamboanga was able to give Hara the chance to stand-up. Hara tried to outstrike Zamboanga but was taken down, and solid punches by D-Rex ended the first round.

Hara, however, could not contain the striking of Zamboanga in the second round. After a solid right knocked Hara down, Zamboanga was able to take his back and sync in a rear naked choke to win the WLC Bantamweight Championship.

“Malaking karangalan ang mag represent sa WLC,” Zamboanga told Tiebreaker Times post fight. “Gagawin ko ang lahat para matulungan sila sir Caloy [Agulto] para mapalaki ang WLC.”

The co-main event saw pro boxer, Mario Sismundo, knock out wrestling team member, Neil Larano, in just 1:21 in the first round. In a styles clash, the grappler tried to stand and bang with Sismundo, but was knocked down after a solid hook by “The Monster” Sismundo. A few shots later, the referee stopped he fight, and crowned the MMA journeyman as the winner of the WLC Lightweight Finals.

Two more tournament finals ended in the first round. Muay Thai practitioner, Rex de Lara took down Amir Mohammed with a slam followed by solid punches to win the WLC Featherweight Championship. Moreover, for the bantamweight finals, it was CJ de Tomas outclassing Felixander Bagayao in winning via submission due to a rear naked choke in just the first round.

Fight of the night, however, was the WLC Super Lightweight finals. Prior to the fight, Arben Escayo was supposed to take on Don Don Aron. Aron failed a medical due to hepatitis, and was replaced by heavy striker Francis Romero. Escayo told us that when he knew that Romero was his opponent, he trained really hard since Romero is a dangerous opponent.

The opening salvo for the WLC Super Lightweight Championship saw Escayo display his grappling when he immediately took Romero’s back and attempted an armbar. Escayo then switched to a triangle attempt, but Romero was able to escape. The two exchanged heavy shots with Escayo knocking down Romero after a huge left hook. Romero, however, quickly recovered, and ended the round with him outstriking Escayo.

The second round was a continuation of the striking exchange between the two. Again, Arben Escayo was able to knock Romero down, but Romero was able to pull guard and recover. A ground exchange ensued to end the round.

Then, at the third round, Francis Romero nailed a head kick that stunned Escayo after trading blows. A vicious leg kick by Romero knocked Escayo down, and a few hammer fists later, Romero was declared victor and crowned as the WLC Super Lightweight champion.

In the first of six championship matches for the night, Erdie Bautista and Jovan Gallarosa fought a grappler’s war. After three rounds of take downs, reversals, mounts, and guards, Erdie Bautista was able to nail Gallarosa with a huge right for a TKO win with 2:30 remaining. Bautista becomes the first WLC Super Flyweight Championship.

Walang Kukurap

The preliminary fights for the event were as spectacular as the main card matches.

In the opening match, Rowelito Liloc was able to submit Jomar Bislig in a flyweight bout. Liloc opened the match with a fake hand shake, and attempted to dominate. After a full mount by Liloc, Bislig was able to regain his footing and transitioned into a full guard. A series of reversals ended the round. In contrast, the second round was a stand up war between the two. It ended when Liloc gained the advantage by taking the back and syncing a rear naked choke on Bislig.

A controversial second fight saw big men John Adajar face Mark Palomar. Adajar was immediately taken down, and at half guard, was blasted with hammer fists. The match ended quickly during round 1, 2:21. Adajar contested the stoppage, but according to the officials, he was no longer defending properly during the fight. Moreover, in a post-fight talk with Mark Palomar, Palomar showed to us that he actually injured his hand with the hammer fists.

In the other two matches, Nilo Vidal was able to knock out Jian Castillo in a bantamweight bout, while the energetic 23-2 Alejo Corpuz made short work of his taller opponent Jerome Concepcion in just :54 seconds.

Post fight scrum

In a talk we had with Mr. Carlos Agulto, he is hoping to build on the momentum this show built. “Ginagawa ko ito para matulungan makita ang mga atletang Pinoy.” When asked what is his vision for the company, he told us that in the short-term they could produce more shows and work with more gyms. He promised us that season two will be much more exciting.

In attendance, during the night, are some of the brightest stars in the Martial Arts and Showbiz world. URCC founder, Alvin Aguilar was in the building to show support to the budding company. URCC Heavyweight Champion and Team Fist head trainer Igor Subora was also seen supporting his boys. Moreover, Kier Legaspi enjoyed the fights as well.

Season two for the WLC will be much more exciting and will start this Summer at Buster’s Bistro, Panay Ave., Quezon City.

Warrior’s League Championship Season 1 Finale results
February 28, 2015 – San Andres Sports Complex, Malate, Manila City


WLC Super Bantamweight Championship: Drex Zamboanga def. Tomoki Hara by submission via rear naked choke (Rd 2, 2:30)
WLC Lightweight Championship: Mario Sismundo def. Neil Larano by KO (Rd 1, 1:21)
WLC Featherweight Championship: Rex de Lara def. Amir Mohammed by TKO (Rd 1, 1:50)
WLC Bantamweight Championship: CJ de Tomas def. Felixander Bagayao by submission via rear naked choke (Rd 1, 1:57)
WLC Super Lightweight Championship: Francis Romero def. Arben Escayo by TKO (Rd 3, 2:20)
WLC Super Flyweight Championship: Erdie Bautista def. Jovan Galarosa by TKO (Rd 3, 2:40)
Bantamweight Bout: Nilo Vidal def. Jian Castillo by KO (Rd 1, 2:21)
Super Flyweight Bout: Alejo Corpuz def. Jerome Concepcion by KO (Rd 1, :54)
Catchweight (189lbs) Bout: Mark Palomar def. John Andajar by TKO (Rd 1, 2:21)
Super Flyweight Bout: Romelito Liloc def. Jomar Bislig by submission via rear naked choke (Rd 2, 1:04)

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2 Comments
  • Ching Abella

    To the writer:

    Drex Zamboanga represents Toughguys International. Can you please at least add it to your write-up? Thank you.

  • Rowel Del Mundo

    Correction on the article, kindly make an erratum. Drex Zamboanga represents Toughguys International and not the wrestling team

EAC

Perpetual escapes upset-hungry EAC

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Fighting off a sluggish start, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas came alive late to slip past the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 15-13, and remain on pace for a spot in the NCAA Season 93 Final Four at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Taking on a struggling EAC side, Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño knew that there was a possibility that his squad would relax. His team has had trouble starting and finishing off matches, as evidenced in their first set performance and lack of finishing push in the fourth frame.

“May tendency talaga ‘yung team ko na mag-relax. Sabihin na nating hindi kasi sobrang lakas ng kalaban. Pero alam naman natin sa volleyball na wala namang team na ibibigay sa’yo ‘yung panalo, kailangan kunin mo talaga,” Cariño lamented.

The fifth frame came down to late breaks. The Lady Altas broke a 13-all tie with back-to-back transition conversions from Cindy Imbo and Lourdes Clemente.

“Siyempre, nage-expect ako nang mas maganda pang performance sa team ko. Alam din naman nila na mas may ibubuga pa sila kaya kailangan mas maganda ang ipakita namin sa mga huli naming laro,” the NCAA champion mentor added.

Imbo tallied a game-high 17 points, while Clemente and Maria Aurora Tripoli added 15 points, apiece. The Lady Altas needed all of their 11 aces and 11 blocks to offset their season-high 42 errors.

Aira Binondo was the only Lady General in double-digits with 13 points.

The Lady Altas (3-1) next face the Jose Rizal University (2-2) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. EAC (0-4) will look for their first win on Monday against the College of Saint Benilde (2-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Imbo 17, Clemente 15, Tripoli 15, Sangalang 11, Llorente 10, Versoza 4, Estanislao 1, Gual 1, Umandal 0, Medalla (L)

EAC (2) – Binondo 13, Tongco 9, Pablo 8, Lumbao 7, Magbanua 7, Reyes A. 3, Reyes K. 3, Tasis 2, Yongco 1, Medina (L)

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EAC

Altas steamroll Generals for fourth win

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The University of Perptual Help System DALTA Altas maintained top-billing in the NCAA Season 93 Men’s Volleyball tournament after cruising past the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 25-14, 25-19, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Last season’s runners-up dominated right from the first point and never let the Generals sniff the lead. The Altas outclassed the San Marcelino-based program in every scoring category, tallying a season-high 13 blocks to EAC’s three.

The Altas also maintained their solid passing this season, a trend that delighted head coach Sammy Acaylar.

“Isa ‘yun sa mga bagay na tinututukan ko talaga sa kanila kasi we know na we can be good at attacking and blocking. We just need to be consistent on floor defense and reception,” said Acaylar, as the Altas were 58 percent on excellent receives.

“Kahit maganda ang nilalaro namin ngayon, alam naman ng mga bata ang end goal namin which is to win a championship. So kailangan isa-isa lang ang tingin namin sa mga laro kasi marami pang challenges na darating bago namin makamit ang championship,” the decorated mentor added.

Graduating team captain Rey Taneo towed the Las Piñas-based spikers with 12 points coming off seven attacks and five blocks. Joebert Almodiel added 11 points.

Open hitter Joshua Mina was the lone bright spot for the Generals, scoring 13 points.

Perpetual (4-0) look to keep streaking when they face the struggling Jose Rizal University (0-4) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. EAC (2-2) take on the defending champions College of Saint Benilde (2-1) on Monday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores:

UPHSD (3) – Taneo 12, Almodiel 11, Rosales 10, Muhali 8, Ramos 8, Atentar 1, Solamilo 1, Bateon 0, Catipay 0, Salo 0, Taneo S. 0, Kalingking (L)

EAC (0) – Mina 13, Lim 5, Ilano 4, Rasing 2, Castelano 0, Garcia 0, Panoy 0, Magadan (L)

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ABL

Joshua Munzon, Westsports snap Saigon’s streak in highly emotional contest

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Photo by ASEAN Basketball League

Entering Wednesday night’s game, Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat were on a high, slaying the winning streaks of Hong Kong Eastern and Nanhai Kung Fu. However, Joshua Munzon and the Westsports Malaysia Dragons had other things in mind, keeping the Heat winless at the MABA Stadium, 91-87.

In his fourth game since returning to the Dragons, Munzon filled up the stat sheet, tallying 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Besides putting up the numbers, the athletic swingman from California helped limit reigning Heritage Player of the Week Williams to his worst game so far in the ABL. Averaging 27.33 points, 6.67 assists, and 6.0 rebounds prior to this game, Williams went field goal-less against the Dragons, missing all 11 of his attempts. The Filipino-American floor general was able to dish out eight assists and grab five caroms.

Westsports led by as much as 11 points in the final frame, 82-71, after Munzon found Marcus Marshall for a triple with 4:59 remaining. Behind World Imports Akeem Scott and Maxie Esho, the Heat stormed right back but was answered by a long bomb by Munzon to keep them at bay.

Marshall and Scott figured in a shootout to close out the game but in the end, the hosts were still able to etch out their second straight victory.

Marshall finished the game with 25 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the Dragons while Scott’s 44-point game went for naught.

After the emotionally charged contest though, few unkind words were exchanged by the officials of both squads that almost resulted into a brawl. Fortunately, things did not escalate beyond that.

In the video, Munzon was also seen shoving a Saigon player to try and pacify the situation. The league is currently investigating the post-game incident.

With the win, Westsports Malaysia raised its record to 3-4 while dropping Saigon to 4-3.

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Mixed Martial Arts

Edward Kelly honored to fight alongside brother Eric

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Eric and Edward Kelly lived under the same roof for years in their hometown of Baguio City when they were young and shared the same burning passion in martial arts.

Growing up in the small town community of San Tomas Central, located within the city limits of Baguio, Eric and Edward did not always get along with one another as the two fought all the time, sometimes even resulting in injury.

“We were not that close before. We always fought. In short, Eric and I were headaches to our parents,” Edward recalled in jest.

“But of course, things change when you grow up and mature. We now appreciate each other’s company.”

Fortunately, when the brothers entered high school, Eric discovered martial arts, and everything would change for both of them.

Edward paid attention to the growing accolades of his older brother and was heavily motivated by it.

“I noticed after he started martial arts that it taught him the discipline not to fight me as a brother. Instead, he started giving me advice through what he had learned,” he bared. “I also joined martial arts because it teaches you discipline, and a lot of other positives, too.”

Years later, both men have made remarkable runs as outstanding martial artists in their respective professional careers.

Eric is widely regarded as one of the best homegrown martial arts athletes to come out of the Philippines.

A Wushu practitioner who combines solid striking techniques with high-level grappling skills, Eric owns nine scintillating submissions and one knockout out of 12 total career victories.

Eric’s most impressive showing to date came in a submission win over Rob Lisita in July 2014, a performance that earned him the USD 50,000 ONE Warrior Bonus.

Meanwhile, Edward is considered as one of the best and brightest featherweight prospects to emerge from the well-established martial arts scene in the Philippines.

With a complete striking and grappling skill set, Edward brings Team Lakay’s world-renowned Wushu to center stage as he showcases his impeccable skillset inside the ONE Championship cage.

In addition, the younger Kelly has won three of his last four bouts under the ONE Championship banner, all by spectacular finish.

The Kelly brothers get a rare chance on Friday, January 26 as the siblings will compete side-by-side when ONE Championship holds its first of the four scheduled events in the country for 2018.

Eric squares off with Brazilian standout Rafael Nunes on the undercard of ONE: Global Superheroes, while Edward crosses paths with Cambodia’s Meas Meul in a three-round featherweight clash.

It is the first time both of them will be featured at a ONE Championship event together, and Edward plans to make it a night they will never forget.

“I am so excited because finally, it’s going to happen. It marks the first time that I will compete alongside my older brother. Surely, it’s going to be a memorable night for the both of us,” he said.

“We have the same aim of winning. So making it two for two on this card will make this extra special.”

As Eric seeks to get back on the winning track at the expense of Nunes, Edward is likewise looking to move forward in his career after getting his three-bout winning streak snapped by American stalwart Emilio Urrutia in August 2017.

In his next cage outing, Edward goes up against Meul, a undefeated promotional newcomer with six wins to his credit.

“My coaches has prepared me well for this. I am not going to disappoint my team and my country when I enter that cage on 26th of January,” Edward assured. “I don’t want to let my countrymen down this time. I am here to give them a great bout.

“And of course, win the bout in impressive fashion for them.”

Edward has no qualms if he has to go full three rounds with Meul, but he admitted that his sights are always set on securing the finish.

“I am looking to dominate him for three rounds. But hopefully, I can get the finish,” he vowed.

“A finish will be the perfect way to tell the world that I am back.”

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