Ramon Santiago was the king of the Half-middleweight division a season ago.
Moving up in weight this season, Santiago completely out-powered the entire Middleweight division en route to the Most Valuable Player honor for the UAAP Season 78 Men’s Judo tournament.
Santiago made quick work of UP’s Prince Lledo to open the competition. In the other opening round matches, UST’s Renzo Cazenas defeated Ivan Oleta for the right to face Santiago in the first bracket. In the other bracket, UST’s Jolo Atinza ended his opening round assignment against La Salle’s Aaron Valera at the 1:42 mark, while UP’s Von Kieffer Yu also advanced in a quick win against Ateneo’s Alfonso Limjap.
Ateneo’s Santiago displayed his all-around skillset in his semifinals match against Renzo Cazenas. After a trip that took down Cazenas, the Blue Judoka quickly trapped his opponents arm and locked an armbar for a submission victory in just 38 seconds. UST’s Atienza was then able to advance to the Finals in outpointing UP’s Yu.
In the bronze medal matches, Von Kieffer Yu succumbed to an ippon by Prince Lledo in an all-UP affair. In the second third place match, UST’s Cazenas dispatched Ateneo’s Limjap.
It took just five seconds for Santiago to take the middlweight crown. After a quick lockup, the Atenean quickly blasted a thunderous legsweep on Jolo Atienza to take home the gold. Moreover, Santiago only had a total of 73 seconds of total mat time as he was able to finish all of his opponents in this year’s tournament.
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