Pacific Xtreme Combat made its debut at the Solaire Grand Ballroom with a bang. Literally.
In the opening match of the night, former professional boxer Rex De Lara opened the card in a flash while Korean Han Seol Kim, Japanese Sho Kogane, and Filipino Ernie Braca took home decision wins.
Rex De Lara vs. Stephen Loman
Rex De Lara had a poor start to his career. As the losses piled-up, he had enough as he ran through the local circuit, including the grueling WLC circuit.
As the wins kept coming, the PXC came calling and signed him up immediately. In his debut fight, years of frustration were packed in his punches as he made quick work of 20-year-old Team Lakay upstart Stephen “the Sniper” Loman to open the card.
With the two fighters feeling each other out in the early-going, “T-Rex” connected with a huge one-two combination, the first a left to the temple of Loman and the second landing exactly on the chin of Loman. Loman immediately dropped to the canvas face first and the referee immediately called for the bell.
De Lara was overjoyed after the bout. Lost for words De Lara promised to keep style as exciting as possible in saying, “ganito talaga ako lumabam. Sana napasaya ko kayo at magtraitraining pa ako sa wrestling ko.”
Nao Yoneda vs. Han Seul Kim
To add some international flare in the PXC 51 undercard, lanky Korean Han Seul Kim faced off against Japanese welterweight Nao Yoneda in the next bout.
Yoneda tried to close in the distance from the much-taller Han to open the bout. The Japanese welterweight was able to successfully take the Korean down in the first round but could not take advantage of it.
In the next two rounds, Han Seul Kim was able to utilize his length with stinging jabs and powerful kicks. Even if Nao was able to secure a takedown to close out both rounds, it was not enough as he gassed out in the third and final round that the 25-year-old Korean Top Team product was able to take advantage of. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Han (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) for the unanimous decision victory.
The Korean welterweight then called out all of the top welterweights in the PXC after the bout. With the win, Han Seul Kim climbs to 6-3 in his career while Nao Yoneda falls to 5-2.
Ernie Braca vs. Emilio Urrutia
Legacy Gym bantamweight Ernie Braca, even in being an underdog, against a bigger Emilio Urrutia showed great heart to take home a split decision victory in front of his home crowd.
Emilio Urrutia immediately went for a successful shoot into a takedown to open the match. Braca then surprised the American with a successful sweep to go on top. However, as the two stood up, Braca was accidentally hit with a low blow that called for a momentary stoppage of the bout at the 1:52 mark of the first round. After the break, Urrutia again connected with a successful double leg takedown. Braca stayed active on the ground and trapped the Muay Thai fighter’s head in a triangle and threw sharp elbows and short punches that bloodied up Urrutia to close out an exciting first round.
Again, Urrutia was able to take down Braca to open the second stanza and again was swept by the Filipino for the immediate stand-up. As Braca again succumbed to another takedown, Braca trapped the right arm of Urrutia for a kimura attempt but was unsuccessful. Braca then went on to head hunt, landing a few jabs and an overhand. With 1:16 left in the round, Urrutia again scored another takedown and was able to secure a full mount. The Filipino bantamweight was able to push the American off and the two slugged it out to end the round.
With the crowd on its feet in the final round, Urrutia again charged at the Filipino for another takedown. Urrutia landed hammerfists, a few just glancing at Braca, while in his opponent’s guard. After two minutes, both fighters were stood-up due to inactivity. A left straight stunned Urrutia but, with his wrestler instincts, cornered Braca for another takedown. Elbows by Urrutia resulted to a cut on the forehead of Braca.
In a surprise, the judges deemed that Braca’s activity on his back proved to be enough as he was awarded the victory by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). The win evens Braca’s slate to 2-2 while Urrutia’s three-fight win streak ended.
Sho Kogane vs. Wesley Machado
Former model turned fighter Wesley Machado promised during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum that the audience will see a new fighter at PXC 51. However, Japanese fighter Sho Kogane’s experience negated the new facets Machado’s game in a grappling fest to close out the preliminary card of PXC 51.
Kogane overpowered Machado for 15 minutes in landing empphatic takedowns in every round. Even with a Brazilian contingent cheering him on, Machado could not muster an offensive rally against Kogane. The Japanese in the latter rounds was able to take the Brazilian down with ease.
In the third round, Kogane dragged Machado down for a take down and stayed on top for at least more than three minutes. With 32 seconds left on the clock, the Brazilian tried to take Kogane down but was easily stuffed by the Japanese. Kogane closed the match with a Kimura attempt to end a strong outing.
Sho Kogane swept the cards with a 30-27 unanimous decision win. Wesley Machado falls to 0-2 while Kogane improves to an impressive 9-2 slate.