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PXC 49: Jones grinds out Fil-Kiwi Abelardo in eliminator; ‘Finisher’ Rafols taps

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Two Filipino’s competed Friday night, August 7 at the University of Guam Calvo Field House at Mangilao, Guam.

Eight-year MMA veteran Jessie “the Finisher” Rafols of Insider Boxing Gym returned to the cage after a two-year hiatus in facing Shane “Pikaboo” Alvarez in a bantamweight bout while Filipino-Kiwi Mark Abelardo looked to extend his seven fight winning streak in a PXC Bantamweight Championship eliminator bout against Trevin Jones. However, both Filipinos fell to their respective opponents Friday night.

“The Finisher” taps to Alvarez

Jessie Rafols, as documented by Rappler’s Nissi Icasiano [READ: Pinoy MMA vet Jessie Rafols returns to action at PXC 49], is returning from a two-year hiatus from active competition. The Insider Boxing Gym standout, in his last fight last September 2013, lost via submission due to rear naked choke to Louis Smolka. He suffered the same fate in Guam.

Rafols was active all throughout the first few minutes of the fight in cornering his opponent from Saipan. Alvarez tried to corner Rafols but ended up on the bottom after a takedown attempt. “The Finisher” tried to lock a guillotine choke but was slammed by Alvarez. The Filipino was active on his guard in attempting a triangle and an armbar but was shoved aside. His opponent, later on, was able to grab the back of “the Finisher” and lock in a strong rear naked choke. Rafols had no other choice but to tap out with 1:15 to go in the opening round. Rafols’ record fell to 8-5.

Abelardo falls to Jones, snaps streak

Riding high with a seven fight winning streak, Team Quest Thailand’s Mark Abelardo was the heavy favorite going into their bout against the 5-4 Trevin Jones. Moreover, this fight had huge implications in the PXC Bantamweight title picture. However, wrestling proved to be the difference in their bout as Jones was able to snap Abelardo’s win streak and be the number one contender for Kyle Aguon’s belt.

Mark Abelardo was clearly the better striker compared to his Guamanian opponent. After hitting a few shots on his opponent in the first round, Jones used his better grappling in taking down Abelardo to avoid the standup. More double-leg takedowns followed after the stand-up during the first round.

In the next round, Jones continued to grind Abelardo out by cornering the Fil-Kiwi. Another double-leg takedown occured and the Guamanian tried to secure a choke but Abelardo was able to move away from the hold. Jones had cornered his opponent to avoid distance until the end of the round.

Knowing that he was behind in the scorecards, Abelardo was aggressive in the standup to open the final round. A huge combination stunned Jones and a takedown attempt was foiled by elbows by the Filipino. However, Jones was able to recover and press Abelardo to the cage to close the fight.

Jones took the match by unanimous decision. Abelardo falls to 10-3.

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