by Anton Tabuena
Another sign of how rapid MMA is growing in the region? There were 3 major MMA promotions who all hosted shows in the Philippines this week. The URCC brought Davao Digmaan, ONE FC had a memorable night at the Araneta Coliseum, and Pacific X-Treme Combat packed the Ynares Arena with PXC 33.
One of the main standouts on that PXC 33 card was Filipino rising star, Mark Striegl, who was making his debut for the promotion. Slotted at co-main event, the Baguio-based fighter shrugged off early takedown attempts, and quickly dispatched of Guam's Robert Wusstig. Striegl submitted him in a little over a minute, and this rising star improved his unblemished record to 11-0, further stating his case as one of the top featherweights in the region.
After TUF veteran Jon Tuck had to pull out of the headlining spot on the last minute, PXC lightweight champion Harris Sarmiento had to face Korean Top Team prospect, Seung Hwa Han. The 20-year-old Korean came in on very short notice against a much more experienced fighter, but he didn't let any of that faze him. Behind a steady diet of kicks and flying knees, Han clearly won the first round, until Sarmiento slowly got back in to it during the latter rounds.
Sarmiento, who already had almost 60 fights to his name, eventually got a well earned split-decision victory, but his performance wasn't up to par with people's expectations. Seung Hwa Han on the other hand, only had a short period to prepare for a WEC and Strikeforce veteran, but he was still able to bring it to the much more experienced fighter and already looked like a true veteran in the cage. It wasn't enough to get him the decision, but this 20-year-old showed he is one to watch as has a lot of upside to his young MMA career.
Also on the card, Eugene Toquero won big, knocking his opponent out cold with a single standing elbow in just 40 seconds.