PXC 44: HOW THE BOUTS CAME ABOUT

PXC 44: HOW THE BOUTS CAME ABOUT

📅10 June 2014
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By Ken San Nicolas – PXC Matchmaker

Today I’d like to introduce you to some of the match making process that went through to create the PXC 44 card. Before we get into all those details, let’s take a look at the ten fights that will occur on June 27th at the University of Guam Fieldhouse.

FIGHT CARD

Josh Calvo vs. Zebaztian Kadestam 170

Ryan Mulvihill vs. Yusuke Yachi 145

Josh Duenas vs. Crisanto Pitpitunge 125

Kyle Aguon vs. Troy Bantiag 135

Kyle Reyes vs. Josh Sapinoso 145

Frank Camacho vs. Chuji Kato 155

Han Suel Kim vs. Eric Michael Fought 170

McKlane Alfred vs. Mark Nuique 125

Tomo Maesawa vs. Cortney Casey 115

Robin Eclavea vs. Jeff Mesa 145

When we start with an initial draft of a fight card, we take a look at our total roster and as well as their internal standings. Here at PXC, we have an internal system that ranks fighters based on their win percentage, finishing percentage and strength of schedule (how tough their opponent’s are.) We use this to determine what fights to set up for our next event, and we also use it as a way to start placing fighters for our future events down the line.

Josh Calvo vs Zebaztian Kadestam (Welterweight Championship)

The PXC has a fairly small division of 170 pounders and when it comes to the two best, these two are right at the top. Calvo and Kadestam are both undefeated in the PXC ranks and have proven that they have the skills necessary to compete at the highest level. There is no question that they are both deserving of the title “Champion” and we are pleased to host this match up at PXC 44.

Ryan Mulvihill vs Yusuke Yachi (Featherweight)

When throwing fights, it’s important to always make sure that we are testing our best fighters in order to determine number one contenders for our belts. Currently, Jang Yong Kim sits atop the 145 pound throne.  Yusuke Yachi is coming off a strong victory over Kyle Reyes. He needs one more solid win to secure title contention. And that is where Ryan Mulvihill comes in – the 11-4 fighter from Washington boasts wins over PXC veterans Harris Sarmiento and Toby Misech — Misech being the cause of Yachi’s only loss in the PXC. An impressive win for Mulvihill would catapult him into title contention and his record is supportive of that skill. Look for the winner of this particular fight to challenge Jang Yong Kim in the near future.

Ryan Mulvhill

Ryan Mulvhill. (PXC Facebook photo)

Yusuke Yachi

Yusuke Yachi. (PXC Facebook photo)

Kyle Aguon vs Troy Bantiag (Bantamweight)

Finally, we are able to introduce fans on Guam to the talent of Pinoy MMA. I don’t think we expected the rate at which MMA in the Philippines would develop when we first set foot in the Philippines 3 years ago. The Pinoy fighters have proven to be some of the toughest competitors in the sport today. In fact, there were 125 and 135 pound champions from the Philippines for a brief while— this June, fans finally get to see these guys perform on Guam soil.

Troy Bantiag is a very tough fighter from Team Lakay — highly touted as the best MMA gym in the Philippines. Bantiag however, has lost to every Guam opponent he has faced. “The Hunter” lost a controversial ref stoppage to UFC fighter Jon Delos Reyes and a decision to Trevin Jones. But be warned, the guy can fight. Bantiag has proven that he has a solid ground game to compliment his superb and devastating muay thai. He is definitely one of the best products to come out of the Philippines.

Kyle Aguon is highly regarded as Guam’s top bantamweight. Having lost razor thin decisions versus UFC fighters Russell Doane and Michinori Tanaka, Aguon needs a big win here in order to stay in contention for a future title shot. If you are from Guam, you are no stranger to Aguon’s skill set. Strong wrestling, great cardio and a stifling style really keeps his opponents confused.

Kyle Aguon (right) vs. Russel Doane. (GSPN file photo)

Kyle Aguon (right) vs. Russel Doane. (GSPN file photo)

Crisanto Pitpitunge vs Josh Duenas (Flyweight)

This was initially supposed to be Pitpitunge vs Roman Alvarez, but an unfortunate injury forced Alvarez to pull out. Luckily, PXC veteran Josh Duenas was ready and willing to step up. Josh Duenas has fought many fights at 135 but is a natural 125er. He shows great jiu jitsu skills and has a really aggressive style.

Crisanto Pitpitunge is the former bantamweight champion of the PXC. After losing the belt to Michinori Tanaka and then suffering another loss to Han Bin Park, Pitpitunge has made the cut down to 125 — a weight at which he hopes he will be very successful. Pitpitunge has a great sprawl, underrated submission skills, and knockout power — as illustrated in his title fight with Justin Cruz.

Frank Camacho vs Chuji Kato (Lightweight)

Frank Camacho is by far the highest ranked PXC lightweight. With notable wins over the legendary Keita Nakamura and a dominating performance over Koshi Matsumoto, “the Crank” has shown that he sits upon the top of the totem pole at 155.

PXC fans have only seen Chuji Kato twice but believe me this guy is talented. Nicknamed “the Genius” in Japan, Kato is widely regarded as having a very crafty submission game and poses a huge threat to Camacho. Kato comes from the new breed of Japanese fighters and is well equipped to give “the Crank” a difficult fight. Kato is also well aware of what beating Camacho does for his career. The winner of this fight secures a title shot later in the year.

Frank Camacho

Frank Camacho. (PXC Facebook photo)

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Chuji Kato. (PXC Facebook photo)

Kyle Reyes vs Josh Sapinoso (Featherweight)

There is one more Filipino fighter on the card. Josh Sapinoso is a Philippine national wrestling champion as well as BJJ gold medalist at the Pan Asians. His amateur MMA fights consisted of huge slams, violent ground and pound and a savvy for positional transitions on the ground. He is the main training partner of Rolando Gabriel Dy — the man responsible for Kyle Reyes’ loss in the Philippines.

Kyle Reyes has had a tumultuous time at the ranks of featherweight. He lost to Sapinoso’s training partner, then knocked out Tae Kyun Kim and then suffered a decision loss to Yusuke Yachi at PXC 42. However, he is still Guam’s best 145 pound fighter and arguably the best pound for pound fighter on Guam. He has a complete set of tools and was practically bred to do this. He has knockout power, great striking, strong clinch, very good jiu jitsu, very good submissions and very strong ground and pound.

If there is one weakness, it’s that “Boom” has problems when facing physically bigger opponents. This happened in his fights versus Dy and Yachi. Sapinoso will be ready to face Reyes and Kyle will surely be ready to avenge his past loss to Dy.

Kyle Aguon

Kyle Aguon. (PXC Facebook photo)

Cortney Casey vs Tomo Maesawa (Female Strawweight)

Kailin Curran is the queen of PXC MMA at 115 pounds. She has smashed every challenge on her way. We know she can beat experienced fighters, we know that she is not shy and very willing to trade on the feet, and we know that she can go the distance. That said, the division needs to be developed in order to find her a suitable contender.

We at PXC believe that Cortney Casey and Tomo Maesawa are viable challenges for Curran in the future.

Tomo Maesawa has tallied 3 straight wins in her MMA career, the latest being a decision over Brittany Ann Decker in May. Although she prefers submissions, Maesawa has shown a knack for striking as well as the ability to grind out a decision if need be.

Cortney Casey holds a professional record of 1-1. But I implore you to go look up video of her. She is legit. Casey boasts amateur wins over Rachael Cummins (twice) and tallied an impressive 6-2 record before finally going pro. All her fights were at 125 pounds and she has since made the cut down to 115 – a weight where she will no longer be the smallest girl out there. She is a submission wizard. Flying armbars, rear naked chokes, awesome movement – you guys are looking at what quite possibly is the best kept secret in all of female MMA at 115. This is definitely a fight you don’t want to miss.

Eric Michael Fought vs Han Seul Kim (Welterweight)

Much of the card is full of fights that will determine title contention, but it is still very important to develop the rest of the pool of fighters. After all, these are the fighters who will be fighting for championships much later down the road.

Eric Michael Fought is an American living in Japan. He has amassed a 6-1-2 record in Japan and is a brown belt in BJJ. He has a very cerebral approach to fighting and the characteristic is recognized in his versatile skill set and experience. He could give Kadestam and Calvo a run in the future should he get past his opponent on June 27th.

And that opponent is quite the obstacle -Meet Han Seul Kim, the man that his coaches at Korean Top Team call “Baby Lim”. Kim is a big 170 pounder who loves to let the hands fly and throws with reckless abandon – much like UFC vet and former PXC welterweight Champion Lim Hyun Gyu. It will be very interesting to see how this fight plays out. Will Fought’s slower methodical style win out or will Kim end the fight quickly with his relentless aggression? I don’t know but I can’t wait to find out!

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Tomo Maesawa. (PXC Facebook photo)

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Cortney Casey. (PXC Facebook photo)

McKlane Alfred vs Mark Nuique (Flyweight)

McKlane Alfred is a very tough 125 pounder with heavy hands and very good jiu jitsu. The guy trains very hard and always puts on a show for the local crowd. He suffered a minor setback earlier this year when he lost to Roman Alvarez via decision, but the defeat has really lit a fire under him. Look for McKlane to come out focused and in excellent shape.

Mark Nuique has not fought in the PXC since 2012 but has returned 10 pounds lighter. Having amassed an 8-2 record at bantamweight, Nuique has refocused his training, and has made the cut down to flyweight. Nuique has a devastating clinch and is incredibly fast.

It is a pretty safe bet to say that this fight doesn’t go to the judges. Both fighters are hungry for the victory and they want to make a statement in the division.

Robin Eclavea vs Jeff Mesa (AMATEUR featherweight)

We like to start the Guam PXC shows off with local amateur talent who are ready to make the jump to the pros. These fights tend to be very high paced and action packed. Robin Eclavea is hoping to continue that tradition. The undefeated fighter out of Underworld Xtreme has been unstoppable in his Preba Hao career. In fact, Eclavea seems a cut above the rest of the amateur competition. He will get to prove his skill against Spike 22’s Jeff Mesa.

Jeff Mesa is a multiple BJJ medalist from Spike 22. The BJJ blue belt is a huge risk taker and shows no fear in the cage, whether it be on the feet or on the ground. Those traits either make for a short career or a very memorable one. (Remember former PXC lightweight Champ Ronny Borja?)

Both amateurs are hungry for the win but only one will come away victorious.

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