By Jay Leon Guerrero
There were two new PXC champions crowned Saturday night during PXC 51 at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila, Philippines. Undefeated Korean Top Team fighter Kwan Ho Kwak defeated bantamweight champion Kyle ‘Money’ Aguon from Guam in the co-main event to win the belt.
Jenel Lausa from the Philippines won the vacated flyweight championship after defeating Crisanto Pitpitunge, also from the Philippines, via a close split decision.
Aguon vs Kwak
The co-main event started with both fighters looking for their range in striking with each connecting but no real damage done to either fighter. Aguon’s game plan was to move side-to-side against Kwak who attacked the inside leg and also went for spinning back kicks during the opening round.
The first two minutes of the second round was just as the first with both fighters playing cautious until Aguon (9-5) landed a takedown. Kwak (8-0), nicknamed ‘Handsome’, played good defense on his back and escaped minimal damage, but clearly lost the round with Aguon in the top position for the final three minutes of the second round.
In the third round, Aguon went for the takedown again but the Korean fighter landed short strikes and elbows to the left temple of Aguon that opened up a small cut. A scramble ensued and Kwak gained leverage for the top position and landed some heavy elbows and strikes to close out the round.
Both fighters looked a bit gassed going into to the championship rounds. Aguon continued to push forward for the takedown, looking to use his jiu-jistu to gain the advantage. Kwak defended the takedowns well and did damage again to Aguon with short elbows while his back was pressed against the cage.
The final round started with both fighters scoring on their feet. Kwak landed a flush overhand right, the most significant shot of the match; that dropped the champion two minutes into the final round. Kwak looked to instill further damage via ground and pound, but the champion recovered well and went for submissions from his back.
‘Money’ went for a guillotine and an arm bar in the guard position but Kwak was too slippery and the round ended. The Korean fighter seemed to be cautious in Aguon’s guard and did not rush his ground and pound game.
“I did a good job defending, he is dangerous off his back,” said Kwak.
All three judges voted unanimously 49-46 in favor of ‘Handsome’. Kwak said pre-fight that he would finish Aguon and he gave much respect to the Guamanian during the post fight interview.
“The fight didn’t really go my way but I worked hard in training camp at my opponents strengths. I was able to neutralize his strong points as the fight continued,” said Kwak.
When asked after the fight if a rematch was possible, Kwak said its up to the matchmakers of PXC. “I have much respect for Kyle, but this fight was one-sided. It’s ultimately up to the PXC.”