koko & everything else

koko & everything else

Monday, February 18, 2013

Anecdote of a MMA Spectator at PXC 35

I’ve never been the type person to watch sports competition on television. I didn’t even have the same overpowering interest for UAAP compared to my fellow Lasallians back in the days. Don’t get me wrong, I do have the Animo blood and I do love sports (I’ve played so many different sports in this lifetime… some of which I still enjoy, some remain a distant memory of fun and pain), but watching others play is not really not my thing…

Then last Saturday, February 16, 2013, I got an invitation from PRC INC to watch the PXC (Pacific Xtreme Combat) 35. Yes, you heard it right, I watched a live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight. It was a weird moment for me and for a time, I really felt like I was in a different world. For one, I don’t even seriously watch a Pacquiao fight, so you can just imagine how out-of-place I felt inside Ynares Sports Arena surrounded by guys (and even girls) thirsty of action-packed fights.

But hey, I was already there and the best thing to do is to learn the sports and get into the groove.

So the event had nine fights (matches, or however they call it). The first one was between Glen Ranillo and Mark Billena, both true blood Pinoys. It was more of a shock to me, than entertaining. I saw two guys grabbing and hitting each other. I thought I wouldn’t survive the first fight; my heart was literally pumping and worrying of the fighters’ welfare.

Then I scanned the whole arena and saw people cheering and yelling. It sounded like they were coaching, but I couldn’t really comprehend. My hands were tightly pressing my camera and just praying no blood would burst out of the cage.

Well, luckily, the first fight was bloodless, and I was able to watch through it without my own blood draining out of my body. Ranillo won, by the way, so I moved on to the next fights.

Although every match was heart-pumping and really nerve-racking, there were two fights that stuck to my lightheadedness. It was the fight between Egon Racz of Slovakia Versus Chuji Kato of Japan and Hawaiian Louis Smolka and Pinoy American Alvin Cacdac.

For the Slovakian and the Japanese dude match, I found it a little funny (okay, fine, I found it really entertaining). Excuse my lack for vocabulary, but as the two fighters tried to strangle each other, the Japanese fighter was a little comical. He tried to lock and pin his opponent, he grabbed every opportunity to hit/punch the poor Slovakian’s head/face. He seemed to be the type of fighter who literally seized every opportunity to gain advantage over his opponent. From afar, (although I know that every blow he released meant pain for the other guy), it really looked more like what I would see from a cartoon… from a Popeye’s show perhaps?


The other fight that marked my head (and still lingers till now) would be with Louis Smolka and Alvin Cacdac… Oh my God! From the very first ring of the bell on the first round, the match was already intense! In fact, Smolka got wounded somewhere on his face that made the cage a bloodfest.

I know the whole night wouldn’t end without some blood, but seeing it right then and there… my heart skipped a beat (or BEATS!) I really thought the guy would tap out or just accept plain defeat. But hey, no! Instead, even though he got beaten up early, he went on for the next rounds, which I guess would be a good thing. At the end of the fight (whew!), Smolka won by choking Cacdac, or from what I learned from the MMA fans, “it was a win by a rear naked choke” or something like that.

But of course, even by a non-MMA fan, I was waiting for the big event for the night: the fight between Harris “The Hitman” Sarmiento and Isaiah Ordiz which was also a title fight for the Lightweight division. I really felt weird saying that it was a “lightweight” fight because 1. It wasn’t light and 2. They didn’t look lightweight with all the hard muscles bursting out of their bodies. Anyways, that’s how they call it and who am I to argue with that?

However, after eight previous fights and a few hours, the big event ended so fast! Good thing, I didn’t decide to have my restroom break ‘coz the fight did not even lasted 5 minutes (and I am not exaggerating). I guess, Sarmiento really prepared for this fight and he just wanted to get it done and over with. He wanted the title retained! I heard he lost a fight with Mark Streigl from the previous PXC event, good thing his title wasn’t on the line by then.

I feel a little “bitin” somehow. I mean, I waited for the entire night for this one, but it ended up in a whoosh. Then somehow it made me think just how raw an MMA fight is. Somehow, I used to think that MMA fights would be a lot like WWF (World Wrestling Federation) type of events where bulky guys mouth off one another and get too dramatic. But here, the guys are there for one thing and that is to fight! No side talks, no props!

It’s raw-ness makes it really a good game, which really grew into me. I wouldn’t say I would be tuning in to every fight on TV (or live). But I am saying, I learned to appreciate the sports. It was not all about hitting and causing pain (which I used to believe), it was a mind’s game with a lot of body action. These guys play smart and had strategies of their own, on top of that, they are strong men who really doesn’t like to raise white flags very often.

So, for girls (and even guys) who doesn’t get MMA, I hope I was able take you on a short journey. I tried to catch glimpses for you and somehow, maybe the sports would also grow in you.

For the MMA fans, here’s a quick review (Winners in BOLD):

Match One: Mark Billena (Philippines) Versus Glen Ranillo (Philippines) 
Match Two: Joseph Mercado (Philippines) Versus Dario Banario (Philippines)
Match Three: Steve Grandeza (Philippines) Versus Miguel Mosquera (Philippines)
Match Four: Ron Jhun (Hawaii) Versus Zebastian Kadestam (Sweden)
Match Five: Ruel Catalan (Philippines) Versus Ernesto Montilla (Philippines)
Match Six: Ergon Racz (Slovakia) Versus Chuji Kato (Japan)
Match Seven: Tony Reyes (Philippines) Versus Troy Bantiag (Philippines)
Match Eight: Alvin Cacdac (Philippines/USA) Versus Louis Smolka (Hawaii)
Match Nine: Isaiah Ordiz (Philippines) Versus Harris Sarmiento (Philippines/USA) – Title Fight

Team PRC INC at PXC 35 (Left to Right): Dhan, Air, Miggy, Koko,and Rusdee
(Grabbed from PRC INC FB Page)
Team PRC INC and bloggers with PXC star Ale Cali
(Grabbed from PRC INC FB Page)
With "The Hitman" himself, Harris Sarmiento
(Grabbed from PRC INC FB Page)


  1. Looks like you have so much fun there! The fighters are very physically fit. Hope i can watch those on any social media sites for free. Lol! ^^,

  2. I learned to appreciate the sports. It was not all about hitting and causing pain (which I used to believe), it was a mind’s game with a lot of body action. These guys play smart and had strategies of their own, on top of that, they are strong men who really doesn’t like to raise white flags very often.
    UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche

  3. UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz
    Dana White is promoting the hell out of this match. I would have been fine with this fight being the co-main event in order to promote the women’s bantamweight division. But to put this at the top, over? much more profitable fights with higher name recognition is beyond me.

  4. Very comprehensive cover and write up for PXC 35. And wow, I'm in the 2 photos you posted here :)