In the first of possibly four events this year in the country, the PXC treated Filipino MMA junkies to nine equally electrifying fights highlighted by the successful title defense of lightweight champion Harris ‘The Hitman’ Sarmiento.
“PXC 35 only solidifies the reign of PXC as the premiere MMA company in Asia Pacific,” Calvo said. “The nine fights we had so far gave MMA fans here in the Philippines something to remember and will definitely make them come back for more PXC events.”
Coming off a disappointing first-round loss to PXC featherweight superstar Mark Striegl last November, Sarmiento moved back to his natural weight class and retained his 155-pound title belt at the expense of Isaiah Ordiz.
The victory was expected from the veteran Sarmiento, who marked his 60th professional bout with his 36th win, but how he did it was surprising.
Expected to go toe to toe with Ordiz, Sarmeinto instead opted to take the fight to the ground and emerged successful as he forced his San Pedro, Laguna-born challenger to tap out with a kimura submission move late in the first round.
“I just wanted to play it smart,” Sarmiento said of his surprising ploy. “I just took advantage of an opening and once I brought him to the ground, I knew I could finish the fight right away.”
In the main undercard between flyweight contenders, Louis Smolka survived an early beating to defeat Alvin Cacdac via submission and earn a title shot against champion Ale Cali of Davao.
After suffering a right eyebrow cut that turned his face into a bloody mess in the first round, Smolka suddenly turned the tables in the next two rounds as the Hawaiian turned to his ground and pound game before finishing the game with a rear-naked choke.
“I’m kind of used to that because I get beat up all the time in training,” said Smolka, who stretched his winning streak to three fights.
Meanwhile, Troy Bantiag caught Tony Reyes with a solid right punch then finished off his Guamanian opponent with continuous blows to score a referee-stoppage win late in the first round.
Likewise impressive were the rest of the fights in the event, presented by San Mig Strong Ice and Sports 5, and backed by E-Games, Fitness First, FHM Philippines,FHM.com.ph, Premiere Condoms, Healthway Agility Phil, Beer Below Zero, Eden NightClub, Real Sports Radio, and Loqal.ph.
Dario Banario scored a unanimous-decision victory over Joseph Mercado in an all-Filipino battle, Japan’s Chuji Kato forced Egons Racz into submission, Zebastian Kadestam registered a referee-stoppage win against Ron Jhun, while Ernesto Montilla Jr. Miguel Mosqura, and Glen Ranillo all scored a submission wins over Ruel Catalan, Steve Grandeza, and Mark Billena, respectively.
“Our fight cards are one of the best in the industry, matching some of the most skilled fighters against each other as they climb the rankings,” Calvo said.
"We are confident that our upcoming shows here in the Philippines will continue to draw bigger crowds. Fans will enjoy watching their favorite PXC fighters and get a chance to see new stars from across the globe.”