Balikatan 11 MMA blasts off today

Hybrid Yaw-Yan’s John Joseph Tabang (left) and Samson College’s Famelo Tabanao CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Hybrid Yaw-Yan’s John Joseph Tabang (left) and Samson College’s Famelo

Hybrid Yaw-Yan Training Center will hold the 11th edition of Balikatan Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament at its home gym, 5th floor Karen Building no. 9 Annapolis Street, Cubao, Quezon City at 5 p.m. today.

The match between young MMA practitioners Ivan Camacho of Combat Power and Hybrid Yaw-Yan’s very own Jeong Woo Kim is set to banner the event, dubbed as Teen Titans.

After winning over his foe during the first round of their fight via submission from a rear naked choke during Balikatan 6, Kim is scheduled to go up against Camacho, who took the Knockout of the Night accolade during the eight edition of the said amateur fight promotion.

Camacho and Kim are just in the young age of 16 and 17 years old, respectively, both believe that their age will not be a factor come fight night as they regularly train to get their body in top shape.

According to Camacho, striking will be his main weapon of choice for their fight.

“I prefer to fight standing up because I am a striker and I have a deep background in striking,” he said.

Accordingly, his opponent, South Korean Kim stressed that he is well aware of his counterpart’s fighting technique and is ready to fight standing up or on the ground.

“He is a striker and I also prefer striking but if he chooses take me to the ground then I will use my ground game against him.”

Besides the Teen MMA match-up, a fight between two amateur foreign fighters Iranian Ehsan Mousaei and Australian Jordan Coetsee will be highlighting the 17-bout fight card.

The meeting between the two foreigners will be a striker versus grappler match as Coetsee is a heavy striker while Mousaei has a solid wrestling background.

First time MMA fighter Mousaei, who is also a dentistry student here in the country, reiterated that he just wants to try his luck with the sport and added that he is prepared to take on his rival.

“This is my first time to join an MMA fight but I already have 10 gold medals in wrestling here in the Philippines. I know my opponent is a Muay Thai fighter and I am a wrestler. We will see what will happen.”

On the other hand, Coetsee, a native of Perth Australia, asserted that he chose to get into an amateur fight here in the Philippines for experience and affirmed that his striking will be his edge over Mousaei.

“I was looking for a place to fight outside of my country and the Philippines has a great MMA background that can test my skills.”

Also happening at Balikatan 11 is the highly touted clash between Hybrid Yaw-Yan’s very own John Joseph Tabang and undefeated fighter Famelo Tabanao of Samson College.

Tabanao, who boasts of an unblemished fight record as a pro pug and amateur MMA fighter, personally visited the Hybrid Yaw-Yan gym to issue a challenge against Tabang who has an 11-1 win-loss MMA record. Tabanao bagged the Knock-Out of the Night plum in Balikatan 9 and beat his foe via technical knockout in Balikatan 10.

Tabang, a submission specialist, is scheduled to fight as professional MMA fighter after Balikatan 11.

Tabang and Tabanao will fight under Pro-Amateur rules (no-headgear).


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