Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are in for a treat when the Balikatan 13 blasts off on October 24 at 4p.m. at the Hybrid Yaw-Yan Mixed Martial Arts Training Center, 5th floor Karen Building 9 Annapolis St., Cubao, Quezon City.
Titled Pathway to Greatness, the 13th edition of Balikatan will feature 20 matches.
“Malaking bagay ‘yung ganito dahil dito nanggagaling ‘yung mga future champions [This kind of tournament creates big impact because this is where future champions come from)” said veteran fighter and trainer Henry Kobayashi in an interview with The Manila Times.
The Super Mega Fight of the event features Ronn Merchadesh of Savage MMA gym vs Ricswartz Sibal of Yaw Yan Kampilan.
A first of its kind Balikatan event, the Super Mega Fight was created to accommodate matches that have huge weight difference between fighters. Merchadesh, for instance, weighs 240lbs while Sibal weighs 165lbs.
The co-main event features Savage MMA’s Axle Simeon (220lbs) and Hybrid Yaw-Yan’s Miguel Samonte (185lbs).
Jerry Manalis of Titan MMA and Hybrid Yaw-Yan fighter Jose Maria Mendoza will clash in the under 130 to 135lbs submission grappling division.
In the kickboxing contest, MAP Rizal’s Marc Philip dela Cruz will take on Yaw-Yan Kampilan’s Ace Darwin Ross. Meanwhile, Famelo Tabanao of Samson College MMA will face Kimcyrus Canata of Yaw-Yan Mac in the pro-am kickboxing event.
Fighting under the senior pro-am rule, New Blood’s Erdie Bautista will face Hybrid Yaw-Yan’s John Joseph Tabang followed by a pro-MMA rule junior fight between UGB MMA Gym’s Kaji Ebin and Hybrid Yaw-Yan’s Willie John Benedicto.
In other MMA rule matches, Global Sikaran Federation’s Dave Servancia will face Herdoza Fitness Gym’s Giovani Brasileno Jr., Titan MMA’s Erwin Aggabao will battle Yaw-Yan Kampilan’s Jun Recillo, Elorde Lagro’s Francis Ralph Macasojot will collide against Herdoza Fitness Gym’s Michael Dulnuan, Ariva Boxing Gym’s Jason Bandosa will clash against Yaw-Yan Kampilan’s Franz Mereko Valentino.
The other matches under MMA rules include Raizza Gym’s Patrick Ian B. Leodones vs Samson College MMA’s Stephene Sitjar, Team Yawsa’s Christian Ting vs Samson College MMA’s Jomar Pal-iwen, Extrema Boxing Gym’s Franz Angelo Galvez vs Yaw-Yan MAC’s Ryan Canata, Team Valor’s Froilan Tomas vs Hybrid Yaw-Yan’s John Vincent Miraflor, Tiger City Boxing’s Rodolfo Santos vs Yaw-Yan Alasan’s Lawrence Flores, TYT MMA Guild’s Fidel Emile Bundoc vs Global Sikaran Federation’s Ronel Castro, Yaw-Yan Kampilan’s John Alex Cataylo vs Yaw-Yan MAC’s Patrick Simon Relata, Global Sikaran Federation’s Reynold Vargas vs Python’s Pit’s Xyver Yzrael Supnet and Yaw-Yan MAC’s Benjie Alboroto vs Yaw-Yan Alasan’s Robertson Abion.
Christian Wong of Universal Reality Combat Championship and Jomar Parungao of Pacific Xtreme Combat will be the referees.