Balikatan 19 promises explosive MMA action


It’s a matter of who wants the inaugural pinweight title more as the Balikatan 19 Road to Redemption rolls off on April 29 at the Hybrid Yaw-Yan Training Center in Annapolis, Cubao, Quezon City.

John Joseph Tabang of Hybrid Yaw-Yan and Reynold Vargas of Team USA Sikaran will test each other’s mettle in the main event.

“This is their time to redeem their loss and prove themselves in front of their teammates and friends,” said veteran fighter and promoter Henry Kobayashi in an interview with The Manila Times on Wednesday.

John Joseph Tabang of Hybrid Yaw-Yan (left) and Reynold Vargas of Team USA Sikaran. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“Both fighters will showcase different kinds of Filipino martial art so it is very exciting to see that they value our own style of martial arts,” added Kobayashi.

Tabang, who practices Yaw-Yan, a Filipino martial art founded by Grandmaster Napoleon Fernandez, holds a win-loss record of 5-1. Vargas, who practices sikaran, a native martial art endemic in Baras, Rizal, has five wins and a draw.

In the co-main event, Joamar Bonaobra will face Michael Dulnuan in the pro-am MMA match-up. The other pro-am (145-150 lbs) fight will be between Joseph Lawrence Flores and Bryan Linang.

The following are the under card matches: Jaworsky Kayyang versus Chester Conrad Borbon (130-135 lbs), Bobby Besuna versus Pancho Bill Juan (145-150 lbs), Shalom Guerrero versus Mel Christian Abamonga (140-145 lbs), Ryan Plaza versus Marcelo Oblan 3rd (135-140 lbs), Rejuven Lumacang versus Juan Enrico Salvador (145-150 lbs), Junechi Bariquit versus Francis Ralph Macasojot (125-130 lbs), Arnel Gayaman versus Crisanto Abecentado (125-130 lbs), Elias Inocencio versus Leonard Ferrer (135-140 lbs), and Kevin Paul Taganas vs. Ralph Anonuevo (105-110 lbs).

On the other hand, Tyson Cabbotot will test his skills against Carlo Ballon in the curtain raiser teen MMA match (100-105 lbs).


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