Cali sees tough title defense vs. Smolka in PXC 41

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Ale Cali FILE PHOTO

Ale Cali FILE PHOTO

PACIFIC X-Treme Combat (PXC) light flyweight champion Ale Cali is bracing for the toughest fight of his mixed martial arts career when he meets unbeaten Hawaiian slugger Louis Smolka in PXC 41 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Saturday.

Cali, 22, with 5-1 win-loss slate, is coming off from a shoulder injury when he faces the younger Smolka who remains undefeated in four fights.

“In all my fights, I guess this is the hardest,” said Cali, who scored a technical knockout win over veteran Filipino fighter Erwin Tagle in PXC 34 before entering a hiatus to nurse an injured shoulder. “Smolka is young and he never lost so far.”

A Davao native, Cali, who once competed as an amateur and professional boxer, believes that his speed and stamina would be his edge against Smolka’s ground fighting skills.


“Again I have to use my speed. I have to work faster and avoid the ground fight. But if the fight goes to the ground, I have to make a move,” added Cali. “During my layoff, I jogged and ran a lot to improve my cardio while I rested my injured shoulder. I trained in Baguio for my high-altitude train- ing because I need air to improve my cardio.”

Smolka, meanwhile, is coming off from an impressive submission win over Jesse Rafols.

Besides Cali, also seeing action in PXC 41 are Mark Striegl, Crisanto Pitpitunge, Harold Banario as well as lady fighters Gina Iniong and Nathalie Heidel.

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