• Clash of heavyweights to explode in Balikatan 18 MMA

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    Heavyweight fighters Ron Merchadesh and Emmanuel Gonzales will display their mixed martial arts (MMA) prowess when they face each other in the main event of Balika­tan 18: Day of Reckoning on Saturday at the Hybrid Yaw-Yan Mixed Martial Arts Training Center in Cubao, Quezon City.

    “We will see if the players have really trained hard or not. It will be their judgment day,” veteran fighter, coach and Balikatan organizer Henry Kobayashi told The Manila Times on Monday.

    According to Kobayashi, the Filipino-American Gonzales, 31, of Team Kilabot Olongapo City honed his MMA skills in underground tournaments in Subic.

    Ron Merchadesh (left) and Emmanuel Gonzales CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    The 30-year old Merchadesh of Savage MMA Cabanatuan City, on the other hand, has already fought in Balikatan 13.

    “These are heavyweight fighters, weighing about 240lbs. We expect that they will put up a very good fight for us on Saturday,” added Kobayashi.

    In the other bouts, Yaw Yan Kalinga head Bryan Linang will test his mettle against Renans Ramos in the pro-am 140-145lbs division. Linang brought seven fighters from their respected gym in Mountain Province to fight in Balikatan 18.

    Another pro-am match of the night is the duel between Bryan Ramos and Rex Madela in the 110-115lbs division.

    The other feature MMA matches are Christopher San Agustin vs Matthew Mendoza (170-175lbs), Jed Ganaban vs Jaypee Rubio (165-170lbs), Arnel Gamayan vs Joemar Bonaobra (125-130lbs), Jaworsky Kayyang vs Francis Macasojot (130-135lbs), and Ryan Plaza vs Nathan Jacob Jesuitas (135-140lbs).

    In the teen class, Jan Darren Bondoc battles Harvey Miguel Villena, Querubin Lingbawan takes on Jaive Catiloc (95-100lbs), Lester Cabannag faces Reynold Vargas (110-115lbs), Chauvin Wacdagan collides against Michael Gabriel (115-120lbs), while Tyson Cabbotot clash with Remo Augustine Pecaoco (110-115lbs).

    The 5 p.m. curtain raiser match is the lone kickboxing bout between Ian Garcia and Mark Bie.

    For tickets, contact 09053416868 or 09182746083.

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