Mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing fans will have a treat when the Balikatan 8 Goodwill Games unfold on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Hybrid Yaw-Yan Mixed Martial Arts Training Center, 5th floor Karen Building 9 Annapolis St., Cubao, Quezon City.
Organized by veteran fighter and professional MMA Trainer Henry Yap Kobayashi, the tournament will introduce children and teen MMA rules that will be observed by a representative from media as well as the Games and Amusements Board.
The main event features the much-awaited rematch between Hybrid Yaw-Yan fighter John Vincent Miraflor and African-American fighter Amir Mohammed of Gara MMA. Miraflor won against Gara in Balikatan Seven Power-Up in March 29, via unanimous decision. In Balikatan Ultimate Aggression on May 31, Gara won via triangle choke against Miraflor. It will be an all-out war when the two fighters break their 1-1 tie on Saturday.
The Kids MMA division will feature the fight between 11-year old Filipino-Spanish Jon Laureles from Hybrid Yaw-Yan and 12-year old John Frank Navarro. Teen MMA class will banner the bout between 15-year old Aljie Riean O’Santos from Strikes & Submission Wolfpack and 17-year old Danilo Beleno Jr. of Fight Factory Gym.
The other featured fighters are Fidel Fabia, Reggie Escosora, Kyle Matthew Torrente, Salvador Almeria, John Anthony Bandales, Ronald San Juan, Alex Moratalla, Masaya Saito, Stephen Paul Atok , Bernard Carl Lambitco, Mike Christian Shapo, Sean Aaron Ledesma, Paul Gabriel Atok, Justin Bruce Gonzales, Ivan Miguel Camacho, Mark Erick Navarro, Gilbert Ibloguin, Rosher Mamuri, John Vic Albano, Ricky Anonuevo, Montgomery Balilo, Edmon Miranda, Jefferson Grulla, Eugene Torres, Kevin Daniel Parilla and Michael Dulnuan.
International MMA referee Joey Lepiten and Joamar Parungao will officiate the matches while Jack Echauz MD from Olivares General Hospital, Registered Nurse Charisse Limos and Maria Conception Agbisit from Philippine Orthopedic Hospital will be part of the medical team.
Models from FHM and M-Magazine will be the ring girls, among them Jhoanna Ladio, Charlene Alejo, Clarice Caswell, Lauren Dalao and Cazandra Barrameda.