• MMA

    Tabang takes inaugural Balikatan Championship Belt

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    John Joseph Tabang of Hybrid Yaw-Yan (second from left) wears the inaugural Balikatan Mixed Martial Arts Championship Belt after winning over Reynold Vargas of USA Sikaran during Balikatan 19 Road to Redemption over the weekend at the Hybrid Yaw-Yan Training Center in Cubao, Quezon City. Also in the photo are cage announcer Audrey Gorriceta of PTV 4 (far left), Bheng Jung of USANA Nutrition (third from left), and veteran fighter and promoter Henry Yap Kobayashi (far right). CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Pinweight John Joseph Tabang of Hybrid Yaw-Yan defeated Reynold Vargas of USA Sikaran to claim the inaugural Balikatan Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Championship Belt during Balikatan 19 Road to Redemption over the weekend at the Hybrid Yaw-Yan Training Center in Cubao, Quezon City.

    While both fighters are practitioners of martial arts styles known for their kicks, the 28-year-old Tabang craftily ended the fight with a rear naked choke at the 1:36 mark of Round 2.

    “Tabang really deserves to win. He showed that night the product of his hard work just to be ready and fit during the title night,” said veteran fighter and promoter Henry Yap Kobayashi.

    In the main pro-am event, Michael Dulnuan of Herdoza Fitness Gym beat Joemar Bonaobra of GXtreme Fitness Gym via reverse ankle lock at the 2:09 mark of Round 1.

    Kobayashi said that Dulnuan will next see action in a flyweight title fight against a yet to be determined opponent.

    In the other pro-am MMA matches, Yaw-Yan Freestyle of Kalinga bet Jaworsky Kayyang trounced Chester Borbon of Hybrid Yaw-Yan Quezon City via unanimous decision, Christian Abamonga of GARA MMA needed only 2:40 in Round 1 to submit Shalom Guerrero of Empire Boxing Gym—Ilocos Norte via guillotine choke, while Ryan Plaza of Yaw-Yan Fervilleon won over Marcelo Oblan 3rd of Hybrid Yaw-Yan QC, after the tournament physician stopped the fight because of Oblan’s profuse epistaxis.

    Meanwhile, Maics Gym of Marikina City fighter Juan Enrico Salvador was declared the winner after his opponent Rejuven Lumacang of Muscle Warehaws Novaliches City was disqualified for kicking Salvador in the groin three times.

    Hybrid Yaw-Yan fighter Francis Macasojot bested taekwondo fighter Junechi Bariquit of Cebu via arm bar at the 2:57 mark of Round 1.

    Hyper MMA’s Crisanto Abecentado defeated Yaw-Yan Freestyle Kalinga’s Arnel Gayaman with a rear naked choke at the 2:23 mark of Round 2.

    Leonard Ferrer of Hybrid Yaw-Yan bagged the Fastest Submission of the Night plum by beating Strike n’ Shoot’s Elias Evan Inocencio with guillotine choke at 1:30 mark of Round 1.

    Marikina City’s Gara MMA fighter Kevin Paul Taganas won via default against Ralph Anonuevo of Ju-Muay Combat Taguig City, while the match between Joseph Lawrence Flores of Yaw-Yan Alasan and Bryan Linang of Yaw-Yan Freestyle of Kalinga, was cancelled because of Linang’s high blood pressure. On the other hand, the bout between Bobby Besuna of Black Unicorn Gym and Pancho Bill Juan of Savage MMA gym ended in a majority draw.

    Tyson Cabbotot of Yaw-Yan Freestyle Kalinga, in the curtain raiser Teen MMA match, bested Herdoza Fitness Gym of Bulacan fighter Carlo Ballon via rear naked choke at the 1:02 mark of Round 2.

    Jean Russel V. David

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