Five Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters will display their prowess in the cage as the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) – Global Championship explodes at 6 p.m. tonight at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Fitbox Fitness’ Mario Sismundo (3-1 win-loss record), who weighs 145lbs, will banner the country’s campaign when he takes on Chinese Keremuaili Maimaitituohi (140lbs) in the co-main event.
Sismundo is known in the fight circuit as a look-alike of boxing champion and senator Manny Pacquiao.
Boxer-turned MMA fighter Jujeath Nagaowa, on the other hand, will test her mettle against Yuko Kiryu of Japan in the Female Fight of the Night.
Nagaowa currently holds a 2-0 card while Kiryu has 2-2.
Filipino Undergound Battle Network-MMA matchmaker Jessdan Dela Peña will fight Malaysia’s Kelvin Ong who’s making his debut in the league.
Meanwhile, the five-foot-eight Neil Larano (143lbs) will pit his skills against the five-foot-eleven Ahmed “Wolverine” Mujtaba (143lbs) of Pakistan.
“We have studied his movement with my striking coach,” said the 30-year old Larano on Friday during the weigh-in at Gateway Mall in Quezon City.
Larano said he will use his footwork to go inside and out of the fighting reach of his experienced opponent.
“I hope that God will give us this victory,” he added.
Jenelyn Olsim will collide against Brazilian Nayara Hemily (3-3).
In the main event, WSOF Global heavyweight champion Evgeny Erokhin of Russia will face WSOF No. 1 global contender Richard “The Black Eagle” Odoms of the United States.
Erokhin holds a 14-4 win-loss record while Odoms has an 11-2 card.
“I will do everything that I need to do in order to bring a good fight during the night. Everything is going to be a high level and coming out of the heart,” the 41-year old Odoms told The Manila Times.
In the other bouts, Lawrence DiGuillo (17-7-1) of the United States will take on Marcel Adur (11-4) of Brazil while Yusaku Nakamura (12-4-1) of Japan will battles Tim Moore (10-5) of Australia.
In the undercard matches, Katherine Roy (115lbs) of the United States will make her debut in the league against Singaporean May Ooi (116lbs) of Brazilian Fight Club MMA while Yadwinder Singh (125lbs) of India will take on Ulommi Karim (125lbs) of Pakistan.
One lucky member of the audience will win the P1 million cash prize in a raffle draw during the fight night.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID