Rising Star, Mark Striegl (10-0) Raises the Philippine Flag Following an Impressive Win at URCC 21. -- Photo by Anton Tabuena
BloodyElbow.com was on deck at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Philippines, where the Universal Reality Combat Championship's (URCC) 21st major event was held. It was a long and fun night of fights, so let's get right down to a quick recap and analysis.
Headlining the event was Froilan Sarenas, the reigning URCC Middleweight (179 lbs.) Champion, who moved up in weight and took on Nicholas Mann, the current URCC Light Heavyweight (189 lbs.) Champion in a Super-Fight. While both fighters have been trying to round up their overall MMA game, there were clear advantages each competitor had over the other, and this was prevalent on the fight.
Sarenas, a top notch grappler from Submission Sport Philippines, usually takes opponents down from the clinch, but when he couldn't buck the much bigger fighter, it became his downfall. Mann defended well in the clinch, forcing Sarenas to stand with the better striker from Hybrid Yaw Yan (a Filipino Martial Art). This was the case for majority of the fight, and it earned the Australian an impressive and well deserved decision victory.
Also on the card, the duo from Team Buffet in Mark Striegl and Will Chope both picked up impressive victories. The Filipino-American fighter in Striegl came in on very short notice, but still imposed his game against Alcer Lozada. He got several takedowns and dominated on the ground until he eventually landed a huge knee that dropped Lozada and locked in a rear naked choke.
Striegl, a high level grappler, who is one of the fastest rising stars in Asia, improved to 10-0 with the dominant performance, solidifying his case as one of the fighters to look out for in the region.
His teammate in Chope on the other hand, moved up in weight, and took out former URCC lightweight champion, Angelito Manguray, a Karate expert in his 40's, who has been dominating guys half his age for most of his career. Manguray, like the UFC's Lyoto Machida, is great at using his karate base and out-striking opponents from a distance. Chope, a Muay Thai-based fighter, smartly took him out of his game, constantly pressuring him up close, and using the clinch effectively. He battered the former URCC champ, and finished the fight with a rear naked choke.
With the win, the 21-year-old Chope won his fourth straight, and 8 of his past 9. As he improved his unbeaten URCC record to 4-0, he asked for a shot at the title, and he called out Manguray's teammate, current URCC interim featherweight champ, Ricardo Sapno. "I'm coming for your belt" he shouted to the crowd.
Much more analysis along with full-results after the jump. Follow me on twitter -- @antontabuena.
- Nicholas Mann, Mark Striegl, and Will Chope all picked up impressive victories, but fight of the night definitely went to the co-headliner between Alvin Ramirez vs. Roy Doliguez as the duo stole the show in an impressive display of heart and striking ability.
- Ramirez is such a huge fan favorite, because of his entertaining fighting style and his massive heart, and this fight is another testament to that. He came in with an injured and bandaged knee, and for the most part of the fight, it was the sole target of Roy Doliguez. He took dozens and dozens of chopping leg kicks, that clearly did damage, but Ramirez kept on battling, countering with his trademark spinning back fists, and back kicks with that 'swagger' he's known and loved for.
- Watching the fight ringside, I thought the fight was very close and extremely entertaining, with judges eventually giving Doliguez the nod after 20 minutes. Ramirez is still very young and he still has a lot of potential to improve, but even if he doesn't reach the elite levels, he will always have a spot in the hearts of Filipino fight fans for his heart and fan-friendly fighting style that just makes people gravitate towards him.
- Doliguez was a national level pro-boxer, but for someone who only has 1 URCC fight, the guy looked like a seasoned MMA fighter. He was known for his heavy hands, but he also displayed athleticism, strong leg kicks, and good defense on the ground.
- Mario Sismundo, looked a lot like Manny Pacquiao, and it was hilarious how the audience kept on chanting "Manny! Manny!". He was the better striker, but unfortunately for him, Miguel Alo was a good wrestler, and like Pacquiao, he didn't know what to do after he got taken down. He just closed his guard, and didn't attempt to sweep or get back to his feet. His face was swollen and disfigured from all the ground and pound work, and he eventually succumbed to an armbar in the 2nd round.
- Another fighter Filipino fans can look out for is Jonathan Sumogat. He's only 20 years old, but already shows a lot of promise, and looks more composed than guys more experienced than him. He passes the guard very well, and if his career is handled properly, he could eventually blossom to a top-level URCC fighter.
- Estoro and Transmonte was a fight between two Muay Thai experts. The fight may not have lived up to people's expectations during the build up, but it was still a very entertaining bout. Jerson Estoro may have won the fight easier with more combinations instead of looking for a solid one-shot counter, but his overall MMA game looks to be improving.
- Nicholas Mann has won two straight bouts against top notch MMA fighters and talented BJJ purple belts. I think ONE FC should start looking to match him up against the other Asian 185'ers.
- Interesting to note that URCC founder, and BJJ Black Belt Alvin Aguilar also celebrated his birthday at the same time of URCC 21.
- While Sismundo looked like Pacquiao, Charles De Tomas did look like a tiny Nogueira. It was an ugly fight, with a lot of blunders from both fighters, but referee Joey Lepiten did get a good reaction from the crowd every time he scolded fighters for spitting out their mouthpiece, or attempting to pass while they were being restarted.
- I'll have a photo gallery up soon, so keep an eye out for that.
- You can watch the video of the event here. If you don't have time to watch everything, skip to the 5th fight, and make you watch Jonathan Sumogat, Mark Striegl, Will Chope, along with that Doliguez vs. Ramirez bout.
- Adam Cacay def. Fred Lim Jr. by Submission (Armbar), 6:47 Round 2
- Isaac Tuling def. Charles De Tomas by Submission (strikes), 9:29 Round 2
- Rasel Iniong def. Mark Dialogo by Submission (Armbar), 7:20 Round 2
- Miguel Alo def. Mario Sismundo by Submission (Armbar), 9:34 Round 2
- Jonathan Sumogat def. Mark Joseph Abrillo by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), 6:37 Round 2
- Mark Striegl def. Alcer Lozada by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), 3:24 Round 1
- Will Chope def. Angelito Manguray by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), 2:55 Round 1
- Jerson Estoro def. Reysaldo Transmonte by Decision (Unanimous), 5:00 Round 3
- Roy Doliguez def. Alvin Ramirez by Decision (Unanimous), 10:00 Round 2
- Nicholas Mann def. Froilan Sarenas by Decision (Unanimous), 10:00 Round 2 [Super-Fight Title]