loqal.ph, Alexander Villafania
MANDALUYONG CITY, METRO MANILA — Carlos Tiongson was a fighter even at an early age. He would always get into brawls and would go home with cuts and bruises. But all this aggression took a dramatic turn when, at 19, a relative introduced him to mixed martial arts (MMA).
He varied his techniques from wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a hybrid local fighting technique called Yaw-Yan. One of his techniques is a quick submission move, as he demonstrated in one of his fights where he took down his opponent with a body slam and an armbar choke in less than 30 seconds.
Tiongson has fought in the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), a local MMA competition that already has a huge following.
Now 27, Tiongson, who has racked up three wins from his amateur fights with just one loss, will have his biggest challenge yet as he faces his first foreign opponent, Ricky Camp from Guam in the upcoming Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC) 24.
Tiongson said he was motivated to pursue mixed martial arts partly due to his own aggressive behavior when he was young. However, he was able to channel this aggression into discipline as he learned how to manage his style and approaches.
While most people see MMA as just barbaric sport, much less an uncoordinated style of contact sport, Tiongson said the techniques that go with MMA are just as scientific as they are tactical.
“It’s an art form in itself, requiring discipline and concentration. As a fighter, you need to know who you are and know your enemy’s weaknesses,” Tiongson said.
For his fight against Camp in PXC-24, Tiongson said he is reviewing his opponent’s techniques and applying what he learns to practice in finding weak points against Camp.
Erwin Tagle, another MMA fighter and a member of the group called Submission Sport Philippines, said that the popularity of MMA in the Philippines should continue to grow given the prominence of established MMA competitions, particularly the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The UFC is where great combatants of the sport first came out. Among these were Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Royce Gracie, shootfighter Ken Shamrock, kickboxing champion Chuck Liddell, and catch wrestling expert Randy Couture.
EJ Calvo, PXC promoter and CEO, said in a recent press conference that a growing MMA fan base encouraged them to bring PXC to the Philippines.
Tagle, who is also coaching Tiongson and another fighter Rogelito Plomeda for the upcoming PXC-24, said that the Philippines remains to be an underdog in the sport as it is the country’s first time to compete internationally. However, he believes that the country can learn from such participation and even perhaps break into the international MMA scene.
Tagle said he hopes to see a Filipino to follow in the footsteps of Brandon Vera, a UFC fighter who is of Filipino in descent. Vera himself will be appearing at PXC-24, which will be held June 11 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
“Just remember we’re natural-born fighters,” Tagle said.
view article on loqal.ph