DRIVEN by his desire to release his brother out of jail, Filipino mixed martial artist Ale Cali overcame Jesse Taitano’s ground submission skills to capture the Pacific X-Treme Combat (PXC) flyweight belt Saturday night in PXC 29 at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.
Cali, a fan favorite in the main event, scored a spectacular technical knockout under the two-minute mark of third round when he solidly hit Taitano at his temple to become the first homegrown champion of the PXC.
“At last, my dream to become PXC’s first homegrown champion has come true and now I can release my brother out of jail. It’s a long story although my brother is innocent,” Cali, who didn’t elaborate the case of his brother, told reporters. He almost became victim to Taitano’s killer side choke when their fight went on the ground, but he managed to escape before the bell rings in the first round. Taitano tried to execute a submission approach against the Davao fighter in the whole three rounds.
But Cali, who sized up his opponent in the first round, connected flurry of punches to Taitano who couldn’t grab him. Every time Taitano bowed to hold his leg, the 21-year-old former boxer of ALA promotion hit him with crisp combinations.
Taitano, who fell to seven wins, nine losses and two draws, turned out tired in the third round and Cali sustained his strong showing to snatch his third knockout win for a total of four victories and a loss.
“He turned out tired and I took that advantage,” said Cali. “This is for my brother.”
In other co-main event, Filipino-Hawaiian 155lb champion Harris Sarmiento posted a first round technical knockout win against American Raja Shippen to make a real case for a title shot at 145.
Winners in the under card were Filipino Crisanto Pitpitunge, who defeated Victor Galdon unanimously; Jay Tenorio submitted fellow Filipino Carlo Astudillo via guillotine choke in second round; and Troy Bantiag scored a unanimous 29-28 victory over Michael Regalado.