UFC fighter Brandon “The Truth” Vera expects a lot of knockouts at PXC 28 on Saturday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. Having spent some time with the fighters on the card, he’s convinced the fans are in for a wild one.
“These guys are pissed,” said Vera. “They won’t be happy heading home with just a win, they want to knock each other out, so I’m super excited to come watch the fights on Saturday.”
Vera’s not the only one excited. Filipino-American Tristan “Titay” Arenal will be in line for a title shot against champion Harris Sarmiento if he wins in the main event against Jon Tuck, and he can’t wait to get things underway. “This is what anybody fights for. You want to fight the best and I feel like this is my opportunity to fight the best.”
Arenal, who officially turned professional last year, certainly isn’t taking his chance for a title shot lightly, adopting a rigorous routine of training 2-4 times a day, for two months to prepare for this fight – a program that he feels will be the difference against the undefeated Tuck. “I’ve trained really hard. It’s three rounds but I’m prepared to go five.”
Whether the fight goes past the first round, however, is a large question mark. After dropping his first MMA fight, Arenal has finished his last four opponents in the first round, two by submission and the other two by knockout.
Similarly, Tuck has not experienced the second round in any of his five fights, finishing his opponents in equally diverse manners. Although the trend clearly points to a likely first-round finish, Arenal isn’t so sure it will be the case. Citing Tuck’s smarts and well-rounded game, the San Francisco native wouldn’t be surprised if the fight lasts longer than what he’s been accustomed to.
Regardless how long the fight goes, in front of his Filipino relatives and friends, some of whom will make the 9-hour drive from Camarines Norte, Arenal is ready for a good, hard fight. And his opponent is looking forward to the very same thing.
Jon “Super Saiyan” Tuck has been training 2-3 times a day for two months for this fight, and he’s done that having had to juggle a job as an account executive. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s added being a father to his duties, as his girlfriend is pregnant with their first child. While no one can question is commitment and passion for the sport, it will be interesting to see if juggling so many responsibilities will place a strain on Tuck.
Also, although he’s sporting an unblemished MMA record, his last fight was in 2009, when he knocked out talented Filipino Eduard Folayang in seven seconds, prompting a question of possible rustiness. The Guamanian, who also happens to be at least a quarter Filipino, is convinced, however, that his hiatus from fighting inside the cage could actually serve as the key to his victory. In his two years away from the cage Tuck excelled in jiu-jitsu, winning tournaments in Abu Dhabi, California and other countries around the world. “I feel like my jiu-jitsu is up there because I train with many world champions.” While he’s equally confident in all other aspects of his game, and clearly respects Arenal’s well-rounded nature, Tuck is convinced he will have the edge on the ground.
Whether he will be given the opportunity to utilize those ground skills, however, will be up in the air, but like a proper mixed martial artist, Tuck isn’t shying away from utilizing his other skills. “I like to see where the fight develops and take it from there. I’m prepared for wherever this fight goes.”
There are so many questions leading up to tomorrow’s title contender fight between Tristan Arenal and Jon Tuck: Will it go further than the first round? Will Tuck be rusty? Will we see a stand up war or a grappling match? Everything will be answered at the Ynares Center in Pasig tomorrow night. It’s impossible to predict how this fight will pan out, but one thing is for certain – sparks will fly.
Josue Jamlang writes about football and MMA for InterAKTV. He covers football for AKTV on IBC when not busy with his day job as a DJ. Follow him on Twitter for more MMMA discussion.