More local fighters are on tap for the main card of Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC) 31, headlined by the bantamweight title fight between Guamanian champ Justin “The Shocker” Cruz and Team Lakay Wushu’s Crisanto Pitpitunge, on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Pitpitunge gets the opportunity to become the second homegrown Filipino champ in the promotion when he faces Cruz in the main event. PXC flyweight champion Ale Cali of Davao became the first when he defeated Jesse Taitano at PXC 29 in February.
In the co-main event, California-based Filipino-American Tristan Arenal battles fellow Fil-Am Richie Redman in a lightweight clash that could push either fighter into the 155-pound title picture. Redman is based in Boracay where he trains with the Legacy Gym of Fil-Danish MMA fighter Ole Laursen.
Most of the undercards feature Filipinos facing other locals in the PXC cage.
“The PXC goal is really to develop local talent and that was the formula we used while we were starting and we sort of used that model here in the Philippines,” said PXC president Joey Calvo at the press conference.
“It’s pretty evident from the past year, the level of fighters is going up and there’s no shortage of tough guys. And given the opportunity, cream rises to the top.”
But while the PXC is consciously making a push for the local fighters to get a chance to showcase their skills in the cage, general manager and promoter EJ Calvo said that the addition of more Filipinos on the card is also a natural occurrence as the sport develops in the country.
“Like we talked about earlier, the cream is rising to the top and we’re being approached all the time by some of the best fighters in the country, as well as from neighboring countries in Asia who want the same level of exposure, the same level of competition,” said Calvo.
“We are being approached by more and more Filipino fighters. We believe that we will find some of the best MMA fighters in the world coming through the PXC from some of these shows in the Philippines.”
But Calvo insists that they’ll continue to bring international fighters to the fight cards as well.
“We like bringing in former UFC guys, guys that fought in Strikeforce, guys that fought in some of the biggest shows in the world against the best fighters in the world,” he said.
“And that’s an important part of what we do, bring in that international competition to the table. That’s what makes it special.”
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