Filipino-American Tristan “Titay” Arenal was on a devastating four-fight win streak when he returned to the Philippines last November. Having annihilated each of his opponents in the first round by either submission or punches, including a win in the prestigious US-based MMA organization Strikeforce, it was no wonder he was oozing with confidence. Despite an extremely stern test in front of him in Jon Tuck, Arenal was eager to put his skills to the test and earn his shot at Harris Sarmiento’s PXC title.
The fight started perfectly for Arenal, but midway through the first round he got caught with a huge punch that knocked him completely unconscious. A lot of people might have gotten their head down after such a disappointing outcome, but the California native isn’t the type to be easily discouraged.
Explaining his mindset after the loss, Titay recalled, “I was straight back to training. I know the mistake I made. I made a small mistake in the fight. I wanted to fix it. So I went straight back to the gym and trained as much as I could. Been training ever since.”
If opponent Richie Redman was hoping to capitalize on any lingering effects of that knockout, it seems he would be wishing in vain, as Arenal adds, “The only thing that has changed in my approach is that I’m training harder.”
This will be the first time Tristan gets back into a cage since the Tuck loss, although he was scheduled to fight in June in a match that didn’t push through. Arenal won’t be complaining too much about the seven-month layoff though, as he is now faced with the perfect opportunity to reintroduce himself to the Filipino fight fans in the same venue he was last defeated.
Back in November, he didn’t get to show his true potential in front of the boisterous crowd at the Ynares Sports Arena, an audience that included family from his father’s side that made the eight-hour drive from Bicol. On Saturday, the same contingent will be present to cheer him on.
This time, however, Arenal is itching to ensure there will be plenty to celebrate.
Josue Jamlang covers football and MMA for InterAKTV. Follow him on Twitter for more MMA discussion.
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