URCC’s Team Fighting Championship among URCC XXX’s Attractions
The cage looked a little too crowded from any point of the Marriott Grand Ballroom. Six fighters engaging in a brawl as three uniformed men look on. This is unlike any we have seen in Philippine MMA. But this is the URCC, and the most compelling things can happen.
On August 12, this same scenario is bound to take place in a bigger venue, specifically at the historic Araneta Coliseum. Last edition’s winners, Team Estroso, will be facing a new set of animals spearheaded by Mark Gatmaitan.
Team captain Sugar Ray Estroso, who surprised everyone with his game-changing strategy the last time out, will be joined once again by Patrick Dos Santos. Completing the group is Iyoy Espinosa, the guy who eliminated Dos Santos in that match. On the other end, Jovit Laxamana and Brian Paule team up with Gatmaitan.
Baguio-Based MMA and Muay Thai Team Bridging the Gap to Build Future Champions
Take a stool and observe one of Coach Christian Gazmin’s grappling or MMA classes. Handling a packed night class, the retired US Marine’s voice is loud and clear. Then you remember that this is Baguio, and you’re almost sure that a future world champion could be right there listening intently.
“Efficiency and hard work go hand in hand. We drill a lot so the techniques become second nature. We make sure the holes in our game are recognized and addressed.” Emphasizing the basics, Coach Christian, or Coach Cricket as he is fondly called, makes sure every technique is drilled perfectly down to the smallest detail before moving on to the next.
This great attention to detail, along with experience and sheer skill, is perhaps what got Coach Brent Velasco the coaching chores for the Muay Thai national team once again. Coach Brent is, of course, a three-time world Muay Thai champion and the founder of Team Torogi, the Muay Thai-based MMA team that merged with Gazmin’s Tribal Submission to form this new formidable team.
How Did Rafael Dos Anjos Fair Against Tarec Saffiedine?
After enduring three main card bouts that went the distance, many people would probably remember Holly Holm’s third-round head kick KO of Bethe Correira as the highlight of UFC Fight Night Singapore. While it’s hard to argue against that, perhaps a lot of you would agree that Rafael dos Anjos’ welterweight debut against Tarec Saffiedine was the most intriguing of the main card bouts. A former champion moving up or down in weight is always an interesting prospect. The perennial question of whether they retain their speed or power, among other attributes, could be glimpsed during their debut in the new weight class. And so, here’s our breakdown of RDA’s welterweight debut performance.
Many critics point to the size differential between lightweights and welterweights in general as an obvious disadvantage for Dos Anjos. Saffiedine in particular enjoys a significant height advantage over RDA, and he is not shy about using his range to maim his opponents with kicks. Last night, we saw RDA neutralize Saffiedine’s range by cutting the Octagon and making Tarec fight in the clinch. Dos Anjos would move forward and use his signature left body kick and right leg kick to keep Saffiedine in the pocket. He would then slug with the Belgian to get close enough for the clinch. Inside the clinch, RDA fires powerful knees that visibly bucked Tarec’s midsection. Dos Anjos’ inclination to target the body paid dividends as Saffiedine showed incredible agility whenever RDA went headhunting, but could not escape the Brazilian’s left body kick which repeatedly found its home throughout the three-rounder.