Forza Underground: Providing a Stage for Up-and-Comers


Rock music.  Bikini fashion show. Car show. Cage action featuring pro-am and student fighters.


All these and a ton of booze made the inaugural Forza Underground a smashing success.

Co-presented by San Miguel Beer Octoberfest and supported by Fitness Armory, Lloyd’s Insurance Agency Management Corporation, Lights Camera Manila Productions, CDO, Toby’s Sports, and Vantage International, the event was as exciting as advertised and the fighters were as fiery as promised.

Here’s what we witnessed on the night of October 20 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City:

Student Bouts

Mark Itaas (TIP) def. Ezekiel Vengua (Lyceum of the Philippines)

A strong leg kick that dropped Vengua proved to be Itaas’ ticket to a ground and pound finish only 13 seconds into the fight.

Amiel Goco (CSB) def. Domic Amoncio (FEU)

Goco displayed some decent boxing for MMA, with precise punches that ended the night early for Amoncio.

Kiel Cabasal (Ateneo) def. John Fabello (Romarinda International College)

Cabasal used his striking to set up a takedown before catching Fabello with a left as the latter was standing up, ending the tussle at 1:25 in the second round.

Nhong Laurio on MMA Comeback: “This One’s for the Team”


The newly minted Brazilian Luta Livre blue belt (under Maestro Afonso Cego) hopes to mount another comeback for Team Sprawl.


It seems Team Sprawl has a newfound vigor. The pioneering fight team from Cubao is out headhunting for lost sheen, and main man Sulpiano “Nhong” Laurio is leading the charge.

Following the successful comeback of Miguel Alo early this year, Laurio is set to get a feel of MMA competition again after almost five years of inactivity. Laurio last fought in 2012 when he faced former URCC featherweight world champion Red Romero.

It was a fight he took on short notice and suffered the consequences. His two other losses in nine bouts came at the hands of high-caliber opposition in Andrew Benibe (another former URCC titleholder) and a Team Lakay standout. Now 41 years old, Laurio remains a well-oiled machine. He may have been sidelined for some time but he made sure training never stopped.

Forza Underground: Student vs. Student, Pro-Am vs. Pro-Am


Forget about trash-talking your way to MMA stardom. Practice, practice more, and wait for the next Forza Underground event to prove your worth.


No one bursts into the MMA scene a superstar. It takes endless hours of sparring and drilling in the gym, and tons of confidence gathered from years of ring or cage experience. But even then, you need to train some more.

This is something ONE standout and top Filipino bantamweight Burn Soriano knows all too well. It is also what he wants every aspiring fighter to keep in mind. That’s why he, along with Gonzalo Roque IV of Forza Apparel, put up Forza Underground MMA Battle and Concert (San Miguel Octoberfest), which will take place on October 20 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

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