Published in Sun Star weekend.
The Sagay City Government under Mayor Leo Rafael Cueva and the Sangguniang Panglungsod made a historic milestone in the celebration of the city’s Sinigayan Festival by hosting the highly successful Fight Club BRAWL (Bacolod Reality Amateur Warrior's League) III “No Disputes” last March 18, 2007 at the Sagay City Gym, Sagay City , Negros Occidental.
Fight Club BRAWL III was the first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament to be held in Sagay City and in Northern Negros as well as the first in Negros Occidental and Western Visayas to be fought inside a boxing ring. Sagay City earned the distinction as the first Local Government Unit (LGU) in Negros Occidental and Western Visayas to sponsor an MMA tournament. BRAWL III is also the 6th MMA tournament in Negros Occidental, all the others were held in Bacolod City between 2004 to 2006.
Fight Club BRAWL III was presented by the Fight Club Combat and Streetfighting Center (FC) of Founder/Chief Instructor Edwin “Bong” J. Tusil with the support of 9 other martial arts organizations from Bacolod, Bago, Escalante, and Talisay Cities and under the sanction of the Brotherhood of Mixed Martial Artists of Bacolod (BOMB) & Intercontinental Federation of Filipino Martial Arts Schools (IFFMAS). .
Tournament directors were Fight Club President Leandro V. Torre and Councilors James M. Tupas and Christopher Ian Escario. About 400 witnessed the explosive MMA bouts between 16 fighters.
Fight Club of Tusil was crowned overall champion of the BRAWL event for the 2nd straight time with three of its four players taking a win.
Team Xanga MMA Gym (TX MMA) of Martin Chua and Michael Regalado (2-0), Black Falcon Martial Arts Association-Main (BFMAA-Main) of Chief Instructor Joery C. Amante (2-1), Thunder Kick Martial Arts Club-Escalante Chapter (TKMAC-EC) of Head Instructor Jesus “Jess” Flores (1-3), and Octagon Martial Arts (OMA) of Founder/Chief Instructor Carmelino Rojo Jr. were 2nd to 5th places respectively.
Of the 5 participating groups, Fight Club was the most competitive, having fought in all five previous MMA events in Bacolod , followed by BFMAA-Main with 4. OMA and TX MMA had competed in two and one MMA competitions respectively.
TKMAC-EC earned the distinction as the first group from Escalante City to compete in an MMA event anywhere in the Philippines and the world.
Debuting Rally De Robio of Team Xanga MMA Gym (TX MMA), 119 lbs., surprised the crowd with a TKO win against 2 times BRAWL champion Jet Lumawag of Black Falcon Martial Arts Association-Main (BFMAA-Main), 114 lbs., at 2 minutes of the 2nd round. The previously undefeated Lumawag hadn’t recovered from a lack of sleep from the other night and fell to 2-1 in MMA.
BRAWL I champion and 2005 Dancalan Kickboxing champion Julius Dohinog of BFMAA-Main, 101 lbs., narrowly edged out Wushu Sanshou artist and debuting MMAer Edmund Beguiras of Thunder Kick Martial Arts Club-Escalante Chapter (TKMAC-EC), 105 lbs., with a 49-48 score. Dohniog is now 2-0 in MMA.
BRAWL II champion and former Karate competitor Victor Torre of Fight Club, 112 lbs., KOed BRAWL II champion and 2003 La Carlota Kickboxing champion Mark Rojo of Octagon Martial Arts (OMA), 114 lbs., at 4:23 of the 1st round. Torre is now 2-0 in MMA.
Debuting Eric Ricablanca of TX MMA, 143 lbs., KOed FC Amateur MMA veteran John Perry Cesar of Fight Club, 144 lbs., at 1:27 of the 1st round.
2 times BRAWL champion Eugene Yunque of Fight Club, 121 lbs, beat Wushu Sanshou artist and MMA neophyte Eddie Nuyad Jr. of TKMAC-EC, 115 lbs., by verbal submission before the start of the 2nd round. Nuyad avoided a direct collision with Yunque by moving from side to side but Yunque’s leg kicks mostly found their mark. Yunque is now 3-0 in MMA.
2007 Iloilo National Wushu Sanshou champion Rene Requiron of TKMAC-EC, 126 lbs., TKOed 2 times BRAWL veteran Ravelo Guaves of OMA, 132 lbs., 1:36 of the 1st round. Requiron is now 1-0 in MMA.
2006 Western Visayas Wushu Sanshou champion and BRAWL II champion Janry Amante of BFMAA-Main, 103 lbs., and 2007 Iloilo National Wushu Sanshou champion Jake Donald Go of TKMAC-EC, 101 lbs., had previously squared off in the Wushu Sanshou platform. Amante took the decision against Go by 52-48. Amante is now 2-0 in MMA.
The bout between BRAWL II champion Jessie Fuentes of Fight Club, 136 lbs., and Alvin Libo-on of OMA, 128 lbs., was the only fight that ended in a submission from a lock. Fuentes used a kesa gatame (scarf hold) to force a tap out from Libo-on at 2 minutes of the 1st round. Fuentes is now 2-1 in MMA.
Martial arts demonstrations were given by Grandmaster Benefredo “Bebing” M. Lobrido of Original Filipino Tapado Long stick Fighting Association (OFTLSFA), Inc. and Founder James U. Sy Jr., Instructors Joeffrey S. Deriada, Lafayette A. Diamante, and Lorema “Bing” H. Tacsagon, and apprentice Diem Oguilla of Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc.
Special guests were Cong. Alfredo “Thirtie” Marañon III, Mayor Leo Rafael “Bebo” Cueva, Councilors James M. Tupas and Christopher Ian Escario, members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod, Dr. Manuel Bersales of the Sagay City Health
Officials were Henried Lamayo of Atleta Judo Club (AJC), Edwin Tusil and Senior Instructor James Emmanuel B. Infante (referees), Founder Narciso “Hansy” L. Alojado of CMAS, Chief Instructor Roy R. Flores Sr. of Tapondo International Federation Inc., Head Instructor Joel R. Casiple of Bacolod Consolidated Sports Management Association (BACSMA), and GM Lobrido of OFTLSFA (judges), Founder Sy of CMAS (master of ceremonies), Senior Adviser Cargeoren Lusabia of Fight Club (timer), Dr. Nilo del Carmen of Musubi Dojo, Dr. Ava Joy Luces-Infante of Fight Club, and the Sagay City Health (medical team), and All Out Sports of Xpress Com and dr. Raymund Antonio A. Maguad of CMAS (documentation).
Sponsors were Sagay Sinigayan Foundation, Rural Sugar Planters Association Inc., Sagisplas, Ceres Liner (Vallacar Transit), NNPAI, Sagay City SP Members, Riverside College, and Xpress Com.
The event organizing group. Founder/Chief Instructor Edwin “Bong” J. Tusil (seated, right most) and President Leandro V. Torre (3rd from left, standing) with members of the Fight Club Combat and Streetfighting Center (FC) relaxing before the event at the residence of Councilor James M. Tupas.
The support groups. Members of Atleta Judo Club (AJC), Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., Original Filipino Tapado Long stick Fighting Association (OFTLSFA), Inc., and Tapondo International Federation Inc. pose for posterity at the residence of Councilor James M. Tupas.
The Benefactors. Councilors Ian Christopher Escario (left) and James M. Tupas with the winners’ trophies before the start of the MMA action at the Sagay City Gym.
Rally De Robio of TX MMA (facing the camera) clinches with 2 times BRAWL champion Jet Lumawag of BFMAA-Main en route to a TKO victory as Referee Edwin Tusil looks on.
Wushu Sanshou artist Edmund Beguiras of TKMAC-EC (left) sprawls to defend against the takedown attempt of BRAWL I champion Julius Dohinog of BFMAA-Main
Referee James Emmanuel B. Infante (left) raises the arm of 2007 Iloilo National Wushu Sanshou champion Rene Requiron of TKMAC-EC after he won his bout against Ravelo Guaves of OMA. Beside Requiron is his instructor, Jesus “Jess” Flores.