This afternoon, the Team Insider gym in Makati, Manila-Philippines, played host to some of the toughest young MMA fighters in the country. With them was PXC Bantamweight Champion, Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge, as he showcased a variety of punches and kicks for the media in attendance and spoke with confidence about his epic title defense about to take place on Saturday, May 18th in Manila.
Pitpitunge has established himself as one of the top MMA fighters from the Philippines today, hailing from Baguio City, an area in the mountains known for producing great fighters. 2 years ago, he made his PXC debut and in a short time has quickly moved up the rankings of PXC's loaded Bantamweight Division (135 pounds). The native of Baguio City shocked the world with a knock out of former-Champ Justin Cruz at PXC-31 on July of 2012, catapulting Crisanto's career.
The University of the Cordilleras Criminology graduate came from humble beginnings in Baguio City and wanted a simple life through serving as a Philippine law enforcer in the Philippine National Police (PNP). His fate changed once he met MMA coach, Mark Sangiao. Sangiao, a former fighter, created Team Lakay to help Filipino athletes in Baguio learn MMA. After years of training and learning under the tutelage of Sangiao, Crisanto's hard work paid dividends when he became a Champion in front of hundreds of thousands on national television in the Philippines. Pitpitunge is now 4-1 in professional MMA competition, with his only loss coming at the hands of PXC Featherweight Star, Mark Striegl, at 145 pounds.
On Saturday, May 18th, Pitpitunge faces the toughest challenge of his fighting career, defending his title against the talented, Michinori Tanaka. This phenom from Japan brings his undefeated MMA record (7-0) to Manila and hopes to return to Japan with a belt over his shoulder. After defeating 2 of PXC's top Bantamweights, Russell Doane and Caleb Valloton, in PXC-34 and 36, Tanaka was given the title shot against the Filipino Champion. Tanaka trains with Yokohama’s Reversal Gym Groundslam in Tokyo and is coached by former Shooto champions Shuichiro Katsumura and “BJ” Kojima. At a young age of 21 years old, Tanaka has already made a name for himself in the regional MMA scene, and a Championship in PXC would also catapult his MMA career to new heights.
Crisanto Pitpitunge - "I love MMA. It was my life before I entered the police force, and I will push myself to be the best fighter I can be. Now that I have the PXC belt, I do not intend on letting someone take it from me!”
Michinori Tanaka - "It's my time...and I'm taking that belt away from you, Crisanto!"
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