Former Pacific Xtreme Combat Lightweight Champion Harris “The Hitman” Sarmiento makes his ONE Fighting Championship debut on March 14, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as one of the undercard features of ONE FC 14 – War of Nations.
Sarimento is a seasoned veteran who is known for being a notorious striker who is very durable. His reign as the PXC 155 lbs. Champion lasted for two years. He defended his PXC title twice, against Rajah Shippen and Isaiah Ordiz. The Strikeforce veteran looked invincible in the PXC’s Lightweight division as no one came close on stopping him inside the “Terror Dome”, except for Mark Striegl and Joe Taimanglo, whom he both fought at the 145 pound limit.
On the eve of ONE FC 13 – “Moment of Truth” in Manila, the Singapore-based MMA promotion announced through its Facebook page that Harris Sarmiento has already signed a deal with them and parted ways with PXC. It was an unexpected move from the Filipino-American Sarmiento, but according to him, it was his personal decision to relinquish his title and leave PXC for an opportunity in ONE FC.
“For me it was a new chapter of my career to move to ONE FC because I feel like I had to move on to bigger company,” Sarmiento said.
Sarmiento will make his debut against precarious submission specialist Herbert Burns, slated at the 145 pound limit. Burns has the advantage when it comes to the ground, but Sarmiento is convinced that he has the experience and the skills to stop the Brazilian submission ace.
“I think Burns is a really good grappler and it’s going to be a test for him to fight me,” boasted Sarmiento.
“I think the 145 pound weight class is good for me because it took me couple of months to come down to that weight and have to really focus on my diet. I feel stronger and bigger on this weight category. I’ll just have to get used to it,” Sarmiento added.
Many consider Sarmiento as one of the future contenders for the ONE FC Featherweight title. He has the skills and work ethic to become a champion, but Sarmiento admits that it will be a tough road to get to the top. Yet he is ready to take the journey.
“The current One FC Featherweight champion, Koji Oishi is a really good fighter and my goal is to get that title fight. ONE FC is another chapter on my book I want to accomplish. I want to work hard to get to the top. I know it is going to be hard but I will work hard to get there,” Sarmiento stated.
Sarmiento trains out of 808 Top Team in Hawaii alongside UFC fighters Louis Smolka and Russel Doane, and the KOTC champion who is another ONE FC fighter, Lowen Tynanes. Training with such great athletes gives Sarmiento extra motivation to work harder in reaching his goals on his fighting career.
“808 Top Team is family. We all work together, helping each other and being there for each other no matter what. We keep the fire burning,” Sarmiento said.
Come fight night, Sarmiento’s fans want to see if he still has it inside him; they want to see if the old Sarmiento will show up against Burns.
“Fans can expect a lot from me. I can choose to fight standing or fight on the ground. I’d rather keep the fans on their feet and put on an exciting fight,” Sarmiento answered.
“I just want to give a shout out to all my Filipino fans back in the motherland, friends and family; my team 808 Top Team, Fiah Clique, Warhorse, Powerhouse MMA, and to all my 808 Ohana,” he added.