Fast-rising bantamweight prospect Mark Abelardo makes his second appearance inside Pacific X-treme Combat’s “Terror Dome” on Saturday night, June 13, 2015, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, Philippines for PXC 48.
The said event will feature two championship scraps as Flyweight champ Alvin Cavdac will defend his title against former Bantamweight king Crisanto Pitpitunge, while Filipino up and comer Rolando Dy rematches with 135-pound Champ Kyle Aguon.
Standing at 5 foot 5 inches tall, Mark Abelardo is probably the shortest bantamweight under the PXC banner. But make no mistake about this guy, he might not be that tall, but he packs some unbelievable power behind his punches. Abelardo made his PXC debut last November 2014 against a tough Ernie Braca at PXC 46 in Manila.
The 23-year-old put the fans on their feet as he scored an impressive KO win in the first round and made huge statement that he’s definitely a guy to look out for in the bantamweight division.
Since then, Abelardo piled up two TKO wins outside the PXC and improved his record to 10-3 and is on a 6-fight winning streak.
Abelardo makes his return to PXC on Saturday against an undefeated young fighter from Team Lakay, Harold Banario, who is the younger brother of former PXC fighter Dario Banario and former One Championship featherweight king Honorio Banario. Harold is a well-rounded fighter who has been out of competition for over a year and has prepared himself very well for his PXC comeback against Abelardo.
MMA-in-ASIA caught up with Mark Abelardo shortly before his PXC 48 appearance.
MMA-in-Asia: First off, how’s everything going and what are you thinking about being back inside the PXC cage?
Abelardo: All is well here. I was deep into my training camp not looking past this fight at PXC. I’m stoked I get to step back into the cage at PXC, especially in the motherlands of the Philippines.
MMA-in-Asia: Let’s talk about your PXC debut last year against Ernie Baca. You displayed a tremendous power that night and explosiveness. You made quick work of him. What are your thoughts on that fight?
Abelardo: As the fight started I admit I started off slowly and didn’t fire but it was a satisfying win, especially having to overcome adversity from the low blow early into the fight. I knew I just had to bite down, come back at him hard and was able to pull the trigger.
MMA-in-Asia: You started your career honing your skills in New Zealand. Now you’re in Thailand training at Team Quest full time. How has your experience been there?
Abelardo: Training at Team Quest Thailand has been a career changing experience for the better. I don’t have the worry of having to work a job like I did back home. I’m able to train full time, with a great team of guys where we share the same mentality and grind hard every day.
Training at Team Quest Thailand has been a career changing experience for the better.
MMA-in-Asia: You are set to fight an undefeated fighter in Harold Banario at PXC 46. What are your thoughts about the guy?
Abelardo: I know that Harold comes from an elite gym in the Philippines as well as being brothers with established fighters. However, I also come from an elite gym in Thailand also and train with top international fighters so I see this as a good match up.
MMA-in-Asia: You are on a roll right now, winning five straight fights and four of them were stoppages. How confident are you coming in to this fight?
Abelardo: I’m grinding in Thailand up to three times a day, six days a week and I feel like this the hardest training camp I’ve been in yet. I want to come into this fight in the best shape ever and I believe in my skill set to come out victorious.
MMA-in-Asia: What is your mentality leading up to this fight against Banario?
Abelardo: I’m not looking past this fight, and especially Banario. I know he’ll be a tough fighter but I’m too hungry to let myself slip up.
MMA-in-Asia: Your next foe is known for having solid takedowns. What are the adjustments you’ve made from the previous camps you’ve had to ensure you’ll get the win come fight night?
Abelardo: I’m training with high level grapplers/wrestlers at my gym, so coming into this fight I’ll be more than prepared for what happens. I love to keep my fights standing but I’ll be willing to fight on the ground too if it comes to it.
MMA-in-Asia: This is going to be your second appearance in the Guam-based promotion. What are your goals this year in your MMA career?
Abelardo: That 135lb PXC title is there for my goal this year. I want it.
That 135lb PXC title is there for my goal this year. I want it.
MMA-in-Asia: What are your thoughts about Filipino fight fans?
Abelardo: I feel that Filipinos are huge fans of combat sports. I love their enthusiasm for MMA especially and it definitely showed during my last fight at PXC.
MMA-in-Asia: Do you believe that size does matter inside the cage?
Abelardo: I don’t believe so. All, if not most, of my fights have been against taller or bigger opponents and I train everyday with all height and size ranges at my gym so I’m able to dictate where the action goes in the fight.
MMA-in-Asia: Can you tell us about your Filipino parents and how you ended up living in New Zealand? I’m sure your Pinoy fans would want to know about it.
Abelardo: My parents are both very hard workers, until this very day. They made the move from the Philippines to New Zealand in 1989 to better their lives and for our family. I was born two years later and was brought up with two sisters and a brother, and have lived in the city of Auckland my whole life until I moved to Thailand last year.
MMA-in-Asia: Have you been bullied when you were in school? If so, how did you handle those bullies?
Abelardo: Growing up I have not come across any form of bullying, I’d say New Zealand is quite a laid back and chill country.
MMA-in-Asia: What do you expect from Banario? What can PXC fans expect from Mark Abelardo at PXC 48?
Abelardo: Like I mentioned before, I know he’s going to be tough but I will be tougher.
I’m planning to finish this fight, so expect to see fireworks and nothing less.