PXC 44 takes place on June 27, 2014 in Guam, USA. A bantamweight match up between Troy Bantiag and Kyle Aguon is lined up for the card.
Troy Bantiag is one of the youngest fighters of powerhouse Team Lakay. He is physically talented young prospect from Kalinga, Mountain Province, Philippines, a skilled fighter who likes to throw bombs out of his fists, and a true student of the sport. The 22-year-old Sanshou practitioner started learning Wushu at the age of 14, joined the prestigious Asian Wushu Championship when he was 16, and starting to dominate local grappling tournaments at 17 years old. Bantiag has a specific reason he started in the combat sports,
“I started liking Wushu because of my idol, Kevin Belingon. I want to be a champion like him in the future.”
Bantiag looks to end his two-fight losing skid when he faces former PXC bantamweight title contender Kyle Aguon. He is facing a massive bantamweight in Aguon, and a very strong wrestler. The Guamanian is coming off a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Japanese undefeated prospect Michinori Tanaka, who just won his UFC debut last weekend in Canada with a convincing unanimous decision victory. But that loss is not something he overlooks,
“This is a very important fight for me. I’m fighting the number one contender guy in our weight class and I am pumped to fight him in Guam. If I win this fight, I’m pretty sure I am a step closer to the PXC’s bantamweight title picture. I know my advantage is striking coming to this fight against Kyle, but I don’t want to rely on my striking too much, I will also use my wrestling and jiu jitsu come fight night.”
This is going to be Bantiag’s first MMA fight outside the Philippines, in Guam, and in front of Aguon’s fans. Surprisingly, he says he feels no pressure at all,
“I am not that really nervous because I am training so hard for this fight. I need to be better than him because I am going to fight him in his backyard.”
Bantiag trains alongside Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge, who is also fighting at PXC 44, and the newly signed UFC flyweight fighter Roldan “The Executioner” Sangcha-an, who will make his Octagon debut in New Zealand the same weekend.
“It is very important for me to train with my team mates. I sparred with them, I learn from those guys everyday and they are the ones who always pushes me to my limit to become a more complete MMA fighter.”
Team Lakay fighters had some problems with wrestlers in the past. But since the former Iranian National Wrestling Coach, Ali Heydarabadi, offered his wrestling expertise to them, it has been evident in their recent fights that they have evolved into more complete MMA fighters. Bantiag has good takedown defense as well as a very durable endurance. But he will be tested when he lock horns with Guam’s Aguon, so he is preparing everything,
“We always train hard at Team Lakay with our head coach Mark Sangiao together with our boxing, wrestling and jiu jitsu coaches. We are also doing different training for power, speed, defense, offense, and footwork. Kyle is a great fighter but I can strike with him. I know he will try to take me down but the question is can he take me down?”
Bantiag’s goal this year is to get the PXC title by winning one fight at a time. He knows that he still has much to learn in the fight business to be a complete fighter. Part of what will get him there is Coach Mark, whom Bantiag says is one of the most influential people in his life. Coach Mark taught him how to become a better person inside and out,
“If I’m not a fighter, I am just probably a headache for my parents and a bad guy for some people. That is why I am so thankful to coach Mark.”
PXC 44 on June 27th will feature the Welterweight Championship between Zebaztian Kadestam and Josh Calvo. MMA-in-ASIA will have live updates and full results from the event.