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Monday, April 21, 2014

Champs retain crowns in Trench Warz 17

Marianas Elite’s Derrick “El Peligro” Rangamar, top, tries to get away from the hold of Korean Top Team’s Kwan Ho Kwak during the first round of their bout in Trench Wars 17: Night of the Champions held last Friday at the Royal Taga Hall of Saipan World Resort.  (ROSELYN B. MONROYO) The last fight in Trench Warz 17: Night of the Champions was also the fastest, as Trench Tech’s Mylo “Bam Bam” Lassiter beat Team Haga’s Neil “Lionheart” Taisacan just 40 seconds into Round 1 of their heavyweight title bout last Friday night at the Royal Taga Hall of the Saipan World Resort.

Taisacan was forced to tap out after Lassiter pinned him down to the canvas and caught his left arm. The 39-year-old Taisacan, who made a comeback after over three years of absence inside the octagon cage, already signaled to referee Tony D’Angelo a few seconds after the 26-year-old Lassiter held his arm. However, D’Angelo thought Taisacan was only grimacing in pain, so the latter made another gesture and the former finally pulled the plug on the challenger.

Lassiter was awarded a referee stoppage win via arm choke to improve his MMA win-loss record to 7-2, while Taisacan remained winless after five fights. Trying to turn back the hands of time, Taisacan rushed into Lassiter at the opening bell of their five-round bout. However Taisacan failed to hit the defending champion and instead the two fighters ended up moving to the corner before Lassiter managed to bring down his challenger and just when the eager spectators were hoping for more action down the canvas, the former surrendered early, giving the Trench Tech bet one of his fastest victories.

The exciting bout that was lacking in the main event of Trench Warz 17 was earlier seen in the penultimate fight of the night, featuring Korean Top Team’s Kwan Ho Kwak and Marianas Elite’s Derrick “El Peligro Rangamar. No title was at stake in the duel, but both fighters gave their all with Kwak eventually earning a TKO win just six minutes before the final bell rung.

Kwak used his kickboxing training to dominate Rangamar in the first round, connecting on kicks to the latter’s body and legs. Earlier in the opening round, a low blow from Kwak halted action, but Rangamar shook it off and worked his way back into the match in the second round. With Kwak definitely ahead in a stand-up fight, Rangamar tried using his grappling skills to gain points against his Korean foe and had some success. The Marianas Elite standout then connected some punches, causing Kwak’s nose to bleed.
By the end of the second round, Rangamar and Kwak seemed pretty even so the latter went back to his kickboxing technique to thwart the former. Then just when Rangamar and the hundreds of fight fans were expecting Kwak to go for more kicks, he caught everybody off guard with a cross that brought the former down the canvas. Rangamar tried to tell D’Angelo that he was okay and can still fight back, but the official had seen enough and awarded Kwak a KO win at the 4:54 mark of the third and final round.

Despite the loss, Rangamar was applauded by the crowd for putting up one of the good fights last weekend and recovering from a low blow.

Meanwhile, in the other title bout last Friday, Trench Tech’s Josh “Chaos” Duenas kept his featherweight crown after getting a submission win via arm bar versus Zalaka’s Jordan “The Machine” Manglona just 1:47 into the first round.

Up against a leaner, faster, and taller challenger, Duenas said his strategy was to quickly pin down Manglona and employ his much superior grapping and wrestling skills. He did just what the doctor ordered and both fighters went to the corner and grappled. They switched top positions on several occasions before Duenas outmaneuvered his foe and neutralized him with an arm bar. With the victory, Duenas improved to a 5-4 slate, while Manglona fell to a 3-2 card.

Ten other fights were held in Trench Warz 17 and results will be reported in Saipan Tribune later this week.

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