Champions Jordan “The Machine” Manglona, Roman “Sonic Boom” Alvarez, and Rob “The Deal” Wusstig will be making their respective title defense in next month’s Rites of Passage 22: Rampage.
This will be Manglona and Alvarez’s first time to defend their belts, while Wusstig will be making his second title defense after beating Stanley Iakopo by rear-naked choke submission in Trench Warz 20: Full Throttle in December last year.
Trench Tech’s Manglona (4-1) will try to keep the flyweight title on home soil when he goes up against challenger Mcklane “The Game” Alfred (3-3, 1 knockout), who is fighting out of VIDA MMA Guam.
Manglona had a number of exhibition matches, mostly in kickboxing. This will be his first MMA fight since beating Guam Muay Thai/Underworld Extreme’s Scott “Da Slaya” Eclavea (3-3) by split decision in last year’s Pacific Xtreme Combat 52 in Guam.
Alvarez, meanwhile, will be climbing the octagon for the first time since losing to New Zealand’s Mark Abelardo of Team Quest Thailand in PXC 50 by technical knockout in December 2015.
Alvarez’s loss to Abelardo was his first in a PXC-organized event and in the process ending his five-match winning run. The Auckland-native (13-5) won eight matches by KO and his latest loss against Stephen Loman by unanimous decision in PXC 55.
Alvarez was sidelined for almost a year due to various injuries while training for two fights. He first injured his hand forcing him out of a scheduled PXC match and it took six months for it to heal.
He was again training after getting an invitation to fight in Deep Impact in Japan last year when he suffered a groin injury and pulled his hamstring.
Alvarez is now back to his usual form and will be using his match against Cruz as a gauge if he is now ready to show his skills in Deep Impact Japan later this year.
Wusstig, fighting out Team Tuck, will have his hands full when he clashes with undefeated challenger Mon Ju Lee for the main event.
Little is known about Lee, who made the jump from 145 lbs to 155 lbs just to fight Wusstig for the lightweight belt.