Champs defend division titles


Guam’s Rob Wussitg, left, blocks a knee kick from South Korean challenger Min Gu Lee during their lightweight title match in last Saturday’s Rites of Passage 22: Rampage held at the Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe. (Jon Perez)

Reigning titlists Robert “The Deal” Wusstig, Roman “Sonic Boom” Alvarez, and Jordan “The Machine” Manglona successfully defended their respective weight division belts after dispatching their opponents in last Saturday’s Rites of Passage 22: Rampage held at the Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe.

The three title matches served as the highlights of a stacked card of 12 bouts, including an exhibition kickboxing bout between 11-year-olds Luis “TwoTwo” Litulumar of TrenchTech Saipan and William “Pretty Boy” King of Team Tinian.

While Alvarez and Manglona only used up one round to fend off their respective foes’ bid to snatch their titles, Wusstig of God Will MMA had to grind things out against challenger Min Gu Lee of Korean Top Team, winning by split decision.

Wusstig needed the full five rounds to foil Lee’s attempt of bringing the TrenchTech lightweight belt back to Seoul, South Korea. He won by split decision on scores of 49-46, 47-48, 49-46, to improve his fight record to 6-10.

The Guam fighter threw everything against Lee, but his opponent proved to be tough and always countered each of Wusstig’s attacks.

At one point in the third round, Lee seemed to be headed for a victory when he pinned Wusstig to the ground and pounded away. Wusstig, however, managed to hang on and survived the beating he received when he was saved by the bell.

Both fighters showed signs of fatigue in the last two rounds as each chose to be more cautious with their attacks and patiently waited for any opening that could give them the chance to end the bout by submission. They showed their defensive skills as neither of them had the chance to exploit any chink in their armor, putting the judges’ scorecards in play. The loss was Lee’s fourth in 11 professional bouts that included five wins and two draws.

“I had a hard time against Lee. I thank him for giving me a good fight and giving the fans what they deserved,” said Wusstig after the match.

Earlier, Alvarez used almost two minutes of the first round to defeat Robin Eclavea of Vida BJJ Guam and keep the featherweight belt. He won by rear-naked choke at the 3:16 mark after the opening bell.

“I always try to stay calm in each of my fights. That has been my game plan. I don’t want to make any predictions but I always go for the finish,” said Alvarez, who fought for the first time after recovering from an injury.

His last match was against Mark Abelardo in Pacific Xtreme Combat 50 where he lost to the New Zealand bet by technical knockout almost two years ago. Eclavea suffered his third loss after beating Jeff Mesa via armbar submission in PXC 44 in June 2014.

Meanwhile, Manglona opened up the title matches when he dueled McKlane “The Game” Alfred of Vida MMA Guam for the flyweight belt.

Alfred, who was eight inches shorter than Manglona, quickly went to work and tried to force a submission win, but the CNMI bet managed to get out of the choke hold. And when Manglona found a lapse on Alfred’s defense, he never backed down and ended the fight by referee stoppage with only 23 seconds left in the first round.

“I’ve the same game plan and that is to always try to get my opponents out of their comfort zones. I just waited for the moment and when I got the opportunity, I pounced,” said Manglona.

It was Manglona’s fifth straight win after losing his debut against Josh Duenas in Trench Warz 17: Night of Champions on Dec. 13, 2013, while Alfred dropped to 3-4, absorbing his third straight defeat since beating Mark Nuique in PXC 44 three years ago.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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