‘The Raging Bull’ ready to strike


Trench Tech’s Stanley “The Raging Bull” Iakopo, left, will be facing Guam and Spike 22’s The Real Deal” Wusstig tomorrow in the Trench Warz 20: Full Trottle at the Marianas Business Plaza. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Trench Tech’s Stanley “The Raging Bull” Iakopo is all set for his lightweight title fight against Guam and Spike 22’s The Real Deal” Wusstig tomorrow in Trench Warz 20: Full Trottle at the Marianas Business Plaza.

“I feel ready and determined,” said Iakopo, who has all the reasons to look forward to the title duel after their original bout in August this year in Rites of Passage 20: Conquer was postponed due to his rib injury.

“It was unfortunate that I got injured in the football game against Guam… but I moved on to the next agenda which is this fight. I don’t dwell on the past because I have a life with my wife and kids, a duty to the people of CNMI with my work, and I want to be a role model to those who battle medical issues and those who are abused and children that are being bullied. This is what I fight for…. not for the belt. I care less for the materialistic hardware,” the Trench Tech fighter added.

Since he had fully recovered from the injury he suffered just a few weeks before he was supposed to collide against Wusstig, Iakopo went back to business, training hard for the title fight. He also joined last month’s Art of War 11: Submission Grappling/BJJ Tournament to polish his skills.

“I’ve been doing a lot of cardio and conditioning. I am also working on my ground and stand up (techniques),” said Iakopo, who is eyeing to knock out his Guam foe in the first round.

“I am looking forward to giving this guy a fight. I know what I’m going to do to him, and that is to just give him a beating he’ll never forget…that he will always remember me for the rest of his life,” he added.

The bout against Wusstig will be Iakopo’s first in the octagon cage (in the CNMI) after his appearance in Rites of Passage 4: The Uproar in February 2008. Iakopo won in ROP 4, stopping Arnold Balbin via rear-naked choke just 49 seconds into the first round.

Wusstig, on the other hand, will be seeing action in his 16th fight and his fourth Trench Warz event. The Spike 22 standout holds a 5-10 win-loss record and 1-2 in Trench Warz. He lost his recent Trench Warz fight (18) when he was knocked out by Roman Alvarez at the 26-second mark of Round 1. Wusstig also dropped his last match (Real Fight Championship 5 in June 2016) when his Japanese foe Daisuke Hoshino won via unanimous decision.

The Wusstig-Iakopo title clash is one of the 13 MMA bouts slated in tomorrow’s Trench Warz 20, while there is only one kickboxing match in the weekend tournament.

The lone K1 tiff will feature Vince “The Clinch” Masga against Derrick “El Peligro Rangamar. The 12 other MMA bouts are as follows: Jesse Mesa vs Andres Camacho at 125 lbs; Jadrien Camacho vs Franklin Santos at 120 lbs; Bradlee Manalo vs Atrion Norita at 130 lbs; Justin Quichocho vs Jay “Tabi” Muna at 130 lbs; Jeffery Garcia vs Torsten Rosser at the 155 lbs; John Tudela vs Kier Agda at 170-175 lbs; Joseph Camacho vs K.J. Villagomez at 135 lbs; Nick Cruz vs Joey Boy Crisostomo Jr. at 145 lbs; Juan Lizama vs Andrew Sablan at 135 lbs; Vince Campos vs Enrique Torres at 220 lbs; and Pinky Laniyo vs Peter Miyasaki. Larry “The Pain” Naputi is also competing this weekend, but his opponent in the 150-lb catch weight will be announced later. The fight card is tentative.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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