Top FC champ Kwak takes ‘a break’ on Saipan


Current Top FC bantamweight champion Kwan Ho Kwak, fourth left, joins Trench Tech fight promoter Cuki Alvarez, third left, and Trench Tech Gym members, from left, Joel Subang, Renz Benghit, Mike Muna, and Rey Kim after their training sessions last Friday at the Trench Tech Gym in Garapan. (Jon Perez)

Reigning Top Fighting Championship bantamweight king Kwan Ho “Handsome” Kwak was on Saipan last week to accompany his girlfriend Kuseul Oh, who hasn’t been to the island.

The two were also on Saipan and to experience the warmer weather. Temperatures in South Korea, particularly in the capital Seoul, currently hover from 35ºF to 45ºF (1ºC to 7ºC),

The Korean couple arrived in Monday last week, Dec. 7, and left Saipan last Friday. Kwak took a much-needed break from his preparation and training camp for his upcoming match against Guam’s Kyle Aguon in next month’s Pacific Xtreme Combat 51.

The Namyangju City-born Kwak, undefeated after seven fights with six by way of knockout, will take on PXC bantamweight champion Aguon (9-4) on Jan. 16, Saturday, at the Solaire Resort and Casino’s Grand Ballroom in Parañaque City in the Philippines.

This will be Kwak’s second fight in the PXC, which will also feature Filipino bets Crisanto Pitpitunge (8-3, with 3 knockouts) and Jinel Lanusa facing off for the PXC flyweight belt.

It was not just purely vacation for the 27-year-old Kwak, who also likes to run uphill for conditioning, as he also sparred and trained with Trench Tech fighters every night at the Trench Tech Gym in Garapan.

“I just want to bring my girlfriend here for a short vacation on Saipan and while here, I decided to also spar with some of the Trench Tech fighters so I remained in shape,” said Kwak through translator Rey Kim, a Trench Tech Gym member and one of his friends on Saipan.

Kwak, given the nickname “Handsome” by his coach and Korean Top Team co-founder Dongjin Ha, made his mixed martial arts debut on Saipan with a technical knockout win over Derrick Rangamar in Trench Warz 17: Night of Champions on Dec. 13, 2013.

The KTT fighter, ranked third among 94 active bantamweights in Korea, said he has been continuously training even after winning the vacant Top FC 135-lb belt by way of TKO against Han Bin Park last Aug. 15.

“I’ve been preparing hard for my fight next year. Although I love striking, where I like to go at it with my opponents, I’m also working on my take down and submission,” added Kwak, who has a third degree black belt in taekwondo and a second dan black belt in judo.

He said that aside from watching videos of his opponents’ past fights, he also likes to watch videos of his previous bouts to review his moves.

“Just like in my previous fight against Trevin Jones, I know that I did not did well against him. I wasn’t satisfied with the way I fought,” said Kwak, who won by split decision against Jones in PXC 47 in March of this year.

“That’s why I also watch videos of my past fights to correct my mistakes and study how to make adjustments if I faced certain situations while fighting,” added Kwak.

Kwak, after warming up and honing his submission skills, sparred with Trench Tech promoter Cuki Alvarez and Trench Tech fighters Mike Muna and Renz Benghit.

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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