Several shake-ups have been made ahead of next week’s PXC 41 event in the Philippines. As previously mentioned, PXC 41 will be the promotion’s final event of the calendar year.
Crisanto Pitpitunge (5-2) was originally slated to face Russell Doane but the Hawaiian was forced to pull out of the contest due to injury. He will be replaced by Han Bin Kim (1-0), a native of South Korea, who was in fact set to feature at PXC 40 against Shane Alvarez, before that bout was unfortunately scrapped from the fight card. So, with that said, Kim will finally get his chance to make his promotional debut come fight night next week. With only a single pro MMA appearance under his belt, though, a daunting task awaits the South Korean on November 9, as former PXC Bantamweight champ Pitpitunge will be heavily favored in getting his hands raised in this new 135-lbs tilt.
PXC 41 update: Pitpitunge gets new opponent, Nelson-Nakamura cancelled
Fans will have to wait a little longer to see UFC vets Shane Nelson and Keita Nakamura collide in the PXC cage. With Nelson injured, the match-up has been replaced by a Bantamweight bout pitting Filipino prospect Harold Banario (3-0) against PXC vet Joseph Mercado (1-2). The former is the brother of previous ONE FC 145-lbs title-holder Honorio Banario, and having made a successful promotional debut at PXC 39, the Team Lakay product will be looking to improve to 4-0 and remain unbeaten in his young pro MMA career. Moreover, with Dario Banario, the third and final Banario on the combat blood-line, defeating Mercado in his previous outing, Harold may very well have an edge in this one. Mercado, meanwhile, looks to bounce back following two consecutive Unanimous Decision defeats under the PXC banner. It will be the Filipino fighter’s opportunity to get in the limelight once again, where a win would certainly propel him forward and upward the 135-lbs ladder.
Along with those shuffles, a women’s Atomweight tilt has been added to the PXC 41 mix. Team Lakay’s Gina Iniong (1-1) is set to square off against pro MMA debutant, Natalie Heidel (0-0). While not much is known about Heidel, she does train with the likes of ONE FC’s Ann Osman, AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor and Will Chope on a daily basis at Borneo Tribal Squad. With quality coaches and training partners at her disposal, it’s perhaps safe to assume that fans can be excited about what Heidel brings to the table. Team Lakay’s Gina Iniong, in the meantime, has not fought in a pro MMA contest for over three years, so cage rust may be a factor come fight night. Her last appearance came at the now defunct Martial Combat promotion in 2010, where she dropped a Unanimous Decision.
With a headliner featuring a Flyweight title fight between reigning champ Ale Cali (5-1) and challenger Louis Smolka (4-0), and with the return of Mark Striegl (12-1) and the aforementioned Crisanto Pitpitunge (pictured), there’re absolutely no doubts that the Pacific X-Treme Combat is set to end the year on a high note.
PXC 41 takes place November 9 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines. As with previous events, fans around the globe can catch all the action LIVE online at http://new.livestream.com/accounts/1594039/events/2473023.
Check out the updated fight card below:
- Ale Cali vs. Louis Smolka (For PXC Flyweight Championship strap)
- Gina Iniong vs. Natalie Heidel
- Crisanto Pitpitunge vs. Han Bin Kim
- Mark Striegl vs. Ev Ting
- Harold Banario vs. Joseph Mercado
- Frank Camacho vs. Seung Hwan Bang
- Troy Bantiag vs. Johnny Pecyna
- Jinel Lausa vs. Ernesto Montilla Jr.