Pacific Xtreme Combat 34 is this Saturday! The mixed martial arts event, which will take place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum (they've gone big time!), features two of the most anticipated bouts this side of the Pacific. Davao-based fighter Ale "The Young Gun" Cali will defend his PXC Flyweight title against the returning Erwin Tagle in the main event, while rising youngster Mark "Mugen" Striegl will put his undefeated streak on the line against PXC Lightweight Champion Harris "The Hitman" Sarmiento in the co-main event. Its arguably the best fight card PXC has ever had! We suggest you check out the rest of the fights by clicking here.
In line with this megabuck bakbakan, let's take a closer look at the fighters who will headline PXC 34 this Saturday:
HARRIS "THE HITMAN" SARMIENTO
Fighting out of: Waipahu, Hawaii
Weight: 155 lbs
Fight record: 35-23-0
You're going down from Lightweight for this fight. How did you prepare for it?
Actually I’m just concentrating a lot on my diet. I stopped eating pork adobo for this fight, and it’s a big factor for me because I love Filipino food. Ha ha! I feel real good and my weight is there and I just can’t wait to finish this fight.
Have you been training here?
All my training is in Hawaii. I’m comfortable there. We have a lot of wrestlers that I work out a lot with, helping me with my wrestling defense and jiu-jitsu for this fight. I’m ready for whatever he brings to the table.
How's it like being a fighter in Hawaii?
Fighting is like a way of life in Hawaii. Everybody knows how to fight. Growing up in Hawaii, all I do is fight on the street. Anf if it wasn’t for mixed martial arts, I’d probably be in jail right now. MMA saved my life. It’s really working out for me.
It is. You're headlining one of the biggest promotions in Asia!
I love it. Especially fighting in a place where I was born, it gives me more motivation, more fire. I just love performing in front of the Filipino crowd.
How's your relationship with Mark?
Mark is a cool guy. But once we get inside the cage, we’re gonna turn it on and we’re not gonna be friends anymore.
Do you have a gameplan lined up?
I don’t have a game plan for this fight. I came here just to fight and my mindset is to go for a win, so I don’t have any game plans. I’m ready for whatever he brings to the table.
You've been on a roll as of late. Should you win this bout, what's on the horizon for you?
Actually right now I just wanna keep fighting in front of the Filipino crowd. I love it down here. I have a lot of big things coming up. I’m under new management now so expect a lot of big things from me next year.
You're single-handedly putting your 808 Top Team on the map.
My team is like family. 808 Fight Factory is where I grew up, and 808 Top Team is my home. Two 808s combined would be unstoppable. We have the best team in Hawaii. We’re like the original there. We have top guys in their respective weight classes in our gym so everybody’s been effective and I love them all.
Mark holds an undefeated record. What's your advantage over him?
I don’t have an advantage over Mark. I just come in to have fun, do what I do best, and keep on winning. Like I said, my mind is set on winning.
MARK "MUGEN" STREIGL
Fighting out of: Baguio City
Weight: 145 lbs
Fight Record: 11-0-0
It's PXC's first time at the Smart Araneta Coliseum! You must be stoked.
Yeah, the last fight was in Ynares and now it's going to be where Thrilla in Manila took place. It’s gonna be more exciting. It’s always exciting to fight in Manila, but since it’s in Araneta I know it’s gonna be great.
How's the training going?
I live in Baguio where it’s 5,000 feet above sea level, so I do a lot of high altitude training like Manny Pacquiao. Just to walk around can be tiring, you know? So my strength and conditioning really went to a whole new level. I also did a lot of sparring during my intense training camp in Baguio.
How hard is it to maintain an undefeated record? How's the pressure been?
There’s pressure in any fight. When I go out to fight, I don’t do it to keep my record intact. I fight to win. I fight to not lose. I don’t really think too much about my record.
How's your relationship with Harris?
We’re friends, actually. He didn’t sound too happy during our final press conference, but during the last show we got along really well. He was the main event of the last show and I was in the co-main event, and I even invited him up to my gym in Baguio. We got too excited until we came to a point where we got a call on whether we wanted to fight each other. That was funny. We were even both joking about it before we got to the press con. But I'd say we have a good relationship. I’m sure we’ll have a beer at the after party, whatever happens.
He's the PXC Lightweight Champion. You're not even in the same weight class.
Harris is coming down to featherweight, which is my weight division. It’s not for the title, but it’s gonna have a big impact on the title picture. Whoever wins will probably be the number one contender for the title. Harris is a PXC Champion so if I get past him it’ll be a big thing.
You're a hot commodity in the sport. Why sign up for Pacific Xtreme Combat?
You know PXC, I like their approach and I like their style. They treat me really well, no bullshit. And fighting in Manila is a big deal, I love fighting in the Philippines.
What's your gameplan going into this fight?
I can’t tell you that, he might read this one, ha ha!
Let's change the question then, what do you know about Harris Sarmiento's fighting style?
Harris is a well-rounded fighter. He’s a tough fighter to beat because he’s good everywhere. I’m just gonna have to take the fight to him and we shall all find out if that'll work Saturday night.
How does it feel to co-headline a big event such as this one?
It feels awesome. It’s pretty surreal, to be honest with you. I keep saying, fighting in Araneta is like icing on the cake. To fight in Manila is great, to fight for a great promotion like PXC on top of that, it’s gonna be amazing.
Next: Ale Cali vs. Erwin Tagle