MANILA, Philippines – Jenel Lausa expects a barnburner in his flyweight championship clash against former bantamweight titleholder Crisanto Pitpitunge at Pacific Xtreme Combat’s first live event this year on Saturday, January 16.
However, the 27-year-old native of Concepcion, Iloilo is coming into the scheduled 5-round bout as the heavy underdog due to his opponent’s deeper résumé in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Pitpitunge, who made his prizefighting debut in 2009 and has 11 professional outings to his own credit, has faced and beaten some of the top bantamweights across the Asian region.
The 26-year-old stalwart from Kapangan, Benguet holds impressive victories over notable names such as Alex Castro, Justin “The Shocker” Cruz, Rambaa Somdet and Cacdac.
Pitpitunge had a career-defining moment in July 2012 when he knocked out Cruz with a solid counter right in the first round to capture the PXC bantamweight belt.
Meanwhile, Pitpitunge scored a highlight-reel finish of Cacdac, who is known for his sporadic appearances in MMA organizations like World Extreme Cagefighting and Strikeforce.
The 5-foot-6 Team Lakay representative has also shared the cage with the likes of Mark Striegl and Michinori Tanaka, but he failed to walk out with the win in those bouts.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, Lausa downplayed Pitpitunge’s vast experience and believes that has the chance to pull off an improbable upset.
“We know for a fact that he is the clear favorite in this fight because he has been in this situation several times. But I know for a fact that I can win this one,” he told Rappler.
Lausa lauded that his boxing background would play a pivotal factor against Pitpitunge, who is highly regarded for his Wushu Sanshou pedigree.
Known by his moniker “Demolition,” Lausa was seen inside a boxing ring on 5 occasions and recently scored a first-round stoppage victory over Jeson Berwela this past October.
“I can see my boxing as my advantage against him as long as I can stop or defend his attempts to get a takedown,” Lausa stated.
Lausa, who has two knockouts along with two submission wins in a 5-2 MMA record, seeks to repeat the feat when he turned the lights off on Ernesto Montilla Jr in June 2015 to earn a shot at the 125-pound weight class’ top prize.
“I can’t predict the outcome of this fight, but when the opportunity presents itself, I will go for it,” he said.
PXC 51 takes place at Solaire Resort and Casino’s Grand Ballroom in Parañaque City. – Rappler.com