Mercado defeats Vergara in 1st rd

JOSEPH Mercado showed up to impress after an easy submission win over Cebuano pioneering MMA warrior Edmud Vergara in the main event of Cebu Fighting Championship - “The Wait” on Monday night, Dec. 30, 2019, at the Buanoy Sports Complex in Brgy. Buanoy in Balamban, Cebu.

Mercado, who fights out of Palawan by way of the Yaw-Yan Ardigma Cebu, caught Vergara with a rear-naked-choke and forced him to submit in just 46 seconds.

Mercado, a veteran MMA fighter, is a step closer to his dream of fighting in Asia’s premier MMA organization - ONE Championship.

“He displayed excellent performance. That’s why I’m doing my best to let him in the ONE Hero Series,” Yaw-Yan Ardigma Cebu founder Master Benigno “Ekin” Caniga told SunStar Cebu.

Caniga hopes that Mercado will be one of the fighters who will be slated to fight in the MMA grassroots series that kicks off in the Philippines in 2020.

On the other hand, Renan “Flash” Noblefranca returned to his winning ways after a split decision over Tonix Borres in the Muay Thai main event.

Noblefranca came off a loss in his comeback in early December following a long layoff. He last fought in California in 2013.

It was Borres’ Muay Thai debut after fighting in boxing, MMA and jiu-jitsu.

In the MMA undercard, Niño Rio Saoy pummeled Mark Antholene Balaba on the ground in the second round, Christian Tabunag knocked out Alsharidz Damlani in the opening round, Harold Tabalino forced Mark Otida to tap out via ground-and-pound, Bethoven Quijano beat Ruben Amoin and Albert Garnica submitted Arnel Regodon in one round.

Meanwhile in the Muay Thai undercard, Michael Rebayos defeated Laurence Bendijito by decision, Jason Marangga stopped Edgar Huete in one round, Ramon Gabriel delos Reyes beat Laurence Lee Ramirez via retirement, Kim Bisbal stopped Isaac Torres by first-round stoppage, Ken Caburnay scored a second round referee’s stoppage of Albert Ramirez and Jether Pio Jr. won by points over Edgar Caburnay Jr. (EKA)