ANDREW Benibe avenged his close loss to Rey Transmonte in convincing fashion, scoring a technical knockout win to seize the vacant bantamweight belt of the Universal Reality Combat Championship in URCC 25: Takeover on Thursday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Eager to atone for a split-decision loss to Transmonte last year, Benibe showed tremendous indomitable spirit, emerging victorious with his ground and pound after trailing in the scorecards in the first four rounds.
"Kahit mas marami siyang damage na nagagawa, I just kept on fighting kasi wala talaga akong balak umuwi ng talo," the 38-year-old Benibe said after the fight as he snapped a three-fight skid and notched a sixth win in 13 bouts.
The most impressive victory of the night, though, came before the main event.
In an amazing comeback, Caloy Baduria emerged victorious with a referee-stoppage win due to strikes to Mark Palomar in the first round after sustaining a beatdown initially.
The rotund 34-year-old veteran fighter was knocked down after getting tagged with early blows by his bodybuilder-looking foe.
But in a stunning turn of events, Baduria rose from the dead and connected with his own power shots to complete the turnaround in the same round in their light heavyweight bout that seemed worthier to be the main event.
In the quickest victory of the night, Chris Hofmann knocked Nickson Kola out with a mean right hook with only a minute gone by in the opening round of another light heavyweight skirmish.
Kola was literally knocked out as he was unconscious on the ground for a while as doctors checked his condition.
Hofmann registered his first pro win in two fights, while giving his opponent, a former rugby player who moonlighted as a Philippine Volcano, a rude MMA welcome in his debut.
There was never a dull moment in the 25th edition of the country’ premier MMA organization, where only two of the nine fights went the distance.
Alvin Ramirez scored a TKO win over Paul del Valle in their flyweight bout. Hideo Morikawa, despite bucked an early beat down that left his left eye swollen to stun Ryan Jakiri with a TKO win. Alvin Solinap forced Arnel Lomibao to tap with a rear-naked choke. And Carlo Laurel scored a TKO win as well against Ric Empil.
In the two fights that went to the scorecards, Miguel Mosqueda edged 46-year-old Angelito Manguray with a unanimous decision and Drex Zamboanga outclassed Joseph Mercado to come out with his own unanimous-decision win.