MARK Striegl failed to live up to the hype as he lost steam and eventually surrendered to an unusual, but effective leg lock executed by Jang Yong Kim, who claimed the vacant Pacific X-Treme Combat featherweight championship belt on Saturday night in PXC 39 at the Ynares Arena in Pasig.
The Filipino-American Striegl, touted as one of the country's top local fighters who could make the jump to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, suffered his very-first defeat in 13 bouts.
“He has a good chin and cardio, but I came out the better fighter,” Jang, the Korean who improved to a 7-5-1 win-loss-draw card, addressed the crowd through an interpreter.
In a battle between two submission specialists, it was Jang who proved superior as he connected on several ground moves that left the crowd-favorite Striegl clearly winded and gasping for air.
After several submission attempts, Jang was finally rewarded late in the third round, when he locked the head of Striegl with his two feet that forced his erstwhile unbeaten opponent to tap out to the dismay of the pro-Filipino crowd at the jampacked venue.
“A lot of people are surprised that Mark lost, but really I don’t think it’s a surprise because both fighters are very-well matched,” PXC CEO EJ Calvo said. “We knew the level these two were bringing.”
“It was one of the highest levels of wrestling I’ve seen in a while,” Calvo added. “It looked like Mark ran out of gas. Jang was also tired, but had a little more strength.”
In the main undercard, Louis Smolka gave Jessie Rafols a dose of his own medicine, forcing his Filipino opponent to submit in the very first round with a rear-naked choke.
The Hawaiian Smolka was initially locked in a guillotine choke by Rafols, before turning the game around to emerge victorious and arrange a bantamweight title bout with champion and Davao's pride Ale Cali.
Winless in the last PXC and One FC stagings in the country, Team Lakay went undefeated in two fights this time against Filipino compatriots.
Roldan Sangcha'an scored a submission victory over Ernesto Montilla Jr., while Harold Banario knocked Adamson Torbiso out in the first round.
Glen Ranillo edged Isaiah Ordiz via unanimous decision, while Jinel Lausa dumped Adam Cacay with third-round referee stoppage in two other all-Filipino bouts.
Rolando Dy, son of former Pinoy boxing pride Rolando Navarette, defeated Guamanian Kyle Reyes via unanimous decision in their featherweight bout.