MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fighter Crisanto Pitpitunge has parted ways with Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC).
Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao confirmed to Rappler that Pitpitunge’s exclusive contract with the Guam-based MMA promotion had expired this past March, allowing the 26-year-old native of Kapangan, Benguet to sit down and talk to other organizations.
“Crisanto is now a free agent. His PXC contract expired last March. For now, we are looking at what’s available out there,” he said.
Pitpitunge had 11 bouts in his 5-year PXC run, winning his first 4 assignments in impressive fashion.
The highlight-reel moment of his MMA career happened in July 2012 when he knocked out Justin “The Shocker” Cruz with one punch in the first round to capture the PXC bantamweight championship.
After his title-winning performance against Cruz, Pitpitunge suffered a dismal 2013 campaign, relinquishing the PXC bantamweight belt to Michinori Tanaka in May before yielding to Han Bin Park via third-round rear-naked choke in November.
Sangiao revealed that PXC is still interested in signing Pitpitunge into a new deal, but he stressed that the hard-hitting Team Lakay representative would like to explore other options.
“There are no discussions with other major promotions so far. PXC is still interested with him, but we’re working on what’s best for him right now. There are many good organizations in Asia, but of course, he hopes to get the big fish,” he stated.
Pitpitunge set to compete on Brave Combat Federation’s maiden card
With no attachments to any major MMA organization, Pitpitunge accepted a one-fight offer from Brave Combat Federation for its inaugural event on September 23 at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Manama, Bahrain.
“Even though we are waiting for a good offer from a big MMA promotion, we have to keep Crisanto active. That is why we accepted the invite to fight at Brave Combat Federation’s first event. Rather than sit on the sidelines, it will better for him to be in fighting shape and competing at a top level,” Sangiao shared.
Pitpitunge is slated on Brave Combat Federation’s maiden fight card to square off with Mexican combatant Ivan Lopez in a 3-round flyweight contest.
Pitpitunge (8-5) dropped his last two outings, bowing down to compatriot Jenel Lausa for the vacant PXC flyweight title in January of this year via split decision before succumbing to Kai Kara-France by way of third-round technical knockout last March.
“The Slugger” aims to break his two-match losing skid at the expense of Lopez, who is a 16-fight veteran and made sporadic appearances in MMA promotions such as World Extreme Cagefighting, Jungle Fight and Ultimate Warrior Challenge.
Lopez (13-2-1) has won 5 of previous 7 fights and has not lost a single bout since October 2013 when he suffered a unanimous decision setback to Brazilian journeyman Sidney Lessa de Oliveira.
One of Lopez’s two career defeats came from Dominick Cruz, who is the reigning UFC bantamweight kingpin.
“It’s no walk in the park for Crisanto. This is a good match-up for both fighters, and it will surely bring out the best in Crisanto,” Sangiao stressed. – Rappler.com