Filipino fighter Roldan Sangcha-an loses in UFC debut

Nissi Icasiano
Filipino fighter Roldan Sangcha-an loses in UFC debut
The 23-year-old Team Lakay standout suffers his first setback in his prizefighting career

Richie Vaculik spoiled the promotional debut of Filipino homegrown combatant Roldan Sangcha-an with a unanimous decision victory in their 3-round flyweight bout on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 43 on Saturday, June 28, at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

The 5-foot-6 Australian played smart in fighting his opponent, who is shorter by two inches, as he stayed away from the striking prowess of the Wushu-based fighter and resorted to his grappling pedigree.

After receiving a lashing head kick from Sangcha-an in the early seconds of the first frame, Vaculik immediately dragged his Pinoy foe to the mat, where he worked on several submission holds, including a deep rear naked choke.

While battling for superior position on the canvas, Vaculik exerted effort to have the full view of his cage counterpart’s rear.

As Sangcha-an spun out of danger and briefly took a dominant posture, Vaculik reversed the situation and got back to top control, fastening a noxious rear naked choke that prompted the 23-year-old Team Lakay standout to fight it off and survive the round.

Vaculik made sure to avoid on-feet trades in the second round as he scooped Sangcha-an for another takedown and kept his adversary at ease while nailing short shots.

With two minutes left in the period, Sangcha-an found the stand-up exchange he was hoping for, landing a side kick to the head before evading a takedown attempt by Vaculik.

Sensing the urgency that Sangcha-an was pulling away, Vaculik scored his third takedown off a body lock as the horn sounded.

Clearly craving to put the scuffle back on the ground, Vaculik tried to close the distance for the first two minutes of Round 3, but it turned out to be unsuccessful as Sangcha-an kept coming forward with a variety of foot strikes to the body and leg of his Aussie rival.

Sangcha-an was busy stalking and launching his oblique kicks when Vaculik hammered him with two right-hand blows to end the final canto.

The 31-year-old “Vas” swept the cageside official’s scorecards – 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 counts – to have his hand raised for the very first time inside the Octagon and improved his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) standing to 10-2.

Sangcha-an tasted his first setback in his prizefighting career as he dropped his win-loss slate to 4-1.

Sangcha-an was signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) earlier this month to serve as a late replacement for Jon Delos Reyes, who was forced to withdraw from the match due to an undisclosed injury, to square off with Vaculik.

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