Filipino MMA fighter Rocky Batolbatol dies in road accident
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)— Filipino Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Rocky "The Outlaw" Batolbatol died early Sunday morning, July 23, in a road accident. He was 32.
Batolbatol's team Mindanao Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts announced the news on their official Facebook page hours after the incident, which occurred in Cagayan de Oro City.
"In a very sudden and unfortunate turn of events, we are sadden to inform everybody that Rockytune 'The Outlaw' Batolbatol passed away last night around 12:30AM due to a vehicular accident," read the post.
The post identifies a second pedestrian named Gennar Moradas Ponce as having died as well.
The incident was confirmed in a press release by ONE Championship, the promotion which Batolbatol had fought his last 3 fights for, adding that medical reports and other procedures were "still being carried out."
According to a report sent out by the Cagayan De Oro City Police Office, initial investigation showed that Batolbatol was on the road when he and another pedestrian were "accidentally bumped" by a taxi traveling along Gusa Highway. The driver was identified as Jerson Bersabal.
The incident occurred at 12:30 am in front of the private hospital Capitol University Medical Center, the report states, but the two were taken instead to the public J.R. Borja General Hospital, which is over 5 kilometers away according to Google Maps. Both were declared dead on arrival.
Details and updates regarding the wake and funeral service will be released on Batolbatol's team's page in the next few days.
Batolbatol, a former professional boxer from Bacolod City, officially became part of ONE in 2014, and held a 5-3 professional MMA record, including two knockout victories.
Batolbatol had been scheduled to fight “The Terminator” Sunoto on a ONE card on July 29 in Surabaya, Indonesia which was canceled on Friday.
He last saw action in the cage last May 2016, when he suffered a defeat against Singapore's Christian Lee.
Rappler reached out to Batolbatol's team for further details, but the message was not returned as of the story's publication. – Rappler.com