MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Jenel Lausa turned his dream to become a world champion into reality as he captured the vacant PXC flyweight championship by defeating fellow Filipino fighter Crisanto Pitpitunge via split decision in the main event of PXC 51 on Saturday, January 16 at Solaire Resort and Casino's Grand Ballroom in Parañaque City.
Jenel Lausa's wife is emotional when she saw her husband after the fight. pic.twitter.com/G8RFYx0k0W — NISSI ICASIANO (@Nissi_Icasiano) January 16, 2016
Two judges saw the high-octane encounter in favor of Lausa with two 48-47 marks, while the other cageside official scored 48-47 for Pitpitunge, who was aiming to become the first Filipino competitor to be a two-division titleholder in mixed martial arts.
In an exhilarating 5-round championship clash for the available PXC flyweight belt, the marquee match-up lived to its billing as both men traded stinging blows and pushed themselves to their limits.
Determined to win his second world title in a different weight class, Pitpitunge pressed forward and pestered Lausa with takedown attempts, managing to convert one with a big slam to the floor in the opening salvo.
As Lausa made his way back up, he fired away with head kicks that was easily blocked by Pitpitunge, who clipped his opponent with overhand right hand and wild leg kicks.
Pitpitunge smelled blood in the final moments of the first frame, where he landed a hard right hook to Lausa’s head.
Unfazed by his cage counterpart’s power punching, Lausa plunged for a double-leg takedown to cap off the first phase of action.
After getting pummeled and taken down by Pitpitunge in the first round, Lausa amazingly shifted the momentum on his side in the second stanza as he rocked the 26-year-old stalwart from Kapangan, Benguet with a left jab-right straight combination and then prevented another takedown by locking a guillotine choke.
Pitpitunge, who appeared to lose steam in the third round, tried to stay active by throwing jabs and front kicks before desperately attacking for a single-leg takedown.
Lausa defended by wrapping his arm for another guillotine submission hold, but it was unsuccessful as referee Donny Elviña stood them up and brought them to the center of the cage due to inactivity.
Off an excellently timed combination, Lausa was able to coerce Pitpitunge to backpedal away from him with his signature left hook.
Still bouncing on his feet in Round 4, Pitpitunge smacked a thundering uppercut on Lausa’s chin and constantly hurled leg kicks.
With Pitpitunge charging towards the 27-year-old native of Concepcion, Iloilo, Lausa’s back was against the canvas once more, but he reversed the position to put himself on top before going into side control.
Having a full view of Pitpitunge’s body, Lausa bombed away with stinging elbows to the midsection.
In the fifth and final round, Lausa quickly went for a takedown and then hammered blows to the body of Pitpitunge.
Pitpitunge was able to put himself on top of Lausa with a rapid roll using the cage’s fence, but it was not long enough when the referee compelled them to stand up and finish the title tilt with an all-out trade of strikes.
With the razor thin triumph over Pitpitunge, Lausa (6-2) enshrines himself as the new PXC flyweight titleholder and is currently riding high on a 4-fight winning streak.
Pitpitunge, meanwhile, snaps his 3-bout victory parade and downgrades to an 8-4 professional record.
Lausa becomes the PXC flyweight champion with a split decision win (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) over Pitpitunge. #PXC51 pic.twitter.com/feSRuxriLZ — NISSI ICASIANO (@Nissi_Icasiano) January 16, 2016