MANILA, Philippines – Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) is mourning the sudden and tragic demise of Filipino fighter Ale Cali. (READ: MMA fighter Ale Cali shot dead in Davao City)
In a statement, PXC chief executive officer EJ Calvo said Cali is a big loss to Philippine mixed martial arts (MMA) and added that the former boxer will be remembered as one of the best competitors in the industry.
“The PXC family mourns the passing of one of our best, Ale Cali," he said.
"He fought with passion and heart, and will be remembered by PXC fans for his smile as much as his lighting fast hands. He will be honored by the MMA community in the Philippines for years to come."
The 25-year-old fighter was shot in the head by an unidentified gunman in Ulas, Davao City at around 10:30 am on Sunday, August 16.
Davao City Police Department confirmed the tragic incident to Rappler but refused to divulge other details pending completion of investigation.
However, Cali’s friend who requested anonymity revealed that the motive could have been a personal vendetta arising from a business deal or a traffic altercation.
According to the same source, another theory that is being considered is a love triangle.
The Guam-based PXC staged 14 of its last 25 events in Manila, and since its first Philippine venture in June 2011, it has been a staple of the local MMA scene, spawning talented Pinoy contenders like Cali, Mark Striegl, Crisanto Pitpitunge, Glen Ranillo and Rolando Gabriel Dy.
Cali (5-3) had a stellar run under the PXC banner, where he captured the promotion’s flyweight title against Guamanian stalwart Jesse Taitano via a third-round technical knockout in February 2012 before he successfully defended the belt with a third-round stoppage of compatriot Erwin Tagle nine months later.
The 5-foot-5 native of Davao City relinquished the 125-pound division’s top prize to Louis Smolka in November 2013 by way of first-round technical knockout.
Cali was last seen in action when he was submitted by Ernesto Montilla Jr. with a first-round armbar in March 2014.
"The Young Gun" was penciled to have his comeback bout as part of PXC’s fight card in November. – Rappler.com