Coming off his knockout win over previously undefeated Harold Banario, Filipino-Kiwi Mark Abelardo may have just made his case to join the the elite contenders of PXC’s 135-pound division.
“I’m very estatic about this win. I knew it was gonna be a tough fight; Harold is undefeated and from a really tough team, Lakay MMA,” he tells DojoDrifter.com.
“He likes to go for takedowns so I train a lot of takedown defense and I was able to execute that tonight, break him, and I was able to TKO him.”
It was a tall order for Abelardo, literally and figuratively. Banario is a sizeable bantamweight and no pushover as he hails from one of the country’s finest teams, where he sharpens his skills with top Filipino fighters Eduard Folayang, Mark Eddiva, and Roldan Sangcha-an.
Nevertheless, Abelardo made up for his lack in height and reach with his grit and explosive power, assets he’ll need in a division ruled over by lengthy champ Kyle Aguon.
“I knew I just have to bring it to him and I’m glad I was able to do it tonight and come out victorious,” says Abelardo.
With the win, the Team Quest- Thailand fighter draws closer to his dreams of becoming a world champion now that he’s riding a 7-fight win streak. It also helps that two of those victories have come via stoppage inside PXC’s Terrordome, putting him in a good position to contend for the title sometime soon.
“I’m very honored to come out victorious especially with the finish,” he shares. “I always fight to finish, I never like to leave it in the hands of the judges, so I’m pretty happy to [get the finish] especially in front of my family who live here in Manila.”
While standing in the cage following his win over Banario, Abelardo gestured with his hands that he wanted the championship belt around his waist. It’s clear what his goal is: He wants a crack at the title.
“That belt is the biggest thing on my mind right now. Any way that I can get it, if I have to keep on winning, [then] so be it. That’s my next shot. I want that belt.”
Watch the Abelardo vs. Banario fight replay here: