Yaw-Yan Buhawi’s Eddie Estrada is a victory away from his title aspiration

Eddie_Estrada_Dojo Drifter_Don Gaoiran

20-year-old Eddie Estrada from Yaw-Yan Buhawi recalls his path toward the upcoming URCC pinweight title fight.

[mks_dropcap style=”square” size=”52″ bg_color=”#1588db” txt_color=”#ffffff”]U[/mks_dropcap]RCC pinweight title contender Eddie Estrada first entered Yaw-Yan Buhawi years ago as a typical martial arts enthusiast. Instead of finding trouble on the streets, he spent his time and energy training in the gym. The 20-year-old Estrada never thought about competing, until one day, Rey Yap took him in as a scholar. Now, he’s a title contender set to face SFC champ Fritz Adlin Biagtan in URCC 27: Rebellion.

“Nagumpisa ako dito (sa Yaw-Yan Buhawi) nung pinasok ako ng mama ko para makaiwas sa gulo at sa mga tambay,” Estrada tells Dojo Drifter during an interview at Yaw-Yan Buhawi Gym in Marikina City.

“Nagustuhan ko naman kaya araw-araw ako nagtra-training. Noon hindi ko pa iniisip ang lumaban, ensayo lang talaga ang gusto ko. Pero biglang kinuha ako ni Master Rey bilang scholar niya tapos tinuruan niya ako lumaban. Pagkatapos tinanong niya ako kung gusto ko na lumaban, sabi ko ‘sige po,’” he adds. [mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#1588db” txt_color=”#ffffff”] “(Sir Rey) asked me if I wanted to fight, and I said ‘yes.’”[/mks_pullquote][I started (in Yaw-Yan Buhawi) when my mother enrolled me here, so I can avoid trouble in the streets. I liked it here, so I trained daily. Before I never thought about competing; I just wanted to train. Until one day, Master Rey (Yap) took me in as a scholar and then he taught me how to fight. Then he asked me if I wanted to fight, and I said “yes.”]  
 
“Balong” had an initial taste of action in a kickboxing match. It was his opportunity to show what he learned as a Yaw-Yan striker and he didn’t disappoint his mentor. The promising Eddie Estrada won via decision and unlocked his true potential as a fighter.

“Nilaban ako (ni Master Rey Yap) sa kickboxing (match). Unang-una ko po na laban (iyon) at nanalo po ako ng (judges’) decision. Nakita po ni Sir Rey ang potential ko sa laban na iyon kaya tinuruan niya ako ng tinuruan at nag-training ng nag-training hanggang ngayon.” [Master Rey Yap entered me in a kickboxing match. That was my first fight and I won via judges’ decision. Sir Rey saw my potential in that fight and after that he taught me more and more and we kept on training until today.]  
 

Eddie_Estrada_Dojo Drifter_2_Don Gaoiran
Yaw-Yan Buhawi’s Gym in Marikina City has become a second home to “Balong” Eddie Estrada.

The transition to MMA from kickboxing was imminent and soon Estrada found himself striking and grappling opponents inside a cage. In his most recent URCC fight, “Balong” faced Efren Marinias, a fighter from the Cordillera region.

“Ang kalaban ko noon ay si Efren Marinias. Pinaghandaan ko talaga kasi alam ko wrestler siya. Nung laban namin na-takedown niya pa rin ako. Wala naman masyado nangyari sa ground kaya pinatayo kami. Tapos gusto niya bigla makipagstrike. Ayun, natapos ko ang laban sa striking.” [My opponent then was Efren Marinias. I prepared hard for that fight because I know he’s a wrestler, but he still was able to take me down. Nothing really happened on the ground and we stood back up. After that, he decided to trade strikes on the feet. I eventually won the fight with my striking.]

After back-to-back MMA wins in URCC, Eddie Estrada heard the biggest news of his fighting career. He is scheduled to face Fritz Biagtan, an SFC title holder, who’s seeking for another belt to put around his waist.

“Pagkatapos sabihin sa akin ni Master Rey (ang title fight), sobrang saya ko na lumaban ng championship. Gusto namin makuha ang belt na ito. Etong makakalaban ko, champion sa Singapore. Mahilig din siya sa striking kaya ang mapapanood ng mga tao masisiyahan sila kasi suntukan lang talaga at standing. Pinaghandaan namin ang ground at strikes. Iyong dalawa ang lagi namin ginagawa sa practice.” [After Master Rey told me about the title fight, I got so excited to fight for a championship. We want to take this belt home. The fighter that I’ll face is a champion in Singapore. He likes striking as well, so the fans will be delighted because we will trade punches and it will be a standing war. We’ve prepared hard on the ground and strikes. Those two parts we’ve done a lot in practice.]  
 
“Okay naman po ang pakiramdam ko ngayon sa pagtraining namin ni Sir Rey (Yap) at mga ka-teammates ko at mga sumusuporta sa akin sa training. So good luck, Fritz, at pagandahin natin ang laban para masaya ang mga manunuod.” [I feel really good in my training with Sir Rey Yap and with my teammates and supporters. So good luck, Fritz, and let’s make this fight a good one for the delight of the fans.]

Don Gaoiran

Rabble-rouser at Dojo Drifter
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