PXC Laban MMA’s Ralf Francisco: “I cannot underestimate Jeremy Pacatiw; he is trained by champions”

 

Francisco and Pacatiw weigh in on each other ahead of PXC Laban 4 main event

 

Hours before their main event fight, Ralf Francisco and Jeremy Pacatiw are preparing in their respective lockers for PXC Laban MMA 4 to be held at Baguio Convention Center around 7 PM.

While “Noy” Francisco and Pacatiw may not be household names in the local MMA scene, two of the best MMA teams in the Philippines are being represented in tonight’s fight. Francisco hails from D’ Elements MMA and Pacatiw comes from famed Team Lakay.

Francisco admitted that it was a challenge to beat the 12-degree weather. Before he went to Baguio, he still had 5 pounds to shed. He was worried that it will be challenging to cut the extra weight off due to the weather.  “Naisip ko na baka sa Baguio mahirapan akong magpawis,” Noy unloaded regarding his anxiety. Beyond the weight cut, any experienced fighter knows that competing in high altitude is different and can be very difficult.

Come the weigh-ins, and both fighters made weight at exactly 134.8 lbs.

While Francisco was trying to lose weight, Pacatiw actually went up in weight for this fight. When asked if this will be a hurdle, he said, “Ito po talaga ang normal weight ko, kaya mas comfortable ako ngayon. Walang magiging problema.”

On paper, the more experienced Francisco is the likely favorite. With a 7-0 (all KO/TKO) Pro-Am record compared to Pacatiw’s (5 decisions, 1 submission), Noy appears to be the more dangerous fighter.

And yet, Francisco says that he cannot underestimate the abilities of Pacatiw since he is trained by none other than the many champions of Team Lakay. “Hindi ko po pwedeng maliitin si Jeremy kasi lahat ng nagti-train sa kanya ay champions. Ako, kahit sino na lang kung saan pwede mag-train kaya may advantage pa rin siya.” That’s a very humble – even self-handicapping – statement from someone who has fought for multiple promotions, including the lone KOTC Philippine event in 2013. Perhaps this is a testament to Team Lakay’s track record of producing quality fighters.

On the flip side, Francisco’s age and experience do not dissuade Pacatiw. “Babawiin ko nalang sa mismong laban. Gagamitin ko ang mga natutunan ko sa laban na ito.” His confidence should come in handy, as the stakes are high for this young Lakay. Should Pacatiw win tonight, he is promised his PXC debut this coming April.

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Ajie Arenas is a professional Social Media Specialist by day and an MMA junkie by night.

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