Drex Zamboanga and Solomon Dultra Eye Early Finishes at URCC: Rebellion

 

Zamboanga and Dultra are Bringing Everything They Got to URCC: Rebellion

 

Toughguys International has always been at the forefront of martial arts training. For those who aren’t in the know, the Christian ministry offers free classes to anyone who wants to learn. This is why head coach Joshua Abella was never selfish of his knowledge. “Sa Toughguys, walang taguan ng techniques,” he starts.

“It’s very fulfilling to see my students develop physically, mentally, and spiritually, and become good examples to others.” Two of them, bantamweight Drex Zamboanga and flyweight Solomon Dultra, will be on the card of URCC: Rebellion, slated on April 23.

There is no surprise that the 22-year-old Drex speaks highly of his opponent. After all, Andrew Benibe is a former champion who has shared the ring or cage with the likes of Mark Eddiva, Honorio Banario, and one-half of the night’s main event, Will Chope. He recalls, “Nag-uumpisa pa lang ako sa Toughguys, naglalaro na siya sa URCC.”

Given his reach advantage, Drex sees a good chance on the feet. Benibe is a skilled boxer, but “T-Rex” is ready to capitalize on the slightest mistakes. Coach Joshua points out that Drex is getting more and more confident with his striking game since training under Coach Mel Espinosa of FIST Gym. And with Abella and other members of Team Kamphuis-Fabricio looking after his jiu-jitsu game, that reach advantage translates well into the ground. He also cited wrestling coach Erwin Marinas as the man responsible for his student’s wrestling skills.

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Apparently, Toughguys is now affiliated with the Stephen Kamphuis-led BJJ team, so their fighters get to train at Fabricio-affiliated gyms like the De Tomas Muay Thai and MMA Training Center and FIST Gym. At the same time, Drex trains with some of the instructors at Empire Banawe where he is a boxing coach.

For Solomon, it’s pretty clear. His most recent wins came by submission, and this time, he wants to see his opponent hit the canvas. “Kung kaya ko sa standup, gagamitin ko ang boxing ko.” The 19-year-old criminology student will now be taking on Fight Corps MMA’s Efren Marinas after negotiations with his original opponent, Jojo Tabang, fizzled out.

The gutsy, young fighter juggles school and a part-time job in Eastwood along with fight preparations. Don’t be surprised if you see some flashy throws as he also trains judo in his alma mater. “Kahit sino naman, hindi ako natatakot,” he pitches in the middle of our conversation. However, he is happy to see good friend CJ De Tomas challenge Team Zendo-kai’s Hideo Morikawa for the belt.  As for Drex, a win gets him closer to earning a shot at the featherweight belt, which is currently being held by Jerson Estoro.

Coach Joshua has full trust on his students. He says, “Expect them to show something different in their respective bouts. Every fight nina Drex at Mon, hindi pwedeng mawala ang atensyon mo. Each and every time, they get creative inside the cage. Hindi mo alam kung anong pwede nilang gawin.”

URCC: Rebellion is going down on April 23 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City. Better get your tickets now!

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Mark “Sexymundo” Raymundo is a copywriter and an amateur fighter with a perfect record of 21-0. Nah, he’s just a copywriter.

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