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Rousing Success of Cage Gladiators/Hitman MMA's Friday Fight Night 2 Sets Up Bolder Future for Philippine Local MMA Scene

Quezon City, Philippines – Burn Soriano and Laurence Canavan's Cage Gladiators x Hitman MMA, the premier Philippine local MMA promotion, successfully held their second fight card, Friday Fight Night 2 before a jam-packed Pop Up Katipunan with flyweight Joevincent "Good Boy" So edging Franz "Romance" Galvez in a split decision win in the three-round headliner.

"Being the winner of this event is a very huge opportunity for me. Cage Gladiators and Hitman MMA treat the fighters well. I attempted a submission and did not give him any time to recover. You got to give it to Franz. I tried to finish him for a submission. I wanted to take him via my submission game but he is a tougher wrestler. Hopefully, if we have a rematch I wrestle him out," said So.

"Di ko ineexpect na ganoon siya sa una. Grabe yung cardio niya, conditioning niya. Sa Round 3 naubos ako. Siya ang pinakamahirap na nakalaban ko. Sa sarili ko ako nanalo pero, respeto sa kalaban ko," said Galvez.

In the co-main event, Johnny "Young Gun" Merto shocked "Dragon King" Tabaranza in the second round, submitting him with a guillotine choke.

"Gusto ko talagang mapasukan na organization is UFC kasi bibihira lang ang mga Pilipino doon na nakaka-angat. Gusto ko makilala ang Pilipino, and ako, kumbaga gusto ko makilala as (Manny) Pacquiao ng MMA. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa Cage Gladiators at Hitman MMA. Napasok ako dito sa MMA at minahal ko siya. Ito ang pinakang focus ko. I am thankful for my mama and my coaches, sila ang humubog sa akin kaya ako nandito," said Merto.

So's and Merto's victories headlined 10 fights which saw impressive young talent showcase their wares as the promotion continued to prove its status as the future of the local MMA scene. The exciting event saw five stoppages and two debutants successfully winning their first MMA fights.

Cage Gladiators/Hitman MMA's Burn Soriano said: "I'm so happy. All of the fans enjoyed the fight, and all of the fighters will get compensated and that's what we want. We are gonna go every month. We are going to do it. I want everyone to be happy, from the fighters, to the crowd, to everyone involved."

Cage Gladiators/Hitman MMA was started by CEO and Founder Anthony Canavan, an ex-Irish Ranger 2nd Regiment Cobra Coy Division, an undefeated military kickboxing champion, bare-knuckle fighter, strongman fighter, and Professional Tactics and Weapons Consultant for SPD, as a means to assist underprivileged and disadvantaged Filipino fighters.

Sponsorship includes financial assistance and support, assistance with gyms, trainers, equipment, supplements, accommodation and lodging subsidies, and more to help fighters focus 100 percent for their goal to represent and win at the international level.

"Local MMA, we have been here since 2007. We are here for the fighters and that is the truth. We do these events for the fighters," said Soriano.

So himself has a day job at a BPO company while Merto sidelines as a tattoo artist, proving that Cage Gladiators/Hitman MMA provide opportunities for local fighters to compete, develop, grow, and raise the level of their games.

Following the rousing success of FFN 2, Cage Gladiators x Hitman MMA will stage their next big fight card on March 22, 2019 with further details to be unveiled soon.

*Photo Credit: Franz Lumahan (Cage Gladiators)