Congratulations Keli “Rukiz” Manglona! 1st Title Defense Win via Rear Naked Choke!

Keli Manglona 185lb Middleweight Champion

Keli Manglona 185lb Middleweight Champion

Congrats Kel! Keep up the good work man…

Heres the article from the Saipan Tribune. by Walter J. Sutherland.

Keli “Rukiz” Manglona defended his Gorilla Warfare Mixed Martial Arts middleweight title after tapping out Guam’s Cody Cruz from Guahan Top Team with a rear-naked choke at the 1:48 mark in the first round in GWMMA Armageddon’s main event bout last Saturday at the Royal Taga Hall of the Saipan World Resort.

Manglona initially elected to stand and bang with Cruz, but the latter caught the champion with a nice hook to the jaw, dropping the home bet to the canvas.

However, the decorated grappler immediately regained his composure and then utilized his superior wrestling skills to secure a dominant ground position against Cruz. Once on top, Manglona dealt Cruz with some big ground and pound blows before taking his opponent’s back and choking him out shortly after.

The win gave Manglona a flawless MMA record of 7-0, while Cruz had to eat his first loss out of four fights.

Cruz accepted the challenge of battling Manglona on a short notice and in front of the home crowd, which screamed for the latter from the second the former came out of the backroom.

Manglona, after his title defense, admitted his first fight plan was to knock his foe out.

“I admit I was looking for a quick knockout win similar to what happened in Vegas last month, but still I am very pleased with the way things worked out. I gave Cruz credit because he did catch me with a good one, but I didn’t panic.I just kept my composure and took what he gave me from then on,” Manglona said.

In other results, light heavyweight Swain “The Pain” Cangco from Saipan’s Predator Combat Team defeated Trench Tech’s Sully Stone by TKO at 4:27 into the first round.

Coming into the fight, Cangco knew that Stone likes to throw a lot of kicks, so he avoided them and took this fight to the mat. Stone fought on his back for virtually the whole fight, but was pummeled in the head multiple times by Cangco’s ground and pound strikes. After the referee called it off, Stone was still a little dizzy and stumbled a bit when he went over to shake Cangco’s hand. Cangco improved to a 4-1 record, while Stone suffered his first loss out of three fights.

The last fight on the semi-main card had Trench Tech’s “Bad” Brad Palacios defeating Derrick “Pinchy” Rangamar from Choke Chain and Marianas Elite by TKO due to strikes at 4:10 into the first round.

Palacios was in top form again and outwrestled his opponent before dishing out a vicious ground and pound flurries. Palacios improved his MMA record to 8-3, while Ranagmar dropped to 3-9. Hopefully, Palacios is hoping that his next opponent will have an MMA record similar to his own as his last two opponents both had losing skids.

Independent Saipan fighter, Robert “Pitbull” Palacios, improved his record to 3-5 after tapping out Niel “Lion-Heart” Taisacan with a rear-naked choke at 1:57 into the first round. Notably, even though Taisaican’s record fell to 1-4, he gave up over 14 pounds to his opponent in this match-up.

In another light heavyweight bout, Saipan’s Martin “Ning” Cepeda from PCT also scored a TKO win over Saipan’s Lionel “Da Hellion” Borja from Choke Chain and Marianas Elite.

After the first round bell, the favored Borja could not get up during the break and remained laid out in the middle of the ring until the referee called it off. The win evened out Cepeda’s record to 1-1, while Borja’s record fell to 3-2.

The first bout on the semi-main card was a light heavyweight match and it went to Saipan’s Edwin “Stix” Castro from the PCT after he tapped out independent Saipan fighter Jack “The Ripper” Crisostimo with a Guillotine choke at 2:18 into the first round.

Castro was being dominated for the majority of the contest when he surprisingly put up the deep submission hold to Crisostimo. The impressive win improved Castro’s record to 2-0, while Crisostimo fell to 2-4.

The 130-lb independent bantamweight fighter Peter Sakisat from Tinian won the last preliminary bout over Saipan’s Frank Demapan out of PCT by tapout via a rear-naked choke at 2:37 into the first round. Sakisat improved to a 2-0 record while Demapan fell to 1-2 mark.

In a featherweight bout, Saipan’s Derrick “The Gladiator” Chen soundly defeated independent Tinian fighter, Manny “The Doctor” Cepeda by TKO at 1:41 into the first round due to strikes. Chen finally put himself in the winner’s column after two losses, while Cepeda’s record evened out to 1-1.

The first fight of the night was a 155-lb lightweight pairing where Saipan’s Sonny Pua from Team Zalaka won his debut against another first-timer, Scott Santos of Tinian. Pua prevailed by tap out at 1:15 into the second round with a Guillotine choke.

Notably, “Kill” Bill Saures and Giovanni “Palaxi” Sablan did not fight as scheduled because their respective opponents did not appear on fight night.

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  1. rome says:

    Great to see the CNMI climb the ranks in MMA. Biba Marianas!

  2. lost wages says:

    howzit frank,
    sorry we missed ya last time you were in vegas..
    keli is moving forward to greater things i am sure
    and so are you..

    keep working or you’ll be worked!