New Zealand youngster Kaiwhare Kara-France secured his second straight win in Guam on Friday night, finishing former promotional bantamweight champion Crisanto Pitpitunge. It wasn’t such good news for Australian Rory O’Connell who lost his first fight on international soil.
Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) 52 took place at the UOG Calvo Field House in Guam.
In a bout that was scheduled at flyweight, both Kara-France and Pitpitunge started active on their feet with Team Lakay, Philippines trained fighter landing the first significant strike after Kara-France took the centre of the cage. Both were cautious early with Pitpitunge looking to land the knock-out shot from the outside.
Kara-France became the aggressor early in the second round with Pitpitunge inaccurately unloading with every shot. Kara-France sprawled on a takedown attempt from Pitpitunge who dropped to his back. There he unloaded with a series of punches from the open guard. The barrage of strikes continued to rain down from Kara-France until the end of the round.
Kara-France kept the momentum going with a strong double leg takedown to begin the final round. Pitpitunge escaped back to his feet as he looked for his own takedown. Kara-France got to his feet where he landed some heavy knee strikes to the mid-section. A momentarily lapse of concentration allowed Kara-France to connect with a cart-wheel kick. Pitpitunge again ended up on his back, as Kara-France began unloading punches before, this time securing the stoppage with heavy strikes to the mid-section.
It was an impressive outing for the 22-year-old Kiwi who secured his fifth straight win in MMA to move to 12-6 (2-0 PXC).
“I knew he was a former champion, so he was always going to be tough but I had a good game plan and have a good group of guys surrounding me. I come from a good gym so I was well prepared,” Kara-France commented in his post-fight speech.
Sydney based Rory O’Connell made his intentions clear early, as he took the centre of the cage in his featherweight bout against Kyle “Boom” Reyes. There he immediately shot in for the single-leg which was nicely defended by his Guam born opponent. “Boom” Reyes stayed light on his feet and started to land shots from the outside. He landed a solid left as O’Connell came forward, doubled it up and landed it again after the two fighters separated. O’Connell shot in for the single, this time transitioning to the double however Reyes escaped and landed further strikes that opened up a deep gash on O’Connell’s right eye. Reyes again stuffed a takedown attempt and was able to get under the neck, to lock up the power guillotine choke to force the tap.
An unsuccessful international debut for O’Connell who drops to 6-2 as a professional. Twenty-five year-old Reyes bounces back from a November loss to move to 9-4.