On Feb. 18, Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) will host PXC 29 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Kapitolyo, Pasig City, Philipppines.
While many MMA fans in the U.S. may not be familiar with the PXC, they have been hosting events since 2004 and have featured some of the biggest names in the sport on their cards. Fighters like Roy Nelson, Jeremy Horn, Dan Severn and Luigi Fioravanti have all fought for the PXC.
Headlining PXC 29 will be a flyweight (125 lbs.) title fight between up-and-comer Ale “The Young Gun” Cali from Davao and Jesse “The Spiderman” Taitano of Guam.
Although Cali got off to a rocky start in his MMA debut back in 2009, the young up-and-comer bounced right back winning his next three fights in a row, including two in 2011 in the PXC.
ProMMAnow.com’s (www.prommanow.com) Asian MMA correspondent Wesley De Souza caught up with Cali this past week to learn more about this rising talent and talk about his upcoming fight at PXC 29 against Jesse Taitano.
WDS: First and foremost, thank you for granting us your time to conduct this interview. We’ve searched the Internet trying to find more about you but it seems that you’re a pretty low key guy. There isn’t much about you online. Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us more about Ale “The Young Gun” Cali?
Ale: Hi! My name is Ale Brashary D. Cali. I’m 21 yrs. old and currently based in Davao city. I’m low key because I’m a little shy in interviews and my English is not that good. Also, not too many bloggers and journalists are into MMA here in our city. They choose other fighters instead of me, I guess. That’s okay though. They call me ‘The Young Gun’ because I started out in boxing at a very young age of 10. Amateur at 15, Pro at 17.
WDS: What is your primary martial arts discipline and how did you get into the world of Mixed Martial Arts?
Ale: I was a boxer before but I got into MMA in 2009 since boxing has been long dead in our city the past 10 years. And MMA has been very popular worldwide. So I thought I’d get into it since I love contact sports.
WDS: We’ve read from your online bio that you’re associated with the Beefit Pythons Pit. We understand it’s managed by Mindanao Fight Camp. Could you tell us more about it?
Ale: Beefit Python’s Pit is our team headed by Coach Bambi Posadas. A judo national champion turned MMA fighter. We have our Head Manager, Otek Durante, and Asst. Manager, Hazel Ogalesco. Sir Otek named his management One Mindanao because he helps fighters not only from our city but also from neighboring towns and municipalities. Fighters from remote areas don’t know where to go or what to do to get into MMA. When he sees a potential fighter, he helps them out.
WDS: You fight at 125 pounds which seems to be the “hot” division that everyone is talking about and there are many opportunities in it. Even the UFC and ONE FC are looking into expanding that division. What is your opinion on the 125 pound division getting so much attention and what are your goals fighting in this division?
Ale: My goal in the division is to be champion, of course. As any other fighter’s dream. It is getting lot of attention maybe because we little guys are more good looking. Not monstrous. Hahaha!
WDS: You will be facing Jesse Taitano at Pacific Xtreme Combat’s (PXC) upcoming event and it will be a Championship bout for the 125 pound title. It’s a known fact that Jesse’s been fighting for 14 years and has the experience factor over you while you’re still a very young fighter with a 3-1 record. What are your thoughts on this and do you see his years of experience an advantage over you?
Ale: His experience is a big advantage over me. No doubt about it. That’s why I am training so hard, body, mind and spirit to win the belt. My camp is working overtime for ‘speed and power’ to overcome ‘experience’. We hope that would do the trick. Jesse is a very good fighter. I respect him. I’ve watched his videos and he is tough.
WDS: In a recent interview with the media, Jesse stated that he thinks you’re a “good boxer, but this is MMA” implying that you’re not really an MMA fighter. He’s also gone out to say that he’s going to try to end the fight in the first round. What do you think of those comments and how do you see the fight turning out?
Ale: Yes he could end the fight in one round. But I would give him a hell of a time doing that. Like he said, this is MMA. Anything could happen in MMA. Like, what if I end him in the first round? And if he thinks I’m not an MMA fighter, that’s his opinion. I’m fine with that. Let’s just see come fight night.
WDS: How is your preparation for the fight? Tell us more about the fight camp that you’re undergoing?
Ale: Coach Angelito “The Saint” Manguray is also helping us prepare. We’re doing high altitude training & ground game, a lot of different things. I can go on but I’d rather show it inside the cage. I’m learning some new hip-hop moves too since I think the fans had enough of my cha-cha. Hahaha!
WDS: What will winning the PXC 125 pound PXC Championship mean to you?
Ale: This is a dream come true! Fighters like me, without much means and from the middle of nowhere, don’t get an opportunity like this often so I’m all out for this! I hope through this I can inspire others, MMA fighter or otherwise, that you can be a champion if you put your heart, mind, & soul into it.
WDS: You’ve had your first two fights in the URCC that uses a ring and your last two fights in the PXC were in a cage. Does fighting in a cage as opposed to a ring make a difference to you? Which do you feel more comfortable fighting in?
Ale: Ring or cage really doesn’t matter to me. It’s your opponents who fight back. Not the stage you’re on. Hahaha!
WDS: Why do you fight? If you weren’t a mixed martial artist what would you be doing?
Ale: I fight because I’m doing this for my brother. He’s in prison now and I help him out any which way I can and also to his family. We are not rich or from a well-off family. I live in a dormitory. And the little money I get from fighting does help a lot. If I’m not an MMA fighter now, I’d probably be in prison too. It’s the only thing I know. I fight.
WDS: We’re just into the year 2012. What are your goals for this year both as an individual and as a professional fighter?
Ale: My goal for this year is to become a PXC Champion. That’s all there is to it. And with the help of our Dear Lord, He would bless me more. Maybe more sponsors. Hahaha!
WDS: Do you have any parting words for your fans back home and for those who follow you overseas?
Ale: Parting words for my fans? Do I have any? I know my team and my mother are my fans. Around 12 people. That’s it. Hahaha! Most people think I’m cocky and not a very outgoing person. I’m not. Inside the cage, it’s just my style to dance around. Sometimes it confuses opponents. Sometimes it doesn’t. I mean no disrespect to my opponents at all. And they say styles make fights. Well, that’s my style. For those who think I’m hard to talk to, I’m sorry but that is true. Not because I don’t like a certain person. But it’s because I’m shy and not very fluent in English. If you ask my team, they actually think I’m a clown because I make them laugh a lot. I’m very easy to talk to. I just get nervous around guys with English accents. Hahaha! To tell you the truth, I get more nervous in live interviews than in fighting. Hahaha! Have you seen my video? I’ve got my blunders big time. Sorry folks. Anyway, thanks to those who have been supporting me. Thanks to PXC for the opportunity, to TFN, to my teammates, One Mindanao management and the Big Guy up there.
WDS: Thank you for your time and we wish you all the best in your upcoming fight.