Thursday, March 12, 2015

April Osenio, A Fighter From Gadang, Kapangan Makes Her MMA Debut Tonight

A young and promising female mixed martial artist from the remote village of Gadang in Kapangan, Benguet is getting the chance of a lifetime tonight at the Stadium Putra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her name is April Osenio. She will be competing in the undercard of Age of Champions, a combat event put together by ONE Championship, the reigning MMA organization in Asia. It will be the 20-year-old i-Kapangan's first outing as a professional MMA fighter.

Osenio's dance partner inside the cage will be Kirstie Gannaway, a Singaporean who holds an MMA record of one win and no loss. Gannaway made her debut last November. Her opponent did not make it out of the first round.

As an MMA fighter, osenio is less experienced than Gannaway. An argument can be made that Osenio has zero experience as she is yet to set foot inside a cage as a professional. That may be but Osenio has a set of skills she will be bringing into the cage come fight night. For one, Osenio is an accomplished wushu athlete. A foundation in the wushu discipline has proven to be very beneficial to most of the martial artists coming from the Cordilleras. The likes of Eduard Folayang, Mark Eddiva, Mark Sangiao, and Roldan Sangcha-an have backgrounds in wushu.

It can also be said that Osenio has a ground game. After all, she has participated in several grappling tournaments wherein she bested majority of those pitted against her.
April Osenio (right) and Kirstie Gannaway (left) in a staredown during the weigh-in. Photo by ONE Championship.
Against Gannaway, Osenio is the underdog and rightly so. As was mentioned earlier, she is less experienced. It's her first time to hit the big stage and it won't be illogical to think that there's a possibility that the enormity of the event will cause her to freeze. Osenio is also on the band end when it comes to height as her opponent has a two-inch height advantage over her.

And then there's the fact that osenio took the fight on very short notice. Gannaway's original opponent was another Cordilleran fighter in Jujeath Nagaowa. However, the latter had to pull out of the card due to an injury. Osenio stepped up to the plate with less than two weeks to train and come up with a solid gameplan.

Osenio fights under the Team Lakay banner. Two fighters from the group are also scheduled to see action in May when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stages its very first event in Manila on the 16th. Mark Eddiva will face Alex White while Roldan Sangcha-an will lock horns with Jon delos Reyes. The card dubbed UFC Fight Night Manila will be headlined by a superfight between Frankie Edgar and Uriah Faber.