by Ofelia C. Empian
Fight Sports Tournament (FIST), a sport league based in Baguio and Benguet, has lined up exciting shows this 2017, including the crowning of its inaugural champion.
Organizers of the sport league, which conducted four successful combative events last year, announced that at least five events are scheduled this year to showcase local talents who have immense potentials in raising the Philippine banner in the international arena.
FIST aims to hold its first show, which will see amateur MMA athletes from martial arts dojos across the region sometime in March, the same month it held its inaugural show last year.
By the end of 2017, the homegrown promotion, which caters to grassroots mixed martial artists, will release its inaugural championship belt on a still unannounced division as its yearend event.
Last year, all of the promotion’s events held in March, April and twice on November within the municipality of La Trinidad, featured up-and-coming athletes from the Cordillera.
This year, FIST will hold several events in Baguio at the former Garden Theater, which is being transformed into a multi-functional events center.
“We have a pool of champions here in the Cordillera who only need to be polished to shine and develop to their full capacities,” FIST Chairman Lee Buasen said.
Based on FIST records, most athletes in the region are within the straw weight (115 pounds) and flyweight (125 pounds) divisions.
Among the prominent FIST veterans is Biondi Dayangadang who fought in all three events before he was drafted as the first Filipino to compete in the inaugural Thailand Fighting Championship in Khao Lak.
“FIST aims to become the most dynamic combat sport event outside Manila, driven by the inspiring stories of its fighters, the strong will of the fans, and the excitement of healthy competition,” Buasen added.
FIST is co-presented by TiongSan as its official event partner.