By Jun Ray Navarres
Filipino slugger Ernesto Montilla Jr. promised to bounce back after the disappointing performance he suffered in his international debut under ONE Championship on March 17.
Montilla, 31 years old absorbed a dreadful first round rear naked choke submission from Tatsumitsu Wada at the opening stanza of his debut fight at ONE Friday Fights 9 in Bangkok Thailand.
The Japanese proved Montilla wrong early on, landing a right straight that soften the legs of the Filipino fighter. Montilla was very shaken from the hit that he wasn’t even aware of what happened after the match.
“I didn’t know what hit me when he had these exchanges in the pocket. All I remembered was that he’s already on my back, and then all of a sudden, I was tapping,” said Montilla.
Montilla tried to salvage the round by struggling but Wada’s position was too strong that as soon as he attached himself on the back of the Iron, there was nothing more to do than latched on the rear naked choke and Montilla was tapping at the 1:52 mark of the first round.
The loss was the Filipino Flyweight champion’s first since 2015.
Yet, Montilla was positive after the devastating debut.
“What’s good is that I faced a high-level fighter. Now, I know that I have to level up for me to keep up with the gold standard,” stated Montilla.
“Facing Wada in my debut is tough, but I’m proud of myself for not backing out.”
The ONE Warrior Series Philippines alumnus was quick to admit his shortcoming and promised to be better in his next outing – and he does not want to wait long.
“I have a lot of adjustments to work on, like my jiu-jitsu, my patience, and of course, being explosive,” Montilla added.
“I’ll make my grappling and wrestling better and become more locked in towards being the best.”
Montilla remained hopeful despite the loss and assured his fans that he will be better the next time he steps inside the Circle.
“When I felt the bright lights, the pressure was heavy. But I cannot deny that I enjoyed the process. Despite the result, I’ll be back stronger,” said Montilla.
“I’ll be back stronger and make sure to put my name out there and leave a mark on the global stage of mixed martial arts.”
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