Mike Pantangco, a Filipino mixed martial arts fighter (MMA) now residing in the United States showed sportsmanship by sacrificing a sure victory to save an opponent from being badly hurt.
Pantangco was against late-replacement Jeremy Rasner in the Prison City Fight League in Michigan. The Filipino was dominating the fight and was peppering Rasner with punches, elbows, knees, and kicks.
“I just feel that there’s no point in fighting him because he didn’t train against me and I didn’t train for him,” the fighter said alluding to the fact that Rasner was a late replacement.
“We don’t get paid and I know that the only (way) I’m going to finish the fight is him to go in the hospital or get hurt,” Pantangco said. “I just feel terrible so I’m just going to give him the win.”
Pantangco, however, did not get all positive reviews. Some said that he disrespected his opponent by not giving him the opportunity to fight back.
“I am sorry for all you guys think I did him wrong or disrespected him,” Pantangco said as quoted by Conner O’Brien of The Courier-Mail. “But guys (we’re amateur) fighters. We don’t get paid and if I would keep going I would’ve hurt him more and maybe he gets serious injuries and maybe that will make him stop doing what he loves to do.”
This is not the first time when a Filipino fighter showed mercy against an opponent. Manny Pacquiao, who rearranged Antonio Margarito's face in their super welterweight title fight, also showed sportsmanship by repeatedly looking at referee Laurence Cole, asking him to stop the fight.
With the referee not taking the hint, Pacquiao barely touched Margarito in the last two rounds to save him from further damage.