Sunday, February 15, 2015

#UFCManila: What We Know So Far


Last January 29, sports and online media was set abuzz with the announcement that an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) card was to be held in the Philippines. While the fights for the card was not announced along with the event, the excitement in the county was immediately palpable as fans began to speculate who the featured fighters would be.

Would the "Filipino Wrecking Machine" Mark Munoz be competing on the card despite being booked in a February 28th fight with Roan Carneiro? How many Pinoy fighters will be featured on the card? Who is the broadcast team that will call the action? Will Bruce Buffer be the announcer?

Fast forward 2 weeks, and we have some really exciting answers.


The Answer vs The California Kid


For the main, event,  Frankie "The Answer" Edgar (18-4-1) takes on the "The California Kid" Urijah Faber (32-7-0). Edgar, the former UFC Lightweight Champion, last fought in Novemeber, when he put away Cub Swanson in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs.Swanson. Winning via neck crank at 4:58 of the fifth round, Edgar's victory earned the record of latest submission in a UFC fight, and on top of the victory got him a performance bonus for the night.

Faber on the other hand, was last seen gracing the Octagon last December, earning a submission victory over Francisco "Cisco" Rivera. The victory put "The California Kid" in a tie with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for most total submission finishes for a fighter in the combined history of the UFC, Strikeforce, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), and Pride Fighting Championship (Pride FC).

With Edgar currently a featherweight contender, and Faber having been the long time Featherweight Champion of the WEC, the Fight Night Manila main event has the makings of a mixed-martial arts Featherweight version of "The Thrilla in Manila".



The Usual Suspects


It wouldn't be an MMA event in the Philippines without Pinoy fighters on the card. Not surprisingly, the first to make it to the May fight card is a fighter from Team Lakay, arguably the best fight camp the country. Team Lakay's Roldan Sangcha-an (4-1-0) is scheduled to face Guam-based Jon "The Heat" Delos Reyes (7-4-0), whose also happens to be Filipino. Delos Reyes was last seen in the Octagon last September, falling to Kyoji Horiguchi via TKO.




Sangcha-an on the other hand, made his UFC debut last June, dropping a decision to Richie Vaculik at UFC Fight Night: Te Huna vs. Marquardt. With both fighters looking to turn their fortunes around, Manila looks to be the perfect venue for one to finally get a UFC win. Fans can expect a total war to be waged between the Mountain Province-based local hero and the Guam-raised Filipino as they scrap for that highly coveted W.


UFC: Fight Night Manila will also be the return of Jon "Super Saiyan" Tuck (8-2-0) to the Philippine fight scene. He was last seen in the country competing at Pacific Xtreme Combat 28 in 2011, knocking out Tristan Arenal in the first round. Tuck's success has been a little inconsistent in the big dance however, as he's alternated wins and losses in his four UFC fights. With the return to familiar stomping grounds, Tuck will look to get back on the win column.

It wont be easy however, as he is slated to face Tae Hyun Bang. While not having fought in six months, Bang (17-8-0), is coming off an impressive knock out of Kajan Johnson at UFC 174. With the long lay-off, it can be expected that he will be raring to repeat his previous success.


The complete list of fights for UFC Fight Night Manila (so far):

Frankie Edgar vs Urijah Faber (5 Round featherweight bout)

Bang Tae-Hyun vs Jon Tuck (lightweight bout)

Roldan Sangcha-an vs Jon Delos Reyes (flyweight bout)

Zhang LiPeng vs Kajan Johnson (lightweight bout)

Nolan Ticman vs Yao ZhiKui (flyweight bout)

Roger Zapata vs Li JingJiang (welterweight bout)


For the moment, Mark Munoz is not slated on to be the card, but he did mention in an interview that after he's through with his February 28th bout in Los Angeles, he'd like a ticket to the dance in Manila.

While it will be a little longer before it's known if "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" will or will not be part of what is already a great card for UFC Manila in May, fans can be happy with the reports that part-Filipina ring girl Arianny Celeste may also be working the event.


UFC Fight Night Manila is scheduled for May 16, 2015 and will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. For tickets, visit SMTickets.com. For updates on the event, visit UFC.com and BallsChannel.tv.

All photos property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PXC Set to Kick of 2015 with Laban MMA in Baguio City



As both fans and competitors will attest, 2014 was indeed a banner year for Philippine mixed martial arts. While news and events eventually slowed down as the year came to a close, it seems Pinoy fighters and fans are now ready to pick up where 2014 left off.

First up for 2015 is the announcement of Pacific Xtreme Combat taking its Laban MMA series to Baguio City. Home to arguably the Philippines' best fight camp, Team Lakay, Baguio and the rest of the Cordillera region is known as great source of raw and undiscovered combat sports talent.

With Laban MMA serving as an MMA development league, it makes perfect sense that it starts the new year off in the City of Pines. While the PXC has yet to announce an official fight card, the first Laban MMA event of 2015 is already slated to take place on February 28 at the Baguio Convention Center.

The fight night coincides with the city's annual Panagbenga Flower Festival, so plenty of people will be looking to attend and catch a glimpse of the region's top MMA prospects. To avoid missing all the action, interested parties can begin purchasing tickets at SM Tickets outlets.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Want to be the next PXC Ring Girl?

Become the next PXC Ring Girl!



Do you have the looks, the body, and the attitude, you can be on your way to becoming the next Abby Poblador or Red dela Cruz.

You must be:
-At least 5’5” in height
-18 to 25 years old
-Of good moral character
-And in possession of those killer curves

Email your portfolio to sescalante@tpiguam.com
Deadline for submission is January 19, 2015.