Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) founder Alvin Aguilar said Filipino flyweight CJ de Tomas still has much to learn before competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
De Tomas, undefeated in eight fights in the URCC, is scheduled for his first fight in the UFC against Japanese Naoki Inoue on June 17 in UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore. But Aguilar believes the reigning URCC flyweight champion is not yet ripe for the UFC.
“CJ is like my son and I’m hoping he’ll prove me wrong,” Aguilar, also the Wrestling Association of the Philippines president, told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “I told him that he’s not yet ready but his handlers insisted so I just let him [fight in the UFC].”
The 20-year-old fighter from Quezon City will be facing the unbeaten 19-year-old Japanese, who won all of his recent 10 fights – seven of which by submission.
Aguilar said there are Filipino fighters who fought in the UFC before that are no longer part of the world’s most popular mixed martial arts organization.
“It happened to some Filipino fighters. After receiving offer from the UFC, they immediately signed up for few fights. After losing in most fights, they did not receive a contract extension and they’re already out of the limelight. I don’t want that to happen to CJ.”
Although he didn’t mention names, several Filipino fighters like Dave Galera, Roldan Sangcha-an and Mark Eddiva had competed in the UFC before but are now no longer active after losing in their last matches.
JOSEF T. RAMOS