Alvin Aguilar, considered as the Father of Philippine mixed martial arts (MMA) and the founder and president of Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), said that the best MMA talents in the country are yet to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Aguilar, 41, the first ever Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the Philippines, also criticized UFC scouts for not coordinating with URCC, which is Southeast Asia’s first MMA league now on its 12th year.
“UFC did not get our best fighters and those aren’t our best,” Aguilar told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “They didn’t coordinate with the Southeast Asia’s first MMA promotion and also Asia’s longest running one.”
Homegrown fighters featherweight Mark Eddiva and flyweight Roldan Sangcha-an, both sanshou [wushu contact fighting]practitioners, lost their respective matches during Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Eddiva (6-2 win-loss record) bowed to American Levan “The Hornet” Makashvili via split decision because of lack of wrestling skills and ground game. Sangcha-an lost to Jon Delos Reyes of Guam via rear naked choke in the second round.
The first homegrown Filipino fighter who fought in the UFC was Dave “The Scarecrow” Galera, but also lost in his debut fight via unanimous decision in Singapore on January 4, 2014.
“If they wanted the best Pinoy fighters, they should ask me. Our first batch of fighters with worldwide potential though were ruined by other money laundering MMA promotions. When they saw that UFC was interested in our fighters, they instantly overmatched them so UFC would lose interest.”
Aguilar added that the goal of URCC this year is to continue developing world-class homegrown MMA fighters.
“Don’t worry, I learn fast this year; the fans will see world-class Filipino homegrown fighters and not American assembled,” said Aguilar. “We have fighters like Red Romero, Chris Hofmann, Drex Zamboanga and Andrew Benibe that have great potentials to fight in the UFC soon. We will be developing them.”