Former sanshou fighter Mark Eddiva became the first homegrown Filipino mixed martial artist (MMA) to win in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Eddiva, 28, showed enough guts and consistency in his striking and takedown to hack out a unanimous win over Chinese bantamweight fighter Jumabieke “The Wild Wolf” Tuerxun on Saturday in UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale held at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
The Baguio City native ignored the hostile crowd as he showcased his wrestling skills and counter-punching style to frustrate Tuerxun in three rounds. He won on scorecards, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.
“I felt I could have knocked him out in the first round, but he was strong and tough,” Eddiva, a former 2011 Southeast Asian Games sanshou wushu gold medalist, told The Manila Times on Sunday.
“I would like to thank God for all of this. I trained hard for this fight,” said Eddiva, a cousin of former sanshou fighter and One Fighting Championship fighter Eduard Folayang. “To God to be the glory.”
Eddiva landed solid kicks and punches and takedowns in the three-round game to notch his sixth consecutive victory.
Eddiva is the second homegrown Filipino fighter to fight in the UFC after Dave Galera of Universal Reality Combat Championship debuted early this year in Singapore.