Dave “The Scarecrow” Galera, the first homegrown mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is on the peak of his training under Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao.
“I’m very confident this guy [Galera] will become a complete fighter once he experienced UFC,” said Sangiao. “In standing and on ground fighting, he is very aggressive and smart.” Galera currently holds an unblemished record of 5-0.
The bantamweight Galera, 35, is entering the UFC with a six-fight contract; his very first bout will be in UFC Fight Night 34 on January 4 in Singapore, where he will face Singaporean Royston Wee (2-0). Wee is the first Singaporean fighter to fight in the UFC.
Galera, currently the Universal Reality Combat Championship’s (URCC) bantamweight champion, is an adept in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but is likewise a formidable stand-up fighter. He started his MMA career in 2011 winning all his fights by technical knockout or by submission including three in the URCC.
“Of course, I’m very happy because Dave is the first homegrown Filipino fighter to make it to the UFC,” said Sangiao who also trains One Fighting Championship fighters Kevin Belingon, Eduard Folayang and Honorio Banario.
The other MMA fighters of Filipino parentage that have competed in the UFC are Brandon “The Truth” Vera and Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz. Both Vera and Muñoz grew up in the United States.