Mark Sangiao, head trainer of Team Lakay, the foremost stable of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the Philippines said that he is excited to learn that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is coming to Manila.
“I’ve heard it already and I’m very excited for my fighters because there is a possibility for them to fight [in the UFC]in front of their countrymen,” Sangiao told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
A highly reliable source, who requested anonymity, divulged to The Times that a UFC event will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena possibly in May but did not elaborate the name of the fighters who will compete.
Sangiao expects the UFC to contact him by February so his fighters can train for two months before the event, “So far, I haven’t received any notice. But if UFC will be held here, I’m pretty sure my two fighters Mark Eddiva and Roldan Sangcha-an will fight there,” he added.
The 28-year-old Eddiva (6-1) won via unanimous decision against China’s Jumabieke Tuerxun in his UFC debut in March. In his second UFC fight in Brazil, he lost via second round technical knockout against hometown bet Edimilson Souza.
The 24-year-old Sangcha-an (4-1) lost in his UFC debut in June against Australian fighter Richie Vaculik in Auckland, New Zealand by way of unanimous decision.
The first Filipino homegrown fighter to fight in the UFC was Dave Galera. Galera fought in UFC Fight Night on January 4, 2014 in Singapore but lost via unanimous decision against hometown bet Royston Wee,