The Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) 27 titled Rebellion will feature 10 mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts on April 23 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City.
The main event is the match between defending featherweight champion Filipino Red Romero of Deftac against Korean Do Gyum Lee of MK Muay Thai.
“Hindi naman siya pupunta rito para sa wala lang kaya ibibigay ko kung ano ang hanap niya,” the 28-year old Romero told The Manila Times during the official press launch of the event on Wednesday.
Romero successfully defeated Jian Kai Chee of Malaysia in July 2015.
URCC founder Alvin Aguilar said that he hopes the URCC will produce MMA fighters with the same caliber as that of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.
“We hope we can create and produce more fighters to represent our country well [in international competitions],” Aguilar said.
Aguilar during the conference had signed a memorandum of agreement with Marriott Hotel and Resorts World Manila’s (RWM) represented by RWM chief operating officer Stephen Reilly.
Another exciting match of the event is the flyweight championship bout between 19-year old CJ “The Golden Boy” De Tomas against the 34-year old Hideo “Death from Tokyo” Morikawa from Japan.
De Tomas has an unblemished record of five wins and no lost.
“Simula 14 years old, ganun na laban ko sa MMA. Mas matanda lagi ang kalaban ko kasi wala namang bata na lumalaban,” said De Tomas whose father, Charles De Tomas, is a retired MMA fighter.
The younger De Tomas said that he wants to avenge his father’s loss to Morikawa six years ago.
“If CJ wins, he is going to be the youngest URCC Champion,” said Aguilar.
The lightweight championship belt will be disputed by American Will Chope of Fight Corps and Fil-Am Richie Redman of Legacy Gym Boracay.
URCC veteran Caloy Baduria of Elorde MMA aims to bag the light heavyweight championship belt when he battles Swiss Chris Hofmann of Deftac.
On the undercard events, rivals Alvin “Sindikato” Ramirez of Yaw-Yan Buhawi will take on Carlo “The Samurai” Laurel of Ronin BJJ in a flyweight fight.
Former bantamweight champion Andrew Benibe of Benibe MMA will test his mettle against Drex Zamboanga of Toughguys International. Both fighters are trying to make a comeback in the MMA scene.
In the welterweight division, Deftac’s Jericho Tomagan will face another Yaw Yan Buhawi bet Jet Hermida.
In the other matches, Eddie Estrada of Yaw Yan Buhawi will take on Fritz Biagtan of Biagtan MMA while Solomon Dultra of Toughguys International will clash with Jojo Tabang of Hybrid Yaw Yan.
Dultra, Tabang and Tomagan will make their debut as professional MMA fighters.
URCC is the Philippines’ and Asia’s first professional MMA league founded in 2002.
In the last 14 years, URCC has held over 80 MMA events.
Among the notable fighters URCC has produced are Chinese fighter Tiequan Zhang who fought in URCC 15 and Dave “The Scarecrow” Galera, who won the URCC Interim Bantamweight title in URCC 23. Zhang went on to fight for the World Extreme Cagefighting and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) while Galera is the first homegrown Filipino Fighter to be signed by the UFC.