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UFC Fight Night Manila: Someone’s Got to Give

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Mixed Martial Arts in the Philippines will never be the same, once the first ever UFC event takes place in Manila this summer. The Philippines is in for a treat on the 16th of May, when former WEC Featherweight Champion, Urijah Faber, collides with former UFC Lightweight Champion, Frankie Edgar, in a five-round superfight that will propel the winner closer to a title shot in the Featherweight division.

In the UFC’s stacked Featherweight division, current kingpin, Jose Aldo, has yet to be beaten in almost 10 years, and both men have been included in his list of casualties. Aldo has faced both men, and holds decision wins over the two. Faber faced Aldo in the World Extreme Cagefighting Championships for the Featherweight title back in 2010, while Edgar squared off against the Brazilian just two years ago in Las Vegas for UFC Gold.

Edgar, being a former UFC Lightweight Champion, has long been tempted by fight promoters to make a move down to the Featherweight Division in order to set up some superfights against the elite of the division.

UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar (c/o TodaysKnockout.com)

When he was offered the possibility of a superfight with Aldo, he agreed and this set him up as the automatic number 1 contender for the title back in 2013. Their fight went on to be named “Fight of the Night” because of several good exchanges on the feet. Aldo employed his vicious Muay Thai, while Edgar used superb footwork to evade the dangerous leg kicks that Aldo is known for. After five rounds in an excellent technical battle, the champion retained his belt, but Edgar wasn’t far off. The scorecards ended with Aldo on top, 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47.

On the other hand, “The California Kid” has been a household name since the WEC was still active due to his energy and heart. Faber’s only losses have come at the hands of notable fighters in championship bouts. The list of his losses are as follows: Tyson Griffin (9/10/2005, GC Bantamweight Championship), Mike Brown (WEC 36, WEC Featherweight Championship), Mike Brown (WEC 41, WEC Featherweight Championship), Jose Aldo (WEC 48, WEC Featherweight Championship), Dominick Cruz (UFC 132, UFC Bantamweight Championship), Renan Barao (UFC 149, Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship), and his last championship fight against Renan Barao (UFC 169, UFC Bantamweight Championship).

WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber (c/o MMABrasil.com)

The only common opponent that both Edgar and Faber share is Aldo. Leg kicks dictated the fight as Aldo teed off on Faber’s legs. Aldo was able to do this early on, which slowed down the wrestling and footwork that the Team Alpha Male stud was known for. Being the great equalizer, the leg kicks got the better of Faber as they took their toll in the latter rounds, thus giving Aldo the clear victory.

Faber has improved by leaps and bounds since his last fight against Aldo, while Edgar has stayed the same since his fight against the Featherweight Champion. In using their fights against Jose Aldo as barometer, however, Frankie Edgar still has the advantage over Urijah Faber with his weaving and footwork that results to combinations coming from all angles.

With a combined record of 50 wins and 11 losses, 10 out of the 11 losses being in title fights, emphasis on the talent of these two athletes and how they have managed to stay on top of very competitive weight classes in premiere organizations such as the UFC and WEC showed be noted. The immovable object meets the unstoppable force; someone’s got to give.

The former UFC Lightweight Champion, the 18-4-1, Frankie “the Answer” Edgar (#2 Featherweight) will face-off against the former WEC Featherweight Champion, the 32-7, “California Kid” Urijah Faber (#3 Bantamweight) at UFC Fight Night Manila: Edgar vs. Faber on May 16, 2015 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City


MORE UFC FIGHT NIGHT MANILA COVERAGE

For ticket information: click UFC Fight Night Manila poster
faber edgar

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‘California Kid’ stoked to headline UFC Manila card

The Journey Ends in Manila for Mark Muñoz

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Football

Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory

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Photo from the-AFC.com

2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Basketball

Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’

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Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup

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Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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NCAA

Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win

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Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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