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URCC 26: Two new champions crowned; De Tomas, Laurel figure in classic



The Fontana Resorts and Casino in Clark, Pampanga City was rocking the entire night as the longest running mixed martial arts promotion in the Philippines, Universal Reality Combat Challenge (URCC), held its 26th main show, Domination.

The fight card featured a triple main-event featuring three championships, with two crowning new champions and a dominant performance by crowd-favorite Red Romero. As some of the promotion’s mainstays fell to the younger lions, some of the future stars of Philippine MMA solidified their place during the ten-deep card including an instant classic by the promotion’s two young guns, CJ de Tomas and Carlo Laurel.

Here is the recap for URCC 26: Domination

Romero champion retains, two new champions crowned

In the main event, to cap a night of great fights, it was URCC mainstay Red Romero [9-5] who dominated Malaysian Jian Kai Chee [4-6] to retain the URCC featherweight championship.

This match was supposed to take place during the promotion’s 25th show last October 23. Both fighters were aggressive to start the contest but the better striking of Romero was evident from the get go. An accidental low blow by the champion, coming from a push kick, briefly halted the bout. Coming of the break, Jian Kai Chee was able to connect with back-to-back body kicks. The Filipino then shot for a huge takedown and landed on the mount. A few shots and short elbows by the champion ended the round. Then, to open the second round, the DEFTAC member immediately scored a huge double leg takedown followed by elbows and hammer fists. The referee had no other recourse but to end the bout by technical knockout at the 3:51 mark with the champion making his first successful defense.

Andrew Benibe [6-8] however did not suffer the same fate, as Philippine Muay Thai team member, Jerson “Salleng” Estoro, [6-3] was able to take home the URCC bantamweight championship.

In a classic showdown between a grappler and a striker, it was Benibe who was able to take Estoro down with ease in the first two rounds. Moreover, during the stand-up, Benibe displayed great counter-striking that stopped Estoro from pursuing combinations. To open the third round, a loose challenger was landing the cleaner shots for the first three minutes of the round. In one of the exchanges with a minute to go, the champion landed a huge overhand right that left a cut over the left eye of Estoro. But this did not stop Estero from going forward and was able to knock the champion down to land a few ground shots to end the third round. Then, in the fourth round, “Salleng” was able to connect with a huge knee to the body of Benibe that shut the champion’s body down. The champion was then on the receiving end of huge shots that resulted to the stoppage. The match was stopped at the 3:52 mark of the fourth round with Estoro being crowned at the new URCC bantamweight champion.

Japanese fighter Hideo Morikawa [8-3] was also crowned as the first URCC flyweight champion in a match against Alvin Ramirez [6-7]. Morikawa completely outgrappled Ramirez in all five rounds. After being down for four rounds, the Filipino Yay-yan practitioner needed a stoppage to win the fight. The Japanese tried to go for the finish at the 4:29 mark with a rear naked choke attempt but Ramirez was able to escape. As the two fighters were about to stand-up, the Yaw-yan Buhawi member was able to hook a triangle choke attempt but his opponent was able to squeeze his neck out. A missed head kick by the Japanese resulted to a flying armbar attempt by the desperate Filipino. An aggressive Ramirez then connected with three head kicks but proved to be too late as Hideo Morikawa becomes the first URCC flyweight champion.

De Tomas squeaks past Laurel in classic

18-year-old CJ de Tomas [4-0] and 22-year-old Carlo Laurel [3-2] did not disappoint in their URCC flyweight championship eliminator bout.

The two fiery upstarts went mano-y-mano right from the opening bell. As the two exchanged shots in the opening minutes, CJ de Tomas was cut by a right straight by Laurel. De Tomas immediately responded with a huge takedown to the delight of the crowd. De Tomas tried to finish the fight with a rear naked choke to end the first round but an active Laurel stopped the attempt.

In the second stanza, De Tomas tried to keep his distance with kicks. A much crisper CJDT connected with huge combinations and, later on, dragged Laurel to the ground. The two again exchanged fists and fire to end the round.

With the crowd growing wild, the two torchbearers for Philippine MMA hugged it out to give respect to each other’s performance. At the midway part of the round, de Tomas slammed Laurel but the 22-year-old Laguna-native was able to grab the neck of his opponent for a guillotine attempt. De Tomas was able to escape the attempt to move to guard. A tired Laurel just lied on top of his opponent and, in the final ten seconds, moved to mount.

The judges saw the fight all for De Tomas. The 18-year-old CJ de Tomas will next face the URCC flyweight champion Hideo Morikawa.

Foreign fighters shine; Palomar, Hoffman finish

Light heavyweights Chris Hoffman [2-1] and Mark Palomar [1-1] were able to make quick work of their opponents in the undercard. DEFTAC’s Hoffman was able to stop the debuting Jeremias Tan with hammerfists in the first round. While Palomar staved off a slowstart to knock Sam Mison [1-1] out with a booming head kick and punches right at the end of the first round.

Chinese women’s flyweight Yan Xiao Nan [1-1] dominated Catalan Fighting System’s Dolores Meek [debut]. Yan never let up and connected with more than 30 punches before the fight was stopped.

In the fourth fight of the night, upstart Drex Zamboanga [3-2] was stopped by Korean Do-Gyeun Lee [1-0] in a huge second round upset. Zamboanga has been active in the local MMA scene for the past few months. The Tough Guys International fighter, who was a late replacement, succumbed to a huge overhand right and punches from the debuting Korean at the 3:58 mark of the second round.

In other bouts, featherweight Bernard Soriano [2-1] submitted Roel Rio [1-1] with a rear naked choke while lightweight Isiah Ordiz [3-2] dominated Arvin Chan with a submission victory due to RNC as well. Both bouts ended in the first round.

URCC 26: Domination Results
July 25, 2015 – Fontana Convention Center, Clark, Pampanga

URCC Featherweight Championship: Red Romero def. Jian Kai Chee via TKO3, 3:51 (Elbows) to retain championship
URCC Bantamweight Championship: Jerson Estero def. Andrew Benibe by TKO4, 1:08 (Hammerfists) to win the championship
URCC Flyweight Championship: Hideo Morikawa def. Alvin Ramirez by UD to win the vacant championship
Flyweight bout: CJ De Tomas def. Carlo Laurel by UD to become #1 contender for URCC Flyweight Championship
Light Heavyweight bout: Chris Hoffman def. Jeremias Tan by TKO1, 2:30 (Hammerfists)
Light Heavyweight bout: Mark Palomar def. Sam Mison by TKO1, 2:34 (Punches)
Featherweight bout: Do-Gyeon Lee def. Drex Zamboanga by TKO2, 3:58 (Ground punches)
Women’s Flyweight bout: Yan Xiao Nan def. Dolores Meek by TKO1, 1:10 (Standing punches)
Lightweight bout: Isiah Ordiz def. Arvin Chan by Sub1, 3:47 (Rear naked choke)
Featherweight bout: Bernard Soriano def. Roal Rio by Sub1, 3:25 (Rear naked choke)

1 Comment
  • Lui Lozano

    Sir, it should be the other way around. It was Isaiah Ordiz who won. Not Arvin Chan.


AJ Mandani sparks Singapore in win over Joshua Munzon-led Westsports



Back to his role as the sixth man of the Slingers after two games, AJ Mandani provided the firepower needed by Singapore in a fourth quarter surge to stop the Westsports Malaysia Dragons, 93-85, Sunday afternoon at the MABA Stadium in Malaysia.

The win arrested the Slingers’ two-game losing streak, raising their slate to 6-6. Westsports, a team coming off a two-game winning streak that included a 91-87 win over Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat last January 18, fell to 3-5.

Struggling in the first three quarters, Mandani six of his eight points in the final frame. And those points were povital in fending off Westsports.

With Singapore clinging to a solitary point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Filipino-Canadian scored four straight points 8-0 run to gain a 74-67 lead with under seven minutes left. Another basket by Mandani followed it up with a breakaway layup with with 5:18 remaining to give Singapore an 81-72 cushion.

Filipino exports Joshua Munzon and Patrick Cabahug tried to rally the home team back as a triple by the latter cut the lead down to just three with 1:40 on the clock. Big buckets by Delvin Goh and Chris Charles sealed off the Malaysia-based club team.

Munzon went just 5-for-18 from the field to finish with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. Cabahug chipped in eight points on 3-for-4 shooting off the bench.

Xavier Alexander led Singapore with 33 points while Charles tallied a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds to go along with three swats. Singaporean Goh had 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Marcus Marshall paced Westsports with 22 points, playing all 40 minutes as fellow World Import AJ West had a tough outing.

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Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates



The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17, dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting, with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits. Rookie Necole Ebuen powered in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16, while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Chiefs will look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse, drops Red Lions to 0-2



23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing with 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse — the second-best club team in Tunisia, who boasts four national team players and an American import — led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points, while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a one-day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace for Final Four



Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set — the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined from those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points, while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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