Eros Baluyot, one of Philippine mixed martial arts’ rising prospects, looks to continue the hot start to his pro career as he battles veteran fighter Rene Catalan in the main event of URCC 87: Heroes on Tuesday night at the Xylo at the Palace in BGC in Taguig City.
In an exciting striker-versus-grappler clash in the flyweight division, Baluyot, a two-time International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation world champion, faces Catalan, a three-time wushu world champ, and a former MMA world title contender in other promotions.
“Awesome, awesome card that we’re going to have here, especially our main event. We have two world champions going up against each other,” URCC president Alvin Aguilar said about the headliner during the pre-card press conference last Thursday night, also at Xylo.
Catalan (6-5) marks a return to the MMA cage after two years in what would be his debut at URCC.
However, the 44-year-old veteran believes it’s never too late to have his dream of fighting in the URCC fulfilled.
“This is my first time fighting in the URCC cage in my entire life. My dream of fighting here just finally happened,” Catalan said as he eyes to end a three-fight losing streak dating back to 2021.
But standing in his way is the 30-year-old Baluyot, who is currently 2-0 in his MMA career.
“I am really well-prepared for this fight. I am so excited to face coach Rene Catalan because he is one of the legends of Philippine MMA. He has already built that legacy in this sport, which is why I am really excited about our fight on Tuesday,” Baluyot said.
“It’s going to be an exciting fight between a solid grappler, Baluyot, and a veteran striker in Catalan that you can only see in this upcoming URCC 87. So come to Xylo on Tuesday night. Aside from the main event, other bouts are all good,” URCC co-owner and General Manager Aleksandr Sofronov said.
The co-main event, backed by main supporter www.crazywin.ph, features a grappling super fight between Godwin Langbayan and Red Samson, while another grappling bout features Troy Legaspi battling Paige Alitao.
The other pro MMA bouts are supported by Lucas Lepri BJJ gym, pitting Rex De Lara against Mhar John Manahan in the featherweights, Mark Cuizon against Rufino Mante in the bantamweights, and Kerwin Tan against Marco Lampacan in another flyweight encounter.
In amateur MMA, Paolo Cruz takes on Jerald Vellarde in a 150-pound catchweight.
Also slated to take place is a bareknuckle boxing showdown between Christian Panliag and Chris Cantos.
In special slap battle attractions, Milarde “Pongde” Hugo takes on Reynaldo Beltrano, Roldan “Boy Hangin” Licame battles Gi-Jay “Boy Kalmado” Velasco, and Gerald “Makahighlord” Gabonada exchanges facial hits with Michael “Batang CamSur” Azucena.
“You have to reserve tables because this is going to be a real fight,” Catalan added.