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UFC planning another round in Manila



The first foray of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Manila, UFC Fight Night: Manila, drew a strong 13,446 fans.

Last May 16, 2015 was a night to remember for the Filipino fight fans as the Philippines was given a full blast UFC experience with a card headlined by a “super fight” pitting sure-shot future hall-of-famers Frankie Edgar and Urijah Faber in a featherweight showdown.

Filipino-American middleweight Mark Munoz also had his final match after a wrestling clinic on British fighter Luke Barnatt. In one of the most emotional moments in UFC history, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” delivered a heartfelt speech in the middle of the octagon before setting off in the sunset.

In addition, both local and international fighters tore the house down that left the audience in awe.

With the critical and financial success of UFC Fight Night: Manila, UFC executive vice president in Asia Kenneth Berger announced that the Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to make a return trip to Manila. “In 2016, we are looking at coming back here,” Berger said during the contract signing between the leading mixed martial arts promotion in the world and TV5. “We are working on the dates, logistics, and availability of venues. We look forward to announcing it in the first quarter of next year.”

In addition, Berger also guaranteed that the company will continue to bring in fighters to the Philippines that will serve as ambassadors to the organization and the sport. “Certainly in 2016, the fighter tours which is what we have been doing in the past will continue. In fact, we will be stepping up and accelerating the number of tours that we have here,” Berger added.

The UFC is also transferring to its new home, Hyper (Channel 52 on Cignal), after a long partnership with ABS-CBN owned Balls Channel. TV5 will also be the avenue for local channel replays of UFC events.

Berger disclosed that the next UFC Fight Night Manila will be announced during the first quarter of 2016. According to representatives from the SM Mall of Asia Arena, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has yet to book a date with them for the second UFC event in Manila.