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)