The Universal Reality Combat Challenge, the oldest mixed martial arts league in Southeast Asia, ushered in a new era last Saturday, April 24 in crowning five new champions and debuting with new long term partners.
It was a successful show that re-introduced the promotion to millions of viewers globally through ABS-CBN Sports+Action. Moreover, URCC has found a new home in Resort World Manila.
URCC President and Chief Executive Officer Alvin Aguilar was more than delighted with the outcome and the rave reviews the show received on social media.
“I’m really, really happy. Everything came together,” the Brazilian Jiujitsu black belt said. “We just showed everybody that Philippine MMA is here to stay and that the URCC is here to stay.”
He then furthered in saying that the partnerships they have established will help not just the brand but the grassroots of the young sport as well. “Look at this venue. This is the best venue in the country right now. Everywhere you look, it’s beautiful,” he added. “Also, ABS-CBN showed the event live. They even showed a primer that highlighted the ups and downs of a fighter.”
“We will be inspiring the country once again.”
In continuing to give opportunity to his fighters, Aguilar vowed that the Filipino fighters that won during the event, particularly current URCC Flyweight Champion “The Golden Boy” CJ de Tomas (6-0) and former champion Alvin “Kastigo” Ramirez (7-8), will be sent to the United States of America to train and fight for local American promotions in hopes of gaining experience and exposure.
“Our next step here is we’re bringing the Filipino fighters that won tonight to the States to train and fight,” the promotion’s president said. “We have to take it to the next level. It’s about time that the whole world knows that Filipino MMA is here to stay.”
However, one fighter who missed the opportunity of a lifetime is Aguilar’s fellow Deftac fighter Red Romero (9-6). Romero dropped the URCC Featherweight crown to Korean Lee Do Gyeon in stunning fashion. After dominating the entire first round, Lee pressed the action in the second round. Romero caved in to the pressure and lost the bout by TKO in the second round.
“Red has got to get his head back in the game,” Aguilar said about his pupil. “The sad reality is we want to bring the best and that the best can only make it there. What he has to do is level up and then we’re good to go.”
Upon hearing this, De Tomas vowed not to take this once-in-a-lifetime for granted. “Pag nasa States na ko, hindi ko na puwede madaliin. Once in a lifetime opportunity lang kasi ‘yun,” the newly-crowned champion said. “Lalaban kami sa mga maliliit na promotion dun para makita ng UFC. Iba kasi kapag pumasok ka lang dun nang hindi ka pa kilala sa America. Kaya kelangan magpakilala muna sa mga maliliit na palaro.”
With the URCC’s new initiative to promote local MMA, the country’s first fight league is back to inspire once again.