Alvin Ramirez makes his first fight in over a year as he takes on promotional newcomer JP Del Valle on October 23, 2014 on the main card of URCC 25.
Ramirez is a very exciting and gifted mixed martial arts athletes from the Philippines. He is a Yaw-Yan Buhawi practitioner who has been in some major scraps in the URCC. His first fight against Team Lakay’s Rey Docyogen back in 2009 was one of URCC’s best fights that year. He went toe-to-toe against the then unstoppable Pinweight Champion.
In fact, he was the first guy who managed to survive until the last round of the fight against the Team Lakay representative. He displayed his tricky striking against Docyogen that night. Just when everyone thought it would be a walk in the park for Docyogen, Ramirez instead gave the champion a fight he would never forget.
Although Ramirez lost, he proved himself to be a promising young talent to watch. After that, the Yaw-Yan Buhawi standout piled up two consecutive first-round stoppages over Sonny Tubal and Janito Bayot. He showed a tremendously evolving game. Then in 2011, Ramirez’s and Docyogen’s paths crossed once again at URCC 19.
There was a lot of hype behind Ramirez in his rematch against the Baguio-based champion. Fight fans were 50/50 on who would come out on top that night. The fight lived up to everyone’s expectations as the two once again put the fight fans on their feet for much of the match. Ramirez’ counter striking was superb, and he gave Docyogen yet another tough fight.
After 20 minutes of action, Docyogen’s hand was raised as he retained his title anew against Ramirez which ended their rivalry with Docyogen notching 2-0 over Ramirez.
Since then, Ramirez has been on a roller coaster journey, winning only twice in his five previous outings, including his recent unanimous decision stumble against Fei Guo Lin.
Now that he is back in action, Ramirez wants to start his climb into the title contention next year. But first, he needs to dispose of a talented promotional newcomer in JP Del Valle at URCC 25.
Ramirez is a tricky fighter; he is very calm and composed whenever he is inside the ring. He has this striking that is so awkward it’s enjoyable to watch, and he has an underrated ground game that’s rarely seen.
In this interview with Ramirez ahead of his return to action in the URCC, he spoke about his Yaw Yan training, the high and low points of his career, and his 3-year plan in MMA.
Asia MMA: What is your background outside of MMA?
Ramirez: I grew up in Samar, Leyte, Philippines. My father is a farmer and my mom is a government employee. Just like all of you, I’m just a human being that has a goal to achieve in life. Sometimes I stumble, but here I am fighting still. I am artistic, cheerful, and into extreme sports and music.
Asia MMA: Who introduced you into the sport of MMA?
Ramirez: My high school classmate Angleo Cristi, during my high school days, this guy used to save my life from the bullies, he introduced me to master Rey Yap.
Asia MMA: Why did you choose mixed martial arts over other sports? What makes MMA so special to you?
Ramirez: It happened that master Rey Yap saw potential in me to be a fighter. At first, I did not expect to be a professional fighter because I’m small and skinny. MMA uplifted my morality as a human being. If it was not for MMA, I won’t be recognized by many. MMA introduced me to a lot of friends as well.
Asia MMA: At what age did you start fighting MMA and how was your first time?
Ramirez: I was 16 years old when I made my MMA debut and I was very nervous like all fighters felt in their first fight. I was an underdog, some MMA vets at that event laughed at how I looked, because I was skinny and cute. I just did what my coaches taught me and next thing I know I submitted my opponent via flying armbar. The feeling was unexplainable. That has to be one of the most memorable moments of my life.
Asia MMA: Most of your fights were under the URCC banner. What are your thoughts fighting in the Philippines’s oldest standing MMA promotion?
Ramirez: I am very grateful to URCC because I’ve had the opportunities to face some of the toughest fighters in the country like Rey Docyogen and Agustin Delarmino Jr. It was also because of URCC that I made a name for myself in the MMA scene here in the Philippines and in Asia.
Asia MMA: You’ve been in some of the most exciting fights in URCC history. But who was the fighter who really gave you the toughest time and why?
Ramirez: Rey Docyogen. I’ve had two championship fights with him and he always outscored me with his takedowns, so if given a chance to fight him for the third time, I would definitely take it.
Asia MMA: It’s been over a year since your last fight, a loss to China’s Fei Guo Lin at URCC 23. What cost you that decision?
Ramirez: From 119 pounds, I moved up to 135 to face Fei Guo Lin. I was confident in my striking that night even though he was bigger than me. I got used to fighting bigger guys in our gym at Yaw Yan Buhawi. They are training us to fight bigger guys. I have no regrets that night, my opponent knows who absorbed and threw more strikes between the two of us.
Asia MMA: You are finally back competing on October 23rd at URCC 25 against JP Del Valle. What do you know about your next foe?
Ramirez: He is an undefeated fighter and he really is skilled. I studied his game.
Asia MMA: How did you prepare, especially now that URCC has shifted from a traditional ring to a cage?
Ramirez: I really need to adjust to cage rules. But I think it will be a lot easier to fight in it because unlike in a traditional ring, we don’t have to re-position ourselves back in the center of the ring every time we fall out from it.
Asia MMA: You are known for being such creative fighter both on your feet and on the ground. What are your favorite strikes or submission to use in a fight?
Ramirez: My favorite is to throw kicks because through kicking, I am showing the discipline of Yaw Yan.
Asia MMA: Do you prefer taking the fight to the ground or on the feet?
Ramirez: I would like to finish my opponents using my strikes; old school Yaw Yan style.
Asia MMA: What separates you from others in your division?
Ramirez: I don’t have to set levels here between me and other fighters in my weight class. I believe that we’re all equal. But it I think it is the style of fighting that separates us from each other.
Asia MMA: Which part of your game have you put focus on improving the most for the past year?
Asia MMA: What would be your three-year plan in the fight industry?
Ramirez: I want to experience what Team Lakay fighters have already experienced: to fight internationally. But I need to adopt an evolution in my MMA workouts and be wiser and more disciplined.
Asia MMA: What can URCC fans expect from Alvin Ramirez on October 23rd against JP Del Valle?
Ramirez: I promise I will not make the fight boring.