Mainstream media The Manila Times is reporting early this Sunday morning that it has received information indicating that the first UFC event will be scheduled in the country within the first half of 2015.
The UFC recently announced three new European dates that will see them expand into Poland and Scotland, as well as another event in Germany. Asian countries are awaiting announcements as well, since the UFC has stated intentions of expanding into the Philippines as well as South Korea, and returning to Japan with a possible “The Ultimate Fighter” series.
Two Filipino fighters could be expected to be on the card, Mark Eddiva and Roldan Sangcha-an of premier Philippines Team Lakay. Because of this, the Times spoke with the team’s Coach Mark Sangiao for his knowledge of the situation.
Sangiao confirmed he’d also heard that the UFC was close to announcing a show in the country, but as of yet the promotion had not contacted him.
The Times further stated,
“A highly reliable source, who requested anonymity, divulged to The Times that a UFC event will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena possibly in May but did not elaborate the name of the fighters who will compete.”
☆ 1/26 Update – Neil Rooke of Combat Press here stated that sources have informed him a May 16th event in Manila at Mall of Asia Arena is targeted.
Eddiva came in as a dark horse against Jumabieke Tuerxun in his UFC debut, and with an upset win he proved his mettle in the Octagon. In his subsequent UFC fight just two months later he suffered a TKO at the hands of Edimilson Souza.
Eddiva’s teammate Sangcha-an was called up in the middle of 2014 to represent at UFC’s first outing in New Zealand. He put in a stiff and thrilling match against Richie Vaculik, but unfortunately saw the scorecards go against him.
Mark Munoz, a Filipino-American, would be a shoe-in for the card, however the Philippines is a combat sports-loving country very educated about MMA, so a card of merit should be expected.