Today a trio of new UFC signees were announced from the Asian region who will debut on the Singapore card on January 4, 2014: Leandro Issa, Dave Galera, and Royston Wee.
Singapore’s Royston Wee, Muay Thai and MMA coach for Impact MMA, is the first signing from the country to the UFC. He has a scant record of 2-0 – both fights two years ago – but was perhaps chosen for his striking background. Wee trains alongside fellow coaches and pro MMA fighters Alexsandro “Leke” Machado, Bruce Loh, and Juan Wenjie among others. Wee said, “I’m feeling excited and good about this fight.”
“This fight” will be against the URCC Interim Bantamweight Champion Dave Galera. He bested Red Romero to take the belt on the same card in which fellow regional prospect and new signee Will Chope won the URCC Featherweight title. Galera is 5-0 and his strength lies in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trains at Team Lakay, alongside fellow champs Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario (URCC Lightweight Champ, former ONE FC Featherweight Champ), Kevin Belingon (URCC Flyweight Champ), Crisanto Pitpitunge (former PXC Bantamweight Champ), and Rey Docyogen (URCC Pinweight Champion).
The final announcement came via Coach Chatri Sityodtong of heavy-hitting Evolve MMA in Singapore, who stated that three of his fighters had been contacted by the UFC: Shinya Aoki, Eddie Ng, and Leandro Issa. Of the three, Issa, who had already taken his last fight under his ONE FC contract, chose to accept the offer. Sityodtong confirmed that Issa has indeed signed to take the fight on the UFC Singapore card. He will not be on the ONE FC event in Manila on December 6th, and Evolve MMA teammate Herbert Burns – younger brother to “Durinho” – has stepped up to replace him on 10 days’ notice.
“Brodinho” Issa is a stellar grappler who can claim to be one of the most prolific Brazilians on the Asian MMA circuit. Dating back to Art Of War in China through a ONE FC title run, he has a near spotless record in cage, ring and on the mat. Issa showed incredible acumen against fellow grappling legend Masakazu Imanari, and beautiful work against Yusup Saaladulaev. His lone mark saw him dropped in the title shot by talented dark horse Kim SooChul, whom he had previously bested.
Dual press conferences will be held locally on November 27th in Singapore and in the Philippines with the official announcements.
UFC Fight Night Singapore
January 4, 2014
Marina Bay Sands
Tarec Saffedine (14-3) vs Jake ‘The Juggernaut’ Ellenberger (29-7)
Tatsuya ‘Crusher’ Kawajiri (32-7-2) vs Hacran ‘Barnabe’ Dias (21-2-1)
Hyun Gyu ‘The Ace’ Lim (12-3-1) vs Kiichi ‘Strasser’ Kunimoto (15-5-2)
Kyung Ho ‘Mr. Perfect’ Kang (11-7) vs Shunichi Shimizu (28-8-10)
Katsunori Kikuno (21-5-2) vs Quinn Mulhern (18-3)
Royston Wee (2-0) vs Dave Galera (5-0)
Leandro “Brodinho” Issa (11-3) vs TBA
Will Chope vs Max Holloway RUMORED
Jon Delos Reyes vs Dustin Kimura RUMORED
Tae Hyun Bang vs Mairbek Taisumov RUMORED